The Walpole Daily Practice | Dining in with Charlie’s at Brown’s
As if a knock on the front door wasn’t excitement enough yesterday, there, waiting for me on the step was a box bursting with the most glorious early summer produce: comice pears, grapefruit, watercress, lovage, and armfuls of wild garlic which scented the air with the evocative smell of bosky walks in the woods near my mother’s.
“Enclosed is a little gift from Charlie’s to keep you entertained in the kitchen and well fed whilst you can’t come to us,” read the accompanying note, “Adam has prepared some healthy recipes for you to make, and included all the ingredients – we thought you might have had enough of scouring the supermarkets for produce and seeing another recipe for banana bread”. The lunch I had at Charlie’s pre-lockdown is still vivid in my memory for the deliciousness of the food as well as the elegance of the room, so you can imagine the enthusiasm with which I embraced the challenge of making one of the recipes (I’m saving the other for lunch today). You can see my photographs of the wild garlic and lovage soup, which I made for supper.
Thank you, Adam, Lydia and Stuart, for such kind thoughtfulness, for making my day, and for reminding me of the treats that await us when lockdown ends and we can once more go to wonderful restaurants.
Wild garlic and lovage soup
This seasonal bright green soup will deliver a hearty punch and has great health benefits.
500g wild garlic
10 Charlotte potatoes
2 white onions
1 bunch lovage
1 head garlic
200g mixed wild mushrooms
Slice the onions.
Wash and slice the potatoes. Skin on is fine.
Remove the stems and very roughly chop the wild garlic leaves and the lovage.
Peel and slice the garlic.
Have a flask blender and a bowl of iced water at the ready.
Using a large heavy based pan, add 50g of butter over a low heat, add the potatoes, onions, sliced garlic cloves and season well with salt and black pepper.
Allow this to cook slowly and sweat until all of the moisture has evaporated and the potatoes just begin to soften – this will take around 15 minutes.
Now add 600ml milk and 600ml water and bring to the boil.
Simmer for five minutes until you’re sure the potatoes are cooked.
Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and blend well. After 2 minutes add the wild garlic and lovage to the blender and continue to blend for a further five minutes – the soup should be velvety and smooth.
Now pour the liquid into a bowl and place over the bowl of iced water.
The wonderful morel mushrooms are to saute quickly in butter and serve in the soup, made even better with a spoon of Creme Fraiche if you have it.
For more recipes, cocktails, books and other inspiring ways to bring the luxe glamour of Brown’s Hotel into your home, read The 1837, Brown’s online magazine