Last week our family came home from holidays with a gastro bug, my dear husband suffering the worst of it. Overwhelmed and tired after a terrific break, but a long return journey, we were feeling rather ordinary and just so thankful to be home. Our weary hearts were made even more thankful by the countless expressions of care we received – more than one friend brought meals around for the days ahead in Vomit Land and we had countless offers to pick up milk and food for us, as well as prayers offered to our Heavenly Father on our behalf. On one hand, things like this happen pretty frequently among all sorts of people, but I’m still just struck by the fact that these kinds of everyday miracles are just how God rolls. Whether or not we realise it, he cares for us and provides what we need through the people he’s made us to be. In his letter to the scattered early church, James writes:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:7
God is good, though it’s sometimes hard for me to see. He doesn’t change, he isn’t moody and I don’t need to catch him at a good time. He gives good and perfect gifts. One of them was this flavoursome and refreshing soup provided that night by our friends Ben & Renee for my green-feeling husband. It hit the spot. Renee shared the recipe with me which has come in handy this week, cause some of us are sick again, this time with colds and flus. Oh well, that’s life. But this yummy comfort food is also just what we feel like at the moment: It’s autumn, the weather has turned crisp and the kids and I are using up some school holidays visiting family in the Snowy Mountains (check out the view!). Not a bad time and place to be sick and snuggly with soup. This recipe is freezer friendly and a great option for those with special dietary needs (just use gluten free stock and leave out the cream if need be), and cheap to cook costing less than $5 to make more than 2L. We’re having it tonight with oven-ready bread and real butter. Thanks, Ben & Renee for the soup, and much more.
- 125g butter (half a block)
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
- 1 x 500g bag carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 8 cups chicken stock (I use powdered, reconstituted with water)
- salt, pepper and pinch of sugar
- cream for drizzling, if desired
- In a large soup pot melt butter and saute onion until golden. Add carrots and cook until soft and golden (this preliminary cooking step add lots of extra flavour to the end result).
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the cream) to the carrot, butter and onion mixture, and simmer for 45 mins.
- Blend with a stick blender in the cooking pot and serve with or without drizzled cream and crusty, buttery bread. Serves 8.
My friend Julie sent in this tasty soup recipe and having tried it out last weekend, I’m super keen to share it with you. Here are four reasons to love this bright green broth: there’s very little preparation at all – just a few quick steps with readily kept ingredients thrown in, followed by simmering; the recipe requires only one pot, which means very little washing up; it’s cheap, cheap, cheap to make (only approximately $3); and perfect for warming comfort during these lovely cooler months. Serves 6-8 people. Thanks for sharing this, Julie.
- 2 large onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 kg frozen peas
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock (I used powdered and chicken stock as substitute)
- 150ml cream
- In a large, 3L+ pot, gently fry onion and garlic in a little oil.
- Add peeled potatoes, chopped into chunks, peas and stock. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are soft.
- Blitz with hand blender until smooth then add cream. Season well with salt and pepper and serve with bread.
My super cool aunt, Jacqueline, gave me this pumpkin soup recipe years ago and since then it’s the only one I’ve used. I’m not a fan of lumpy pumpkin soup and I like mine to taste rich and pumpkiny. The roasting of the pumpkin produces this result with beautiful smoothness. Chop and roast the pumpkin days in advance and simply refrigerate until you want to blend the ingredients together. You can peel the skin off before hand or remove it after roasting – whichever you find easiest, though I think there’s a little more wastage of the pumpkin when you roast with skin on. I purchase my pumpkin from my local cheap-as-chips grocer and can usually pick up a 3kg for around $5. The other ingredients are incidental, especially if you, like me, use powdered stock. Serves 6-8.
- 3kg pumpkin, chopped into smallish pieces and roasted for around 1 hour.
- minimum of 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used powdered. Increase until you have desired consistency)
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine roasted pumpkin, stock, mustard and honey in a large stock pot.
- Process using a stick blender until ingredients are combined.
- Heat through, stirring regularly and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with drizzled cream and fresh bread. Enjoy!
Katrina put me onto this soup recipe a few weeks back and I thought I’d give it a go today. I tried it today because we’ve got a big week ahead (one of our kids is having their tonsils and adenoids out tomorrow), I wanted a meal to give away and I wanted to put the rest in the fridge for the number of lunches and dinners we’ll need quickly in the days to come. For all these reasons, I doubled the quantities and I really enjoyed the ease of this recipe – it only took around 20 minutes of peeling and chopping before sticking it on the stove to simmer. The ingredients list tells you to use chicken lovely legs, but today at my butcher, drumsticks were on special and lovely legs were not. I decided the saving in cost was worth the 5 extra minutes to remove the skin from each drumstick, and seeing as the recipe requires the removal of bones, I figured it didn’t matter that each leg was not shortened. The end result was yummy, full of good meat and healthy vegetables. Total cost, less than $8 and feeds 6-8. Thanks for the link, Katrina and thanks taste.com for the recipe and photo.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 leek, halved, washed, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large carrot, peeled, diced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 1 swede or turnip, peeled, diced
- 1 1/4 cups dry soup mix, rinsed
- 8 cups chicken stock (I use powder cause it’s cheaper)
- 1kg skinless chicken lovely legs (or drumsticks)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add carrot, celery, zucchini and swede. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in soup mix, stock, chicken and 1 cup cold water. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until soup mix and vegetables are tender.
- Remove chicken legs from soup. Allow to cool slightly. Remove meat from bones. Roughly chop chicken meat and add to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into warmed bowls. Serve with bread if desired.
- Packet dry soup mix is a combination of split peas and lentils. You can find it near the chickpeas in the supermarket.
My recent soup craze began on Sunday as the weather well and truly turned cold. I had a go at making this recipe, originally from Delicious Magazine and I really couldn’t believe how easy it was. To make it go further, I doubled the recipe and in total, it cost less than $7 to make. My non-soup loving husband confessed (with a smile) that even though serving him cauliflower soup was “pushing it”, he actually quite liked it! The quantities in this recipe serves 6.