Farmers' Market with Caroline Wright - April 9, 2011

APRIL has a double dose of patriotic fervour with St George’s Day on April 23 and the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William just six days later.

To mark both these events, we are going to be offering recipes over the next couple of weeks that celebrate all that is best – and most traditional – about British food at this time of year.

Even if you are not especially interested in either occasion (and it would appear that quite a few people aren’t) you won’t fail to be moved by the delicious Worcestershire fare on offer at your local farmers’ markets.

None of the recipes require you to hang flags out of your windows, line your garden with red, white and blue bunting or paint your face with a the cross of St George. But if you want to, that’s just fine. All good meals start with a quality soup – and this recipe is no exception.

GREEN SPRING SOUP

Serves four

Ingredients

900g spinach, lettuce leaves, sorrel – or any fresh, green leaves on offer at your Worcestershire farmers’ markets
25g butter
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 egg yolks
300ml milk

Method

Chop the leaves coarsely. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the spring onions and all the chopped green-stuff and let it wilt down, turning it until it glistens.

Pour in 850ml boiling water, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and simmer, uncovered (covering will spoil the colour of the herbs), for 10 minutes until tender. Allow to cool a little.

Beat the egg yolks and mix with three tablespoons of the hot but not boiling liquid. Purée the cooked greenery in the liquidiser and pour the resulting thin mossy green soup back into the pan together with the milk. Heat through but do not boil. Away from the heat, stir in the egg-yolk mixture and serve.

Today’s farmers’ market is in High Street, Bromsgrove, from 9am until 5pm. Next weekend’s markets are in Abbey Road, Malvern, from 9am until 2pm, on Saturday, April 16, and in Angel Place, Worcester, from 9am until 3pm, on Sunday, April 17.

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