So this is my first blog post, scary. I’ve been thinking about setting a blog up for months now, but what with one thing or another I never really got round to it; although I would occasionally cook something and think, “that would make a good blog post”, the fact of not having a blog to post on meant that the thought never progressed into actual blogging. So a couple of weeks ago I made a decision and set this one up, so that when the thought next occurred to me I’d have no excuse not to start blogging. What I hadn’t counted on was the added pressure of knowing that I now had a blog lurking, empty, with nothing posted on it and the growing need to come up with something to post just to fill the space.
This is why my first blog post is about some soup that I made. Nothing particularly exciting, just what I made for tonight’s tea in an attempt to use up what was lying around in the fridge and get some veg into me after a day spent lying on the sofa in the vice like grip of a tequila hangover.
I don’t really know yet what this blog will end up being, a lot of it will probably be varying tales from my kitchen adventures, as well occasional and erratic bouts of crafting and possibly a few other bits and pieces thrown in every now and then. I love cooking particularly for friends and I love crafting often for the purposes of fancy dress, however my approach to both can be a rather haphazard and the results pretty varied. When cooking I will often try and extrapolate from a series of recipes how something should be done and then attempt it myself with whatever I have to hand. When crafting my style is best likened to that of a Blue Peter presenter and frequently involves a raid of my recycling bin to see what I can bodge together at the time. Success occurs maybe 60% of the time, though that might be an over estimate, however a spectacular mess can be guaranteed every time, which is how the name for this blog was born.
Hopefully as time goes on my success rate will increase, my writing style will improve and I will become a Good Blogger, but for now here is the recipe for some soup that I made:
Red Lentil, Butter bean and Vegetable Soup
- olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 garlic clove
- about 2tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (I’m rubbish at measuring herbs, I used about 2/3 of a normal supermarket packet)
- a bay leaf
- a glass of red wine (at a guess about 100ml or so)
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 litre vegetable stock (I used Marigold Vegetable Bouillon)
- 400g tin butterbeans, drained and washed(I imagine any white beans would do, I’d originally planned for cannellini but had none to hand)
- 100g red lentils, washed
- 1 parmesan rind
- a squeeze of tomato purée (maybe 1tbsp-ish)
- salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery, or for ease roughly chop and whizz together in a food processor. Gently heat a good glug of olive oil (maybe 1tbsp-ish) in a fairly big pan, and add the carrot, onion and celery. Crush the garlic clove and add that to the pan too together with the chopped thyme and the bay leaf, then cook slowly for about 10 minutes over a low-medium heat so that the vegetables gently soften and barely colour.
When the vegetables are ready turn up the heat slightly and throw in the glass of wine so that it bubbles away, then stir in the chopped tomatoes and the stock. Mash half the butter beans or purée in a food processor with a little of the stock, then add to the pan together with the rest of the beans, the lentils, the parmesan rind and the tomato purée. Add salt and pepper according to your taste and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for around 45 minutes.
Before serving remove the parmesan rind, scrapping any melty gooey goodness off back into the soup before throwing it away, and the bay leaf if you can find it.