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    Warming Vegetable Potage

    Warming Vegetable Potage

    If you’re like me, you’ll have finally got the kids to bed and realised that you haven’t eaten in literally, hours.

    I used to just throw a pizza in the oven and gamble with the heartburn when I try to sleep but more recently I’ve been trying to take better care of myself.

    This recipe looks complicated but it’s really not. All you really need to do is prepare the veg, part-fry the onion and then throw it all in the pan to boil.

    If you want to, you can blend or mash it afterwards but that’s up to you.

    Warming vegetable potage

    Warming Vegetable Potage

    A delicious, thick, spicy soup that's satisfying enough to serve as a main course.
    It's super-easy to make to it's ideal if you're a busy parent that often doesn't find time to eat.
    Prep Time 15 mins
    Cook Time 45 mins
    Course Main Course, Soup
    Servings 2 large bowls


    • Medium sauce pan with lid
    • Optional : Potato Masher (ricer), Hand Blender or Food Processor


    • 25 g butter Vegan option : replace with oil.
    • 1 red onion roughly diced
    • 2 carrots sliced
    • 2 large potatoes
    • 1 stick celery sliced
    • 1 leek sliced thinly
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 2 tsp mild curry powder heaped
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 handful parsley chopped finely
    • ½ tsp cinnamon
    • ½ cup red lentils
    • 500 ml vegetable stock Add more water for a thinner soup


    • Heat the butter in the pan and once melted, add the chopped onion, parsley and spices. Cook until soft but don't let it go brown.
    • Add all the vegetables to the pan
    • Pour the stock all over the vegetables
    • Bring the pan to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes (until the carrots are very soft).

    If you prefer it smooth

    • You don't have to do this but I like to blend my soup with a hand blender or food processor to make it nice and smooth. You might prefer a chunkier soup.
      Using a potato masher is ideal if it's late at night and you don't want to disturb anyone. This results in a nice thick soup with texture as shown in the photograph above.
    Keyword curry, spicy, vegetable, vegetarian

    Butterflies on the Buddleia

    Over the last few of weeks, the Buddleia bush in our small back garden has been attracting dozens of butterflies.

    The Small Tortoiseshells first appeared before being joined last week by Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, and even Small Whites (although they seem to prefer the lavender we planted at the front of the house).

    I just counted the butterflies on the bush right now. It’s a sunny day and the bush is alive with visitors:

    • 12 Painted Lady butterflies
    • 2 Peacock butterflies
    • 3 Red Admirals
    • 1 Small White
    • Numerous bees and hoverflies

    Here’s some photos of the visitors today.

    White fence next to woodland

    Why I’m on the fence about Boris

    You’d have to have been living under a rock in the UK for the last two months (or more) if you hadn’t heard somebody discussing Boris Johnson and his bid to become Britain’s new prime minister.

    Now that he has secured the necessary votes to secure his new position, there’s been a sudden outpouring of negativity across social media platform, ranging from prophecies of the UK’s future demise to personal slurs against the man himself.

    Personally, I don’t really understand what the point is.

    It’s not like we really can do anything about it.

    Continue reading…

    Where there’s an aspiration, there’s a way

    One of the aspects of language and communication that I find really interesting are idioms.

    We all have favourite phrases that we use to describe a situation, the same ones we probably heard our parents or friends use as we were growing up.

    I’m talking about the common phrases like, “a rolling stone gathers no moss”, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”, and “better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”.

    You’ll hear them everywhere – on television, on the radio and anywhere that people are talking because they’re a standard part of colloquial speech.

    The funny thing is that I never considered that the idioms I commonly used might have their own counterparts in other languages. But of course they do.

    I encountered one this evening while I was talking to my friend in Beijing.

    Continue reading…
    6 things I've learned by leaving Facebook

    6 things I’ve learned by leaving Facebook

    A week ago I decided to deactivate my Facebook account.

    There were a number of reasons that I wanted to do this ranging from a suspicion that I’m addicted to Facebook to a fear that Facebook might be having a negative impact on how positively I enjoy life.

    Over the last seven days I’ve already discovered some interesting things and I’m going to talk about five of them in this post.

    Continue reading…

    Inktober 2018

    Every year, the month of October hosts the Inktober challenge for ink artists around the world.

    It’s unofficial – there’s no prizes or accolades but it’s a great motivator to get drawing again, when life has got in the way of creativity (which definitely includes me).

    Each year, the challenge offers a list of prompt tags to help provide inspiration. You don’t have to use them but I’ve chosen to do so this year.

    I’ll be posting each of my drawings here. Hopefully I’ll complete the challenge, even if some of them are a day or two late! 🙂