Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Buy one get one free

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Lentil and ham soup with sippets

There is nothing better than a bargain, but I prefer to pre-plan my bargains and make sure there is enough variety to keep us all (well me ) happy.

There are times when I have regretted the buy one get one free in the supermarket, it tempts me into buying outside my normal pattern and then I find I end up eating more than I want of one thing or never working it into a meal schedule and throwing at least some of it away. I make an exception for packs of satsumas and new potatoes pausing to check that the pack price is not simply double what it would be normally.

My big plan to get us though the next few years is to go back to some of the habits of the frugal fifties and earlier. As a kid I loved this as it meant you knew that if you had boiled bacon joints one day the next week would contain a soup either made with lentils or with leeks and potato. My grandfather could recite the weekly menu that his mother used to get the family through until she had more than one working adult at home-1900-1916. I wish I had written it down, it was fairly austere but it had a takeaway for the day when the washing was done-chips and mushy peas. Apart from that day it was all home cooked and each meal dovetailed around another. They made good use of cheaper cuts of meat and offal too of course, cowheel stew , tripe, elder, breast of lamb, steak and kidney and liver all featured until my childhood in the fifties/sixties.

So the take on buy one get one free is to plan a meal for one day which produces one or more meals for the next two or three days. Today’s example is a gammon piece which was quite dear but it made one meal  on Friday night, it will make one more main meal for four and also lunch on Saturday.

 It is very cold today, warming food is vital; I put a jar of the water in which the ham had boiled into the fridge in case I need it again. The rest I tasted and made a judgement on the salt level, I then diluted it to taste and brought it to the boil. I added half an onion which was left over from something else, a cup of lentils (red) and boiled until it was getting smooth.  I then added a cooking apple peeled and chopped. It had gone a little thin when I add the extra water so I thickened it with semolina ( I could have used ground lentils), I didn’t use cornflour as it could have made it a little too smooth and the soup needs to have a texture to it. Once the semolina was worked in gradually I boiled it for three minutes. Just before serving I diced a slice of the ham and added chopped parsley, winter savoury, black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Serve with sippets, they are easier to cook than croutons. The sippets were made from the heel end of a malted grain loaf; each slice cut in four and gently fried in olive oil. It helps if the bread is old and beginning to dry out. Funny the boys eat brown bread without a word when it is fried. There is still enough on the gammon joint for an evening meal. It keeps well in the fridge so I will leave it until Monday by which time I will have some leftover chicken from Sunday, at the moment I am thinking chicken and ham pie in a creamy sauce. I’d be thinking ham chicken and dried cep risotto if the fussy member of the family didn’t have quite such an anti-risotto stance.

We moved back into our decorated room with a sealed sanded and polished floor, bliss. It has some furniture in too now which is going to take a bit of getting used to. I could end up with all my clothes in one room….odd that.


Purple Lilac – a painting a day

May 5, 2010 Leave a comment  Size 6inx4.5in 15cmx11cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

Sorry missed a day, couldn’t be helped, I needed to sort a print order and other things… like washing.

I will attempt a study of a horse chestnut or lilac flower. Both are lovely but it is difficult not to make them look over frilly.

Discovered some golden foliage plant which has survived the winter in a pot a creeping jenny I think. Now have a pretty decent collection of plants for planters over summer. At the weekend we bought two plants of Omphaloides for the shady area…what a brilliant name I think there should have been a Womble called great grandfather Omphaloides. One is supposed to have mauve and white striped flowers and the other is a brilliant blue. It’s yet another relative of the forget-me-not. The two colours look good interplanted but the first thing to do is to find out if it can cope with the heavy soil. It saves money on bulk buys if they curl up and die and I’ve only bought two from garden sales.

I made a cracking soup from the tough and damaged asparagus, just chopped it up into slices and boiled it in ham stock , strained off the liquid added milk and lots of chopped chives and the very few good bits of asparagus cut up, thickened it with a little cornflour. No2 son ate some and then asked what went into the soup I make at Christmas….” mmm, I like that”…. as it involves cream, brandy, woodpigeons and ceps he’s not about to get it anytime soon.

I tried both but the lilac worked best, I was short on time due to visit to A&E with No1 son.


#40 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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