A solitary spud and a couple of lonesome leeks headed into a pan for a foursome with an ageing onion. There, with a little lubrication from butter and chicken stock, they came together and produced the most wonderful vichyssoise. (As it is autumn I may have this hot, which makes it just a plain old peasant soup of leek and potato!)
Slightly dubious on the looks front, but with a sweet centre, a large batata (sweet potato) got cosy with a carrot and once again with the help of that old favourite - butter - mashed together to provide a perfect accompaniment to an autumn meat dish.
Being a bit of a peasant (see above), I don't peel my veg or mash them so they are completely smooth - a bit of a bite to it is nice.
Elsewhere, a still robust red pepper got all stirred up with a chunky courgette and a couple of spring onions with withered fronds but firm bottoms to become a form of peperonata.
Vichyssoise is a cold version of a hot French peasant soup. The chef was, I believe, of French parentage working in New York, so this dish is a transatlantic trip in one mouthful.
Peperonata is an Italian dish. My version is a simple, less oily, more courgette-y dish which is good either hot or cold.
The sweet potato is thought to originate from central or south America, though much of the veg is grown in other parts of the world today (see below). However, this was a much more local affair with the batata having its roots in my local province of Málaga, Spain.
|Producers (in million tonnes)|
Data for year 2011
So whilst I have been unable to physically travel recently, my kitchen can still take me to different parts of the world, including just up the road for my swet potato!