I don’t like soup. I really want to, I think in many ways it could make my life better but it just reminds me of baby food (with or without lumps). A notable exception to my hatred is Heinz tomato soup, which saw me through the evil brace years when I was in so much pain I could only cope with food through a straw. It also held me in good stead at University when along with vodka and chip butties in provided most of my calories. Other than the fact it’s pourable however it bears no resemblance to anything you’re going to create in a kitchen.
Homemade vegetable soup is healthy, nutritious, warming and I don’t want it. I begin by doing an online shop to gather forth the requisite ingredients. At 9 on the dot a hot man in an Ocado van pulls up and I call him over, failing to notice he’s handed me over 3 family size packs of loo roll and little else. Did I mention he’s hot? Turns out it’s for number 10 (who are clearly also aspirational like me, I must get to know them better). Mine turns up 50 minutes late with a very irate, but also not entirely unblessed in the looks department, driver called Warren. I make a mental note of the step up in driver attractiveness from Tesco and decide to add this to my rating criteria.
I take advantage of the £20 off £60 voucher they keep spamming me with and buy a bottle each of Vermouth, Sherry and Marsala, Nigella’s holy trinity of alcoholic food enhancers. No doubt Warren thinks I’m hosting some kind of geriatric disco.
I get to work and soon realise my lack of food processor means I am in for work, lots of work. One hour later and I have finely chopped 2 carrots, 2 parsnips (couldn’t find any turnips but they look the same so I figure that’s ok.), a potato, a leek and an onion. My arm is about to fall off. I console myself with the idea this must be one of those mythical ‘negative calorie’ recipes as pushed by suspect womens’ magazines. Well until I add 45g of butter and some olive oil to my casserole dish. I half cook, half sweat the veg then add a litre of stock (marigold powder, honestly who has the time to boil veg to make stock to then add to more veg?) and chuck in a bouquet garni. ‘Why’s there a teabag in your food?’ enquires Welshy. ‘I don’t really know’ comes my reply.
It all cooks away and then I puree some of it, adding it back to the rest to thicken. I serve it with some sherry stirred in and a little nutmeg grated over the top. How smart of Nigella, I reason, not to add the sherry until the end when the booze can’t boil away. I go to my window box, the herbs from which are currently staring longingly out the window at the Tempestesque storm that’s occurring outside.
I butcher the chives and chuck some of them on the top as well.
I can’t deny it’s warming on an otherwise cold and miserable day, but there’s no escaping it, anyone older than 2 should not be eating it. What’s so wrong with chewing anyway?
Kitchen wisdom gained:
· I have definitely gained an understanding of the principles that I can extrapolate from and take any leftover veg I happen to have and make soup with it.
· I (still) don’t like soup.Domestic Goddess points out of 10: 9 – I’m pretty sure I can now make all soups and I gave given myself an extra point for not only eating one portion, but most of the rest of the vast vat.
Final score: Kat 0 – Nigella 0 (no one can possibly call themselves a winner)