Dandelion Soup - Book Excerpt (and Recipe)
Michael Leary had filled everyone's glasses with wine and the two dim-witted posulants had begun to ladle soup into dishes under the watchful eye of Sister Perpetua.
Padraig, sitting next to Dancey, looked down at his soup with interest. On the top of it was floating what looked like dandelion petals. he stirred it with his spoon and the petals swirled round the dish and made patterns on the surface of the soup. Dancey began to stir hers too, pointed down at the soup and then smiled at Padraig.
"What's this?" Donahue said, looking down into his brimming dish.
"Dandelion soup. It's popular around these parts," said Leary. "I've only had it the once but it's delicious".
"Dandelion soup! Jumping Jehosaphat. We'll all be pissing the beds tongiht."
"For pity's sake just eat it and shut up."
"My mother used to make dandelion soup. She said her family had made it for generations, she used to call it Spanish-Jewish dandelion soup, but i don't have a clue why," said Solly.
Recipe For Dandelion Soup
Take a fistful of garbanzos
A clutch of white beans
A handful of dandelions
Two wide-brimmed hatfuls of spring water
A slosh of olive oil
Some slivers of monastery beef
Two cloves of silvery garlic
One enourmous wrinkled tomato
An old potato, and one stout stick for stirring
Pick only the leaves of the most succelent dandelions. Be sure to select only those that bend westwards in the breeze. A breeze not too cool, neither too hot. If the dandelions are in flower check the petals carefully, the petals of the danelion are the most beautiful of all the flowers, petals that are sparks of fire thrown straight from the sun.
Soak the beans overnight. Toss the beef in a pan with the olive oil and stir until cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for three hours over a fire of pine cones and olive branche suntil the beans are tender. Sprinkle with dandelion petals.
Eat in the best company under a sky full of stars.