Archive | daily life

Colourful leek and pepper soup

Since all my sons have left home for university and further afield (Oz), I have been making more soup – only Barney seems to like it so I didn’t bother cooking it very often.  I get a vegetable box from Riverford and so what goes in the soup is often fairly random depending on what I need to use up – getting a regular box definitely makes me creative!  The #trainticketart this week also reflected the abundance…

#trainticketart drawings of vegetables (cauliflower and celery).

I had lots of vegetables in the fridge so I decided to draw some of them for my #trainticketart challenge.

I’ve developed a fairly standard technique for soup over the years so I usually google whatever vegetables I have left to check that someone somewhere has already made soup with that particular unlikely combination and that the vegetables in it aren’t too incompatible – and then just ignore the recipe and throw in the quantities I have with any herbs and spices suggested.  I’ve never made leek and pepper soup before so that’s what I did.  This is what went it:

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 onion
  • 3 large leeks
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • about a litre of stock
  • about 4 cloves of garlic (the more the better in my opinion!)
  • about a tsp of cut up chillis (these had been accumulating from the box so earlier in the week I cut them all up and froze them so I could just chuck in a few now and then)
  • harissa spice
  • about a tbs of creme fraiche
Cut up leeks being rinsed in the colander to get all the soil out.

Cut up leeks being rinsed in the colander to get all the soil out.

I fried the onion in the butter until soft and then added the cut up leeks, peppers, garlic and potato.

red peppers cut up on a plate.

The red peppers cut up ready to go in the soup. Very colourful!

Once they were all covered with butter and oil (I chucked in a slug of olive oil too) I turned the heat down low and sweated them for 20 minutes.

leeks, peppers and potato sweating in pot

The leeks, peppers and potato sweating in the Le Creuset casserole.

Nice and colourful, eh?  Then I added the stock and spices, brought it up to the boil and then simmered for another 20 minutes.  Blended it with my stick blender, added the creme fraiche and this was the result:

leek and pepper soup all ready

The finished soup blended and ready to eat!

Yummy with with grated cheese melted on top… So that was yesterday’s lunch and two more portions in the freezer for later.  That’s my basic technique for soup – chuck in random vegetables, sweat 20 mins, chuck in stock, simmer 20 mins, blend.  Add salt and herbs if needed. Easy peasy.

yellow pepper #trainticketart

I drew this yellow pepper for one of my #trainticketart challenge days. Think the original was roasted in the oven with leeks, courgettes and cheese.

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#trainticketart Progress Report

Well, I'm glad to say that I'm on track with my #trainticketart challenge so far! In fact, I can't believe it's been 6 days already. I've really been enjoying it and it has been really freeing to doodle and create without any pressure (except for the motivation to get SOMETHING done every day so I can post it on Instagram!

It's not too late to join me – you don't have to use actual train tickets if you haven't got any, use any labels or tags (or business cards for that matter). I've put a link on the sidebar to it, and all you have to do is tag your art with #trainticketart and put it on Twitter or Instagram or leave a comment here if you don't do either of those.


These are the ones I've done so far

This is today's, a quick and simple jaggedly design. I set up a 'recipe' on IFTTT.com to send it from Instagram to Evernote and am writing this post directly in Evernote.

Yesterday I went to The National Archives in London and as I was coming out, there was a family of gorgeous swans swimming in the lake outside the Archives so that's why he is in there.

This was the first day's picture. There is a dogwood bush in the garden (at least, I think that's what it is called, it has bright red stems in the wintertime) and the leaves are two colours as if they have been nibbled round the edges with a different colour. Not quite these colours, the outer one is more creamy white than yellow….

I'm going to try and do a progress report every week but if you want to keep track of how it's going, follow me on Instagram!

African Fabric Quilt

I actually made a quilt the other day!  And it is the biggest I’ve ever made – it is just a bit bigger than single bed size – not remarkable for most quilters, but even when I did City & Guilds the largest I made was a lapquilt sized wall quilt and most of the others have been art ones.

African quilt draped over chair

African fabric quilt all finished!

It is made from African Dutch wax prints fabric – it is very colourful, isn’t it?  The quilting wouldn’t win any prizes but I was pleased to actually finish something.  I quite enjoyed just mindlessly sewing without having to make too many design decisions along the way.

colourful quilt

Very colourful!

colourful quilt

Don’t look too closely at the stitching!

I watched a Youtube video on making jelly roll quilts and there was a pile of African fabrics on my shelves so I cut them into strips and rolled them up… The Missouri Quilt Company who made the video have a channel on Youtube with lots of others if you feel like a good browse…

jelly roll in African fabric

Not as neat as purchased jelly rolls!

jelly roll

Very colourful and inspiring seeing all these patterns rolled up together!

another view of jelly roll

Looks good from all angles… 
Sewing machine with some of the fabric

That particular fabric was used for the borders – DH bought it back from Zambia for me.

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