Thursday, 10 February 2011

Soup and Satisfaction

The ‘Old Man’s busy making soup at the moment, which gives me a few minutes to write something here..... for a change.
The poor old soul has to concentrate so hard on what he’s doing that he doesn’t notice luckily what I’m up to......  But isn’t that just like a man?
Though I do have to say, it’s quite convenient that he is busy, so’s I can chat for a few minutes and I like that!
Making this soup or ‘splodge’ as he calls it, which, I don’t know about anybody else, doesn’t give me a lot of confidence to start with, is thick enough to be more like a stew. He grandly calls it his ‘Beef and Vegetable Splodge’.
Would you believe it now? .... I dunno how I cope!
Have to say though, it does smell delicious while he’s making it.... And while it’s cooking!
This is his latest ‘Good Idea’, by the way!
His little friend Bobby, when she was staying on board made a vegetable soup and she would make enough of it in the Skipper’s big pot to keep them going for two or three days. And in the bitterly cold weather he enjoyed it so much that it became his inspiration to carry on with the idea after she left. He decided though that the addition of meat to the concoction would improve it. So now we have the finished product, which he seems to thrive on.

Cooking on the hob

But let me see if I can remember and tell you how he makes it.
He puts 500 grms of lean beef mince into his big pot and fries it on the gas hob till all the red colour has gone out of it and what little fat was in the meat is now sizzling at the bottom of the pan. He also adds about three chopped rashers of bacon to add to the fat content a little.
Then he chops a red onion, a leek and a couple of large flat mushrooms, because they are more flavoursome he reckons, and chucks them all into the pot as well to fry. The mushrooms go in last as they will soak up all the excess fat in the pan.
Then he chops up a sweet potato and that goes in the pot as well with a small tin each of baked beans and sweet corn. Then he adds a little salt and black pepper, a palm full of garlic granules, another one of dried mixed herbs and finishes off with a couple of teaspoonfuls each of pickled chopped chillies and chopped ginger. Finally a couple of mugfuls of red lentils are stirred in before everything is well mixed and then topped up with water to make it look more like a liquid than a solid!
Okay so far?
Having given it a good stir and making sure there is plenty of liquid, he bungs it onto the top of the Epping range, which is still lit at the moment, to quietly cook for the rest of the morning. By fodder time at around one o’clock it’s ready for eating and piping hot too. Even makes my mouth water!
What the skipper really appreciates is that there is about four or five day’s worth of soup there and each one a decent meal in itself, especially with the addition of a couple of dumplings sometimes. He reckons it’s delicious.
And it’s so cheap and only uses residual power to cook too.
At first I was worried about the mixture hanging around for his health’s sake, but I notice that the concoction is always well brought back to the boil again each time he uses it, to make sure all the unwanted bugs have been persuaded to leave.
But he’s just putting it on the hob now so I’d better close!
I wonder what he’ll get up to now?...  I dread to think!
See you next time!

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