kale, spinach, broccoli and pesto soup

Just a very quick post tonight as I’ve spent the evening trying to find the ‘right’ tie for Paul and being on Grannywatch. Parents away so someone needs to go over and make sure she’s not face-down in her knitting, bless her.

slimming world spinach kale soup

to make low syn kale, spinach, broccoli and pesto soup, you’ll need:

ingredients: a chopped onion, one large broccoli, one medium bag of chopped kale, one medium bag of spinach, one small potato, 600ml vegetable stock made from one stock cube and a jar of reduced fat pesto

to make low syn kale, spinach, broccoli and pesto soup, you should:

recipe: it’s soup. Fry the onion, cut everything else into medium pieces, chuck into pan, simmer until soft, chuck in three tablespoons of pesto and blend. Serve!

extra-easy: completely. Reduced fat pesto is 1.5 syns per tbsp – and this recipe made three big portions, so I went for 1.5 syns a portion. You could leave it out but it does add a nice note. Otherwise, a very healthy, superfree packed soup.

That’s all folks – I’m really very tired!

J

syn free pea and ham soup

I swear to God – Old Man River put my bin back for the second time today! Why did he think I’d put it again? Does he think I’m giving him a cardio workout or something? Ah he’s so bloody nice it’s impossible to be mad but I fear that the rough-hewn men at the council will be foaming – three times now they’ve had that bin lorry backed up our street and three times the bin hasn’t been out. Oops. That’ll be them putting Bowser into the rubbish compacter tomorrow.

So, today. I was unlucky enough to be caught behind a cluster of office workers waiting to cross the road today, all puffing away on their e-cigarettes. That said, it did afford me the opportunity to mince through the strawberry-scented fog like I was coming out of the doors on Stars In Their Eyes when the light changed. I’m not keen on those e-cigarette thingies – I’m of the belief that if you want to smoke, then man up and bloody smoke – it should be Capston Full Strength tabs or bust. Admittedly it’s far nicer seeing someone misting away like a boiling kettle than it is seeing them bent double chucking their lungbutter all over the pavement but still. Plus the e-cigarettes always look so ungainly, like you’re sucking nicotine from a nosehair trimmer, and it does attract a lot of quite smug people who say they are harmless – perhaps, but society thought thalidomide was ‘armless once.

I gave up smoking two years ago using Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking (clicking takes you to his book), and it was a revelation. I was panicked thinking the cravings would be hell on Earth but I finished his book, put out my cigarette and hardly even thought about smoking again. He teaches you to examine what exactly you’re doing when you smoke, and explains why you want to keep smoking, and then breaks down each reason/excuse that you use to rationalise your smoking. It’s great – cost £6 and never looked back, and I was on a good 20 smokes a day.

Mind you, that’s not to say I’ve become one of those fervent anti-smokers who cough that tinkly little cough if someone has the temerity to light up near them. That I absolutely can’t stand, it’s such an oddly British passive action to take – either ask them to put it out or fuck off – you wouldn’t sit in a burning building sneezing at the fire, you’d take immediate action! Fair enough you might end up with a Richmond Blue smouldering in your eye-socket but you would have the comfort of not being a passive-aggressive tosser to soothe it.

Speaking of soothing, here’s the soup recipe for this week – and fuck me, look at that, I definitely need to get a trim on my worktop.

PEAHAM

to make syn free pea and ham soup, you’ll need:

ingredients: tiny drop of olive oil, or some frylight, 200g chopped bacon medallions, an onion, one leek, 2 cloves of garlic, 500g frozen peas, 700ml chicken stock, 1tsp dried thyme and salt.

to make syn free pea and ham soup, you should:

recipe: I made this in my soup-maker, but to cook in a pan is just as easy – fry the bacon and onion off so there’s a bit of colour, add the sliced leek, sweat a bit more (the onion, not you, but I understand it’s a hot kitchen). Crush the garlic and add, together with the frozen peas, chicken stock, thyme and salt. Simmer for forty minutes and blend.

extra easy: yes, easily- all those peas, you’re really cooking on gas. It’s a lovely soup on its own but I added a poached egg, a couple of tiny drops of truffle oil (syn those) (1 syn) and some chilli flakes to pep it up. Make some, have it as a starter, take the rest to work in the morning! Done!

Oh and before I forget, my mate Phillipa challenged me to use the word enunciate in my blog today.

J

tomato, fennel and feta soup

I got asked for five pounds by a tramp today.

Five pounds! Gone are the days when someone would come up to you and shakily ask for 25p because they were just shy on the metro fare home. When did it make the jump to a fiver? If it goes any higher it’ll be cheaper for me to jump in the car and nip over to Gateshead to buy the smack myself. Oooh think of the weight loss. Actually, I’d be a shite smack addict, I start shaking like a shitting dog the day before I have bloods taken. I’m not averse to giving to the homeless and unfortunate, but his sheer cheek put me right off – I didn’t even get to do my ‘pretend to pat my pockets for non-existent change’ dance, which never works anyway because I’m forever sticking all my change into one pocket so I’m jingling and jangling down the street like a friggin’ pearly queen. Plus, to cap it all off, what I thought was a little lip piercing from a distance was a howking great pus-filled sore on his upper lip which made me gag. I can’t BEAR anything like that, it really upsets me. I know that’s an incredibly superficial and shallow attitude but I don’t care who you are, everyone has a physical attribute that they can’t stand in others – mine is pus spots. I hardly think that’s irrational.

Newcastle has some great tramps as well as the usual chancers, mind. Paul and I actually managed to make an enemy out of one of Newcastle’s less fortunate citizens when we lived down on the Quayside, who we christened Rory just because that’s what he always did – roared. There was a little yellow bus which would take you into town from the Quayside and because he was mad, he used to spend all day travelling up and down along the route – it was only ten minutes long and never varied but nevertheless. He used to have eye-wateringly bad BO first thing in the morning and by the time he’d spent all day cooped up on a bus on a hot day, well, it was the only bus I knew where the driver lit a match when old Rory got off. Anyway, whenever Paul and I got on the bus, he’d roar (hence the name) TEAPOTS at us and stare at us with his googly-eyes and spittle-flecked beard. All the way into Newcastle. Occasionally blowing kisses. And we never, ever knew why – until we happened across him outside of the bus. He did his usual trick of shouting teapots, but this time bent over in his shit-crusted coat and made a spout motion with his arm and a handle motion with the other – then it clicked, he was taking the piss out of us for being gay and the teapot thing was his way of saying we were camp, like this:

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Well, we thought it was bloody hilarious. I mean honestly, I might be a friend of Dorothy but at least I can have a hot bath of the evening. Sadly, we moved away and we only see him now and again, although he still gives us the old swivel-eye if it clicks who we are.

Anyway, speaking of ripe old fruits, here’s tonight’s recipe – tomato, fennel and feta soup. Enjoy!

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to make tomato, fennel and feta soup, you’ll need:

Oh – you might be wondering where the old comic strip style recipes are. They’ll be coming back, but I’m a bit pushed for time in the evening at the moment and I’d sooner spend it writing rather than fussing about with layouts. I’ll use them when the recipe is more complicated…this one isn’t, so here goes.

ingredients: one bulb of fennel, reasonably large, one medium red onion, a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes (400g), a small potato, white wine vinegar (tablespoon), garlic clove chopped up, tomato puree. 50g of feta.

to make tomato, fennel and feta soup, you should:

recipe: cut your tomatoes in half and pack them together, cut side up, in a tray – drop a bit of salt on there and stick them in the oven to roast for forty minutes on a lowish heat. Then, chop up the onion and thinly slice the fennel, keeping aside a few fronds for decoration. Dice the potato. Pop a tiny bit of oil (or bloody Frylight) into a heavy-bottom pan, add the onion, 40g of fennel, crushed garlic and a tablespoon of tomato puree. I add a tiny bit of water just to keep things steamy, cover, and let the onion and fennel cook gently for ten minutes or so, being careful not to let it catch. Add the roasted tomatoes, rest of the fennel, bit of salt and 500ml of water. Leave to cook gently for 40 minutes, and then blend. Add 50g of diced feta, and blend again. Dish it up into bowls (sieve it through a fine sieve if you don’t like lumps – but really, that’s the best bit!) and serve with a bread roll if you fancy synning it. Easy!

extra-easy: yep! Plus you’re only using 25g of feta per serving when you’re allowed 45g, so you could add a little bit extra cheese and be cooking on gas. Tomato and fennel are both speed foods, as is the onion, so there’s really nothing much in here that isn’t fantastic on EE. In fact, looking at it, you could easily adapt it for EE:SP by leaving out the bread and using the cheese as your HEA choice. Delicious!

Enjoy!

J

syn-free onion soup

I’m writing this from Edinburgh airport, as my arse chews through the Wetherspoons seat currently holding me up. We’re off to Berlin and Munich for a few days, which of course I’m very excited about, but I’m not a great flyer. Well no, once I’m in the air I feel committed and don’t worry, but the build up beforehand has my nerves all a-jitter. I don’t know how people do it day in day out. I’ve flown loads of times before but it never gets easier. The doctor has given me 10mg of bloody diazepam if things get a bit tough but haway, they used to give me 2mg when I was having panic attacks. I’m nervous but I don’t feel that I need to be bloody unconscious to spend two hours inhaling farts and Ebola. It’s only easyjet which will be novel for me as I haven’t flown economy for years – not out of any high delusions of grandeur but I always pay more for the bigger seats as I’d be mortified if I had to ask for one of those seatbelt extenders. I have visions of the stewardess having to lasso it around me like she was bringing down an errant horse.

So, because we are on holiday, the blog will be a bit quiet for a few days, and I’ll pick up in my return. Diet wise…well I’d like to say I was going to sensible but I want a currywurst and lots of German beer. Hopefully it will not do too much damage…

Here’s a recipe for onion soup if you need something to be cracking on with though!

to make syn-free onion soup:

frenchonionpic

Nice and easy…
frenchonionrecipe

The key here is using the mandolin to make short work of the onions, and choosing a good beer. The one I chose was something I had kicking around in the fridge and as this serves eight, the syns works out at around two syns. However, you could very easily leave the beer out and enjoy a Syn free soup! Follow the recipe for the rest. Delicious!

super speedy “just like heinz” tomato soup

I was told by Paul, with no uncertain terms, that I had to have a recipe done, comic-booked and onto the blog before 11pm or there would be no mattress polka for anyone, given he’s tired. SO, imagine this done in the style of 24 – it’s going to be a quick post, and instead of Jack Bauer yelling at terrorists, you’ve got me accidentally tipping over a whole Magimix XL of cold soup with Roxette’s Dangerous playing in the background. Not QUITE the same high-stakes but well, that passes for drama in our house. I love Roxette, my old flatmate used to play her songs all the time. Mind she also used to leave her dirty knickers behind the radiator in her bedroom, which made the whole house smell of hot shredded wheat whenever the heating went on. I know your business, but I don’t know your name…

ANYWAY. I’ve seen plenty of people on facebook talking about this wonder soup – meant to taste EXACTLY like Heinz soup. I’m always so wary of this type of recipe – I’d rather have a bowl of Heinz rather than a knockoff, but actually…it’s pretty decent! Recipe card:

Tomato Soup

SYN FREE.

to make super speedy “just like heinz” tomato soup you will need:

two tins of beans, two tins of chopped tomatoes, two tins of carrots (with the water), a few pickled onions, a veg stock cube and worcestershire source.

to make super speedy “just like heinz” tomato soup you should:

Throw it all in the blender, pulse it until blended, heat and serve. It does taste creamy, oddly, but I’d maybe omit the carrot water as it makes it a bit starchy. BRILLIANT super-free meal though – onion, carrots and tomatoes all being cracking weight loss food, and baked beans are great for filling you up. There’s nothing more to it! It’ll do for a lunch, after all!

11pm now. Off to bed before Paul kicks off. Oh I’m the Little Mo of the street I truly am. I actually used to have hair just like her!

J

slimming world super speed soup

If you’re a fan of dropping something you can’t pick up, or perhaps you like to lie in bed with your partner tormenting them by sounding the fanfare for the Brown King, or even if you’re a fan of air biscuits, this is the soup for you. You’ll be cutting the cheese in no time at all, and trouser coughs will resonate right through the house. You might even end up singeing your knickers with an inverted burp. Luckily, hopefully, you’ll be too busy exclaiming over your weight loss to complain about popping a fluffy.

FARTS

to make slimming world super speed soup:

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This soup is so easy it doesn’t need a whole breakdown. The key is – stuff a load of superfree veg into a pan, top it up with stock, tin of tomatoes, baked beans, lentils, anything – cook it slowly and softly until everything is nicely cooked. Leave to cool and blend it in the Magimix or with a stick blender, but for heaven’s sake LET IT COOL first. Even if the top is cold, it’ll still be packing heat for ages.

I used all the veg I had sitting in the fridge, and it worked really well with a load of chilli added. It does make a genuinely nice soup and a lot of members swear by it. I’ve added it into my lunch this week, so we’ll see.

It is very, very filling and freezes well, too. We’re off to watch The Amazing Race, goodnight!

J