Tuesday 19 June 2012

Soupe du jour

I am astonished to find my flatmate is still alive. I really thought she would have passed out in a suitably Victorian swoon, expecting to be carefully carried by some passing hunks and laid quietly to recuperate whilst the doctor fetched smelling salts. She might have mentioned, once or twice, that she didn't like diets. And was hungry. And ate a lot of soup.


Bit of a pity about dinner then...

I also made it through the day. My lunch of last night's leftovers between two slices of multi-grain bread was quite epic. I did slightly wobble and bought some dried fruit as, otherwise, I knew I was on dangerous ground. Not helped by workmen ripping up the road outside the dungeon. Bastards. This did mean I might have accidentally bought the complete works of Oscar Wilde when I was accidentally sucked in to the Oxfam book store on Portobello Road.

Life is tough.

The plan for dinner. As I was lacking in imagination, and we had spuds in the fridge, it was going to have to be a potato and broccoli affair with lashings of something that didn't involve yummy bread and butter. This would go down well. I did at least get a selection of suspiciously healthy looking breads, one rye, one sunflower, to give a little interest. I am all heart.

So, what you've all been waiting for, the impossible to reproduce recipe!

You'll need

  • Some spuds. I'm not sure how many, but there were quite a few, maybe 7 smallish and mediumish ones, it looked about right anyway and meant I could clear the fridge
  • A couple of small onions (as that's what we have) but I imagine a big one would work. Maybe I should have added another.
  • Baconz. Oh yes. I did follow the rules though, but was lazy and got bacon medallions as they'd already had the fat trimmed off. One packet.
  • A little olive oil
  • One thingie of broccoli, I'm sure these have names, but no idea what they are
  • A daring dash of cayenne pepper
  • A teaspoon and a bit of curry powder
  • One chicken and one veg oxo cube
  • Err
  • Oh, a dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • And about that much semi-skimmed milk... Let's see, a litre bottle, it was full, so maybe 150ml? You know how this works, we don't do measuring!

Making it. Get the official Contrary Towers soup pan. Slice the onion and baconz in to little bits and saute in the small amount of olive oil. Quickly peel the spuds, cut them in to small lumps (so they cook more quickly) and wait for the baconz and onion to sort itself out.

Go and look at the idiots riding mopeds without helmets.

When the moment seems right, mix up the two oxo cubes in half a litre of boiling water (as that's all our jug will hold) and pour it in the pan. Then add the spuds. And the curry powder. Then a bit more water because it seems the right thing to do. Then a dash of cayenne pepper. Err, my hand might have slipped...

Drink water, arrange flowers.

Boil on a mediumish heat (with the lid on!) for I think about 20 minutes. I was a bit confused at this point as my flatmate came home before I expected her, I am notoriously slow. And poor at judging time. But once I was happy that the spud was nicely disintegrating I chopped the little bits off the end of the broccoli as small as I could bring myself to do.

Next. Blend! On my last trip to Norfolk I brought back my hand blender, and it worked a treat. Noisy as hell, which I'm sure my flatmate appreciated this as she was trying to listen to the music she was to sing tomorrow. I have to say, the end result was fabulous, it almost seemed a shame to ruin the creamy smoothness with the broccoli.

But we iz healthiez.

Final step. In went the broccoli, the milk (carefully measured using the oh-that's-about-right technique) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce (adds to shopping list). And leave to simmer for about 15 minutes. Which I judged was about the maximum I could get away with before I was in mortal danger from the ravenous one.

And serve.

We had six spoonfuls each, how virtuous are we, though with the second bowl there was that Dirty Harry moment of in all the excitement I clean lost count. It doesn't really work with soup.

And that was that. We also have soup tomorrow night, which is good as we're both out and there was that risk of descending in to the depths of comfort food. This dieting lark is easy.

I can't see what all the fuss is about.

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