Tuesday 8 January 2008

Covent Garden Soups

January is a bleak month at the best of times. It's even worse when you've shelled out for a skiing holiday as well. So it's a time to watch the pennies and shed some Christmas blubber. At the moment I'm feeling a bit like Rick Waller in Ricky Gervais' pork scratching joke!

So it's a time to cut back and try to get my bank balance and waist back into shape.

I've bought my week's worth of soup already and am making life more interesting by not eating sandwiches and just concentrating on soup. I'm going to make sure I note which ones are best in order to force myself into not buying extra food during the day. It's all too easy to spend a fiver a day on sandwiches and then even more money on supper. But not this month!

Soup 1

Covent Garden Toulouse Sausage and Puy Lentils

Good thick soup. Ed's immediate comment was that it looked like a tin of Heinz blognese sauce. He got it spot on. It's not an attractive soup to look at. Dull brown with a hint of grey!

It's got a deep, meaty flavour and is thickened well by the lentils. However, if you blindfolded me and fed it to me there is no way on earth that I would have guessed what it was. That said it was enjoyable. It kept my hunger away, along with a bread roll, till about 8pm whereupon I felt like I was about to die from hunger pangs!

Soup 2

Covent Garden Winter Vegetable

Now this is a proper soup. No messing around with dodgy Gallic sausage soups. This is a proper English puppy. Full of rich golden colour and thick with goodness, this soup is a winner. It tasted even better when accompanied by chewy chunks of le pain quotidien baguette.

Our only complaints were:

1. It took forever for our microwave to cook it

2. Are peas winter vegetables?

Nonetheless, great soup. Has kept hunger at bay until supper time too.


Anonymous said...

I just came across this site the other day and you might like it to read during your soup week!


And also, homemade lentil soup is not only super easy, it's relatively quick to make and so delicious! Much better than store bought.

Chop one or two yellow onions and soften in a large, heavy saucepan with a good pinch of sea salt and a solid splash of olive oil until transluscent, about 20 mins on med/low. Meanwhile, add one or two chopped carrots, one stick of chopped celery, a Tbs of marjoram and a tsp of thyme on top of the onions. Cover and let soften together until the onions are ready.

Then add 2 cups of regular brown lentils if you like your soup to be a bit soft and creamy, or French lentils if you want them firmer. Top off with 6 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil and then turn down and let simmer about 30 mins (though an hour is better) until the lentils are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

You could use stock, but I love the clarity of vegetable flavor I get from just water. In the case of this perfectly rustic soup, for me, less is more. Give it a try!

Browners said...

Thanks so much for your comment Elareal...

I'm going to give your recipe a go as soon as I can... and will post it up.

In the meantime I've got 4 tins of soup to see me through a busy week at work... naughty to not make it myself I know! Forgive me.

I'm quickly becoming a soup-lover.


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