Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Random Recipes Horror - Banana Surprise Soup!

If nothing else, this post should be a salutary lesson to everyone as to which books should be allowed to live on the cook book shelf, and which should be relegated to the regular book shelf.

The theme for November's Random Recipe challenge was 'random birthday number'.

Our host, Dom at Belleau Kitchen, asked us to count along our cook book shelf and stop at the number for the date of our birthday - 23 in my case - to take that book, and open it at a random place, then make that recipe.

So right back at the start of November I duly counted along my cook book shelf, stopped and number 23, pulled it out, opened it, and then closed it quickly again in horror, put it back on the shelf and made myself a cuppa to recover.

The finished article, and the responsible cookbook!
Book number 23 was "Nanny Ogg's Cookbook: A useful and improving Almanack of Information including Astonishing Recipes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld". The recipe on the page I opened it at... "Bananana Soup Surprise" (p29 in case anyone is rushing to grab a copy and make it straight away... thought not!).

Recipe shot for proof that I've not taken leave of my senses
On the plus side, the recipe was dairy free, so required no weird substitutions. That was pretty much the only positive.

I quartered the recipe from serves 4, to serves 1, and even with our best 'we must not waste food' hats on, Mr E and I only just managed to finish it. It is that bad. There was a contentious moment, when I declared that it tasted better (to me) than tinned Heinz Cream of Tomato soup, and Mr E almost fell of his chair. Turns out that is one of his favourite foods ever, whereas I literally can't swallow it without gagging (aside from the fact that it has dairy in it, which is actually a bit of a blessing and gets me neatly out of ever having to eat it again). I was able to eat said Banana Soup Surprise without the urge to throw up, therefore in my soup ranking scale, it sits above both Heinz Cream of Tomato and Baxters French Onion (but that's another story!). For Mr E, it is at the very bottom of his soup ranking scale.

Banana soup. With a banana stuck in it.
I followed the recipe to the letter (apart from substituting parsley for chervil, since our local supermarket is culinarily unenlightened, and parsley is about as herby as it gets) including the serving suggestion, which I'm quoting here in case anyone thinks I've gone nuts (or should that be bananas):

"Take the remaining two banananas and chop them in half width-ways. Place each half in a bowl, pointing upwards. Pour in some soup and serve. Surprisin', eh?"

Bananana Soup Surprise (Serves 1 or 2 depending on how odd your tastebuds are)

  • 2 small bananas
  • 125ml veg stock
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chopped dried parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Peel and chop one banana and put into a small saucepan with the stock. Blitz with a hand blender until the bananas are smooth. Gently bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the other ingredients and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to simmer gently for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. It will thicken up a little bit. Then follow serving suggestion quoted above...!

Eat with a sense of trepidation...

So back to the moral of the story. Some books deserve a place on the cook book shelf. Others don't. Which isn't too big a risk, until you join in Random Recipes.

PS - yes, I'm a big Terry Pratchett geek!! I know :o)

What do you mean it doesn't look appetising...?!?


  1. LOL! That is so so funny. I can just imagine what would happen if I served up Banana Soup Surprise in our house. Brilliant post - and I might just do a quick audit of my recipe books before embarking on any more of the challenges!

  2. That's so funny! I always wondered what this cookbook was like, is it 'real' recipes or are they meant to taste dreadful/weird? I love Pratchett books, I interviewed him once for my school magazine when I was a teenager. It was quite scary meeting my (at the time) idol and I think he was a bit annoyed at how amateurish I was!

    1. Wow - jealous! I don't think the recipes are intended to be complete gross-out recipes. This is probably one of the weirder ones, that said they're not exactly normal either!!!

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHA! That is so funny! That banana got me going laughing this morning. I love bananas, I haven't had it a a soup though : )

  4. good lord NO!!!!!!!!!!... not only does it look unpleasantly phallic but it also looks unpleasantly phallic... this should be banished to the charity shop (the book not the soup, which should be thrown away with haste!!!)... oh well... you came, you saw, you conquered and for that I am truly grateful x

  5. Ha ha ha ha ha Ruth! The serving suggestion is SO wrong. You guys are amazing for not wasting this. :)

  6. Well what can I say that hasn't already been said? The picture drew me in and the recipe..... Well done for staying true to the challenge.

  7. Hahaha - OMG this is fantastic. Full credit to you for still persevering! Hope next month is kinder, but well done for this. :)

  8. Sneaky of Dom to just post a photo of your soup on the RR roundup and not tell us anything about it. I felt duty bound to click through and see what the heck was going on....Glad I did as your post made me chuckle although I'm afraid to say that's a recipe I WON'T be bookmarking :-)

  9. I was so intrigued.. I just had to come and look! Wow, that soup looks.... interesting! Well done and good luck for something less frightening next month :-)

  10. Absolutely brilliant! Random Recipes is soooo worth it, for recipes like these, get that book to the charity shop immediately!

  11. Hehe Ruth, this has given us all a good giggle, I bet your blog stats are rocketing! I don't know which of those photos is the more obscene, possibly the bottom one. And I have to say the soup sounds pretty revolting. As another tinned tomato soup hater I can't honestly say which I'd rather not have. RR can sure be tough sometimes ;-)

  12. This is the funniest recipe I have ever seen! At least now you know what's buried in this cookbook.

  13. That's the rudest soup I have ever seen !!

  14. Brilliant!! ......but I'm not making it...Lol.

    Sue xx

  15. That is just about as random as it can get. Now I'm wondering if there are some books on my shelves that really shouldn't be there. Random recipes can catch you out.



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