Care and feeding of Husbands

I used to have trouble finding something the Husband could have for his lunch which was easily eaten either while he’s driving or on a very, very short break. Then I discovered soups; cheap, easy and quick. We have a couple of nifty small Thermos containers with wide necks which keep just-boiled soup hot enough till he’s ready to eat. Now, if I don’t give him soup there’s a long face… You’ve had the chicken soup recipe earlier in How to Stretch a Chicken 4 ways. Here’s a couple more of the Husband’s favourites.

Bean & Tomato Soup

1 can 5  bean mix, well rinsed and drained.
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 tblsp butter or olive oil (I prefer butter for this recipe)
1 sliced carrot
1/4 small pumpkin, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup brown rice
1 tsp mild curry paste
Beef stock powder
Dried sage & thyme
Smoked paprika

Fry the onion in the butter in the bottom of a large soup pot till it’s soft.  Add the tomato, beans, rice and other vegetables. Top up with water – about 3 of the tomato cans-full. Add the teaspoon of curry paste, a heaped teaspoon or two of stock powder, and a good shake of each of the herbs. You probably won’t need to add extra salt, as the stock powder is salty enough.  Bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour. Add anything else you fancy along the way, but this is a good basic soup.

Pea & Ham Soup

1 ham bone or smoked ham hock
1 500g bag dried green split peas

Soak the peas in a large bowl of water overnight. Next day, drain, rinse, and drain again. Personally, I prefer a ham bone to make the stock, it’s not as strongly flavoured or salty. You can often get them at the deli counter when they’ve finished carving the ham off it.  Usually there’s loads of tasty ham left on it, and it’s very cheap. Smoked ham hocks are more expensive, pretty salty, and have skin and fat left on them. Whatever you get, put into a large soup pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of hours. Remove the bone and meat and cool sufficiently to handle. Strip the meat and keep to one side. Chuck out the bones, unless you have a dog. Put the peas into the ham stock and bring to the boil.  Skim off the froth that forms, which you’ll need to do a couple of times. Turn down and simmer for a couple of hours. When the peas are soft and turning to sludge, add the meat. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. That’s it.


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