Tis' the time for giving thanks, as we look back over the past 12 months, and forward to the next, wondering what the year will bring. But let's not fret, there are a whole two days before the New Year truly begins, and I bet you are as bored of gluttony as I. 

There will be one last over indulgence to see the year out, or in, depending on how you look at it. And then we will commence  that ritual cleanse upon ourselves and our homes, a premature spring-clean of the soul and body.

Bill Granger, in one of his books, a favourite of mine, has a chapter entitled Pure Days.

Glorious Nigella does something similar in another favourite book,  she has a Templefood chapter.

Both, and many others before and since, are merely allowing for those times when we want to cook, but do so in a totally nurturing, comforting, yet healthful manner.
I think marrows get a really hard time, they are one of my favourite vegetables; the older, bigger, clumsier brother of the courgette. But they make for an utterly delicious soup, giving a velvetine texture you would not believe. This, combined with the subtle hint of roasted garlic, results in a soothing soup that tastes so good it's hard to warrant that it's not terribly bad for you.

Read on for the recipe, and enjoy your last moments of 2011.
Marrow and Roasted Garlic Soup (serves 4)

1 whole head of garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 marrow (about 3lb), peeled and chopped into large chunks (4cm)
25g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1.5 pints fresh chicken or vegetable stock 
A Bouquet Garni of Thyme, rosemary, bay, parsley stalks and peppercorns
Salt and pepper
An (optional) dollop of  crème fraiche and snipped chives to serve

Heat the oven to 160˚

Smear about 1 teaspoon of oil over your garlic bulb, and wrap in foil loosely.  Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, by which time the garlic will have become soft, golden and translucent within its steamy skin.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil with the butter in a large pot over a medium heat, add onion and turn down to low, soften without colouring for 10 minutes, then add the chopped marrow, the bouquet garni and the stock.
Allow the garlic to cool slightly, then squeeze out the pulp into the mix. bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the marrow chunks are tender.

Remove from heat, check for seasoning and blend (I use a stick blender directly in the pan) or sieve until smooth. Re-heat to serve.

Serve with snipped chives and crème fraiche or single cream.

The soup freezes exceptionally well for at least 1 month (it's never lasted longer in my house!)



31/12/2011 5:00pm

I enjoyed this post, The pictures are amazing, especially that tasty soup. I have never worked with marrow and it is difficult to find, but your soup really does entice, especially the way you described the taste. Would have loved to join you for a bowl of that soup! Wishing you all the best in 2012!

31/12/2011 6:45pm

Poor marrows - you're right - no one love them. I really like them - especially stuffed with spicy mince. Have a great New Years.

07/01/2012 5:49pm

Sounds delicious. Lovely photos.
Wishing you a peaceful new year.

16/01/2012 10:48am

Great winter soup, lovely photo too! Anthony :)


That was such a nice collection of beautiful pictures. I’am a photographer by profession and I just love it. I’am bored just like you and I don’t consider gluttony as a sin. I’am a foodie and I just love to eat before new year.

27/08/2013 4:36pm

Just made this, absolutely superb!

29/08/2013 1:33pm

:) Glad to hear it James, it's still a favourite here too!

08/09/2013 9:37pm

Just made this and it really is a fine recipe for marrows.

16/09/2013 12:53pm

Simple and delicious, thanks for the recipe! :)


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