Sprouts, Saxe-Coburgs and soup

What to do with these?

It’s that time of year when some people tire of brussels sprouts, but the Victorians knew what to do with them: turn them into soup.

I experimented by making Saxe-Coburg Soup and lived to tell the tale.

Melt 2 oz of butter in pan and add a small onion finely chopped and cook for 10-15 minutes. To this add 12 oz of peeled and finely sliced brussels sprouts and 2 oz of finely chopped ham, stirring until all the butter has been absorbed. Season with salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and then sprinkle and mix in a tablespoon of plain flour.

Gradually add 2 pints of vegetable stock or water (the sprout flavour is strong enough to use water if you haven’t got stock). Bring to the boil and simmer for 6 minutes, then sieve or blend the mixture and return it to a clean pan.

Heat the soup, adding another 2 oz of ham cut into thin strips and 1/4 pint double cream, then serve.

It has quite a subtle flavour and a lovely texture, similar to asparagus soup. The above measures make 4 good-size servings.

The Saxe-Coburgs ruled in Brussels – was this a Victorian joke?

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