Sunday, 8 November 2015

Fridge Soup

Sometimes life doesn't entirely go to plan. Take this weekend, for instance. I should've been in Nice running a marathon. I'm currently at home in a onesie making soup. So you see my point?  I'd like to get upset about this and throw some outrage at the situation. But I'm a firm believer in owning up when you've managed a situation poorly.  

I currently have an injured leg.  My knee is painful, which has been caused by my IT band tightening, which was caused by physio intended to fix my overloaded hamstrings.  My hamstrings are overloaded because my glutes are horrendously lazy and do not fire at all.  They just don't activate.  So here's my confession.  I found out about the issues with my glutes over a year ago when I had a biomechanical assessment as part of my membership induction at Charlotte Ord Academy. And I have done nothing about it.  So I can't get angry about not being able to run this marathon.  I'd love to be able to pass the blame for my poor performance onto someone, something else. But I can't.  It's all my own doing.  I have got better at doing my rehab exercises over these past few weeks, but it was far too late to be any help.

I had secretly held out some hope that I'd get to Nice and feel just fine on the day and glide along 42km of the Riviera coastline like some kind of bad ass, but walking around a golf course for nearly six hours in the pissing rain on Friday put paid to any of those notions.  My legs were fine at the start of the day, but as time went on and I creaked around 18 holes as an auctioned caddy for my friend's memorial golf day, it became clear that my legs would not be up to the task of a marathon.  I headed home afterwards to pack my bags and get an early night before my 06:25 flight to Nice.  

It was as I dithered around the flat in a desultory fashion that I realised that I didn't want to go.  I had been determined to go to Nice anyway, as my flights and hotel were non refundable.  And it's a nice place, Nice. But I didn't want to go there. On my own. In November. To not run a marathon.  So I decided to stay home for the weekend. And immediately felt less anxious.  I felt even more cheerful as I headed to Guildford to collect Murdoch from the Dog House and started to look forward to a weekend spent snuggling with the mutt. Perfection.

Which brings me to this week's exciting batch cook up

Fridge Soup

This is a simple recipe, with no need for a sous chef, which is handy, as mine is nowhere to be seen.

Where's Murdoch?
This soup is basically another really simple way of using up whatever veg you might have lurking in the fridge.  I had plenty, as I have started getting veg boxes from Abel & Cole again.  I am a big fan of the veg box, especially as Abel & Cole have changed things up to give you more control over what you get in each box.  However, with that said, there are times when the amount of veg in the fridge reaches panic levels.  Especially when you've spent all week shoving the veg aside to get to the pizza and eat that instead.  Come on, we've all been there.  

Firstly, I chopped up a couple of leeks, a couple of onions and some garlic.
Vampires can't get within 200 yards of me right now.
Then I warmed up some butter in my most enormous saucepan and chucked them in on a low heat to gently soften.
I've sprung a leek!
While that was going on, I chopped up some more veg: parnsips, carrots (including some lovely purple carrots, so nice to get the different kinds to mix it up a bit) and threw that in the saucepan.
A lovely, colourful mixture of root veg
 I chopped up some cabbage and threw that in too.
Then I threw some potatoes in, what's the point of soup without potatoes? Hell, what's the point if life without potatoes?
If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would probably be the humble potato.
I grabbed a couple of handfuls of lentils to add some bulk, rinsed them thoroughly and put them in the saucepan too.  
Adding a bit of bulk
I seasoned with plenty of sea salt and black pepper, chucked in a couple of vegetable stock cubes and lots of boiling water and left it all to bubble away on a low - medium heat for an hour or so.

Bubbling soup
Because I hate having chunks in my food, I got my hand blender out and blended the soup until smooth.
Smooooooooooooth soup
As I was feeling decadent, I served with a swirl of single cream and a buttered slice of granary bread. 
As I write this, the soup is still hotter than the surface of the sun. So I haven't put it into portion containers yet. But I think it'll be around 6 - 8 portions, which will see me through most of the week.