Soup II

I find that I often want nothing more than a warm bowl of soup when it is cold and raining outside so here are two great recipes for quick and tasty soups!

 Tomato Soup

  • 1kg tomatoes
  • 500g red onions
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper

 Curried Carrot Soup

  • 5/6 normal sized carrots
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 750ml stock
  • 2tsp cumin/coriander
  • 1/2tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper

 Preheat the oven to 180C.

Quarter the tomatoes and onions and put on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar then season with salt and pepper. Cook for ~10 minutes or until the tomatoes have gone soft.

Take out the tray and leave the tomatoes and onions to cool for a little bit. When cool enough to handle, skin the tomatoes and then put into a pot/pan on the hob with the onions and vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and leave to cook for 15 minutes. Blend until smooth and serve hot.

Chop the carrots and potato into chunks. Put into a pot on the hob and cover with stock.

Sprinkle the spices in (more or less can be added if you like. I think I also threw in a tad of turmeric, possibly some garam masala and I may even have thrown in a tiny bit of ginger because why the hell not, right?!)

Make sure it is all mixed, season and then leave to boil away until the potatoes and the carrots are soft.

Leave to cool a little bit then blend and serve hot.

I recommend a nice crusty bread roll or chunk of french stick to go with your soup. If I know I am having soup during the week I will get a set of part-bake rolls or something similar (generally ~60p, which will do 4 lunches). For more soup recipes, have a look at my first soup-er post here. My carrot soup looks a little clumpy – it was, so before I put it into a pot to store it, I just mixed in a little more water and it was much better after that. Anyway, have a great day!

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Cold Weather Means Comfort Food

Does November officially count as winter? I don’t know, but I can say that the last few weeks have certainly been feeling like it. The leaves are still on the trees but it is dark and cold. Really cold. Everyone is getting sick – myself included – and, as much as I might hate it, the count down to Christmas has begun. At least I have so far been lucky enough to avoid the Christmas songs. They shouldn’t start til Dec 1st at the earliest but does that stop shops… Of course not.

Anyway, I digress. What I mean is that as the year draws to a close, it is time to pull out the comfort food. Don’t let these words strike fear in to your soul though! Comfort food doesn’t have to mean loads of calories, fats or sugars.

  1. Fish finger sandwich: To be honest, nothing can beat a fish finger sandwich. It’s fast, filling and cheap. Whilst I have found that Tesco’s own fish fingers are actually great, nothing can beat Birds Eye. So, fish fingers, ketchup, brown bread. No butter. Perfect. To make an ultimate fish finger sandwich: add chips and baked beans.
  2. Soup: I absolutely love soup in the winter. When it is cold and miserable, nothing warms me more than a good bowl of soup and a crunchy bread roll. Any type of soup, so long as it is warm and yummy. This week I have had curried carrot and potato, and next week I am going to make a good ol’ fashioned tomato soup. The best thing about soup is that it is cheap, and healthy. Really you can’t lose.
  3. Curry: I often crave chicken curry. With naan bread, mango chutney, bombay potatoes, cucumber raita… It just makes me so happy.
  4. Waffles, Pancakes and Cheesecake: Everyone has their favourite sweet comfort food. These are mine. Cheesecake (as you probably know) is my ultimate favourite dessert. I don’t often eat these in the winter, though. If I want a comfort desert, I will go for Sticky Toffee Pudding and Custard. Or just custard on its own!

There are so many other foods that make me happy. But these are definitely at the top of my list. When I asked my flat-mate Steph what her ultimate comfort food was, her reply was “all food makes me happy”. Now you can’t really say much fairer than that, can you? Have a great day!

Jolly Girl’s Outing

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A few weeks back, I decided to take a trip down to Margate. Like most Sunday mornings this time of year it was a little bit chilly so I wrapped up and, brandishing my kindle and a flask of soup, I hopped on the bus. Having only ever seen Margate on the telly (Only Fools and Horses being a large part of my childhood!) I was actually pleasantly surprised. I had a short wander through the town but spent most of my morning there on the beach just reading to the soundtrack of the sea.

I made my soup – “chicken and sweetcorn” – when I first woke up on the Sunday, since it literally takes only a few minutes. Sometimes I will put chicken in it but could I be bothered at 8.30 in the morning? Noooo. The “flavour” of chicken instead comes from 800ml of chicken stock which is then just poured into a pan with a can of creamed corn. I kid you not, that is all I used. I put the rest in a box in the fridge and it lasted another few days.

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When I arrived, I was surprised to see people riding bikes around on the sand – apparently it was a competition that I just stumbled upon. In all honesty, it was actually quite interesting to sit there and watch as they tried to jump the bumps in the sand and not fall off their bikes.

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As I walked around the town I was greeted by many AMAZING smelling fish and chip shops, but somehow I managed to hold myself back and left without forking out for a portion of chips. Maybe next time!

The trip out of Canterbury did me good though. It was great to just get out of my house for a little while and have some fresh air even if it was only for two hours. The best thing about this trip was the fact that, because I have a special uni bus-pass that lets me get on any stagecoach bus in Kent and East Sussex, the trip down there was totally free! How is that for a student bargain! Have a great day!

Soup Glorious Soup!

As you may have read in my weekly round-up last week, I have been struggling somewhat with my lunches. Deciding that I had had enough of either paying extortionate amounts for a sandwich from the university cafe or facing another boring lunch of slightly off bread and a few biscuits, this week I made a change. At the weekend I made up two batches of soup and plan to alternate between the two.

Soup is easy to take with me, doesn’t make much mess and is pretty easy to keep warm – something that I am sure I will appreciate as the weather gets colder. My two soups this week are Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cheddar and Bacon and Red Lentil. Both are exceptionally easy to make taste great.

  • Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cheddar: Take the florets from a tree of broccoli and cauliflower and put them in a pan along with a large onion cut into chunks. Cover the vegetables with vegetable stock and add in 50g of grated cheddar (which is the expensive bit!). Season. Keep over a low-medium heat until the vegetables are soft then blend until smooth. A whole batch costs about £1.60 and this will easily do 4-5 lunches.
  • Bacon and Red Lentil: Chop 2-3 pieces of bacon into small pieces and fry for a few minutes with a large diced onion. Add 1000ml of stock and add 175g of red lentils. Leave for 30-45 minutes and then blend. A whole batch costs about £1.20 – I use cheap bacon, the stuff that isn’t quite cut into the right thickness so supermarkets sell it in big batches for uber cheap – and again this will probably do 4-5 lunches. (I know it looks terrible but it really does taste good)

Along with this, I am going to make a few bread rolls to have with my soup. I am probably going to make just one the night before so I always have a nice fresh roll with my soup. To do this, I cheat a little and use a packet mix which literally requires you to add water to the flour mix, kneed for a few minutes then leave to rise before cooking. Pretty damn simple. They can be frozen in portion sizes too! Over the next few weeks I will give you lots of soups so watch this space and have a great day!

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