• clairhenderson

Investing in Soup

It's cold out there and this is a great soup to snuggle up to. To break the monotony of January, to warm the belly and fill the soul. Even for non soup lovers, this is a convincing bowl of loveliness, especially if you pair it with some yummy toppings.

Soup is always a great favourite in our house. You can get great nutritional punch compared to something in between two slices of bread. You get plenty of bang for your buck - at it's bare minimum it's vegetables and seasoning - nothing that would break the bank. And it can be interesting, creative or trendy depending on the ingredients to hand. I remember queuing at a bookshop in Islington the day that the third New Covent Garden Soup cook book came out. Although it was a long time ago now, the cutting egders at the time - celeriac soup, tomato and mascarpone - have seamlessly switched to classics. And they still sit on my bookshelf, occasionally flicked for inspiration. Probably my longest standing non-Delia books. The important lesson for me being that you can put anything in a soup. Really.

Now, I love love love that many (or even MOST?) eco consumer choices fall neatly in line with less consumerism and therefore have the added bonus of saving you money. But, the truth is probably more complicated. Even with soup. To keep it a convenient, easy and attractive choice, it's great to invest in the right kit. If you're not into homemade soup yet, I would suggest at the least, a large lidded saucepan and a stick blender. Take it a step further and some artsy bowls may whisper their desire to be filled with soup and popped on 'the gram'. Dial it up to dangerous levels, and investing in a fully fledged soup maker will make soup as easily as your kettle makes tea.

Having some useful kit can definitely keep your soup passion going for longer and make a truly sexy solution to those vegetable tray odds and ends that could otherwise cause confusion or probably, waste.

This week's recipe, has all the veg you need in your box. You just need to add peanut butter, stock and some eye-candy toppings. Easy, quick and this will make around 3 (freezable) portions.

West African Peanut Soup


A glug of oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/2 tsp ground ginger

half a red chili (or to taste) finely chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 can chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 cups of vegetable stock (more or less, depending on how thick you like your soup)

large tablespoon of peanut butter

seasoning (maybe not salt depending on the stock and nut better you use)

optional toppings

1) Heat the glug of oil in a saucepan and soften the chopped onion without colouring.

2) Add sweet potato, garlic, chili and ginger, mixing until warm and fragrant.

3) Add stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil, allowing to simmer until the potatoes are fork-soft.

4) Turn off the heat and stir in peanut butter.

5) Using a stick blender, get your soup to your desired consistency and season to your taste

6) Serve on it's own or with fancy toppings or sides. Enjoy!

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