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I’m enjoying a domestic Sunday which seems fitting to the grey drizzly day. I did bounce out of bed energetically this morning which is a bit of a change because usually by the weekends I’m quite broken and tired and am feeling quite smug that by lunchtime I have lots of things achieved. I have tomatoes roasting in oven to be turned into soup, fabric pre-washing and good music playing. Perfect time for a small blog break.

One thing that has slipped in the last year or so is cooking from scratch, I’m not doing it as much as want to and often it is unsatisfying scratch meals. So today  to get me out of my food funk, I am cooking up a lovely caponata with some gorgeous aubergines I got at Walthamstow market yesterday and making a big vat of tomato soup to take to work this week. Making food that will last down the week makes me feel quite virtuous and gives me a small boost come lunch time in the office.  I eat the majority of lunch at my desk and it always seems like an unbelievable faff to make really awesome food to take into work. But when I do it pays dividends as it is tastes so much nicer, better for you, cheaper and really I find make the whole day better. I’m so fed up of eating rubbish salads, terrible sandwiches and think its best to avoid the mysterious soup in our canteen – who knows exactly what is in it!

I may have mentioned once or twice that I love soup. It is my ideal lunch, not only can you accessorize the soup with bread and cheese loveliness but you can get a good way towards your 5-a-day and have a lovely warm glow inside. I think I could live entirely on soup sometimes. The process of making soup is slightly wondrous – you can put all manner of slightly ropey veggies together with stock and herbs and it transforms into an amazing meal. (Although sometimes a bit like babyfood rather than liquid soup!)

Now, my soup of choice is usually Cranks Tomato and Lentil soup but I have been trying to break out and add new flavours to my soupy repoirtoire. I realised that I tended to always make the same soups from scratch and buy more exotic soups ready made. This is unless I’m feeling a bit peaky where Heinz Tomato Soup is the ONLY thing (despite its disturbingly neon appearance) that I can eat when I’m poorly.

So far I have tried onion squash with hint of chilli (pictured at start of the post) was very good, root vegetable with cumin which was fab and my favourite so far carrot and ginger, which I thought I’d share.

Carrot and Ginger

Serves 4(ish)

oil,
1 small onion (diced)
8 medium carrots, 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (pressed), 500ml of veggie stock + extra 1-2 pints of stock after blending. Salt and plenty of black pepper.

Heat oil. Add onion and cook gently for 5 mins without colouring. Add carrots, ginger and stock. Bring to boil and smmer for 20 mins until carrots are soft. Blend until smooth. Add more stock/water to thin the soup as required. Simmer for ten minutes. Season to taste.

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Root vegetables soup

oil, 1 parsnip, 1 sweet potato/butternut squash, 2 small carrots, 1 sml red onion, 1 leek (sliced), 2 sticks celery, 3/4 pint water, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 fresh red chilli – sliced. Salt and pepper.

Heat all, saute veggies for 5 mins until they have a little colour. Add water, bring to boil, cover cook for 20 mins or until veg soft. Blend. Return to pan, add cumin, chilli and seasoning. (Extra stock/water if too thick). Simmer for 10 mins.

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2 Responses to Soup

  1. Felix says:

    ah, soup!

    I have a few favs, too… I love a carrot and lentil soup which I used to make; it involves a shedload of cumin and coriander seeds. Also, a gorgeous parsnip and apple soup which I normally improvise – the key ingredients are leek, parsnip, apple, nutmeg (just a dash) and sage… and I have also made oxtail soup, which was amazing. I am a massive fan of freezing old scraggy bits of veg – broccoli stems; carrot tops and tails; the central part of the cabbage – for the creation of STOCK. I thought the thriftiness of this would appeal to you… also, some soupy links you might like:

    http://www.fiberfarm.com/2009/01/january-24th-is-national-soup-swap-day

    http://www.fiberfarm.com/2010/11/mirepoix

    Mirepoix is a great start for many soups…

    Finally, have you seen the Covent Garden soup recipe books? I am a big fan and I think you would like them!

  2. Lara says:

    Have indeed seen the CG books. Carrot and lentil sounds amazing. Am bit scared of oxtail but will start freezing the scraggy veg. I do indeed love the thriftiness of saving the veg, I always loved making concoctions from veggie boxes over the years.

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