Some Cookery Confessions

So, you ask, how was the vegetable soup last night? You probably aren’t asking that, but I’m going to tell you anyway and it seems better if I pretend someone is interested.

Well, the vegetable soup, consisting of some festering ready-chopped carrot and swede, some greying carrots, a wrinkly parsnip, quite a lot of onion and some green bits from leeks, was excellent in parts. It was nutritious, tasty, sustaining, wholesome and almost additive free.

The additives came from a garlic and thyme flavour pot I threw in.

The parts that weren’t good came from the seasoning. It was, to say the least, a schoolboy error. It needs a bit of spice to give it a lift, I always feel, and I decided to test out the new jar of smoked paprika. I’ve only just started using it again, I never think of it as particularly hot and… you can already see where this is going can’t you?

A lesson I learned long ago is to test out each new jar of spice unless it’s one you’ve used before.

This one was quite a bit hotter than the previous one and despite attempts to cool it down with honey and extra dilution, it remained a little hotter than is usual for vegetable soup.

Despite this, the basic recipe was good and it used a lot of slightly manky veg.

Tonight we are having gammon, Hasselback potatoes and vegetables that are still to be decided. I’ve been meaning to do Hasselback potatoes for a while, and once I actually read the recipe I was amazed at how easy they are. They always look much more complicated when you see them served on TV.

This could be a case of “famous last words” because they are still in the oven.

Meanwhile, bubbling away on the hob we have a vegetable curry on the go for tomorrow. It’s onions, sweet potato, chickpeas, some chilli from a jar, garlic from a jar, curry powder and five ladles of spicy vegetable soup from yesterday, because it would be silly to waste it and if you have soup (or spicy vegetable sauce as it is now) you may as well put it in a curry.

You can probably tell from the nature of my ingredients that I’m not one of the world’s most industrious cooks, and that I have trouble with stock control and portion sizes, but I keep on trying. Cooking and writing are both similar in that you have to keep trying, and once in a while, possibly by accident, something good happens.

The photos tonight are chickpea and sweet potato curry and half-finished Hasselback potatoes. If I wait until it’s time to serve I’ll eat them before I remember to take the photos.


Chickpea and Swee4t Potato Curry, and steam

23 thoughts on “Some Cookery Confessions

  1. Clare Pooley

    How industrious you are! I do the barest minimum cooking I can get away with for most of the year but as Christmas is coming, I need to flex my culinary muscles in readiness for the onslaught. Ugh!

      1. Clare Pooley

        Yes, but there aren’t that many of us. Richard and Elinor, my daughter Alice and her husband and my mother for Christmas and Boxing Day. I will definitely try the Hasselbacks; they look good.

  2. Sharon

    The soup sounds great, in our house there is an excessive fondness for chilli and garlic, we all cook but inevitably there is too much of one seasoning or another for what I would call normal humans. The trick is remembering that if cooking for guests. The potatoes look great.

    1. quercuscommunity

      The potatoes were OK but needed a tastier fat on them. I’ll give them another go but the traditional baked spud is easier and just as nice.

      I’m turning up the heat on my cooking as I want chilli for health. I will have to remember the palates of others, as you say.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Crispy on top and baked in the middle – quite nice, though could have done with butter or a tastier oil, and more seasoning. I will definitely do it again, but plain old baked potatoes are still favourite.

  3. LA

    Sounds good to me…I made a ribbolita yesterday..which is a Tuscan veggie soup of sorts, but you thrown in hunks of Italian bread…..


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