Apologies for the radio silence – a procedure on my back, a family week away and work crises have kept me occupied.
But I returned to the solace of the stove this week. I had time to make some lovely autumn suppers, and I was also keen to use the pack of soup vegetables that I’d brought back from a trip to Ireland (good old Dunnes Stores). I do not know why similar packs aren’t sold in supermarkets here as they make even a novice cook really confident in their ability to knock up a really healthy soup. Yes, they contain basic ingredients which you could easily put together yourself, but that’s not the point of convenience food, of which they are an A-star example.
Simply chuck the mix in a pan with some vegetable or chicken stock, simmer and that’s it. And, if you fancy it, you can pre-steep some dry soup mix (lentils and pulses, again, sold in a handy soup packet) and bung them in too. I use a Scottish brand which I also bought in Ireland.
At home in Northern Ireland, this soup was always served with boiled potatoes – one or two were placed in the bowl – and some shredded chicken left over from the roast which had provided the chicken stock. It reminds me of cold nights coming in from playing outside to a steaming bowl of it, or sipping it from a polystyrene cup at a fireworks display.
A picture of the soup in a bowl doesn’t communicate how amazingly appetising it is, but, believe me, it’s lovely. I think I am going to have to start campaigning the supermarkets to stock soup mix in the fresh sections here.