Thursday, 30 October 2014

All you need is soup

Well here we go again, more soup, I bet you are getting sick of it. Never mind, only one more to go. Tonight I have chucked in a few vegetables. One medium size onion. A few sprouts. One and a half parsnips. The last few florets of the fancy cauliflower. And a few spinach leaves, not shown on the photo because I put them in at the end. Then I added a shake of black pepper, a shake of garlic powder, a shake of mixed spices, some Rustic Ratatouille mix, and a squirt of tomato ketchup. 
Again I zapped it with the blender and added some plain yogurt. I could have eaten it as a stew as it looked rather nice. I didn't take a photo, the finished soup was the same colour as last nights. Taste wise it was quite nice, perhaps a bit too much tomato sauce, but you know me, nothing gets thrown away here, everything is eaten.

Another little experiment with the blender. I've had these pineapple pieces in the cupboard for a while, bought them when they didn't have any peaches. Since then I have bought peaches and the pineapple has sort of been ignored, until today, so, I've whipped them up to make a fruit juice drink. Diluted with water to double the volume, and at 35p it's cheaper than buying a carton of juice.

Here is a little teaser, a snapshot of a small section of the new picture. I'm just in the process of sewing the leaves on. I want to get it ready for two weeks time.

Thanks for popping in. Toodle pip

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spice up your soup

Hello, how are you getting on with your home made soup, I see some of you have been squishing your ingredients to a pulp. More power to your elbow, keep on squishing.
Barbara asks where do I buy my spices, thank you for the question. My spice cupboard is very sparse, I chucked a lot out a couple of years ago. They had been shoved to the back and were never used, so I thought, why am I keeping them. Everything I have is here. I very rarely buy spices now, don't want to go back to the situation I was in before with far too many. The ones I use most are the curry powder, turmeric, and garlic powder. I buy big bags so they last ages, and I know I am going to use it up. The last time I bought garlic powder they only had smaller packets, now I need to go back and get some more. I get them from the Asian shop in town. I don't decant them into containers, I fold the top down and secure with a clothes peg. No need to buy those fancy plastic clips. 
I have three little jars, and I've just noticed I have two black peppers. Someone gave me the Saxa pot. 
I buy a few packet sauce mixes from the Cash and Carry, they also have a market stall. They are 20p each. I ignore the fact that some of them are supposed to be used for meat dishes, I buy them because they are cheap. I never use a whole packet for one meal, I just add a teaspoonful, or shake a bit out of whichever one I fancy at the time.  
I also get these from the Cash and Carry. The Bisto is out of date by one year, and the stock cubes were out of date in February last year. Both were 50p each.

And there you have it.I know very little about spices, I use them sparingly, a lot of my food has no spices at all. I like to taste the vegetables. 
So, what is the soup for today then. I ate a portion of yesterdays soup for my lunch, and this afternoon I made some sprout and parsnip soup. I used a small pan because I only wanted to make one portion, and I boiled the veg instead of steaming it. Chop the sprouts in half and slice the parsnips. I added a little bit of the chicken tikka masala mix, a shake of pepper, and a shake of the Mexican taco spice mix. That was all that was needed. Boiled it for about eight minutes. 
It was a sort of light beige colour, not as dark as this picture, it doesn't look very appetizing here. I stirred in two spoons of plain yogurt, and it was amazingly yummy. It tasted of parsnips with a spicy flavour, not too hot, just right. One to make again, I think.

I'll have a look and see what I've got for tomorrows soup. Another home made experiment. Could be interesting. Thanks for visiting, and welcome to the new readers. Toodle pip

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Soup what's good for you

Hello my little bloggerettes, have you had a souper day? Thank you for your recipes, lots of ideas coming into the comments section. Here is my second contribution to the soup recipe list. I have had this packet of soup and broth mix hanging around in my cupboard for a long time. I didn't buy it, someone gave it to me, because they thought they would never get round to using it. It's been in my cupboard for over a year, and it was out of date when it was given to me. It's about time I used it, after all it's only two years out of date, ha ha. Yep, November 2012. To buy it now it would cost £1.15
I followed the instructions on the packet, soak overnight, drain and rinse. Add it to a pan of boiling water, I used half the packet, and boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for 35 minutes. While all this was going on I prepared two large potatoes and one onion, and added them to the pan. Also one teaspoon of curry powder and a teaspoon of turmeric, and a shake of black pepper. The smell of curry filled the kitchen.
Here it is nicely stewed, I could have eaten it like this. I then turned the gas off and let it cool down. I went out for the afternoon, and when I came back I transferred it to not a none stick pan, and zapped it with the stick blender. There was a lot of it, I had to use a big pan.

I decanted some into a bowl and microwaved it for my dinner. I wasn't too impressed with the bland taste, it was missing something, so I added some grated cheese and garlic powder. Stirred it in and microwaved again. That was much better. Very tasty. After I had eaten it I then added some garlic powder to what was left in the pan, also two teaspoons of veg gravy granules. I gave it a stir and refilled the bowl for tomorrows lunch, and filled three margarine tubs for the freezer. So, five large portions of soup for less than £1.
This afternoon I went to help Helen at the rental house. She had described the state of it to me, and I saw the photo's, but the full extent of the horror of it became apparent when she took the carpets up. It looked like the tenants had been walking around the house in filthy dirty work boots, but worse was the smell of cat pee. They had had four cats in there and let them pee wherever they liked, don't think they have heard of litter boxes. The smell was horrendous, there was rat and mice droppings, it looks like they had kept birds as well, bird seed and droppings in the garage and shed. How can people live like that. Oh the joys of being a landlord. The tenants were evicted because it stated clearly in the agreement that no pets were allowed. The gardens are not too bad, I did the front one this afternoon. Will go back next week and tidy the back one. 
On the way home I called in at the smaller Asda in town. We have a big one out of town but I never go there, it's too far out. I'm glad I stopped to have a look. Two 500grm bags of brussel sprouts 33p each. A bag of parsnips 22p. Tub of potato salad 18p. And I bought a small carton of milk, mainly for the cats but I might use a drop myself. £1.55 spent.  
I think I have an idea for tomorrows soup, erm....Sprout and parsnip, ha ha.
That's me done for tonight. I have got a lovely clean bedroom with clean bedding to get into, heaven. I love my bed. Sleep tight.
Toodle pip.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Soup of the day

Hello. I've never really liked tinned soup. Occasionally I've had tomato or mushroom, as a quick snack, but not been overly keen on it. There are so many different kinds now, but somehow I can't bring myself to try any. There are too many ingredients listed on the label, it puts me off buying it. I imagine huge vats of gunge bubbling away in the factory, yuk, I don't fancy that at all. 
I've checked out the price of tinned soup, Baxters is £1.15 and £1.49. Campbells is £1. Heinz is 74p and 89p. Tesco is 49p and 89p. Tesco Value is 25p. 
So this week I'm having a home made soup extravaganza. A different one every day. There won't be any spending on ingredients, it will be all about using what I already have. I am sure you could make soup out of almost anything, all you need is a stick blender, and a bit of imagination.
Today's soup is potato and runner bean, home grown from the garden. Into the steamer goes two potatoes, and a portion of frozen beans. Steam for seven minutes, then transfer it to a smaller non stick pan, with the water. 
Next I added a shake of pepper, a shake of garlic powder, and a level teaspoon of whole grain mustard. Zap it all together, and return to the heat for a couple of minutes. Served with a slice of wholemeal bread. Very comforting on a blustery day, and tasty too, at very little cost. Please excuse poor photo's, flash needed now we don't have many daylight hours. The soup was a pale green colour, eaten straight out of the pan I may add, to save on washing up. More soup tomorrow.

Heidi has found a new favourite place, on top of the fridge freezer. She can view the whole kitchen from this vantage point, and can be ready to receive any tasty morsel that might be offered. I've brought the money plants inside now, I have three of these, still haven't found a place for the other two.

Mayze has decided she quite likes to sleep in my box of crafting bits and bobs, now I have stolen all the fabric that was lying around on the table. The cats were inside by 5.30pm tonight, I try and get them in as soon as it gets dark.

While I think of it, Beverley, please go back to your comment yesterday, someone has asked about your recipe for apple sauce. Feel free to explain what it is in another comment.

I'm a bit busy this week, things to do. Going to help Helen tidy the garden at one of her rental houses. Apparently the previous tenants have moved and left the house and garden in a terrible state. Lots of work to do. Also helping a friend with a couple of dog walks, and trying to get the picture finished. I like being busy.

Feel free to add your favourite soup recipes, let's make it a souper dooper soup week.
Toodle pip.