Just for fun I thought I’d start this post with a photo of my husband (above) which I took this morning, busily cleaning out another radiator with the new radiator brush. I asked him to stop for a moment so that I could take the photo, and it shows him bringing up the brush and as he did this, vacuuming it with the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner, ensuring that the dust didn’t fly everywhere. It was easy to do. Time-consuming, but easy!
Meanwhile, I decided – it being such a dark, wet and windy day – that soup would be a good choice for lunch. I’m afraid I’m not great at menu-planning for a week as so many bloggers tend to do. I used to when we were a family here, with two growing sons, but after 53 years of marriage, I tend to know exactly what things to buy from the supermarket and what meals to cook that we enjoy (even though I do make a list for the supermarket; I seldom go without one.) And so I tend to cook what we feel like eating on the day (or perhaps I retrieve something home-made that is in the freezer.)
So soup it was for lunch, and today I made carrot & red pepper soup.
It couldn’t be easier. It could’ve been Potage Crecy, which is a lovely French carrot soup, but the addition of a red pepper makes it all the more interesting in flavour, I think (I sometimes make Potage Crecy, using the recipe in my very old Cranks cookery book.)
For the carrot & red pepper soup, and making sufficient for our lunch for today, with plenty for another meal, you need 1 onion, about 4 carrots, 2 potatoes and 1 red pepper, plus vegetable Oxo cubes or whatever vegetable stock powder you like to use, and at the end of cooking, a dash of cream (or crème fraiche, or milk) and a little vegetable or rapeseed oil in which to saute the chopped vegetables.
First, peel and chop the onion and add that to the heated oil. Then peel and chop the carrots and the de-seeded red pepper and add those to the onion, and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add sufficient boiling water to cover the vegetables and then add the crumbled stock cubes (or whatever stock powder you use.) I then added a dash or Worcestershire sauce, but that is optional.
Now bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat (with the saucepan lid on) for about 20 minutes. Now, add a dash of cream or milk or crème fraiche, and blend, either in a liquidizer or with a hand-held blender. Now season to taste.
I also made home-made croutons to go with the soup (I just cut up a couple of slices of granary bread and fried them in just a little garlic butter and a little oil to stop the butter from burning, and a sprinkling of dried oregano.) When I served the soup I added a dollop of cream and some chopped parsley.
In the two glass ‘salts’ are butter and soft spread (just to have the choice for our bread) and the two small white dishes hold our croutons.
I can certainly recommend this soup for a cold day, even the colour is cheerful!
Once I’d cleared away the dishes, put the dishwasher on, swept and steam cleaned the kitchen floor so all was tidy once more, I thought it would be nice to sit and watch a film this afternoon and I knew just the film for a wet January afternoon …
I am sure some of you will recognise this scene from the film which is The Enchanted April. This is one of my all-time favourite films. It is from the book by Elizabeth von Arnim and the film was made in 1991. What I love about it, is that even though I know the story, no matter how many times I watch it, it simply goes on giving … it simply gets better when you know the dialogue and the nuances of the characters. You can say that of few films! It has a wonderful cast, too: Dame Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Polly Walker, Alfred Molina, Jim Broadbent and Michael Kitchen. So husband and I decided not to do any work this afternoon and simply enjoy this lovely film, with a tray of tea and biscuits …
and the fire and candles lit …
It was so enjoyable we didn’t notice the rain lashing against the windows. We were transported to a villa in Italy with these endearing characters.
Until next time.