This little dish of soup must be the most famous facebook food of the week. It has been developed by a team of expert chefs from three hemispheres, compiled by means of worldwide web communications and actually cooked by a wholly inexperienced and untalented cook at the Australian seaside.
Yes, me. And it all happened via … tah-dah! facebook.
Prologue. Scene one: a brisk Wednesday morning. 6am. Wednesday is farmer’s market day, so up and down the hill and home with two baskets of lovely local produce.
Prologue: Scene two: morning chat with Wendy back home at Gerolstein. Much colder there. ‘It’s a soup day’ she said. Yesssssss!
Act I: I got some splendid potatoes at the market. Potato soup. Love it. Milchsuppe. Assemble ingredients. Potato, kumara, onion, garlic, salt-free stock cubes, bacon, parsley and spring onion from my wee garden… and let the chopping begin! Hiccup one. THAT’s not a kumara! Completely different texture!
Now what? Cry for help! And help he came. England and Germany were asleep, but America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia were awake… and buzzing … my facebook positively sizzled with advice and instructions. And my fake kumara was identified as a Hawaiian Sweet Potato. Oh well, too late!
Act II: Begin. My corned-beef pot seems the right size. In with three big rashers of chopped bacon …
Add onion and garlic and brown (I refuse to say caramelise, who invented that euphemism?). Add four rather ancient looking veggie stock cubes melted in 2 litres of water. And then my two lots of potato ..
Check with the facebook panel at each move. Taste. Oh. There’s a great deal of taste. I didn’t expect that. Is it SALT!? I suppose there’s salt in the bacon. Anyway, it’s a deal too tart and almost, well, vinegary … Oh well, push ahead. Bubble, bubble …
Dip into the cooking sherry. Add a handful of parsley and I THINK its spring onion. Add a good dollop of milk. And, of course, a nice pinch of cumin …
There! Taste. Ah. The milk has calmed the salt-n-vinegar tang.
There’s only one thing wrong. In the hours it has taken to compile this ‘dish’, I have consumed the entire bottle of cooking sherry and picked away, and the sun has come out, and it’s no longer a soup day and I’m no longer hungry… ah well, it’ll keep. Wendy says soup is always better on day two…
Act III: As facebookers, all round the world, wait with hearts awash with soup, to hear the results, I unwrap Renée’s stick blender. My panel ignored my repeated queries: zap or no zap? So I zapped half.
Thursday 11.30am chimes. At last the famous facebook soup is ready! The tasting is nigh. And …
It’s jolly good. It’s not what I expected when I set out to make potato soup, and its nothing like Milchsuppe, though the added milk was a grand touch. The vinegary thing I didn’t like has gone. The Hawaiian potato is indistinguishable from the Australian. But where did all that flavour come from? Ah, well, ask not!
Act IV: Bit of excitement in the family today. ‘Nephew’ Darby got his US visa and is off to America to study and play gridiron. Celebration dinner is in order. Which restaurant? But hey. I’ve been to the market. I’ve got Dorpfer Lamb Patties. And I’ve got Facebook Soup. We’ll eat ‘in’!
Noise at the door. Oh, it isn’t Darboy, it’s the man staying next door. Do I like king prawns? Do I what! For me? Bless him!
So we had a feast fit for a footballer. And the soup? I think he must have liked it. There’s just enough left out of the 2 litres for me to have a wee bowl for breakfast…
I think Facebook Soup has to be accounted a success. I might have to make another gallon. It’s looking a little grey outside ..