Sunday, 6 February 2011

Weekend soup

Yesterday morning we went shopping and when we came back from the supermarket we put everything away, as usual. Of course, as always happens, we had to move out the old bits to make way for fresh food.

As usual I turned the leftovers into soup for lunch. It's quick, easy and, if you were planning on throwing the old food out, free!

You can make weekend soup out of any old raw and cooked vegetables but this one consisted of:

Half a head of chinese leaf (it was Chinese New Year during the week and it didn't fit in the stir fry)
The tail end of a swede
An onion

I chopped it all up then threw it into a saucepan with a tablespoon of oil and a couple of cloves of garlic. (Start with raw vegetables only. If you're including cooked ones they go in later.)

First thing to do is sweat it all down until the veg starts to wilt and the onions start to go translucent.
 
 When you've done it right it will look sort of like this: (That dark green stuff is lemon thyme that I happened to have around.)


Then you need to add some thickening.  If your leftover vegetables included potatoes you won't need to do this bit because the starch in the spuds will do it for you. If not, add some flour and then cook it for a couple of minutes longer, stirring it all the time so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Once it starts to look thick and sticky you need to add liquid. You can add either water or stock. Add the cooked veg at this stage if you're using them. Add enough liquid to cover the veg. Bring the whole thing to the boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Let it cook for about 10 to 15 minutes then taste it. If it's short on flavour add something to make it tastier.  This one was a bit thin so I added a sprinkling of Chinese five spice powder and a good splash of soy sauce. (But you can add chilli, curry powder, herbs, Worcester sauce, leftover meat, tomato puree, celery salt, anything you like.)

Once you're happy you can blast it through a blender. You might find you need to cool it down before you do, then heat it up again before you eat it. Pour it into bowls and if you want to be really swank you can swirl in some cream or yoghurt and sprinkle it with a few fresh herbs (like in the top picture).

You see - there IS such a thing as a free lunch!

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