“You need to get something hot inside you – that‘ll warm you up”, my grandmother used to say on cold winter days. And it’s a fact, hot food does provide central heating for the human body.
And as we’ve needed a little help in cranking up our internal thermometers this week I’ve been making soup. Well, I call it soup. It could be classed as a casserole I suppose, or maybe a one-pot stew. The name doesn’t really matter; it’s been delicious and hearty and warm, served with toasted ciabatta on the side. We’ve had it for lunch and for dinner in the evening. It was so good I almost had it for breakfast too.
This soup started out as a massive tray of roasted mixed vegetables in the oven. I decided to roast veg to go with some salmon I was oven baking but got a little carried away with the quantity I prepared. This may have been because I was still in Christmas holiday mode when the whole family was here to cook for, or it’s more likely that I was just plain hungry when slicing and chopping and my eyes were bigger than my belly. So Sunday saw a ridiculously large bowl of leftover roasted vegetables in the fridge.
The whole lot went into the biggest pan we own with a couple of vegetable stock pots and enough water to cover it all. When I’d got this bubbling nicely, I thought that a few cooked sweet potatoes would serve very well as a thickener. Once cooked, the sweet potatoes were blended up and added to the pan and mixed in; it was seasoned with salt and pepper, and I added a generous helping each of sweet paprika, cumin and mace, and tasted it. Yummy.
Day 1 we ate it with bread, day 2 saw me add more stock. On Day 3 a cupful of risotto rice was chucked in. And a few peas.
I’m hoping that the weather soon starts to warm up a bit, because as usual I’ve overdone what started out as a good idea. Without doubt, having something hot inside you is an excellent way to keep warm in the winter, but as variety is the spice of life, I must remember to use a smaller pan in future.