Sunday, 10 August 2014

Recipe: Thai Sweet Potato Soup

I eat a lot of soup. When the weather is not so delightful, and something comforting but healthy is needed, it ticks all the boxes.

My soup alternates between homemade soup - usually whatever veg is on the turn in the bottom of the fridge, or a fresh one from one of the local independent caf├ęs around where I work. There are some incredible souperies in Edinburgh. Perhaps it's the cold, wet air that demands a stick-to-your-ribs lunch to keep you going. Anyway, one of my lunchtime soups was a rather delicious Thai inspired squash and sweet potato concoction. I was slightly aggrieved at the price though (since when did soup become a £3.95 affair?) so in a fit of frugality I thought I'd have a go at home. Using light coconut milk helps to keep it lower in fat, but if you prefer it creamier, use whatever you have in the house.

Makes 6 servings

500g sweet potato
2 large red onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tin of coconut milk
1 large tablespoon thai red curry paste (adjust according to how much chilli it contains!)
1 teaspoon veg oil or butter
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

Peel and chop the garlic, potatoes and onions. In a large pan, heat the oil or butter, and stir in the paste. Add in the garlic and onions and fry gently until they start to soften.
Add in the sweet potato, and cover in stock. If you don't need all of the stock, keep it to the side. Don't feel obliged to add it all at once!
Simmer for twenty minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to break up with a wooden spoon. If in doubt, simmer for a bit longer - if they're undercooked, they'll be gritty.
Take off the heat, stir in the coconut milk and allow to cool.
Blend until smooth, or if you like a bit of texture, mash the potatoes into the liquid.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Glasgow: Commonwealth Games 2014

I am not really one for sport, I'm definitely a jogger, not a runner. I jog because I love cake and fitting in to my trousers. I'll admit though - I was mighty excited about heading over to Glasgow to spend a morning at the Commonwealth Games.
We emerged from Queen Street Station, blinking, into the glorious sunshine (a first for everything, it usually rains when I’m in Glasgow), straight into George Square. Painted lines led us to maps of where to go, and green dots helped us find our way to the Scottish Hockey Centre. At 8am, the city was still slightly sleepy, and the only folk we passed were early morning workers and a lot of Clydesiders – grinning, directing the crowd and generally creating a festival atmosphere. Even the police were laughing and joking with the spectators.

After a morning shouting on the hockey, making friends with spectators in nearby seats, and enjouing the sunshine, we headed back into town to meet up with friends. Much wandering was done. We explored the Glasgow Green Festival, and stopped by the West Brewery for a drink. 

There is something really lovely about having a day in the sunshine in a city which you vaguely know. It felt like a holiday. I don’t tend to head to Glasgow’s East End, other than straight in a cab to Barrowlands, but I loved getting to know a different part, and spotting the beautiful architecture.

A rather marvellous day.