Happy New Year one and all!!
I am not going to bang on about resolutions and all that jazz. I am not making any because in my experience virtually all are too difficult to stick to. I don’t want to set myself up for failure! There could be nothing more demoralizing. I want positivity a plenty and I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t manage to give up Coffee or reach 57kgs any time soon! For sure I have some goals I would like to achieve this forthcoming year but, there is no need to share them all at once! Safe to say I have my priorities straight though, my main focus being simply for me and mine to be happy.
What am I going to bang on about then? Well, betwixt Christmas and New Year we suffered a dismal weather day and you may recall me saying that husband was man flu-ish and bronchial. Dark skies were afoot and lounge wear was all we could bear to drape about our bones. It was clear we needed sustenance but also that we may not have the energy to chomp on anything remotely whole. Yes, it was a day when nothing but a steaming hot bowl of delicious mushed up goodness would do the trick. Only soup was going to see us through.
There is something so tantalising about a big pan of soup bubbling away on the stove and steaming up the windows of the kitchen. I use my sleeve to wipe a small spy hole in the glass, I look out on the drizzly greyness and I think to myself “aaaah ’tis a day made for soup!’. You just know that soup will warm your cockles and give you that cozy glow. It is comfort food at it’s best and easiest. It takes virtually no energy to make or eat soup. Once the veggies (or meat if you are so inclined) are chopped and in the pan there is nothing more to do other than let it bubble until soft and blitz till smooth. You can even keep it lumpy if your energy is completely spent.
Until a couple of years ago I had a slight penchant for fresh soup cartons from the supermarket. I particularly loved those Covent Garden Soup Company ones and since they were often on 3 for 2 I enjoyed rather a lot of them. But that was before I realized just how easy and cheap it is to make your own at home. Though I can’t deny that there is still and always will be a place in my heart for tins of Heinz Cream of Chicken and Oxtail soup. This stems from copious consumption during early teenage years, when a brisk 20 minute hike to and from school left time for only a quick bite (or should I say slurp?). A bowl of Heinz’s best, coupled with a slice or two of Warburton’s and my young brain was recharged and ready to be filled again with useful information such as how to request a packet of biscuits in a lovely French town called La Rochelle.
Anyway, enough of the old days! Zooming back to this particular dismal weather day, it was decided that indeed only soup would do and so I knocked one up. That’s one of the great things about soup, you don’t need anything in particular to make it. More often than not you can just throw anything you happen to have in it. I don’t usually follow a recipe to make up a pan. I just chuck things in and it almost always comes out tasting pretty good. So I encourage you to experiment away! This day I had a Butternut Squash that had been knocking about for a while. Onion, Garlic and a Couple of Sweet Potatoes were also languishing in the bottom of the fridge. So I scooped them up, chopped them into bits and whacked them on the stove to simmer in some stock for an hour or thereabouts. A quick blitz and Hubby and I were sat with a piping hot bowl of yumminess and a chunk of bread to mop it all up. We put our feet up and drifted into a warmer, brighter and sniffle free zone for the duration. OK, it was still miserable outside and the bronchitis was still in evidence but we didn’t half feel better for it.
If you would like to help yourself to a bowl of deliciousness and turn your day from grim to Souper duper, then here is what I did;
Approx – 6 servings (depending how big your bowls and veg are)
1 Red Onion (chopped small)
1 Butternut Squash (peeled, deseeded and chopped into cubes)
2 Sweet Potatoes (peeled and chopped into cubes) Mine were medium sized ones
3 Cloves of Garlic (peeled and crushed) We like garlic and it is particularly good for you if you are sick, however add what you are comfortable with
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP Tomato Puree
Pinch of Herbs (your choice, whatever you have in) I used a blend of herbs for cooking that contains Bay, Thyme and Rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
Vegetable Stock or 1 x Stock Cube
1. Chop all the ingredients as described above.
2. Heat the oil a little in a big pan, add the onions and garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes until starting to soften.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables and fry for another couple of minutes.
4. Mix in the Tomato puree and give it a good stir.
5. Add the herbs and crumble the stock cube over the veg.
6. Pour enough water into the pan to completely cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until the veg are soft.
7. Keep checking on the soup, adding more water if you think it needs it.
8. Blitz to the consistency you like using a hand blender or a food processor.
9. Salt and Pepper to taste.
If the soup still seems too thick for your liking add a bit more water to thin it to your desired consistency.
I think you could also add some chili to this if you like a bit of a kick. Likewise, some people may like a bit of fresh ginger.
A Red Pepper may also be a nice addition.
The idea is to just add whatever you think will work and give it a go.
I didn’t freeze this soup but I have frozen others like it before with no problems.
So it really is easy peasy to make your own wholesome soup. You will know exactly what has gone into it. I should really make my own stock and move away from the cubes but we can’t be perfect all the time can we?
Do you have a favourite way to make yourself feel better on days like this?
PS Has anybody ever made it to La Rochelle to ask for a packet of biscuits or perhaps a shower cap?
Peace and Love
Ginger and Cream xoxo