As the readers of The Witness know, London Metropolitan Police Constable Brian Davies was an accomplished cook, or as they say in the UK, a “dab hand in the kitchen.” Late in 1998 he was assigned to a witness protection team tasked to keep an important witness, Jennifer Jeffries, safe. On a visit to London, Jenny had been brutally attacked. She is now waiting to testify against the man who nearly killed her and did murder six other women.
Jenny’s father from Houston, Texas, made a surprise visit to London, intending to take his daughter home with him. Although she understood the importance of her testimony and decided to stay in London until her role in the judicial process was complete, it was very difficult for her to send her father home without her. To cheer her up, PC Davies made spaghetti soup.
Here is his recipe:
1 lb. ground chuck or sirloin
8 oz. ground sausage
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes (do not drain)
4 cups beef broth
1 cup tomato juice or V8
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup raw spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
½ cup sliced ripe olives
Shaved parmesan cheese
- Sauté meats with onion, bell pepper, and garlic in large soup pot
- Drain excess fat
- Add next 9 ingredients
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add olives and cook uncovered for 10 minutes
- Remove bay leaf
- Serve with shaved parmesan cheese
Leftovers freeze well, but Brian and the other two witness protection officers had good appetites, so there was never enough left in the witness protection flat to freeze.
Here’s a recent book review of The Witness:
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodreads, January 25, 2014
By Catherine Black Urias
The Witness was the type of book that keeps you up past your bedtime because you can’t bear to put it down and turn out the light. Interesting information on the UK justice system, thought provoking moral questions and characters worth meeting again made this a good read.