Soup über alles

Every now and then I feel a hankering for German food. This always takes me by surprise, because I don´t feel at all German, despite my name. My great-grandparents came to Spain over a hundred years ago, but apart from them, all my ancestors are Spanish as can be. The only German thing in my childhood were the dirndels I was made to wear to birthday parties. Scarred me for life, of course, but that´s another story.

A quarter of blood ain´t much, but if you think of it in terms of actual blood, it makes for quite a few pints sloshing about inside me. It´s quite natural that every now and then I just have to have pale sausages with sweet mustard.

Luckily for me there´s a salchichería in c/Arenal that has wonderful stuff. It´s called La Madrileña, but don´t be fooled. Beyond the chorizo and the callos lies plenty of teuton goodness in the shape of all kinds of wurst, plus jars of pickles and mustards. Last time I walked away with a tin of sauerkraut on top of my usual package of sausages and leberwurst ( for daddy).

I did this recipe of Elise´s, but wasn´t too pleased. It was ok, but I think I was expecting too much from it. My mind was on some form of Romantic, sturm und drang mythic food, which boiled pork and cabbage just ain´t.

So I decided to start over, and sauteed two onions and carrots, plus a bayleaf and some peppercorns. That perked it up a bit, especially since to sweeten the onions I added caramel, which gave the thing a bit of colour. With some crispy roast potatoes and plenty of ketchup, it still wasn´t Caspar David Friedrich, but it was good.

There was still a lot of it, though, so I decided to ring the changes for a second helping. A couple of stock cubes, a generous litre of water, and a cup of barley that had been soaking overnight were added to the pot, which was put on a low flame for an hour or so.

This resulted in a wonderful wintry-looking soup, with the orange of the carrot and the pearly barley grains floating in a dense light brown broth. Sharp from the sauerkraut, yet sweetened by the added vegetables, with the meat taking second place to the barley, still al dente after all that while. I loved it. I just wish it was cold enough to really warrant such a hearty soup.

I´ve frozen two portions, and will have the last one tonight, maybe with a glug of sherry, to reflect both sides of my heritage.

5 comentarios:

xps dijo...

Still being able to surprise me. suena delicioso.

carmen dijo...

Hoy he hecho strudel de manzana, así que hemos tenido conexión de pensamientos aunque tampoco me puedo resistir a veces a un perrito caliente. ¿Has probado alguna vez crepe de salchicha frankfurt con ketchup? Delicious.
¿Porque ya no puedo grabar tus dibujos? Tengo una carpeta con mis preferidos.

ann dijo...

that soup sounds amazing!! you should have added an impulse purchased ham hock ;-)

Ramona dijo...

I am mostly Spanish/Mexican but I absolutely love sauerkraut! So I keep thinking there must be at least one German hidden in the family tree somewhere.

Julie dijo...

That sounds like an excellent rib-sticking soup. It would be just the thing for the weather we're having where I am -- the high temp today will barely be above 0 Centigrade. (I like using Centigrade rather than Fahrenheit, it makes the temperatures sound much more dramatic.)

And I think more information about the wearing of the dirndels is definitely in order. Dirndels -- yikes!