Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Soup & Gore

It is soup weather.  Which is, frankly, the only thing that this post-snow freezing-slush has going for it.  I love soup, and I am determined that my children will love it too. 

Actually, that’s a complete lie;  I could care less if they love it or not, but – God help me - they WILL eat it. To facilitate this, I announce the soup’s arrival in the high-pitched, over-excited  manner of a coked-up tv presenter, according to its colour. 

Behold the Orange Soup:

It may not sound– or look – appetising, but it’s very easy, very cheap, and very tasty.  And if the call-it-by-its-colour trick doesn’t work, employ the other pre-schooler favourite:  name the most disgusting thing you can think of as its main ingredient. So: behold the Blood-Clot soup... Which – of course - is best eaten with Pus & Guts (aka cheese and tomato relish) toasted sandwiches:

Tomato and Lentil Soup
You need (for 4 very generous portions)
  • Some oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • One stick of celery, roughly chopped
  • One large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Two tins of tomatoes
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock (a cube or bouillon powder is fine)
  • Two handfuls of red lentils
  • A handful of parsley, chopped (optional)

Add a dollop of oil to a pan, and place over a high heat.  When it’s hot-ish, add the chopped onion and leave to cook for a few minutes – until it’s started to sizzle.  (If you like your soup to have a bit of a kick, and you have accommodating children (or indeed no children at all) add some chopped chilli, or a tablespoon of cumin powder (or both) to the pot now and leave cook for a minute.)

Throw in the celery and carrots, stir to combine, and when it’s all sizzling put the lid on the pan and turn the heat down low.  Leave it to soften – about 7 minutes (checking occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking or burning – if it is, add a couple of glugs of water to the pan and replace the lid).

Add the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up if you’re using whole ones. Bring to the boil, then lob in the lentils and the stock.  Bring to the boil again, then cover and leave to simmer until the lentils are almost disintegrating – about 15 minutes.  (Use this time to mop up all the wet sludgy shite which your kids have dragged in from the garden on their shoes AGAIN.)

If you like a bit of chunk in your soup, just season it and add the parsley. However, obvious chunks of UUUUUUUUUGGHHHTOMATOES are banned in most toddler-abodes (certainly in this one) so either employ the old blood-clot-trick, or puree the hell out of it, as I did, before adding the parsley. (Which obviously isn’t parsley AT ALL, but rather flakey bits of goblin skin...)

Then gobble up QUICKLY before the aliens that live under the stairs come and steal it.  


  1. Do you make the tomato relish for the sandwiches or buy it? I like cheese and tomato sandwiches but think they would be yummier if they were maybe made with a good cheddar and a tomato relish - maybe smoky or sundried tomato tasting. But then I think if I tried to just make one, it would come out to much like sauce or too much like just chopped up tomatoes with no extra oomph.

    1. oh god, just buy it. check the ingredients - you don't want it overpowered with sugar or vinegar. Tasty cheddar is essential (easier here than in the US) - for UK readers, I use Tickler, which is delish. An alternative to relish is pesto, or whiz some sun-dried tomatoes to a paste in a food processor with a bit of their oil .
      (Look at me, all culinary...)

  2. Had this for lunch today with my kids. A triumph. Though their wind afterwards, not so much. Love your blog

  3. Sounds tasty! Though, my mostly-vegetarian little one also refuses to let soup pass his tiny lips, so probably not for him. I haven't tried goblin yet, but he'd probably just tell me it's treif. Kids: what is WRONG with them????

  4. So tomatoes = bad but flakes of goblin skin = good? Is that a boy kid thing or an all kid thing? Definitely going to try this one out but I'll have to reverse some parts of it in my brain or else I won't be successful. I don't think I could make a good soup whilst thinking "blood clot."