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.


Arty card challenge progress

Glad to say that I’ve been keeping up with my #trainticketart still – I’m up to no. 31 now!

This one’s a doodly plaid design.

lines and circles
and a doodly lines and circles design…

stylized leaf pic
and a stylized leaf.

curly bean pod
I’ve been growing some beans from the Garden Organic Heritage Seed Library and this year I decided to dry some of them as this particular variety don’t cook very well as whole pods. I thought the dry pods themselves are very picturesque – they might find themselves as a #trainticketart design before long too! If I made 3D art I could see them being very useful as moulds for ceramics or silverclay…

my binditall
Another thing I did towards the end of the week was to make a few sketchbooks. I went to Hobbycraft and couldn’t find any I really liked the look of, so I bought a huge 100 pack of white card and made 3 A5 sketchbooks with my Binditall machine for the princely sum of £4. I only want it for drawing with black pen and scanning, not for watercolour or printing so I wanted something white and smooth and card will do the trick nicely.  For covers I just used the old cardboard back covers from my watercolour pads.  Perfect!


Arty Snippets


Here is some more of my #trainticketart… I’ve kept it up pretty conscientiously so far, though there was a bit of an Instagram hiatus last week when my phone broke.

I’m having a go at blogging on my mobile so let’s see if WordPress cooperates.


I’ve got even more incentive to keep going now because the arts group I belong to locally, Diverse Manners, has an exhibition in the Riverfront arts centre next Easter so I’m planning to show them in some fashion there.  More details to follow!


Apart from that, there’s not much to report. I’ve been busy clearing out our boxroom of over 20 years of accumulated clutter : it’s looking much tidier now though I did wonder sometimes whether a search party would be required to dig me out!  I’ve also been working on my website behind the scenes… Eventually that will be ready for the big reveal.


That’s all for now, let’s hope this post doesn’t freak out when I hit publish…

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