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Lockdown soup

As the days and weeks of lockdown reality add up, one skill (or is it just an attitude?) is showing itself to be crucial: the ability to make the best use of what is at hand and what's available. What better example than supper foraged in the garden and in the back of the fridge: a vibrant and nourishing soup made from wild garlic and nettle tops, given some extra substance by bits of old veg from the back of the fridge. Oh, and a handful of shrivelled up mushrooms soaked in hot water to make instant stock. Deliciously earthy and herby, bursting with nourishing goodness and immune boosting plant nutrients!

Not much of a recipe really: throw in in a pot to simmer, blend til smooth, season to taste, garnish and serve. But if you must have more detail:

> Pick a good pile of wild greens - wild garlic and nettles are abundant right now and are easy to identify (they will completely wilt with cooking so you want a good quantityof fresh greens, a handful is not enough!)

> Chop up any 'base' veg from the back of the fridge, anyhting will do, even if it's a bit soft and shrivelled. This time I used one each of onion, leek, parsnip, potato, carrot and celery.

> If you have any dried (or shrivelled) mushrooms soak them in hot water.

> Soften the chopped veg in a bit of olive oil and/or butter.

> Add enough water, stock or the mushroom water from above to cover the veggies, bring to a simmer.

> Season with salt, pepper and any other herbs or spices you like (I added oregano, bayleaf and turmeric root)

> Add the wild greens and simmer until the root veggies are softened.

> Blend to your preferred smoothness with whatever tool you have (kitchen blender or stock blender, or even a potato ricer)

> Serve with squeeze of lemon, and spoonful of sauerkraut or kimchi and a dash of yoghurt.

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