Busy. We’re all busy all of the time but some times are busier than others. I’m busy at the moment with the normal day to day things, Richard’s long shifts and a rather large campaign launch at work means I’m tip-tapping away at the computer for longer and into the evenings. Add in that we’ve been given the green light to stay in our home for the long term so the urge to redecorate has struck me and we’re slowly but surely making changes. All of this means I spend a lot of time muttering about how busy I am.
But if I’m honest I’m not sure what I mean by that. I seem to have less time to hang out on twitter but still manage to feed my Candy Crush habit (anyone play?!) and nurse along a burgeoning addiction to Instagram, having finally managed to convince my phone that it does indeed have the software it needs.
I read emails and panic slightly, knowing that each response required adds to the to do list yet I tell myself that flicking through another home decorating magazine is research. I am busy, there’s a lot going on, but what I think I actually mean is that I’m feeling disorganised and unproductive, purely moving from one thing to another without much focus. I think I need to take some time to plan and schedule and prioritise.
So, like most things, we start with small steps. Like taking the time on a Sunday to prepare some meals in advance. Soup is good for that. Soup that requires minimal chopping and then letting the oven and blender do the work is excellent for that.
Roasting tomatoes and red peppers really ups their flavour, enhancing and intensifying their natural sweetness. A touch of onion and garlic – I’m still obsessed with the smoked stuff – is a must. The paprika adds smokiness with a touch of salt and sugar balancing things out.
I normally prefer to leave this on the more textured side but as we are having slight ‘food with bits’ issues with Izzy I’m passing this through a sieve once it’s blended. Incredibly tedious but it does leave us with a very smooth bowlful.
Accompanied with some good bread or a cheese toastie and you’ve got a minimum effort maximum taste meal. Good stuff for when you’re busy.
A high flavour, minimum effort soup that’s perfect to make in advance. Roasting the tomatoes and peppers really enhances their flavour and pairs well with the smokiness of the paprika.
- 6 vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
- 4 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped – I used sweet pointed
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole – I used smoked
- Olive oil for roasting
- 1 tbsp paprika
- Pinch of salt and sugar
- 300ml hot vegetable stock
- Preheat the oven to 180c. Place the tomatoes, peppers, shallot and garlic into a roasting tin. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika, salt and sugar. Mix, making sure that everything is coated in the oil.
- Place in the oven and roast for 40 -45 minutes until everything has softened and the edges of the peppers are starting to char.
- Remove to cool for a few minutes then tip into a blender, pour on the stock and blitz. If you don’t have a blender then you can tip everything into a saucepan and use a stick blender. At this point you have two choices, either leave as is with a bit of texture or pass through a sieve for a completely smooth soup.
- Serve with fresh bread or a cheese toastie.