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Wrap up and fill up

Flood warnings have been issued across the UK and as I look out of my window I can see rain drops falling at a 45 degree angle. Yes folks, the weather is definitely frightful, and who wants to go outside when you have already showered once?

 
The horrendous British weather caught me out and I got stuck in a downpour this morning that drenched me to the bone (exaggerating here, but it wasn’t pleasant). When I finally reached my house all I wanted to do was curl up with a good book and some hearty homemade food. We all have the montage – snuggled under a blanket with thick fluffy socks on your frozen toes, a nice hot cuppa and not moving from that spot until you can actually see sunshine through the window. So that’s what I did, I bunkered in my little nest and prepared to hibernate – it’s supposed to be April for goodness sake…
On days like this I love to comfort eat, but this is obviously a dangerous idea. I have had to be very inventive and find ways to fill up for less calorie-wise instead of munching on evil delights. This is what lead me to discover the tastiest soup on earth (not exaggerating anymore – it really is amazing); homemade spicy tomato and red pepper soup. The best bit is that it literally only takes a few minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook. Simple and satisfying thank you soup god!

The perfect partner for a rainy day

 
1. Chop up two large red peppers, one onion, and three celery sticks.

 
2. Dissolve one vegetable stock cube in 600ml of boiling water and put in a pan. Add the chopped vegetables with salt, pepper, mixed herbs (or fresh basil if yours didn’t die like mine did), a crushed garlic clove or one teaspoon of puréed garlic and half a teaspoon of chilli paste (increase chilli quantity if you’re anything like my step dad, who only has one functioning taste bud left).

 
3. Add two tins of chopped tomatoes

 
4. Simmer for 20 minutes, then blend and serve.

 
This makes around 4 big bowls full of soup, so if you have a hectic lifestyle you can make this in advance and you have prepped 4 lunches for your week ahead. Result! If you are serving this as a starter and you have a table of chilli lovers and chilli haters (a frequent occurrence in my house as my sister won’t touch chilli but my step dad practically bathes in it), you can serve it with any one of the savoury Philadelphias which your guests can add if they want. This is great because it makes the soup a little bit creamier and calmer on the chilli front, and doesn’t add much on the calorie count if you use low fat. I love to serve this with warm homemade bread as well. It’s tasty and you feel like you’re getting proper home cooked comfort food without punishing your waistline, perfect for rainy days under the duvet. Just don’t spill any – tomato juice is a bugger for stains. 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in food

 

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