I order a box of organic veggies every two weeks. Each box is a surprise; packed with gorgeous, seasonal vegetables. So I don’t shop according to a recipe, I find a recipe that fits my veggie box.
It actually takes all the hard work out of shopping. Gems or butternut? Broccoli or cauliflower? “If I buy both, will I use it all?” Food shouldn’t be this complicated. Especially when you’re just cooking for yourself and a boy who probably can’t taste the difference between broccoli and cauliflower.
When making soup, I let the box guide me. I have a basic recipe which is basically onions, meat, tomatoes and dried soup mix (lentils, split peas and barley), and the rest of the ingredients are added by fate. Hand Of God Soup, Seasonal Selection Soup, Veggie Veto Soup… and I’m complicating things again. Call it whatever you like.
Here is the recipe basic guideline:
Makes 1 big pot
+- 500g of your favourite soup meat (mine is beef shin), chopped into small pieces
+- 1l of vegetable/chicken/beef/oxtail stock
1l boiling water
1 tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped roughly
1 bulb of garlic, chopped
1 cup of dried soup mix
1 small tin of tomato paste
1 tin (410g) of canned chopped tomatoes
2 sticks of celery, chopped roughly
3 or more veggies of your choice – eg. chopped carrots, spinach, grated sweet potato, chopped green pepper, broccoli, butternut cubes, sliced marrows. Go for seasonal; it’s better for your body and your conscience.
Seasonings of your choice – eg. salt, pepper, paprika, dried herbs, cumin, etc.
Fry onions and celery in oil in a heavy based pot. Once translucent, add garlic. A minute later, add meat and fry until browned. Add tomato paste, tomatoes and stock. Add soup mix. Cook on low for about an hour. Then add veggies according to their density. The heavier they are, the longer they need to cook. Add the boiling water. After another say 45 min (use your head and nose here), add seasonings and try it out on the boy. Leave the soup to stand for a little while before serving.
It will taste even better tomorrow so save some for then.