Blog, recipes

The World’s Best Soup Recipe?

You decide…

Soup is the perfect winter meal here, as it’s cooked on our gas hob. That means I can make it during a power cut, while the electric oven, Remoska and slow cooker are all useless.

BREAD_AND_TOMATO_AND_LENTIL_SOUPTomato and lentil soup is so easy, I make sure I’ve always got the ingredients in stock (or in the garden). It’s delicious, too. When I’ve made this soup with brown lentils instead of red, it’s fooled a carnivore with its almost meaty richness.

It’s hard to give quantities as I’ve made this soup so often. To be honest I put the stock cubes into one of the emptied tomato tins, and dissolve them by topping up with some of the boiling water. Then I pour that mixture into the soup pan, and add a couple more cans full of boiling water. This also cleans the tins ready for recycling, but watch your fingers when doing this. Those metal tins get very hot!

Ingredients:

A large onion, peeled and sliced

Two big potatoes, peeled and diced

A couple of sticks of celery, chopped

250g lentils (red makes a soup like the photos, brown lentils seem richer and more filling)

Two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes in juice

Three Kallo organic vegetable stock cubes

1.5 litres boiling water

Method:

Rinse the lentils well under running water. Put them in a big saucepan with all the vegetables, and the tinned tomatoes. Dissolve the stock cubes in the water (see above for how I do this, but take care) and pour that in, too.

Stir, bring to the boil then turn down the heat. Let the soup simmer gently for about an hour, or until the vegetables are tender and the lentils soft.

Take the pan off the heat and liquidise, or use a stick blender. During power cuts, I use a potato masher—if I can’t delegate the job to somebody else!

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then reheat gently to serve.  Home-made wholemeal or wholegrain bread goes perfectly with this, as you can see in the picture.

A bowl of tomato and lentil soup, and you’ll be ready to face winter again.

 

apple and blackberry, autumn, Charlie Siem, Dr Adam Rutherford, recipes, Yehudi Menuhin

Food, Men and the Weekend…

Charlie Siem
If you follow me on other social media, you’ll know I’ve had a few issues with a particular image of the delightful Dr Adam Rutherford. Whatever the subject, however many photos I’ve added to my blogs since he starred in FMATW, he keeps popping up to illustrate links I post to Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. I’d say “randomly” but that’s got a specific meaning for my OH, who tends to come over all Dr Sheldon Cooper when I use the word. If continuous appearance wasn’t bad enough, it’s too fuzzy, indistinct picture of Dr Adam to be worth repeating. 
Today’s Man of the Moment, Charlie Siem, has a much better photo. It won’t matter if this keeps reappearing! Charlie is a 27-year-old violinist from London who is a real force on the international stage. The first time I heard him play, he attacked Bruch‘s Violin Concerto with such vigour, I forgot I was sitting in a traffic jam. Then I looked him up on line, and discovered this picture. If all that isn’t enough to attract your attention, his father is (allegedly) a billionaire, and Charlie plays the d’Egville Guarneri that once belonged to Yehudi Menuhin. Wow…

It’s been such a good year for fruit, we’ve got plenty of apples despite hungry deer invading the garden and the hedges are full of brambles. Here’s a really simple recipe for making the most of this hedgerow harvest. The amount and type of fruit can be varied according to what you have available. You just need to make sure you have about a pound and a half of it in total. 

APPLE AND BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE

1.5lbs peeled, sliced cooking apples and washed blackberries
Sugar to taste
4oz flour
3oz butter or margarine
2oz demerara (brown) sugar
3oz rolled oats

Put the prepared fruit into an ovenproof dish with sugar to taste and a couple of tablespoons of water.
In another bowl, rub the fat into the flour. Stir in the sugar and oats. Sprinkle this crumble mixture evenly over the fruit, making sure to cover it completely. Cook for around half an hour at 180°C, (fan oven 160°C) Gas Mark 4, or until the fruit is cooked and the topping is golden. Serve it hot or cold, with plenty of custard, cream or ice cream.

I’m going to be making blackberry and apple jelly this weekend, too, when I’m not trying to oust Dr Adam Rutherford from my picture gallery. Have you ever been haunted by anything you’ve posted on the net? If so, how did you exorcise your problem?