Soups!
I’ve been experimenting with soups lately and I thought I’d share my latest triumph. 🙂
I’m aiming for a balance between health, convenience and cost here. I am personally cooking for only two people but you should see that bulking out is quite easy, just add more of what you like. 🙂
Ingredients for 2 large bowlsful
Soup Base
1 Potato
1 Carrot
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 chicken oxo
1 vegetable oxo
Splash of good vegetable oil
Splash Soy sauce
Spash balsamic vinegar
Pepper to taste, the stock cubes already add enough salt.
Additions for this soup
2 Courgettes
130g bag of Spinach (£1 from supermarket)
1/2 Tablespoon butter
Method (20 mins)
1. Dice the onion and gently fry in a little vegetable oil with a knob of butter, keep the heat quite low, heat can be added but burning can’t be taken away.
2. It’s not necessary to finely puree the garlic if you’re going to blend at the end, but for those that aren’t and haven’t got a garlic crusher try this.
Using a standard cooks knife, cut the garlic half-way through quite finely in one direction, turn, and half-cut through again. Turn the clove over and chop. Now the fun bit – With the flat of the blade, squash the small pieces against the chopping board. Some find it easier to use coursely ground salt to help here but I don’t think it’s necessary. With practic you can do this in the same time it takes to use a garlic crusher with half the fiddly washing up.
3. Add the garlic, check the onions aren’t burning, if they are, turn the flame down.
4. Chop the potato and carrot into small cubes and add to the pan. If you’re blending then the shapes don’t matter, but the size is important, smaller pieces will cook in about 5 minutes.
5. Add enough hot water (Boil a kettle) to cover the vegetables and simmer. Add the soy, the balsamic, and the chicken and the vegetable stock cubes.
6. If you’re blending, cut off slices of the courgette skin about 1/4 inch thick and dice them. This is for some texture in the blended soup.
7. Cut up the courgettes into a dice, try to keep all the vegetables an even size even if you’re going to blend them, it ensures everything cooks evenly. Add them to the pan and let them simmer for 5 minutes. You may need to top up the water to just above the vegetables again.
8. Add the spinach and stir-through. This will steam down in volume within a couple of minutes. If you’re not blending then you might want to cut the spinach first.
9. That’s it, don’t cook it any further, we want those nutrients preserved, turn off the hob. The soup can be served like this or blended. I have a hand-blender my wife calls ‘the stick’, I really reccommend getting one but a jug blender is fine.
10. Fill bowls and serve with the best bread you can find. Enjoy. 🙂
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