Tuesday, 30 October 2007


I was so pleased with the boys and my lunch today. We often have a bowl of soup for lunch, either freshly made or defrosted, but today's batch really was in a league of its own.

There were quite a lot of potatoes and chunks of butternut squash left over after dinner last night, so I'd stashed them in a plastic box and put them in the fridge. This morning, unable to bear the thought of wasting them, I decided to do my usual thing of turning any cooked vegetables that are languishing in the fridge into a lunchtime soup. The habit is inspired by my Mum's brilliant roast dinner soups, made with the leftovers and stock from the bones. They're really good and for years were the only soups I'd eat.

I simmered the potatoes and squash pieces in some vegetable stock until they were really soft and collapsing, then puréed it all using my hand-held stick blender. A splash of milk to let the soup down to the consistency I wanted, a quick reheat and lunch was ready. You can clearly adapt this to anything you want to use, or use up. Leftover roast 'Mediterranean'-type vegetables make a good soup, as does (to my mind) any cheesy mashed potato that wasn't gobbled up the first time around.

With some bread rolls and a couple of cheeses to pick at, it was a lunch I'd happily have again and again. I'd even consider strategically planning the same dinner for the night before we have guests for lunch so that I could make it for them.

In other news, I made my Christmas cake today. I've already published the recipe for my Celebration Fruit Cake, which I make every year for Christmas and occasionally for other reasons. I've double-wrapped it in greaseproof paper and foil and tucked it away in a tin to be decorated the week before the big day.

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