Lung Soup – Nose to Tail Fortnight Day 12

14 May

Lungs.

Also called lights.

They’re not a commonly heard offal I hear you cry. I don’t think Lucy has even cooked with them. (I have, FYI, in my forthcoming haggis post.) Who would want to eat a lung? There’s probably a reason we don’t eat them.

Well, I’ll have you know that lungs are described by many as tofu-like, or mushroomy. Does that make it sound better?

There are a couple of recipes for lung soup that are around. I’ve read a few online and I’ve read Jennifer McLagan’s in ‘Odd Bits’. If there’s one in the Fith Quarter, then I’ve read that too. So I did all the reading and preparation. Then I freestyled. That’s quite typical. Generally I’m either a recipNazi, or I say “It’ll be fine, we’ll just make it up, food is food” and so on. With the latter there is always a risk. (The blood episode sticks out.)

Why don’t we eat lungs? They are cheap – £1 for a pair – they only come in pairs. I know there are some issues surrounding supply. When I made the haggis I had to telephone EVERY BUTCHER in Leeds to get hold of them. But they were lamb’s lungs. The ones you can get at Leeds market are pig’s. I’ve noticed with the nosetotail malarky that pork offal seems to be the easiest to get hold of. Do you find that true?

Anyway, back to the lungs.

I soaked my lungs in repeated fresh bowls of cold water for about an hour. This gets excess blood to come out. They feel spongy.

Perhaps not the most appetising looking of meats. They look pale because I took this picture after quite a lot of the blood had come out.

My lungs came with windpipe attached. I did a naughty thing and threw it away. Mostly because I was very tired and simmering a windpipe for small amount of stock didn’t appeal. Bad offaltarian.I then decided I was only going to use one lung today, so put the other in the freezer.

Then I got involved with my hands. There’s a membrane surrounding the lungs that is easy to peel off with your fingers. I’m not sure if you have to do that or not, but it was hampering my chopping, so I took it away.

If you’ve done GCSE Biology, you’ll know that lungs are full of tubes. Branchioles? Some of these are soft enough to eat, but if they look a bit bit or a bit tough, chop round them. Bearing in mind that the biggest ones are where the windpipe joins the lungs, I started my morsel chopping from the bottom of the lung. I found scissors easier to use than a knife.

So snip, snip, snip. I was quite tired when I was doing this, so I forgot to take any photos. SOZBAD. If you’re interested, get in touch and I talk you through my lung scissoring technique. You end up with a pile of tubes (for the bin, or stockpot, or hound) and a pile of lung tissue.

Then I sliced 1 leek and chopped 1 onion and fried them together gently in a pan. I added 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp oregano, quarter tsp suma spice, quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stir it all around. Then add the lung bits. They cook really fast.

You can see the darker bits are the lung morsels, a couple are still a bit pink, so you can see how they change.

Then add 1 can chopped tomatoes and an equal amount of pork stock. I, of course, used my head stock. You could use any. Even chicken. Or vegetable. The simmer for about twenty minutes. The soup is quite a chunky one. Don’t blitz it.

And there you have it. An unusual soup.

What I realised whilst I was eating it, was that lung is totally in my all time favourite soup – Baxters’ Royal Game. If you’ve not had it. Do. it’s amazing. All through my life it’s been my poorly soup and it is DELICIOUS.

There’s even a stag on the front. So it must be amazing. That’s if you follow the wine rule, where the bottle with the cutest animal on is definitely the most delicious.

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