As I put them in my trolley it occurred to me that I ought to buy them more often. For a start they make great addition to mash and traybakes, the fabulous colour being a delight now that summer is a distant dream and we have the miserable months (weatherwise) to get through.
I adapted Phil's ingredients largely because I can no longer eat anything other than a very small hint of chilli. I then totally disregarded his quantities because I was using my soup maker! (Sorry, Phil!) I tend to use the basic rule of enough prepared veg (washed and peeled as you normally would, then chopped into fairly large chunks) to fill the machine to the lower 1300 ml line then add the stock or flavourings and enough water to the 1600 ml line. This seems to work perfectly well every time for my machine.
Looking in my cupboard for an alternative to the chillies that would add an equally warming and interesting spiciness, I spotted an unopened jar of smoked garlic paste and one of sweet smoked paprika. Thinking I only had ground ginger in stock, Nick reminded me that we had a pack of chopped ginger in the freezer and although we had no limes we had a bottle of lime juice in the spare fridge in the garage. Which is also where he found the bottle of white wine that I won in the golf club raffle on their quiz night last week! As I reached into another cupboard for the olive oil my hand settled on a bottle of walnut oil and I thought "why not?". So all the stars were aligned and a mere thirty minutes later we had the most gloriously orange coloured and utterly yummy soup!
On a practical note, the soup maker generally makes four very generous portions of soup, ideal for two lunches for the two of us. Because it's best to clean the machine as soon as it has finished cooking, I have experimented with ways of dealing with the second half of the hot soup once the first two helpings have been poured out. I have tried plastic boxes and poly bags with mixed success but as luck would have it I happened upon an offer for this Pyrex jug on Amazon. It's a standard one litre jug but with a very handy lid. I can pour half of the soup into two bowls for lunch, pour the rest of the very hot soup into the jug and take a couple of minutes to rinse out the machine before the residue begins to become dry and caked on the inside of it. By that time the soup served in the bowls has cooled slightly but is still hot for eating. I leave the jug on one side with the lid ajar for the contents to cool before putting it into the fridge where it will keep for a couple of days or so.
The smell of the soup seemed to linger in some of the plastic boxes I tried but another good find was a square glass storage box with a locking lid that I found in Tesco. They're not expensive and stack well when in the fridge or not in use. Ikea also have something very similar but the jug appealed to me more because I could use it for other things. And I needed a big jug!
1 large leek
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 medium white potatoes
1 tsp frozen chopped ginger
1 tsp smoked garlic paste
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 small glass (100ml) dry white wine
1 soup spoon lime juice
1 soup spoon walnut oil
1 chicken stock pot
Salt and pepper to season
Prepare enough veg to fill the machine to the lower line. Add the other ingredients, water to the upper line, a little salt and pepper and cook on the smooth setting. Adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.
Makes 4 generous lunch portions (or 6 as a starter).