An Accidental Soup Stew
I did two unusual things a couple of weeks ago: one was ordering a veg box and one was going away for the weekend. The first was via some kind of discount code which entitled me to a huge amount of odd-shaped fruit and veg and the second (for reasons too obvious to mention) hasn’t happened in a looooong while…
Clearly the veg box scheme isn’t aimed at those who live alone but I had a discount! So I was duty bound to use it! And what a gorgeously eclectic array it was, but my goodness – there was a lot of it. One of the main components was a huge celeriac, which I discovered (after a bit of internet sleuthing) is simply amazing mashed up with potato and butter. The key thing here is butter, obviously… And seasoning. It’s useful as an accompaniment to many meals actually – I made so much of it (because the celeriac really was enormous) that I put some portions in the freezer. Perfect as an instant side dish.
When ordering the box, I completely forgot about my weekend away – as I said, it’s been a while – and the night before I left I was experiencing a certain amount of panic as I realised I had half a box of veg left, and not a lot of time in which to cook it. And what do you do with four red peppers? Yep, I had no idea either. So I decided there was only one thing for it – chuck it all in and hope for the best. (This is probably where those of you with Parosmia may need to look away – apologies.)
I sliced two red onions and one white onion and gently fried them with some garlic. The aforementioned red peppers I cut into chunky slices and popped them in the pan too, followed by a couple of large tomatoes (also from the box), chopped into rough pieces. It was promising to be a very red concoction at this stage. I liberally added some bouillon, Chinese Five Spice, mixed herbs, Worcestershire Sauce, Paprika, salt and pepper (I’m afraid those are my staples, I don’t do much without them to be honest) plus a big glug of water. Then I found a very useful can of mixed beans lurking in the cupboard so that went in as well.
I left it bubbling away on the stove for about 20 minutes, then heated up a couple of tortillas in the microwave (10 secs) and got stuck in. It was sublime…. Full of texture, flavour and umami. And it took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Result!
Written by Ruth Sullivan