Thursday 24 October 2013

Root Veg Soup with Bacon and Kale with a side of Play Dough

I opened the fridge today to find a couple of vegetables staring at me: swede (aka rutabaga aka turnip) and kale.  Soup it is, I thought.

I went out to re-stock my fridge with celery and carrots and couldn't resist getting some leeks.  I'm impulsive like that.

So with just the baby for company, I started to get out my ingredients...only...

Where were the celery and carrots???  Oh, that's right, I used the buggy as a shopping bag and they are still under the the bottom of the stairs.

There are a few decided disadvantages to living up three tall sets of stairs, and this is one: when you leave something downstairs it is a real trek town to get it.  Usually I bring the buggy up, but this time I didn't and would have to pay the price. And a baby in the flat also throws a spanner into the works in terms of going downstairs too.  So I had three options:

1) abandon the baby in a baby jail (aka playpen) while I quickly ran down for the other vegetables
2) lug the baby down and back up again along with the heavy produce
3) wait until I'm going out anyways and bring the stuff up the next time I come in.  It's cold enough down there that nothing will spoil

That's right, I went for option three.  Sometimes I just don't have the heart to face those stairs.

But I didn't abandon the soup completely yet.  I had that turnip to attack.  I think it may be my least favourite vegetable to prep, especially when it's a local one as they are always still covered in soil.  They are rock hard and require a fair amount of muscle to chop through them.  Did you know the original jack o'lanterns were made out of hollowed out turnips/swedes/rutabagas?  It is no wonder they have now adopted the pumpkin here for their use instead, as it must have taken hours hollow out one of these little &*(£ers.

So now THAT's done, I'll just have a cup of tea and relax...NO BABY, DON'T SMASH DADDY'S WATER GLASS!!!

Ok, later on...

That's a bit better.  So yes, the same kind of soup as my earlier winter veg soup only with slightly different veg and green lentils rather than red.  I prefer the red, as they are less pasty, but I needed to use these ones up.  Oh, and kale went in too, cause it needed to get used up.

I cooked it a long time and then used the hand blender a bit.  and this was the result:

My goodness, does that look foul.  I threw in a bit of sage, rosemary and thyme and prayed.  God answered, and it was good.  Much better than it looks, trust me.  I even got all three kids AND my husband to eat it.  Score.

But we also made something else for the first time: Play Dough!

I realise I probably should have done this a long time ago, but I just never seemed to have enough salt and cream of tartar in the house whenever I felt like trying it.  But today was the big day: I had everything along with a daughter who kept asking for it over and over and over.

At first it did NOT look promising:

It was so gloopy!  But we kept stirring and added some flour and eventually it turned out ok.

My daughter happy played with it, getting out equipment from her kitchen to use.

Then my son came home and they actually played together WITHOUT FIGHTING for well over an hour.  It was bliss.  And the boat model seen here on the other side of the table was not damaged at all either.


Root Veg Soup with Bacon and Kale

4 leeks
1 swede
150 grams green lentils
4 carrots
2 stock cubes
7 leaves kale
2 sticks celery
a few Tbsp bacon bits
olive oil
1/2 tsp each of rosemary, sage and thyme
1.5 litres stock

Proceed as with recipe for Winter Veg soup with Bacon, adding kale and herbs with stock

Play Dough

2 cups flour (plus more if needed)
1/2 cup salt
2 Tbsp cream of tartar 
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Stir dry ingredients together
Add boiling water and stir constantly for a couple minutes, adding flour if necessary, until it cools down and looks like play dough (knead it a few times to check)

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