Saturday, 22 October 2016

A Bensham Broth

As a dad I thinks it's really important to teach your kids to cook, and understand the basics of cooking on a budget, so no impractical ingredients like Mongolian mountain cabbage or some rare and expensive truffles.

Alf's demonstrating his safe knife skills
As many families are probably aware of waste especially bags of vegetables that go unused or slightly mouldy (i'm not talking seriously mouldy), So we make it into soup, and anyone who lives in Newcastle & Gateshead will be aware the rapid decline from summer to winter is an almost overnight switch, which requires an immediate wardrobe change from flip flips and shorts to two coats, gloves and long johns and some rather delicious soup.

We decided to put these aforementioned veg to good use, you'll need a decent sized pan and some freezer bags/tupperware (if you want to freeze what you make).

Our recipe for today is a Winter Warmer fit for shifting those Baltic blues, and to top it of it's really healthy too... You can use pretty much anything for soup so don't go out buying wallet busting ingredients!

Odds and sods from the vegetable drawer
Softening up the ingredients in thyme oil
Our ingredients
Thyme from the garden (you can use Sage which is much better)
Parsnips
1/2 a butternut squash
4 sweet potatoes
4 potatoes
some carrots
Olive or vegetable oil
Garlic
Salt & black pepper
Chilli flakes (If you want it to be a bit of a zinger)
Bread to serve

Frankie's stirring up the veg before adding water & stock
So here goes...
Chop and peel most of the items not carrots as they don't need to be peeled for this, heat some oil (I used standard olive oil as it's all we had) and add some fresh herbs into the hot oil (if you don't have them, don't worry) fish out the herbs before it turns brown, and get ready to add the chopped vegetables in any order (hardest first would be a good rule), try and get them to brown a little as this adds a nice flavour to your soup (Note: i did say brown and not black) add a couple of cloves of garlic and once the veg looks soft enough (test it with a fork, if you need to) then cover them in water and add some stock (your choice, chicken, beef or vegetable if your vegetarian) and simmer until all the ingredients are nicely softened and cooked through add salt and pepper to boost the flavour a little, and chilli flakes if you want it a little spicy. blitz it with an hand blender or in a liquidizer (if you want it chunky just break it down a little bit) and serve with some big chunky bread, like the stuff they make fresh daily at the Urban Bakery in Low Fell which would be bang on!

Hand Blender
Kids and knifes!
At our house we believe it's good for kids to learn to use a sharp knife correctly, they learn fast so if they do cut themselves, they rarely do it twice!, teach them the correct way of using things like hobs, knifes, blenders etc and it's a skill for life, we always do stuff under a relaxed supervision, which gives the kids confidence a boost, and they get a chance to grow their skills.

The finish soup, super tasty, easy to make and souper healthy (Geddit!)

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