Well, that’s that all done with for another year. The presents have been opened, the wine has been drunk and the resolutions made. But it’s always today when I do my post-Christmas stock-take of the fridge and grimace. Good intentions might abound but unfortunately so to do half eaten cheese platters, cakes, biscuits, pies and all those odd chocolates that no one likes at the bottom of the box.
Fortunately I know I don’t have to blow all my plans to be healthier and less wasteful because there at the bottom, under the leftover trifle and Christmas pud, is the veg drawer. Huzzah! I think, I am saved from yet more dairy and carbs! And yet as I open the drawer I know what will greet me. It’s the little green ghosts of Christmas past; brussel sprouts, by the armful. Luckily I am armed with a secret which can turn even these inglorious little fridge squatters into an appetising and surprisingly slimming little dish perfect for the New Year detox. So here is my recipe for easy-peasy spicy-sprout soup.
1. Raid the cupboards
So we start off by raiding the cupboards for relatively few ingredients:
1-2 handfuls of sprouts (replace with any other green veg if you prefer)
Stock cube (chicken or veg work best but this is totally optional miss it out if you prefer)
And the special ingredient: Tabasco sauce
2. Heat stuff
First, get the kettle on- you will need to fill your pan in a few minutes so best get this boiling before you start. Now find yourself a decent sized pan and whack it over a low heat with 1-2 tbsps of oil while you chop the veg.
3. Chop stuff
I like my soup farmhouse style (with chunks in) so I tend to dice my veggies so that they are bite size, but it’s entirely up to you. The smaller the bits, the quicker they cook so if you want to do this for a speedy lunchtime snack dice them finely.
Start with your onion- get it peeled, chopped and straight in the pan while you finely shred the sprouts. Add two thirds of the sprouts to the pan and put the final third to one side for later. Give your sprouts and onions a quick stir before finally dicing your potato – don’t worry about peeling, the skins just add more flavour. Then simply chuck the potato in the pan and stir for a minute or so.
Next, simply cover the veg with your pre-boiled water, add a pinch of salt, stock if you are using it and 2-3 drops of Tabasco. Simmer for 10-20 minutes or until your potato chunks are soft enough to crush with a fork. Remove from the heat and mash using a potato masher.
Remember those sprouts I told you to hold back? Add them now and leave the soup to stand for a further 5 minutes. This will allow the soup to thicken and the latest sprouts to soften without losing their vibrancy.
5. Season & Serve
At last, taste time. Make sure you taste your soup before you serve it. It will need seasoning here and how much depends on the age and condition of your ingredients to start with and your own preference. I like mine very spicy so I tend to add a lot of black pepper and another 3-4 drops of Tabasco at this point. I know full well when it gets to the table my husband will always add more salt so I tend to under-salt here on purpose.
And there you have it, ready to serve, an easy-peasy lunch with minimal ingredients, minimal fuss and maximum good girl (or boy) points. I have had mine just with some breadsticks left over from New Year’s Eve broken up as croutons for lunch, but I have an adaptation of Alicia’s Bread Recipe for the Slapdash in the oven as I type to go with tomorrow lunch’s serving (if either lasts that long).