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Angus Vegetable Soup

The most famous letter ever written in Scotland must be the Declaration of Scottish Independence sent from Arbroath on 6 April 1320 to Pope John XXII. Now known as The Declaration of Arbroath, the letter written by Bernard de Linton, marked the emergence of Scotland as the first Nation State in Europe in the modern sense. The passage at the heart of the letter states :-
' Him (Robert I) also the Divine Providence and, according to our laws and customs which we will maintain even to the death, the succession of right and the due consent and assent of all, have made our Prince and King, to whom, as to him by whom deliverance has been wrought for our people, we for the defence of our liberty are bound both by right and by his deserts, and are determined in all things to adhere. But if he were to desist from what he has begun, wishing to subject us or our kingdom to the King of England or the English, we would immediately endeavour to expel him as our enemy and the subverter of his own rights and ours, and make another King who should be able to defend us. For so long as a hundred remain alive, we will never in any degree be subject to the dominion of the English. Since it is not for glory, riches or honour that we fight but for liberty alone which no good man loses but with his life.' ( From the original Latin)
The Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society, every few years, stage a re-enactment of the day when the Scottish nobles attached their seals, in the presence of Robert I, The Bruce, to the 1320 letter at Arbroath Abbey. This year the Pageant Society will mark the event with a Folk Concert, featuring top Scottish Folk duo, Gaberlunzie, in the Seafield Hotel, Arbroath on  Saturday 5 April at 7.30pm. Proceeding The Gabs will be a talk by HRH Prince Michael of Albany. Tickets 6 are available from the hotel or prebooked from Steve Crowe Tel 01241 878275 Email
On Sunday 6 April 2003 at 1pm the Pageant Society will perform a one-act-play, featuring all the usual characters, Robert 1, Bernard de Linton and their entourages, at the Arbroath Abbey gates, beside the new Visitors Centre. The open air performance is free but as television cameras will be present, those attending are advised to come early to obtain the best viewing spots.
The next staging of the full spectacle of the Arbroath Pageant will be in August 2005.
Arbroath Abbey should be recognised, by all Scots, as a National Shine, the setting for the seeds of Democracy and Freedom in Scotland. The 1.8 million Arbroath Abbey Visitor Centre, which opened in 2001, reveals the full fascinating story of the now ruined Arbroath Abbey and its central place in Scottish History. Last week the new Visitor Centre was announced as the winner of the prestigious 2002 Angus Design Awards. This is the second time the awards scheme has been organised by the SNP controlled Angus Council to recognise and encourage good quality design in the county.
Visitors to Scotland should include Angus in their itinerary, as the county has many attractions from Pictish Stones to the playright J M Barrie's birthplace in Kirriemuir. This week's recipe comes from the county of Angus - a tasty soup - Angus Vegetable Soup.
Angus Vegetable Soup
Ingredients : 1 medium-sized carrot; 1 medium-sized turnip; 1 medium-sized onion; 1 leek; 11/2 oz butter; 11/2 pints white stock or water; pinch of sugar; 1/2 teaspoon celery salt or 2 celery leaves; 1 blade mace; 1 bay leaf; 1 clove; rich milk as required; salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the carrot and turnip into strips like wax vestas, and the onion and leek into rings. Melt butter in a deep saucepan. Add the vegetables. Fry slowly until all the butter is absorbed. Add stock or water, brought to the boil, sugar, celery salt or leaves, mace, bay leaf and clove. Bring to the boil. Skim if necessary. Simmer very gently for about 2 1/2 hours. Rub through a sieve, after removing mace and clove. Pour back into saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir till almost boiling. Serve garnished with minced parsley. Serves 4.  

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