Lazy days vegetable soup

I am pro the easy life. I try and stay low maintenance in everything. ‘Low.maintenance’ is a contentious term now. When I was younger, it was less troublesome. I’m using it as shorthand for ‘lazy’ here.

This is a recipe for soup from a bag. The bag being a mixed veg bag from any supermarket. The one I used today was a Growers Selection Casserole Vegetables bag from Asda. I liked it because some of the vegetables actually looked like they were picked with an eye towards spring.

You can make it veggie or not – it depends on the stock you use. I’ll leave that to you.

Ingredients: 

Bag of vegetables; onion; finely chopped garlic; 500 ml stock; extra stock cube; parsley; bay leaf; oregano; salt and pepper to your own taste.

Method:

Put the kettle on to boil for the stock. Chop the onion and fry in a small saucepan in a little oil. By the time it goes translucent, you should be able to make the stock. Once it’s done, add garlic to the onions and stir. It should cook in a couple of minutes.

Add the stock to the pan and then the bag of veg.

Bring to the boil and leave rumbling for 10 minutes or so. Then add an extra stock cube or gel portion – I use Knorr stock pots – and a bay leaf, a sprinkle of parsley and oregano.

This picture does illustrate steam more than anything but it was just off the boil and realism has its own merit.

Leave it to simmer on a low heat for around 30 minutes – checking the seasoning as you go.

Once everything has softened, switch the heat off and leave the pan for around 10 minutes until it cools a little – then blitz. You don’t have to use a hand blender. I only have one because I have kids who were babies (I know – who’d have thought I could hack that twice?) so you could leave it as a veggie broth or mash it.

Once it’s all processed, leave to cool then decant into container.

I have to be slightly geeky now and confess to falling in love with the Sistema soup mug. More than is probably normal. It’s really convenient for work and you can use it for noodles, casseroles and on and on… Just bung it in the microwave with the steam valve open and wait for the ‘ping’. 

The ping’s the thing…

And there you have 2 or 3 lunches for the week ahead – depending on your appetite. Serve it with a crusty roll or add some croutons. If you’re really pushing the boat out, crispy bacon bits would be delicious.

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