Got a thoughtful Christmas present (thank you, Paula!) of a book called ‘WASTE NOT, WANT NOT – BEATING THE RECESSION IN THE HOME‘  by Rosemary Ryan, printed in Ireland by Gemini International. Great value at €7.99. It is full of useful cost-saving advice and wholesome straightforward recipes.

One suited me very well to use up the remainder of the stored onions in the shed which are beginning to grow as air temperatures rise. Unlike the few professional farmers in Ireland still growing onions, I do not have access to the refrigerated storehouses which stored onions need to check their inclination to grow when spring arrives. Likewise I had some of last years potatoes left in store too and they had gone too soft to be used for mash but as an ingredient in soup, they were grand.

So nothing for it but to turn the lot into a big pot of ‘Potato and Onion Soup’. I adapted this recipe to use larger quantities.

Ingredients: 8oz or 220g potatoes (diced). 4 onions (finely chopped). 1 litre stock (I used water saved from steaming veg plus a stock cube). Handful of chopped parsley (I have plenty still growing outside). 2oz or 60g of butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Put the butter nin a saucepan on a low heat. Add the onions and sweat until clear. Add the potatoes and season to taste. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley and ‘voila’.

Very tasty, even if I do say so myself! Most of this batch is now conveniently stored away labelled and dated in the freezer. No need to waste those old onions and potatoes when Rosemary Ryan’s book shows how they can become useful and flavoursome. This is one way of filling the proverbial ‘hungry gap’ in the kichen garden.


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