Simple Borscht for Flu Season

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Everyone seems to be getting ill at the moment and I am no exception. I have a cold and I hate having a cold because all I want to do is watch terrible, antiques-based day time TV, while cradling a lemsip laced with whiskey. And yet because I am not physically unable to do other things, like shower or go to work, I am expected to them, without complaint.

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Also, when I am ill, all I eat is soup. This is partly because, if I am forced to make my own meals, anything more complicated than emptying a can and microwaving is far too taxing. Additionally though, there is something supremely comforting about a steaming hot bowl of savoury liquid accompanied slabs of bread and butter. This means that even when the illness is coming to an end and I am functioning well enough to put a pan on the hob, soup is still my meal of choice.

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This recipe is really easy. It has far fewer ingredients than traditional borscht, meaning it won’t be too much of a shock to the system after being out of the kitchen for a bit. Also, the deep, earthy beetroot flavour makes a bit of a change if you’ve been living off tins of heinz for a week.

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Souper easy Leek and Potato Soup

Soup1Isn’t it horrible the way that winter has that habit of slowly creeping up on you. It starts with the first christmas displays in late august which you dismiss as the false cheer of money grabbing chief execs fa-la-la ing at the thought of huge christmas bonuses. But then the weather gets suspicious dreary and soon you find yourself recovering from near pneumonia in front of Strictly Come Dancing of a Saturday night. And then the Bake Off ends and you know it’s happened. It has arrived. ( I would hate for everyone to think that my life is entirely dependent on TV, it’s not really I just love competition based shows on the BBC.)

Soup2Anyway as of this week Summer is actually, irrefutably over and winter is near so I have been making nice wintery food this week. Also, as expected I remain jobless and therefore penniless so am scrimping a bit on food. This Leek and Potato soup is a twist on a french onion soup that will really warm your cockles as the torrential rain sets in (just as a side note lost my umbrella last week just as the weather forecast switched to black clouds for the foreseeable future, great!). Back to the soup… it is simple and delicious and cheaper than any fresh soup you can get in the supermarket! Continue reading

Pho Style Noodle Soup

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I’m feeling very blessed at the moment, working in London’s Wet End. There are just so many options for lunch. Although many are not cheap, everyday options, there must be over 50 takeaway food joints within a 10 minute walk from my office sampling 20 to 30 different cuisines for under a tenner. Currently, when I am feeling very flush I treat myself to something delicious and healthy from itsu. Japanese food has been a bit of a revelation to me in the last few years and, although this is not real japanese, it is still perfect for an asian inspired lunch on the go. Plus, their sushi comes with loads of wasabi and pickled ginger which is a must for me!

Pho2Today I really fancied one of their potsu dishes, noodles served in various warming spiced broths. Unfortunately, however, today I did not find myself particularly plump in the pocket so had to opt out. I still found myself craving the soothing warmth of noodles and chicken, the ideal antidote to those first suggestions of winter. Therefore, I decided to have a pop at making something similar myself.

Pho3This recipe works best as a use for leftover road chicken but alternatively you could cook a chicken breast in a tinfoil parcel in the oven and make the broth with chicken stock (this would be far quicker but not as tasty). I also should mention for any sticklers out there that this is not a proper pho at all, I skipped many of the ingredients because they are hard to find and expensive. Continue reading