Tuesday, 26 July 2011

My favourite soup

Woah, a healthy recipe? What madness is this? Well, I'm home alone all week during the day. My mum usually works from home so we hang out and eat lunch together, but she's away with work so it's just little old me. My brother and dad don't really eat vegetables, so it's up to me to try and devour as many of the plant things in the fridge before they go bad and end up on the compost heap. 
This is my favourite soup recipe and I worked it out a couple of years ago. It's somehow perfect year round, from the frostiest winter days to the sweltering summer ones, and it's full of lots of beta carotene and lycopene to do you some good.

My recipe today made approx 1200ml of soup.

Here's what you'll need:
So that's oregano, ground cayenne (or chilli powder), garlic, an onion, tomato purée, 1 large potato (or a medium and a small one, or 3 smalls), 1 large tomato (or 2 smalls), 2 medium sweet potatoes, 2 medium carrots and a red pepper.
You will also need a stock cube- vegetable or chicken, and some olive oil.
Phew! I know it seems like a lot of ingredients, but this is just my classic soup. You can switch them around and use whatever you've got in your fridge.

Pour some olive oil into a large saucepan over a low heat and add 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped, and half the onion, diced well. Place the lid on the saucepan and keep the heat low until the onion is cooked and turning translucent. Add a teaspoon each of oregano and cayenne.

While your onion, garlic and herbs are cooking (still on low), peel and dice your other vegetables, but keep them separate. You want to add them in order of cooking time and gently fry them with the onion to bring out their natural sweetness. Add the carrot first, turn the heat up to a medium and leave to cook for about 3 minutes, and then add the sweet potato.
Wait another 3 minutes and then add the pepper and tomato and leave to cook for another 3 minutes or so, giving everything a good stir.  While this is going on, you need to boil the kettle.

Now you want to add a generous amount of tomato purée, at least a tablespoon full. Add your stock cube, and pour over some of the water from the kettle- just enough to cover the vegetables. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Now it's time to add the rest of the water and the potato! Add the potato and then add enough water to adequately cover the vegetables (this can be tricky because they like to float. Remember, it's easier to add more water later than to remove some). You're looking to increase the volume of the soup by at least a third. Turn the heat up a little and leave to cook through for 10 minutes. By this stage your soup should look like this:

It doesn't look like much, but it smells amazing. You can serve it chunky style if you want to, but I like my soup blitzed so it's easier to swab with bread. If it's too thick, add a little more kettle water while it's in the blender.

Lovely! But I like mine with a little garnish so I can trick myself into thinking it's posher than it is...

My finished soup, garnished with chives and sprinkled with fresh ground salt and pepper. You can choose any herb you want to garnish- basil and coriander work well. In winter, I like to add a little swirl of cream cheese or fresh cream to add a little more richness.

For something healthy, it tastes pretty amazing to me, and I'm a sugar junkie.

Good luck in the kitchen x

No comments:

Post a Comment