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Today its cookery lessons! The art of how to make lentil soup 🙂

Here are some lentils ready to be gathered up and cooked to one’s delight…

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Green (and some brown) legumes as far as the eye can see! Yummy!

My recipe is however for a very unusual type of soup. Its not the stuff you buy in the shops! This, I believe is what gives my particular style of soup its most exotic taste.

Be warned, its not a soup for the fainthearted!

Let’s have a look at the ingredients included in this particular lentil soup…

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Voila! A piece of wood. Any dark wood such as mahogany or teak will do. Sprinkle the lentils over the wood. When cooked it gives the soup an acquired taste. Do not eat the wood though! Dispose of carefully okay?

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And now a piece of polystyrene. Place it on top of the soup mix and then push the polystyrene down under the mix. By determining the speed at which it regains its buoyancy, one can tell if the soup mix is indeed right or not. With a few repeated applications of this particular stage one can soon become an expert.

Top tip: Why not find a leaf from one’s garden or a pathway and place on top of the mix to give this soup mix an interesting look? Its also to reassure people that bit of polystyrene isn’t really all that out of place there….

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The next step is to test the soup mix for consistency. This is what I am doing here. I am about to poke the mix, and if its to my liking the mix shall well and truly be ready for the kitchen stove.

Its important to understand this stage is different from the buoyancy test. By poking the mix one can assess the amount of separation between the different legumes. If they absolutely refuse to be pushed apart, then by all means the test has worked and the mix is what we could call perfect.

Remove the polystyrene but leave the wood. And now to actually prepare the stuff for cooking…..

‘Hey! Are those bricks I see in the top left hand corner?’

Hmmm…. You’re darn right those are well and truly bricks. Damn! My ruse has been exposed. Now I must issue a warning!


Its actually duckweed!

Its amazing stuff. Its also dangerous.

What is so amazing about it is how it congeals and sticks together and its nigh on impossible to see any water surface. The water beneath could be very deep and one would not know.

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The same scene with the polystyrene fully revealed. Yes its London’s Little Venice!

The stuff lying on top of the canal is actually very thick. Not paper thin or anything like that. This here with the polystyrene bit is probably half an inch or perhaps 1.25 cm.

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In a different spot it seems to be perhaps over one inch thick or 2.5 cm.

The dangerous thing about this is it looks very capable of supporting weight and people and animals have in fact fallen into the water because it looks so solid. It could also be poisonous although I believe this here is simple green duckweed, its not mixed with blue algae or anything like that.

Fish and waterfowl do eat this simple duckweed. They cant eat all of it though and the stuff is actually very invasive, it grows exceedingly fast and saps all the oxygen in the water – which causes problems for the fish.

Its very pretty to look at, one cannot argue about that. Lovely photographs can be taken too but that is really about it when the duckweed looks like a carpet.

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The Rothern Group arrive with their specially adapted weed collecting boat, gathering the duckweed up as they go along the canal.

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There goes my soup mix! Scooped up to be taken to another barge nearby and then taken away for disposal.

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The boat takes the duckweed away for disposal.

As soon as such a small area has been cleared the duckweed comes back together and it looks as if no work has been done. Its just sooo thick it can’t be shifted. Boats simply push it out of the way and then it gathers again immediately.

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The workboat heads towards the other side of Little Venice where a disposal barge awaits.

The green stuff is very profligate. Its very hard to get rid of and its very labour intensive. I wrote more about this the other day.

FINALLY – a warning. Don’t try this culinary delight at home. Its definitely NOT lentil soup!