Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Goldie Bouncing Back In A Rocky Old Year. New Fish Shop And More!

Goldie Bouncing Back In A Rocky Old Year.

New Fish Shop And More!

The Goldie voyage started so well last September. Praise poured in from customers and critics alike as the Cork city centre fish restaurant cast off. Along with a high tide of critical acclaim came the "Best Chef of the Year 2020" award for Aisling Moore. Then came the Covid storm. 

Now, two lockdowns later, Aisling is fed up of Covid 19 but told me last week she'll never be fed up of fish. The restaurant, a shining example of sustainability and ethical sourcing, may not be able to offer you table service these days but Aisling and fellow proprietor Stephen Moore are hooking customers with their new fish shop, along with some of their signature dishes (pre-prepared to cook at home) and you can also get some hot stuff. Indeed, as I write, I note their tasty Bhan Mi Sando is sold out but don't worry, they'll have more in a couple of hours. Bouncing back for sure!

Ready to cook
The fish shop will be open only when the day-boats from East Cork sail (usually Wednesday – Saturday) so fish lovers can join the restaurant’s mailing list to get alerts about when the shop will be open and what will be on offer. This new venture will directly support the fishermen who have supplied them from the beginning.  

As with the restaurant, Goldie Fish Shop will also take a ‘whole catch’ approach.  This means that it will take whatever is caught on the day, regardless of the quantity and species, ensuring a daily changing menu featuring the freshest produce available and a guaranteed livelihood for the fisherman.  The restaurant is committed to ordering in the same quantities as before lockdown. You won't see a menu for the take-out option as it depends on what the boats bring in but do sign up for their newsletter and that will keep you in the know.

In addition to pin-boned fish, portioned with the utmost care, some of the restaurant’s signature dishes will also be pre-prepared to cook at home.  These include ‘tarragon, chervil and parmesan crumbed pollock’, ‘tandoori spiced monkfish’, ‘squid ragu’ ( just reheat and add to spaghetti), it's signature salt fish brandade with seaweed crackers, fresh boxes of Panko fish fingers for kids and lots of the restaurant’s favourite sauces, which work so well with fish.  The variety will grow as the restaurant adapts. 

Back when I was a young teenager, I used to catch pollack (with the aid of my cousins and some eel as bait) on the north coast of Mayo and many a delicious meal we had late at night cooked over an open turf fire.

Ready to eat!

Delighted then to get two portions of perfectly prepared pollack when we called to Goldie last week. Two small cartons of Tarragon and Parmesan Crust delivered a magnificent crown to the superb fish, white and moist. And another bonus was the Café de Paris Butter. Spoiled! 

And if its fresh fish you're looking for, study the up-to-date info on the window. On the day we called, Monkfish, Langoustines, Crab Claws, Cod, Hake, Brill, Dover Sole, Ling, Pollack, and John Dory were all available. The Ban Mi Sando was available from the hot counter with an option of Sea Salt Shoestring Chips.

Ban Mi. Note the fish boxes

Moore and Keogh see the shop as a natural progression for the restaurant, (known for its gill to tail cooking), particularly in the current environment.  “We have used the time in lockdown to really learn about drying, salting, pickling and storing every part of the fish, as well as how best to use the seaweed and sea vegetables readily available on our coastline” says Moore.  

“We feel that this knowledge will bring something totally new to Goldie going forward and means that we will be in complete control of our output.  We look forward to the fish shop becoming a permanent feature of our business.” And I look forward to calling there more often in the future.

Keep Going Cork. Just like Goldie.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Time to go fishing folks! Head to Goldie

Time to go fishing folks! Head to Goldie

The much loved salmon, popularly known as Goldie, swims forever on top of the tower of St Anne’s in Shandon, in one of the most elevated positions in Cork City. The fish and ale restaurant named Goldie, in the flat of the city, is already in an elevated position when its comes to matters fish on the plate. Our first meal there a few months back was impressive, this latest even more so.They appear to be getting into their stride. Who knows what heights this creative kitchen will hit in the seasons ahead.

Lots of hard work here too. After all, they get the whole fish in here every morning. But Head Chef Aishling Moore is relishing it, the head to tail ethos, the challenge that each delivery poses, plus the freedom to create that it also makes possible. “I’m living the dream,” she said on our latest call.

Cork's Goldie Fish (Shandon) and Goldie Angel (Saint Fin Barre's)

The Goldie Menu has three main sections: Snacks, Small Plates, and Mains. You also have sides and desserts of course. And then there’s the beers, all from their own brewery across the road in Elbow Lane, ales formulated by brewer Russell to “specifically suit the foods that we offer”, three on draught, two in bottle. They do have a matching wine list of course and, on the night, had some interesting special offers on.

You can expect to see quite a range of fish on the menu. On our visit last week, squid, prawn, ling, oyster, mussel, salt fish brandade, plaice, ray, and monkfish were all in the mix to some degree or other. No meat here but vegetarians are catered for at all stages including a mains of Piccalilli Panisse, Coolea Cheese sauce, and kale.

We started with beers (Elbow Lager and Jawbone Ale - all their beers are named after Cork lanes) and a couple of snacks. The Chickpea Wafer, fennel and Coolea Cheese, was a delicious wee bite but my favourite was the Salted Ling fish finger, with gherkin ketchup.

CL continued on the vegetarian path with a small plate of Beetroot, gherkin ketchup, yogurt and horseradish. Absolutely superb, so good I persuaded her to share. She did well too though as she was full of praise for my Tempura of Oysterhaven Oysters, with ponzu sauce. 

That sauce was magic and indeed I thought the combination well capable of converting oyster haters and when I mentioned that to our server, she said she’d seen it happen here. So if you are a bit doubtful about oysters and you find yourself in Goldie, do go for it. Other small plates on the night included Steamed mussels, creamed watercress and cider and also Salt Fish Brandade, seaweed cracker, pickles.

Now, for the main event. We were both tempted by the Whole Roast Plaice, bok choi, café de Paris but that will have to wait for another night! Instead we went for the Ray and Monkfish dishes and a delicious side (shared) of Sea Salt shoestring chips.

Sauces and relishes here are key - like the ponzu earlier. Now it was turn of a well-judged red wine sauce to work its magic with the Pan Fried Ray and the parsnip. And superlatives too for the oyster velouté  and fennel that enhanced the Pan Fried Monkfish. Umami on the double.

And those thin little chips were also top notch. Other tempting sides available included Chinese cabbage squid, peanut and tahini dressing and also Roast cauliflower and hazelnut brown butter.

Just a short dessert list. We had tried, and enjoyed, the Killahora Orchard apple port Panna cotta on the previous visit and this time picked the equally enjoyable Blood orange posset, brown butter Madeleine, white chocolate and tarragon ganache. Quite a delightful plateful that we shared.

Then time to say goodbye to the very friendly and efficient crew here. But we did have a peek at the upstairs room that has just been opened for service. Downstairs, it is very bright and modern. Upstairs, there is more by way of decor, lots of foliage. Will definitely take the pressure off downstairs at weekends and would also be a lovely room for a midweek party (up to 15 people or thereabouts). 

Party or no party, go fishing folks! Head to Goldie.

128 Oliver Plunkett Street (opposite Market Lane)
Open 5pm, Tue - Sat.
+353 21 239 8720

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Goldie. Where Fish Reigns

Goldie. Where The Fish Reigns

It’s new and cool. Check out those white tiles with black designs opposite the counter. Ease yourself into those comfortable low-backed chairs and, if someone to the side talks to you, just swing round a few degrees and go face to face. But most of all, Goldie is all about the fish.

The clue of course is in the name. Most natives and many visitors will know that the big fish that forever swims at the top of the tower in Shandon has forever been nick-named Goldie. And the city loves its fish both in sentiment and in tasty reality. And Goldies makes that reality even more flavoursome.

Prawn cocktail crisps
The restaurant takes the ‘whole catch’ from the Ballycotton small day boats (so they take whatever is caught on the day, regardless of the quantity and species) ensuring a daily changing menu featuring the freshest produce available. They also buy in the English Market. 

Goldie operates a ‘gill to tail approach’, using as much of the fish as possible. So you’ll see some surprises on the menu, not just the species on offer but also the parts. Anyone for crunchy fish spines?
Lemon Sole

We were prepared to be surprised when we visited the other day. Front of house is very friendly and on the ball here. There’s an immediate welcome, help with the menu if need be and a chat or two over the evening. We were in early and it filled up quickly enough. Another upstairs room is being readied even as the confident new restaurant takes its first accomplished steps.

The window, more or less facing the “parent” Market Lane, shows the words Fish and Ale under the main title. And the beers come from the Elbow Lane Micro Brewery, also across the street. Brewers Russell and Davide have specially formulated the ales to suit food and, as customers of Market Lane and Elbow Lane itself will tell you, they have been very successful in that regard. 

I enjoyed a pint of the Jawbone Pale Ale with my fish. It is on draught as are the others: Angel Stout, Elbow Lager and Wisdom Ale, all named after Cork lanes.

The menu is divided into four sections. Inexpensive options come under Snacks. Next step is Small Plates, followed by Mains, and Desserts (no fish but they do use sea salt!). A quartet of sides available also including Sea Salt Shoestring Chips, Crushed baby potatoes (with scallion and seaweed), Roast Cauliflower (with hazelnut brown butter), and Sea Vegetable kimchi salad (with squid).

There were five snacks on the Friday we called and we enjoyed the Golden Crumpet and seaweed butter and enjoyed, even more, the Prawn cocktail crisps with cultured cream and seaweed, each priced at €2.50.

Harty’s Oyster feature on the small plates but our choices were the Salt Fish brandade, seaweed cracker and pickled celery, a very tasty combination indeed (7.5). The similarly priced Seared devilled sardines with pickled celeriac were superb, so good I thought briefly (it was raining outside) I was back in the old town of Albufeira enjoying a plateful in the hot sun with a glass of wine. By the way, they have a wine list with most of the whites very well suited to the fish.
Panna Cotta

The superb mains were yet to come. I’m a sucker for Gurnard but rarely come across it when eating out. The Pan fried Gurnard here (21.50), with bok choi and lasooni butter, is a delight. Simply delicious, especially with the sauce.

And the chicken butter sauce with the Pan Fried Lemon Sole (22.50) was also a winner. There was a decent chunk of swede (how often do you come across that veg in restaurants?) on the plate as well. We could have had sides but resisted the temptation as we were determined to go through all three courses.

As it turned out, the strategy worked very well indeed. We completed the three and felt good for the fourth! Just a short list of sweets but two were enough for us. The Pom ‘O apple port Panna Cotta with caramelised apple and crumble and the Achill Island Sea Salt and caramel pudding with hazelnut biscotti were each that bit different to the usual dessert and a lovely finalé to a superb fish dinner.

Goldie is the result of an exciting collaboration between Aishling Moore (25), former head chef of Elbow Lane, and Stephen Kehoe, (39) executive chef of the Market Lane Group. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019



- Cork city’s burgeoning culinary reputation has been boosted with the opening of a new restaurant on the bustling Oliver Plunkett Street -

Goldie is a small restaurant aiming to have a big impact on Cork's dining scene, serving the freshest and most exciting fish dishes in the city. It is the result of an exciting collaboration between Aishling Moore (25), former head chef of Elbow Lane, and Stephen Kehoe, (39) executive chef of the Market Lane Group (pictured right). 
Goldie sources its fish from the day boats that operate out of Ballycotton in East Cork and the English Market. The restaurant takes the ‘whole catch’ from these boats (so they take whatever is caught on the day, regardless
of the quantity and species) ensuring a daily changing menu featuring the freshest produce available.
The name of the restaurant is a nod to the much loved ‘Goldie’ fish-shaped weathervane that sits on top of the famous Shandon Bells at the ancient St Anne’s church in Shandon, just north of the city centre.   The weathervane symbolises the historical importance of fishing to Cork.

Moore and Kehoe show excellent form.  Under their stewardship, Elbow Lane regularly appears in the top 100 list of the best eateries in Ireland and they were arguably at the vanguard of open fire cooking in Ireland.  With Goldie, the pair have spread their wings and created a mostly fish menu that will delight and surprise.  Dishes include the likes of ‘Pan-fried Ray with fennel and langoustine butter sauce’ and ‘Salt fish brandade with dillisk cracker and Churchfield tomatoes’.

The interior of the restaurant is contemporary chic and the atmosphere is intimate and relaxed.  The duo has kept price points extremely accessible; snacks start from €2, small plates from €7.50 and large plates from €18
As well as taking the whole catch, Goldie operates a ‘gill to tail approach’, using as much of the fish as possible.  Some of the most notable dishes are fish spines served with house togarashi, made with hops from Elbow Lane’s brewery and Pollock collar Teryaki.  The ultimate aim is to utilise as much of the fish as possible, with an emphasis on serving parts that are usually discarded.
Elbow Lane’s beers feature on the drink’s menu alongside a small, but carefully chosen wine list. Says Moore "While it has been extremely hard work opening my own restaurant, it has also been so enjoyable and is absolutely a career highlight for me.  To be doing so with Stephen as a business partner, who has been such a huge influence on my cooking, is a dream come true”
 Opening times are Wednesday – Sunday from 5 pm until late.  For further information please visit

Press release

Monday, September 16, 2019

Kinsale's Bulman Buzzing on Misty Autumn Night

Kinsale's Bulman Buzzing
 on Misty Autumn Night

The mist had started before we set off for The Bulman in Kinsale. But when it comes to going for a walk - this from Perryville up to the Bulman - we need little encouragement to err on the silly side and that was forthcoming from our host. So off we went, on the scenic Scilly Walk. It is indeed an interesting walk with views to the harbour and the bay. And the trees sheltered us from the increasingly thick mist and we were quite dry when we entered the Bulman.

What a surprise to find the bar full (diners mostly) on this miserable Tuesday evening. We picked our way through and made our way upstairs to Toddie's, the restaurant, and that too was packed. Just as well we had booked. Soon we were seated amidst the groups, both large and small, and we went on to enjoy the buzz, the food and the drink (they have their own beer here, brewed by the nearby accomplished Black's Brewery). At the end, we asked for a cab but a lady who had served us earlier offered to drive us down - we didn't know then that she is one of the owners. Nice touch, especially after her 12 hour shift!

A few years back, I was introducing a Swedish journalist to the Kinsale area and, after visiting nearby Charlesfort, Pelle and I ended up at the Bulman for lunch. He loved the local Stonewell cider and was very impressed with the place and the food. On this occasion, it was our turn to be impressed and we have no hesitation in giving it the blog's Very Highly Recommended tag.

Oysters in the Bulman have a little section of their own on the menu. They all come from Jamie at the local Haven Shellfish. You may have them hot or cold or as Bloody Mary Shots  The cold Rock Oysters come with either Teriyaki  or a Shallot Vinaigrette.  You may have the hot with Courgette, Lime & Parmesan or, as I had above, with Leek & Gruyere. Perhaps the best hot oyster dish I've ever had.
Starters here are high on quality and are not short on quantity either.
This Irish Prawn and Avocado Salad with Marie Rose sauce and mixed leaves
is a great example, the dish loaded with the flavour-packed small local prawns. 
The Bulman's flowers enjoying the natural sprinkle.
The Hake (below) was one of the nightly specials and so was this Pan seared fillet of organic salmon, with Wasabi
mashed potatoes, broccoli and teriyaki sauce. Another winner, even if the wasabi potato wasn't finished! But they do have other side dishes, so just ask if you think you won't like an element of a dish on the menu.

The Bulman, as you might expect, are strong on fish, most from Kinsale
boats. This Oven Roasted Fillet of Hake, Ratatouille, baby new potatoes,
and broccoli, was excellent, the fish and the Ratatouille a
delicious moist combination. So good. Clean plate!  
Just one dessert but two spoons and our server diplomatically placed it in "neutral"territory!
But what a dessert! Fresh Strawberry Tartlet with Strawberry Ice Cream. Oh la la!
The Bulman
Co. Cork

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Something Fishy on Donegal's Food Coast. Learning to Love the ‘Weed in Malin Caifé

Something Fishy on Donegal's Food Coast
Learning to Love the ‘Weed in Malin Caifé

At long last, Ireland seems to have realised the good things in our seas (and coasts) and chefs up and down the country are leading the way. Take these three very different places that I came across in a short visit to Donegal last month: Wild Strands Caifé in Malin, Fisk in Downings, and Johnny’s Ranch Truck in Ramelton. The first two may be described loosely as cutting edge while Johnny, committed to serving fresh, tasty local food, is no doubt more traditional.

Wild Strands Caifé
You’ll find the Wild Strands Caifé in the Community Centre at Malin. The distinguishing factor here is seaweed. I didn't see it when my dish arrived and asked the server. She explained they use it in the cooking, in the sauces and in the dressings. It was an element in my Fish (haddock on the day) with Abernethy Black Garlic Butter on a flatbread with a small side salad. 

Fish (haddock on the day) with Abernethy Black Garlic Butter on a flatbread with a small side salad

William McElhinney is the man leading the quiet revolution here and not just with the seaweed. Convinced that our ancestors used some kind of hot stone to make their bread, he is trying to replicate the method with a special oven. 

His Ineuran wood-fired oven is used to make beautiful and versatile flatbreads that are the base on which many of the dishes are served. Their Vegan Ineuran Flatbread are all cooked in the wood fired oven using local, seasonal or organic produce with the wonders of seaweed. Here, on the stone, he also cooks his local meats (from Boggs Butchers) “with our own seaweed spice mix along with Carraigín moss”.

We had a lovely chat with his enthusiastic daughter, Réaltín, and she  filled us in. Not alone that, we finished up with two of the loveliest cakes that we’ve ever tasted. Couldn't get over the amazing Coffee Cake and Carrot Cake as we devoured the slices before taking on the steps at Fanad Lighthouse a couple of hours later. 

Mackerel Fillet with spicy tomato sauce

In Downings, you’ll see a blue sign with the word Fisk on it, but your eyes may well be drawn to the splendid view of Sheephaven Bay in the opposite direction. Take that in and then look towards Fisk and more than likely you’ll see lots of people around. “Will we ever get in here?” you ask. It takes a bit of persistence, we had to come back the following night.

Fisk is all about fish, is tiny and is hugely popular because of the innovative way in which the fish is cooked and presented. Cutting edge in a hole in the wall. Fisk (guessing it may be Swedish for fish) has room for about 15 people and takes no bookings. But they do start a waiting list each evening and you can pass the time in the adjoining Harbour Bar, another popular spot here.
Sardines with pickled veg

Fisk specials
The menu keeps changing and there’s always a specials board on the white wall. Also inside it is a bit higgledy piggledy with a few tables of various sizes, even a shelf on the wall where four guests on high stools may be accommodated. 

The place may not be the most comfortable but the fish is different class. Different fish too - you don’t often see sardines and mackerel offered in Irish restaurants. Certainly not sardines with pickled veg. Virtually all small plates here and some delicious wines to pair with them. No point in giving you their phone number so get in early and be prepared to wait a pleasant hour or so in the bar.

Johnny’s Ranch Truck
Johnny's Fish 'n Chips

You’ll have to wait a wee while too at Johnny’s Ranch Food Truck by the quayside in Ramelton. Johnny Patterson apologises for our very short delay: “Your order is cooked from scratch, no precook here.” He opens most evenings here and you could check his Facebook page to make sure or maybe ring in your order to 083 8399305.

What surprises first timers to this food truck is the long menu, not just fish but meat too from the butcher about fifty yards down the street. That butcher provides the meat for “Ulster’s Best Burger 2019”. There’s even a Lennonside Beef Stroganoff with rice or chips. The local meat finds it way into tasty baguettes and tacos and more.

And the Fish ’n Chips from Ulster’s Best Takeaway 2019 is the stuff of legends. For just €8.50, I got three large pieces of battered haddock and a big box of chips. Took the package over to a rickety quay-side seat and took my delicious time with that fresh fish and superb chips. Well worth seeking out of an evening, early or late!

Also on this trip: Kinnegar Brewery
 Mary T. From Mallow to Donegal's Castle Grove
Superb Day Out at Oakfield Park & Buffers Bistro
Malin Head, Fanad and Rosguill Peninsulas
Downings. A Great Base for Donegal Visit

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ballycotton's Pier 26. A Natural for Fish!

Ballycotton's Pier 26. A Natural for Fish!
These delicious Crab Claws came with Garlic Butter and Organic Leaves. I think I've have preferred it if the claws hadn't been released from the shell. But they had and I missed that little bit of a tussle! Better outcome though than last year in a West Cork dining room when they came entire and I was presented with a plastic hammer!

In Ballycotton's excellent Pier 26 restaurant, head chef Colin Hennessy can't write the menu (at least the fish part) until the boats come in at the pier below. Only then does he know what he has to work with and that is why you'll find most of the fish dishes on the Specials Board. There is a lovely bar alongside, even a handful of rooms, all now under the Pier 26 name.

We were there recently - be sure and book before you go - and enjoyed our meal from start to finish. Fish, of course dominated, at least until the desserts!

We started with a couple of aperitifs. I enjoyed my Kir as I looked out the large window in front of me towards the island and its lighthouse. If you are in the inner room, you'll miss that view. CL had her back to the water as she concentrated on her Pimm's (left).

Fresh Crab with pickled gooseberries and organic leaves. An unusual combination but another excellent starter.

Roast Fillet of Hake, summer greens and pickled fennel. Just perfect. By the way, you get some fabulous sides here as well including Buttered Mash, Skinny Fries,  Buttered Summer Greens, John Kennefick's British Queens, Truffle Aioli and Parmesan Fries...

John Dory is a favourite here. This winner is served with Purple Broccoli, Heritage tomatoes and the combination with that seafood bisque is hard to beat.

No fishy dessert, that I know of. This flower enhanced Pavlova with fresh strawberries, blackberries, poached apricots and Chantilly Cream (and a bit of rhubarb too) was a beauty while the Raspberry Soufflé with white chocolate ice cream (below) was just the ticket to finish off an excellent meal.

Next time I'm down, I may well try this Seafood Platter. What do you think?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

SeaFest Rotation Gone by the Bord? Millions Slip Through Cork Nets as Galway Gains

SeaFest Rotation Gone by the Bord?

Millions Slip Through Cork Nets as Galway Gains
Rory O'Connell, a regular at SeaFest

Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest attracted 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event in 2017, generating €6.3 million for the city.

The figures, details here, showed a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. The 2016 SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.

It has been confirmed that SeaFest 2018 will take place in Galway from 29th June to 1st July.  It incorporates a series of marine-related business and research events, the annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit, as well as a maritime festival.

Run by the Marine Institute, with major partners BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mara) and Bord Bia, the initial Seafest was held in Ringaksiddy, County Cork, in 2015 when The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was Simon Coveney TD. Report on the Cork event here.

There was much more than fish demos in Ringaskiddy with linked events around the harbour including Captain Your Own Ship in the Simulator of the National Maritime College, the base for the event. There were SeaFest Science Talks, the BIM Beaufort Scale Hurricane Experience, Marine Recreation and Tourism and much more. 

It was a two day event and the impression given then was that this festival would “tour” Ireland annually and “plans are in hand to bring it to Galway in 2016”. So Cork is not the only loser as the Festival now seems set for a permanent stay in Galway. Fishing places such as Killybegs (Ireland’s largest fishing port), Dingle, Kilmore Quay, Howth, Greenore, Castletownbere, Burtonport, Dunmore East and Greencastle, and Cork of course, will be wondering and, one suspects, waiting.

Read all about SeaFest and its success in Galway here

Monday, November 13, 2017

Master the art of great soup from six simple broths. Broth to Bowl by Drew Smith.

Master the art of great soup from six simple broths.

Broth to Bowl by Drew Smith.

“You might find your definition of the word soup somewhat stretched in these pages but that is the way of my kitchen.” 

So says author Drew Smith in the introduction to his new book, Broth to Bowl. The word soup is “stretched” here, in many delightful ways as he shows us how to master the art of great soup from six simple broths. 

And, by the way, Drew is adamant: “a stock cube will not do”. “For soup to be nutritionally optimal and full of flavour, you must begin with a solid foundation – a good broth.”

“Soup is the heart and soul of the kitchen. Menus invite you to think that a soup is a single event, which it is if you are running a restaurant. But at home, probably the last thing you want is 75 bowls of cauliflower cheese soup. 

What we want is evolution, so one recipe leads logically into the next and so on. Less work. One job = three or four or more, completely different meals, a vegetable tea becomes a chunky vegetable broth becomes a creamy soup. The same liquid can find its way into ragouts, stews, casseroles and all manner of sauces.” 
Ingredients I gathered for vegetable tea and vegetable broth

If you are on a budget, this book is for you. “It may seem at first glance that we are using humble, cheap everyday ingredients, but for the most part these are what our bodies need and crave. We have become very wasteful as a society. We like our meat to be neat little red fillets. 

But much, if not most, of the nutritional benefits of eating meat at all are to be found in and around the bones, the marrow, the collagen-rich elements like cheek and trotter. We buy breast of chicken and ignore the rest of the bird, despite knowing through history that a soup made from the carcass has always been given as a restorative. So too was beef tea.”

Vegetable tea, the basis..

Let us go through the section headings. We’ll start with Vegetable Tea. It is the first recipe you’ll see and that is the start, and also the basis, for many more, including Potassium Broth (“If you had to live on one simple recipe, then this might be a good choice”), Kale Vichyssoise, Laksa and Gazpacho (for when the temperature rises above 25 degrees!).

... for the broth
Now we move on to Chicken (Drew is not a fan of buying poultry in pieces) and other birds. Start here with chicken broth, roast or poached. Then hop around the world with Quick Tom Yum, Cockaleekie, and the French St Hubert’s Soup (pheasant with lentils).

The red meats are next, beginning with the Basic Beef Bone Broth and that can be the basis for so much more. There's a Proper Borscht, a Rich Man’s Pho, a French Potée (a soup, broth and stew all in one), and the legendary Italian bollito misto.

There is a shortish, but no less interesting, chapter under Fish, including Fish Chowder, Jane Grigson’s Lobster Bisque, Dalston Bouillabaisse, and a magnificent Oyster Soup!

And we stay with the sea as we turn the focus to Kombu. How about a Japanese Bonito Broth? Monkfish in dashi with ginger? A Tonkotsu Ramen? 

My chunky vegetable broth

It is much the same pattern all the way through. Start simply and build from there. So, in the end, it may be more to accurate to say that soup (the food that is), is expanded, enhanced, deepened, in this well laid out, well illustrated, book, while happily admitting that soup (the word) is well and truly stretched.

* In addition to the recipes, there is advice on buying your produce and on the equipment you’ll need. And a list of various garnishes too.

  • Drew Smith is the author of Oyster: A Gastronomic History with Recipes and translator of La Mère Brazier. The former editor of The Good Food Guide, he has been a restaurant writer for the Guardian and has won the Glenfiddich award three times.

* Broth to Bowl: Mastering the Art of Great Soup from Six Simple Broths by Drew Smith - Modern Books, published October 2017, Hardback, 4 colour with photographs, 160 pages, RRP: £20.

Vegetable Tea

This is a sequence. It starts out as a light tea, becomes a soup and then transforms itself

again and again. You can drink this first-stage broth as an alternative to tea and coffee.

Once you get the hang of it, vary the spices, vegetables and herbs with the seasons.

Put 4 litres of water on to boil in a deep pot or saucepan while you deal with the vegetables. Peel and trim the carrots and cut into thirds. Peel and quarter the onions. Dice the leek. Quarter the potatoes – you can leave the skin on. As the water comes to the boil, drop the vegetables in and add the spices. Trim the top leaves off the parsley, save for arnish, and throw the stalks in the mix. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the vegetables, keeping only the liquid. Warm through, garnish with a few leaves of parsley and add a slurp of olive oil if you like. Serve in a mug or glass or take a thermos to work.

COOK’S TIP: There’s nothing wrong with the leftover vegetables. You can have them for dinner, dressed with a little meat broth. Or take out the potato and carrot, dice and mix with mayonnaise for a cold salad.


Bunch of fresh PARSLEY
SEA SALT to taste
OLIVE OIL to serve (optional)