Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Spicey soup and Smiles

There are quite a few soup recipes around at the moment so I thought I would share one of mine with you,perfect when it is freezing cold outside and you need a bit of spice to warm you up.
Most of my soup recipes start with the same basics and then I chop and change depending what we have in.
Quantities are only a rough guide and these will serve 4-6 servings depending whether it is for me or the men in the house,
1 onion finely chopped,I tend to have red as that is what we grow but it doesn't really matter
2 carrots chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
These go in a pan with a tablespoon of oil and cook until everything is nice and soft
For the spicey soup I then add
1 chopped chorizo sausage
1 chopped chilli      or more depending how hot you want it
A couple of heaped teaspoons of chilli powder

My mother in law always taught me to add spices to curry at this stage so I have always done it with all dishes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes or home made tomato passatta
1-2 tins five bean salad  if I only have 1 tin I tend to put any other tin of beans in,the trick is to be flexible and use what is in the cupboard
1.5ltrs of vegetable stock

I bring all of this to the boil for an hour,usually leaving the lid off for the last 20 minutes to allow it to thicken up.Some days I will add chopped peppers and other days I will add a couple of potatoes chopped into 1cm cubes in.You then end up with

feeling warmed through and a very full tummy.
We are such a lucky lot us gardeners,for most of the year we can walk outside and something makes us smile.That feeling of anticipation as we wait patiently for our seeds to come through the post,then the funny luck from the postman as we greet him with a great big grin when we realise the parcel he has is our seed order.I had some seeds sent the other week from a fellow blogger and I felt it was like Christmas,I knew what the seeds were but I could not stop myself from being excited.
How many of us peer into our propagators this time of year with anticipation then grin as soon as we see those little green specks emerging,then checking progress each day to see how much they have grown.
How many of smile at the first snowdrops,crocus and daffodils,watching again in anticipation as all the buds start sprouting on bushes and trees.
I came back from work this afternoon and went to see my chickens,looking straight at my daffodils soooooo very nearly opening.Smelling the Sarcoccoca as I walked past then automatically turning to check to see the Daphne waiting in the side lines to take over very soon.
Checking the white,furry buds on the magnolia getting bigger by the day now the sun has been out again,then hoping they don't come out too quickly to be caught by the frosts.
Bronzey/green shoots catching my eye as the new leaves on the roses are emerging from their stems,buds emerging on the fruit trees and no end of tulip and allium bulbs emerging from the soil.
I live between Evesham and Pershore,the other year there was a poll out saying that Pershore had the largest population of people over 100,when it came out a discussion went on amongst friends to why we though this could be.At the time we came to the conclusion that we thought it was because most people of a certain age from this area had worked on the land.Yes they had heavy lives but they got more than their full quota of vitamin d and most did enjoy what they did,having a sense of fulfilment.
But today as I came back from work and could not start to tell you how tired I was,once I had walked up the garden and smiled I could not tell you how much better I felt.Shame we cant bottle it !!