April and the weather still feels like midwinter. Soup is the only answer. My attempts to photograph food have met with limited success and photographing soup without Mr77 thinking I've gone mad well I decided not try and so I give you ingredients.
This humble assortment will a produce a soup more lush and rich than the sum of its' parts.
Leek and Potato Soup - makes 5 decent bowl fulls.
50 grams (2 oz) butter 2 medium potatoes - peeled and chopped into smallish dice 4 leeks washed and thinly sliced 1 onion - finely chopped 850ml (1.5 pints) vegetable stock or water 275ml (0.5 pint) milk salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter is a large saucepan and add the leeks. potatoes and onion. Stir well, turn the heat as low as it will go and put the lid on. Leave the veggies to sweat for 15 minutes. When the time is up add the stock and milk and stir. Bring the soup up to a simmer and turn the heat low and put the lid back on and leave it for 20 minutes. When the time is up allow the soup to cool a little and then liquidise or blend. I find for this amount of soup my stick blender is more than up to the job. For the veg stock I always use this - one of my larder essentials.
You can serve this soup cold with garnish of chives and a swirl of cream. Then it changes its' name from leek and potato soup to Vichyssoise. Dead posh.
Mother's Day was lovely. Boiled egg and soilders in bed - who could ask for more. In the week leading up to Mother's Day I often made a detour to a local shop who had run a mother's day portrait competition. The pictures always made me smile. What smiley mummies we have herabouts.
It's half term and we are now over half way through the week. Usually at this point I am breathing a sigh of relief that I've made it this far but today I'm feeling a little sad that it's going so fast. We have had a ball - enjoying the fabulous city we live in. The sun came out and it started to feel like spring might be coming.
I've probably jinxed the rest of the week by saying it's going so well but I take the last few days and hold onto them whem things aren't so smooth. Like a few weeks time when I'm trying to sort out costumes for book week!
As my children grow I realise that however much we all enjoy the hurlyburly of family life we all need a little one on one time and so I try really hard to make it happen. Sometimes it's a treat while everyone else is busy. Other times it just sharing a few minutes, catching up with out competing with everyone else's news or needs.
I sometimes complain that I feel like a hamster on a wheel. Trapped in endless cycle of school runs, and shopping and cooking and laundry and cleaning and tidying. Last night after a particularly tedious day my husband listended patiently and then said "the hamster runs on the wheel because he likes it. He is not trappped. He can get off anytime and do something else."
And so I have resolved to get off and do something else for at least part of every day even if it's only a cup of tea with a friend. I do feel guilty when I moan because as my family point out I am the one who cares most about all these things.
I love chicken pie. if I ever have to choose my last meal it will be chicken pie. But it has to be a really good one and only homemade will ever do. I have tried lots of different recipes and there are lots of good ones on my list.
Some for leftovers and other with the chicken cooked from scratch. My favourite however is from my beloved Nigel Slater and you can find it here.
My own amendments (there are usually a few and I know Nigel would approve of tinkering) are less mustard and no parmesan.