When it came to organising a magical garden photoshoot for The Society inc. Newspaper #3, the first location on my mind was the magnificent grounds of Glenmore House. A beautiful force to know, owner Mickey Robertson flies through the garden-scape creating beauty everywhere, whether it be staking the broad bean or making a humble tomato soup, nurturing all the souls that sample it. She has kindly shared her tomato soup recipe (I have tasted it and can vouch for its deliciousness, made from fresh produce straight from her garden!) which you can find below. For more garden goodness, see Mickey’s recent book The House and Garden at Glenmore and sign up to her newsletter to learn more about her monthly Kitchen Garden workshops held onsite.
Lemon blossom. When Larry and I were on our honeymoon in Italy, we stayed on the Isle of Capri for several days and had dinner one night in the middle of a lemon grove on Anacapri.
The cusp of each. Late winter holds the burgeoning blossoms of Spring, late Spring holds the promise of Summer, late Summer holds the colours of Autumn...
Flower or plant of choice?
That’s an impossible question! From the tiniest flower of the apple scented pelargonium to the most densely packed and perfumed rose bloom, the simplicity of a frangipani to the elegance of a hippeastrum... I find them all hypnotic. Perhaps I should just say the humble pea, one of my most favourite plants of all, for its twining tendrils, translucent pods through which you can just make out the shape of tiny peas and their delightful double flowers... all of which are edible too.
Most treasured tool?
String on a stake: the ball of string I carry around on a wooden rod with a pointy end that I can thrust into the ground. The turned string spool contains a blade so I can cut a required length of string without looking everywhere for scissors, without the ball of string rolling away and without the need to bend over!
The garden - I can think clearly there, ponder and deliberate about inspiring articles read; things seen, conversations had...
Garden Tomato Soup by Glenmore House
2kg garden tomatoes
1 brown onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 litre home made chicken stock
A good pinch sea salt
Optional: a pinch paprika or allspice
Basil pesto to serve
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Using a sharp knife, score the base of each tomato with a small cross and carefully drop into the boiling water for approx. 10 seconds. When the skin splits, remove tomatoes to iced water and as soon as cool enough to handle, peel the skins easily away from the flesh, then chop coarsely. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently sweat the onions and garlic ‘til translucent but not brown. Add sea salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Add the tomatoes and stir, then the chicken stock. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer, cooking the tomatoes ‘til tender – around 10 minutes. Blitz with a stick blender or whizz in a food processor. Check seasoning and add spices if desired. Serve with a good dollop of home made basil pesto. (recipe base originally from the Agrarian Kitchen Heirloom Tomato Soup)