Posted in Food, Life, TV

Sunday is Soup Day

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of soup?

My usual weekends, filled with anxiety or loneliness, are currently being filled by soup.

Last weekend I had a bit of a rough day on Saturday, my worries overflowed and I spent most of the day curled into a ball watching Netflix. By Sunday I was determined to try to power through and after noticing my ever-growing round tummy in the mirror I resolved that cake was not an option.

My Sunday mornings consist of getting up around 8ish, making a milky coffee and lounging on the sofa watching the Food Network. I used to do this at home with my parents so I see no problem carrying on with the tradition now I’m living alone.

I get inspired by the smallest of things. This time it was Ree Drummand (The Pioneer Woman) cooking potato soup for her mother-in-law. I too love soup and have far too many potatoes living on top of my fridge so this was perfect. A quick call home to my mother to double-check her recipe and I was in the kitchen grabbing a pan and a potato peeler.

An hour later I had a steaming bowl of Leek and Potato soup. It reminded me of home so much I sat with a smile on my face whilst slurping away – my dad’s favourite starter and my mum’s go to dish, oh the memories I have of leek and potato soup. It’s a Christmas lunch tradition above anything else.

The easiest recipe

2 large potatoes

1 leek

1 onion

1 pint of chicken or vegetable stock

Peel, chop, boil, simmer for a little, then blend – season to taste (in my family that means add a small mountain of ground pepper)

I had bought some crusty tiger-loaf bread so this really was a treat.

 

This weekend, I decided to do something slightly more complicated. I’m generally directed by whatever vegetable I have in abundance that week or if something is a little past it’s best.

So… 5 parsnips, 1 large potato and an onion. After a little bit more work I had a glorious smell of curried parsnip soup steaming through my flat.

I made up a recipe

5 parsnips, 1 large potato, 1 onion

2 cloves of garlic, a heaped teaspoon of garam masala, a teaspoon of chilli paste

1 litre of chicken stock

I sweated the onion in a little butter with the garlic, then added the chopped parsnips, potato and boiling chicken stock along with the spice.

Boil, simmer and blend

For an extra treat I swirled through some cream and the dish was instantly lifted.

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As my mum always told me, it takes 3 spoonfuls of parsnip soup for you to get used to it but after that it is amazing. It really was amazing.

The main issue I’ve come across is trying to dispense the remaining soup into freezable containers – I used zip lock bags, but no matter how hard I try to be neat I make a huge mess.

After 10 minutes of washing up and wiping the drips of soup off every surface in my kitchen, I sat down thoroughly content knowing that I have four bags of lovely soup in my freezer to warm me up in the coming chilly weeks.

I didn’t waste my weekend and I kept the anxiety low. A good soup sunday.

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Posted in Food, Random Thoughts, TV

I do love a good Bake-Off-Menu-Berry-Lawson-Everyday cookery program

Are you, like me, slightly obsessed with cookery programs? I feel the need to tell the world (or anyone who’ll listen) about my secret love.

Whilst the rest of my office and most of the country are fixed on Love Island, or my closest friends eagerly awaiting the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race (yes, I do love a good episode of Drag Race), I have been mourning the loss of my favourite program.

Friday saw the end of the Great British Menu. For the people who haven’t seen it I’ll attempt to summarise.

Every week, 3 professional chefs, cook one course a day to be judged by a “Veteran Chef”. The top scoring 2 chefs then cook their whole 4-course menu for a panel of judges on the 5th day of the week. This happens for 8 regions across the UK. The 8 winners go on to a final where they repeat each dish and 4 are picked to cook the 4 courses at a prestigious themed banquet. This year was Wimbledon.

It has been the highlight of my day for the last 9 weeks. My closest friends and family know that every night between 7:30 and 8pm they do not contact me. My mother then calls at 8:01 to discuss the episode.

Now it’s over I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my evenings. They were timed perfectly so that I would eat my dinner during the episode and then not feel hungry watching the delicious dishes being prepared.

I have an issue with becoming hungry whilst watching cookery programs. Can I blame some of my weight issues on Nigella Lawson? I think yes.

The Great British Menu isn’t the only program. Everyone loves The Great British Bake Off (with the exception of one grumpy friend). It’s the best program on TV (was on TV). I am addicted to watching any old episodes on the food channel even if I’ve seen them 100 times before. Nothing has made me laugh more than the not-so-subtle double-entendre from Mel and Sue, or the accidental innuendos from Mary. Even Paul’s scathing comments have given me a giggle. I will miss this more than most, from series 1 to the final episode it has been like 4 old friends that visit every year. I will try to be open minded and watch their replacements, but who are they kidding, it’s not the same.

 

During the difficult period between the Menu and Bake Off I trawl through episodes on the food channels looking for inspiration. Knowing I’ll never actually cook the things they make doesn’t deter from the fact that I love to watch a good/bad chef whip up something so seamlessly.

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My current recommendations are The Barefoot Contessa and The Pioneer Woman. Both American ladies cooking things that I’d never try and also giving my mum and me a good giggle. From Ina and her laugh-at-everything approach during scenes with friends to Ree using bacon as a base ingredient, I’m not complaining but now a salad isn’t a salad without bacon.

 

However

I’m not sure if it’s the new attitude to my weight but I seem to have lost my desire to wade through the food channel and I’m now, for some unknown reason, spending my evenings watching dinosaur and shark documentaries on Netflix (then waking up at 1am after a nightmare based on the episode).

This surely isn’t normal. Has a sudden lack of food prompted this? Has anyone else had this issue? Is it an unknown scientific fact that sharks are the natural replacement for flapjacks?

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