Cookery Book: Good Things by Jane Grigson

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Ann Dolamore is the sharpest food publisher on the block. She has a habit of snatching up neglected classics and turning them into smart new editions for her company, Grub Street, and her new edition of Jane Grigson's "Good Things" is one of the nicest reprints she has ever done.

All of the late Mrs Grigson's books are cherishable, but GT is perhaps the most personal of all her works, and all the better for it. There is a chapter on prunes. There is a chapter on chicory. There is a chapter on sweetbreads. Throughout there is wisdom and learning, lightly displayed and despatched.

Here is a typically charming recipe from this precious volume, and one that has become a kitchen classic.

Curried Parsnip Soup
3oz butterlarge parsnip
4oz chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
tablespoon flour
rounded teaspoon curry powder
2 pints hot beef stock
quarter pint cream

Peel and dice the parsnip. Put the onion, parsnip and garlic into a heavy pan with the butter and cook for 10 minutes slowly with the lid on the pan. The vegetables must not brown, but gently absorb the butter. Add flour and curry powder to take up the fat, and gradually incorporate the hot beef stock. Simmer until the parsnip is cooked. Liquidize or push through the mouli-legumes. Return to the pan, correct seasoning with salt, pepper and a little more curry powder if liked (but be cautious: keep the flavour mild.) Add the cream and a spinkling of choppedchives. Serve with croutons of bread fried in butter and oil.

Note: Liquidized soup may need the further dilution of some extra stock, or some creamy milk.