what’s for dinner?
that’s the question on my mind everyday around 3pm. sometimes, ill be lucky and ill have thought about it the previous night and actually taken some meat (some form of turkey) out of the freezer and ill have a base to work with. most often though im winging it..
rough life, i know. as much as i love watching cooking shows and seeing fantastic meals being thrown together, im not interested in creating a masterpiece everynight. i love soups. i could eat soup everyday. lunch and dinner, soup! but my husband, a true Irishman, NEEDS meat and potatoes, if not daily at least four times a week. i sneak one day of fish, usually salmon and atleast two meals with protein substitutes like beans or quorn product. ive even found a bag of soy mince at tesco for cheap! ive made shepherds pie, meatloaf and spaghetti Bolognese with it..yum on all three! wow its frightening how similar to ground chuck it is but without the thought of chomping on meat byproduct.
tonight, its soup! i bought too many leeks last week and there are four limpy leeks staring out of my fridge asking to be loved. and im sure ive 2 bags of potatoes in the back room..yes, leek & potato soup it is! then i notice half of a butternut squash, i know has been sitting in the fridge for at least two weeks, a few carrots and some wilted celery..oh and whats this shrivelled up beige thing? parsnip!
get ready for the pot, my friends!
now, my husband for some reason, hates squash. weirdo! he claims he cant stand sweet and savoury but arent all the best things to eat a combination of sweet and savoury? ive tried to explain to him how he loves cheesecake so he cant make faces at me when i put sliced aged cheddar on top of my toast with jam. or how i love drizzling honey over sliced boiled eggs on toast. if you havent tried these things, please DO IT! your taste buds will thank you. so i chop the squash as small as i possibly can along with the peppery parsnip. they are ugly but boy are they delicious in any casserole or soup. no need for ground pepper! just add parsnip. oh and they make great chips along with sweet potatoes.
back to my soup….. so far:
BTY’s Leek, Potato & Friends Soup
- 2 sliced onions
- 4 sliced leeks
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
i threw these in my 4L pot with a knob or two of soy margarine and a drizzle of oil. i added a pinch of salt, two low sodium chicken stock cubes, tbsp of dried rosemary, tbsp garlic powder (not salt). give it a good stir over a medium heat and leave it to sweat while you ready the rest of the veg. LID ON!
- 1kg potatoes, any kind, diced into inch cubes..aproximate this. you want them to cook fairly quickly
- half of a butternut squash, diced, skin on
- 1 parsnip, diced
after 10 to 15 minutes of sweating the leek/onions, etc, i added the potatoes, squash and parsnip to the mix along with another good pinch of salt, potatoes soak up a lot of salt so it may seem like a lot but its not..trust me, im no salt fan so i only use what is absolutely necessary..you may even find you need to add some salt to your bowl. this is the best way though as not everyone loves salty soups.
anyway, lid on for 5 minutes or so then fill the pot to an inch above the veg..my 4L pot was filled to about an inch below the top of the pot. keep it on the medium heat and let it come to a soft boil slowly..once it starts boiled, turn it to a low heat and let it simmer until the veg is cooked. i dont have a hand blender so at this point i just get my masher and mash away. i like to keep some chunks but this is up to you.
this is it, ladle into bowls and serve hot with a bit of freshly cracked pepper. no need for cream or milk. for me those things spoil the flavours.