Gochugaru Girl is not much of a gardener. This is because there is not much of a garden where she lives, close to the centre of London. About the only thing which can be accommodated in the tiny patio is a large tub of herbs. Even then she has to worry about voracious insects that attack the tender leaves with impunity.
If God had put me in the Garden of Eden with the task of working it and keeping it, I wonder if I would have risen to the challenge. I suspect I would have said to Adam that, actually, God had asked him to manage the horticultural side of things. Remember, I am merely his helper*.
The sun is shining and this shows up the limited proportions of our city garden even more than usual. It has been neglected since winter and a thorough clear out is in order. Less time in the kitchen and more time tending the flower pots is required.
In order to maximize our time in the garden, I have prepared a quick and light lunch of carrot and orange soup, along with a beetroot, apple and walnut salad.
The recipes given here will feed four people.
For the Soup:
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 large onion, sliced
600 g carrots, peeled and sliced
100 g potatoes, peeled and sliced
500 ml vegetable stock
300 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
Parsley or coriander for garnishing
How to Make:
Heat the oil in a pot large enough to fit all the vegetables and liquids.
Add the onions, carrots and potatoes and fry for 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the orange juice.
Blitz in a food processor until smooth.
Check for seasoning before serving with the chopped herbs sprinkled on top of the soup.
For the Salad:
4 big handfuls of lettuce (I used a mixture of little gem and round lettuce)
2 medium uncooked beetroot
1 crisp apple
1 small handful of walnuts
1 small handful of parsley leaves
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
How to Make:
Wash and dry the salad leaves, and tear into bite-sized pieces.
Peel the beetroot and cut into matchsticks.
Quarter the apple, remove the core and slice each quarter into thin slices.
Break the walnuts into small pieces.
Remove the parsley leaves and discard the stalks.
Make the dressing by whisking together the oils, vinegar, mustard and honey.
Place all the above ingredients into a large bowl, toss once or twice, and serve.
* Genesis 2 v 5 – 9a: When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.
Genesis 2 v 15: The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Genesis 2 v 18: Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”