Simplest soup ever

Chopped leeks and carrots on a cutting board

We have an incredibly simple soup format that we keep in frequent rotation in the cooler months and its a recipe that my older son can pull together himself.

The basic ingredients are chopped leeks or green onions, carrots, kale / chard / bok choy / other asian greens, grated ginger, garlic, chicken stock, chili oil. We throw in some cut up cooked chicken, beef or shrimp depending on what we have on hand. Tonight it was shrimp from the freezer. I make stock whenever I can, but I also buy organic stock regularly to keep in the pantry, as stock is just such a great basic.

Boy grating ginger

We keep ginger on hand in the freezer for whenever it’s needed.

Adding frozen kale to soup

I grow silly amounts of kale in the growing season, and so some kale from the freezer is an easy addition.

Stirring soup

Giving it all a stir.

Boy eyeing a bowl of soup

In mere minutes we have our steaming bowls of soup, ready to eat. My favourite part is hearing my son say “don’t forget to save some for my lunch, mum”. If only I could find a thermos flask that doesn’t let me down (perhaps that’s a whole other post?).

Sometimes ‘fast’ is really the most important criterion for choosing what to bake or cook around here. Tonight I’m going to make little pots of lemon cream from Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Puddings. Nigel is my hands-down favourite cookbook author. How can one not love a man who talks like this to his readers in response to the imagined complaint that “I have no time to make puddings”:

You don’t need half an hour to scatter a few fresh basil leaves over a bowl of strawberries…Pan-fried apples with creme-fraiche can be yours in ten minutes, while even banana custard made with proper custard takes little more than fifteen. So don’t talk such rubbish.

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