Yummy Soup!

Yummy Soup was named by my daughter, who declared it ‘the world’s yummiest soup’. It was the result of some experimenting which happened to work even better than I had hoped. I had about 450g of old carrots in the bottom of the fridge and, hating to waste food, decided to make some soup. It so happened that I also had a tin of cooked chickpeas in the cupboard, and was keen to experiment with the star anise. There was not a drop left when the meal was over! 


You will need

450g carrots, chopped

1 onion chopped

1 400g tin chickpeas, drained

2 stock cubes

75g red lentils

handful of sultanas

black pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot paprika

1 teaspoon garlic granules

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon asafoetida

2 star anise


1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Heat until the onion is waxy and softened.

2. Add the chopped carrots, lentils and chickpeas.

3. Pour over enough water to cover by about 1cm.

4. Stir in the stock cubes, spices and seasoning.

5. Add the star anise, asafoetida and sultanas.

6. Bring to the boil and bubble vigorously for 10 minutes.

7. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

8. Remove from the heat and scoop out the star anise with a spoon. Discard.

9. Whizz with a blender until thick and smooth (rather like baby food!).

10. Serve with dollops of natural yoghurt (we ate ours with home made soya yoghurt) and pitta bread.



Food book of the week: A Girl Called Jack (Daily Mail review)

I am really looking forward to receiving my copy!

Cooking on a Bootstrap


Is Jack Monroe a saint or a martyr? A bit of both probably, but there is no denying the impact she has made in a relatively short time.

It is just two years since she began writing her blog, agirlcalledjack.com, which started out as local political commentary about her home town of Southend and, thankfully, blossomed into something much more widely readable, practical and relevant: how an unemployed, single mother was able to feed herself and young son satisfyingly on £10 a week.

Her recipes, created from a combination budget ingredients, innovation and necessity, found a sympathetic and receptive audience, impressed by the fact that they came from someone who knows what it’s like to rely on food banks.

The upshot is that Jack is now a bit of a celebrity. She has a job as a food journalist, campaigns for Oxfam and the Child Poverty Action Group, has been…

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