I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last post. Poor little blog was in danger of being forgotten. Perish the thought!
I’ve been busy crafting, mainly crocheting. Time for scarves and mittens, and I’m working on a ‘granny square’ blanket, using up my odds and ends of yarn. Waste not, want not!
Mr Tuna has been in Germany visiting his family and friends over there. While he was away I took the time to just be quiet, spend time at home, do a bit of garden tidying and dog walking. I have also been looking after two poorly kitty cats. One had a tummy upset and thankfully he only had it for a day. But if it’s out of the usual for your cat to be poorly and it lasts more than a day then you should really take him to the vet.
Our other poorly cat, Casper, is one we rescued earlier this year. He was very sick when he came to us and we didn’t think he would live long. But with love, care, Reiki healing and veterinary attention he pulled through his crisis. Since then he has had a few ups and downs health-wise and it always seems that everything stops when he is ill. I have some marvellous, loving friends who also send Casper distance healing. I can’t thank them enough as at times I was too emotional to share healing myself with him. Casper is about 18 years old and has to cope with renal failure, hyperthyroidism, a heart murmur and deafness and some arthritis. I will write more about Casper in a later post but just wanted to say this is why the blog hasn’t been updated recently.
I want to keep this post short, but happy. So with that, and the Autumn season upon us I want to talk about soup.
I know it’s Hallowe’en today and maybe you think pumpkin soup should be on everyone’s list, but I’m not that fond of pumpkin soup. Pumpkin is a bit too sweet for my tastes, so I’ve made Leek and Potato soup – one of my favourites. As you may have read in one of my earlier posts, I am no cook. Throughout the years I have tried to make soup of one description or another and failed miserably. It always came out of the pan more like swamp than soup! hehehe. However, just a few years ago something changed and I can now manage a few different soup recipes.
Leek and potato is easy-peasy and basically involves buying the veggies, washing them, chopping them up and throwing them in a large pan. No special ingredients or equipment needed. Phew!! You will need a little butter, one medium onion, two sticks of celery, two medium carrots, two large leeks and I used four medium potatoes. No, it doesn’t matter what variety of potato, they’re just going to be boiled and go mashy anyway. I also use Marigold Swiss Vegetable organic, low sodium bouillon mix. This is basically a powdered stock mix. The instructions of how much water to stock you need are written on the side of the pack.
Switch on cooker – you see, keep the instructions basic. You may think this is common sense, but I have stood stirring food on a cold hob, wondering why it’s not warm and bubbling. Turning the cooker on would have helped! Place a large pan on the hob and add a good dollop of butter to the pan. (Dollop is an old english measure – nowadays equating to a large tablespoon, or maybe just a little bit more). Turn up the heat so the butter melts, then add your chopped onion and cook until it is soft (but not brown, if they have gone brown you have burnt them!). Then add the chopped carrot and celery. Give them a stir every so often until they are a little softened then add in the leeks. Give it another good old stir. If things seem to be sticking to the bottom of the pan add a tiny bit of water – not a lot!!
While the veg is softening in the pan, fill the kettle with water and put on to boil. While kettle is boiling, put dried stock powder into a jug. When the water has boiled add the hot water to the stock and stir it up. Add the stock to the big soup pan. Then carefully pop the chopped potato into the pan. Do this carefully because if you just throw the potato in the hot water, there is a risk you will get splashed with hot water and be scalded. This will put you off wanting to cook in the future. (Well, if you are anything like me, being scalded by hot water whilst taking part in an activity you are not really interested in will make you less likely to participate in said activity and your culinary skills will never improve and you will have to buy expensive tinned soup from a supermarket).
At this point I normally add some extra herbs and spices for taste. This isn’t necessary – I just like to play at being an alchemist! I really cannot recommend which herbs go best with this soup or which ones go best with other soups as it’s all trial and error, especially where me and my cooking skills are concerned. Some of the herbs I use are: tarragon, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, sage, crushed chilies, cumin, paprika, pepper. I DO NOT add all these herbs to one dish! You could buy a jar of mixed herbs and add some to your soup. I suppose the rule is add a little at a time. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!
Once the potatoes have softened and the whole mix is hot, then your soup is ready to dish out and eat. This soup will look ‘lumpy’ if it’s just left like this in the pan. This is nice as a chunky soup, alternatively, you can use a hand blender to mix it all together and make it a smooth soup. I partially blend mine so it is smooth but with chunky pieces. Then all you have to do it ladle some into a bowl and eat as it is or eat it with some bread. We eat it with Mr Tuna’s home-made German style rye bread. Yummy nom-noms!!!!
So there you have it, The Crafty Tuna’s easy-peasy, Leek and Potato soup. This quantity usually feeds four people. With just the two of us tunas it lasts us two days, so that gives me a day off cooking! Yippee!!. You can of course pour any excess into a container, or into several individual container portions and put it in the freezer until you fancy soup again. Take it out to de-frost in the morning and it’s ready to warm up by the evening.
So now, as it is time for us to say goodbye to the sun and get ready to thank our ancestors for their history, strength, and guidance and ask them to see us through the coming dark months, I wish you a blessed and happy Samhain. (You can click on this photo and it will expand so you can read the information).
Until next time my crafty friends xxxxxx