Il est dix heures.
It's 10 o'clock Sunday morning. The sun is shinning and I'm sitting in my local park with a coffee. I love mornings. I love the fresh start they bring. Anything is possible.
I also love knowing that I have a big bowl of hearty French soup waiting for me at home. All I need to do is pick up some fresh bread from my local bakery and I'm all set. Parfait!
Navarin comes from the French word for turnip, navet, and it was originally the main vegetable used in this dish, however Trish Deseine's version from her cookbook Trish's French Kitchen is the springtime version. I realise it's not springtime at the moment in Melbourne, but it is in France and I'm pretending I'm French anyway so c'est la vie!
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Olive oil | 1kg shoulder of lamb, cut into chunks | 5 carrots, peeled and chopped | 1 onion, chopped | 1 tbsp tomato paste | 1 bouquet garni | salt and freshly ground black pepper | 4 good handfuls of fresh green vegetables (I used asparagus, continental beans and zucchini)
- In a casserole pot, heat the oil and brown the meat with the carrots and the onion. Pour in enough cold water to cover the meat. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the casserole to catch all the tasty goodness stuck there.
- Add tomato paste, bouquet garni and a little salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Remove meat and keep warm. Reduce the stock a little to intensify the taste, but leave enough to ensure a nice swim for the vegetables. Put the meat back in and adjust the seasoning.
- Steam the vegetables separately, keeping then mice and crunchy. Add to the navarin just before serving.
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Light and hearty, melting and crunchy, earthy and sweet.