We’re home again after a wonderful week visiting family in Wales. We had hot weather in Wales and we’ve returned to hot weather here. Luckily we’d asked our neighbour to water our garden and everything has grown well while we were away, especially the tomato plants. The lettuces we planted in between the tomato rows are ready to eat now, having benefited from the water given to the tomatoes.
There was a thunderstorm just after we arrived home yesterday evening and there is still plenty of water in the stream running down from the spring at the top of the hill.
The tomato and cucumber plants have start to flower, and need a lot of work, tying them to their supports and removing the sideshoots on the tomato plants. The olive trees are covered in tiny flowers, many of which we hope will grow into olives.
The courgettes are also flowering – only male flowers so far as usual at the beginning of the season, so we made fritters with a few of them. A delicious treat with salad leaves from the garden and a glass of rosé from the Domaine des Pascales in the village.
We’ve picked far more broad beans and mangetout peas than we can possible eat, so we’re putting a lot of them in the freezer. Unlike some other vegetables – courgettes especially – peas and beans freeze very well. We at some of the mangetouts, and for supper I made a chilled broad bean soup, my version of a recipe in Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish’s Movida Rustica: Spanish Traditions and Recipes. It’s made with raw broad beans liquidised with garlic cloves, olive oil and some bread soaked in water. I added a sweet onion because we have so many in the garden now. After chilling, the soup is served with a garnish of cured ham, a few peeled broad beans and some herbs. Frank Camorra suggests mint, but I used oregano because I’d forgotten to pick the mint. Any fresh herbs would give it a good flavour. It was wonderfully creamy and a good first course for a hot evening.