Simply Souper! or ‘the day the soup maker arrived…’

As I am sure you have gathered by now, I love to cook, love food and kitchen tools generally.  I am not a complete gadget addict, but occasionally one catches my eye and is great to try.

Years ago it was my slow cooker.  To me it’s a fantastic investment.  I use it all the time, even to slow cook Sunday roast if I’m busy, with amazing gravy base that creates itself.  Wouldn’t be without it.  Would certainly replace it.

I’ve avoided Bread Makers.  Not because I don’t like them, quite the opposite.  I love fresh bread but don’t want to end up doubling in size as a result.

Ice cream makers I do like the idea of.  I can keep my control with a bowl of ice cream.  Unlike a loaf of bread.  So there’s one to try.

The latest thing I keep seeing everywhere and hear glowing reports both online and from my friends is a soup maker.

Now I adore soup.  I am always making it for my family.  It’s delicious, often very healthy and can be so economical.   My toddler loves every soup I’ve made.  Wonderful nutrition for him and so quick when you’re a working Mummy too.

And for dieting.  If you’re in total control of what goes into a soup it can really tasty and filling.  Lots of flavour, so satisfying, but very low in fat.

Of course it’s nice to be decadent too.  In Winter, especially Xmas holidays I make a creamy turkey soup with sage and onion croutons.  Also Broccoli & Cauliflower with Stilton and cream.  I tell you, after a long and freezing walk a hot boil of either is wonderful.  I make sandwiches from crusty white fresh bread spread with butter and filled with ham.  Dunking those is pure bliss.

In Summer, Gazpacho.  So light and lovely dinner party food.  Garlicky greens or Spiced tomatoes, blitzed smooth and served cold with some grilled Ciabatta and olive oil.  Mmmm I’m on holiday…

Isn’t soup comforting.  The smell is like a great big hug.  When I make celery soup I can’t get enough of the aroma in my kitchen.  Pure heaven.  I have recipes from my Mum, Aunt and even Grandma.  From different regions and even countries.  I’ve suddenly realised I really do have a thing about it!

I’ve always made soups the old fashioned way, chop, simmer on stove, blitz with food processor.  This really isn’t hard work at all.  But the other day I was browsing and succumbed.  I ordered a soup maker.  By hunting around there are amazing offers.  My Morphy Richards cost me £30 Inc. delivery.

Anyway.  It arrived.  Oh my I don’t think I’ve unwrapped anything that fast since my Crystal Barbie in 1982!  Such excitement and first impressions didn’t disappoint.  It’s nice and chunky yet compact and wouldn’t look out of place on the work top.  Shame it’s not purple, but you can’t have it all.  It has options for chunky and smooth soups, also juices and makes smoothies, which I know little one and his dad will love.

Well all I wanted to do was try it out.  So I hope my boys are ready for a soup fuelled week.  My first batch was tomato and red pepper.  I’ve made it by hand a million times.  It’s my partners favourite and super (no pun intended) healthy.

I chopped a dozen tomatoes.  One large onion and 2 red peppers.
Added some salt and a good grind of black pepper.
I had some fresh basil so roughly chopped a great big handful.
I de-seeded and chopped 2 mild red chillies.  Gives a little kick.  You can leave them out or add more.
I then added approx. 2 litres of vegetable stock (chicken is lovely to).  Just from stock cubes
I used the smooth setting on the machine and switched on.

While it worked its magic I dug out all my own soup recipes and started typing up some new ones I’ve been dreaming up.   I am salivating thinking about watercress or asparagus.  I adore green soups.  This is such a fun and yummy project.  I’d love to turn it into a book

If you have a favourite soup/recipe you’d like to share I’d love to hear it and happy to credit you and publish it.

Bye for now.  I’m off to chop, cook, blend and savour J

Victoria

xx

NB The image is from one of my favourite stories.  Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Hi from me, Victoria…

Hi!  I’m Victoria Lewis.

I am a loving Partner, Mother, Daughter and Friend.  I am crackers about Owls and love love love the colour purple.

I love to cook, love to write and photograph food.  Combining all of these and sharing on here is really fun and exciting.Vicster

I live in a beautiful market town with my lovely man John, little toddler Oliver.  Also proud to be cat mummy to the most wonderful ‘Smartie’.

The other love in my life is the church.  My faith means the world to me.  I adore the serenity of a beautiful church and can’t tell you how many wonderful friends it has bought into my life.

I grew up in a loving family home.  I learned to cook with Mary my Mum.  Pastry so over-worked it was grey and warm when I’d finished.  Then shaped into a bunny with one burnt current eye, before being proudly presented to my dad.

I remember tossing pancakes, all around the room!  Then yep… Dad!

But I also remember successful days.  Cooking a roast dinner by myself with mum over-seeing.  Making a multitude of cakes.  Bakewell tarts and Almond slices.  Butterfly cakes and coconut pyramids.

I make her Christmas Pudding recipe every year.  I decorate my chocolate log with her mini decorations, remember the 70’s churches, holly, snowmen etc

And her stew.  I make it still, all the time.  I remember the smell as I opened the door from school.  The warm feeling it gave me.  My need to recreate it for my loved ones.

Best of all, her suet bacon and onion roll and her bread pudding.  Food heaven.

My greatest food memory of all though was my ‘poorly food’.  Toast, cut into tiny triangles with butter (proper butter back then) and dabs of marmite.

I can’t not mention her sister, my Auntie Liz.  A heart of gold and the most homely kitchen I know.  Liz and I can sit for hours drinking Earl Grey and discussing recipes.  Thankfully she has passed many on to me.

To summarise, Mum left me too soon.  But she left me with a heart full of loving memories.  A brain full of recipes, a love of cooking and traditions that will never die and a huge love of sharing these little golden secrets of the kitchen.

All the tales, memories, recipes and pictures are from my heart,  I dedicate this site to all the special people in my life, in particular to you Mum, for teaching me, to Dad for coping with eating it all!  To Liz for being my teacher, comfort and friend.  To John my partner, for putting up with me, for eating anything I put in front of you, never complaining and always telling everyone ‘Vic is a great cook’.

With my love to you all and thank you to anyone else who stops by and reads my blog 🙂

Victoria xx

Circus