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Hedgerow Cookbook

15 14 Begin by frying 23 chopped onions and sliced garlic. Add a handful of flour and cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat. In a pan of water add a litre of vegetable stock, seasonings, herbs and vegetables. Bring to the boil. Add the fried onions and flour mixture and cook until the vegetables are soft. The soup may then be liquidized or broken up with a potato masher. For extra flavour add a teaspoon each of curry paste, tahini and soya sauce. Serve with a swirl of cream on the top. Use the recipe above, adding sliced potatoes and washed nettle tops. Best liquidized, with nutmeg and cream added. Add a cupful each of chopped wild garlic, wintercress, chickweed and sorrel to the basic recipe. Traditionally made in the spring. In a muslin bag, lay alternate layers of wild greens bistort, sorrel and nettle tops are best and a cereal medium oatmeal or barley are traditional, but I like rice. Add a little salt and pepper between the layers. Tie the whole thing up and boil for half an hour until the grain has swelled, the leaves have shrunk and the flavours have mingled. Turn out onto a dish of beaten eggs, which instantly cook in the heat, or onto a bed of chopped hard boiled eggs. Mix chopped leaves with cream cheese or peanut butter. Try borage, ramsoms, sorrel or ladys smock. Boil a parsnip, a carrot and an apple. Chop a red onion, a tomato and some wild garlic. Liquidize together in pickling vinegar with seasonings and a little sugar. Preserve in jars.
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