Borage is a humble plant that grows wild on roadsides and mountainsides. Today few people can recognise it and fewer still know how to clean and cook it. But little by little, great chefs are returning to it by way of new recipes and shorter cooking times. Its crunchy stems and delicate flowers now adorn dishes at some of the world's best restaurants.
Peel the borage, remove the leaves and rinse the stems. Cut into pieces.
Cook the borage in boiling water no more than 5 minutes so they stay crunchy.
Make a sauce with a drizzle of olive oil, half a finely chopped onion, hazelnuts, clove, a bay leaf, a pinch each of saffron and cinnamon and add the yeast.
Take the water from the borage, add it to the sauce, and let it cook.
Once the soup is ready, strain it.
Whip the soup with chopsticks or similar until it rises into a fine foam.
Plate the borage and put the foam on top of it. Garnish with borage flowers or purple shamrock.
Juan Altamiras, a cook and Franciscan friar, wrote Nuevo arte de cocina to help future generations of cooks who, like him, had no previous training. It is one of the first collections of practical recipes to record the humble ingredients, tastes and cooking customs of common people.See the book