Archives for posts with tag: soup

As I stand on the train, crushed between other Londoners laden down with various bags, gym kits, laptops, shoe changes, make up and other every day essentials, I one day started to wonder whether my rucksack full of food in addition to the aforementioned items was representative of a standard London lunch.

The following day, I took a picture of my lunch and posted it on Facebook, for a sense of affirmation that everyone else ate as much for lunch as I do. The response I received, appeared to indicate apparently not.

Lunch #1

So I posted again the following Monday, as these tend to be high Tupperwear intensity days. Again, positive responses and intrigued friends enquiring as to contents of said, generic, plastic food containers. (Please note that the use of the word Tupperware is as a generic brand and purely synonym for food container, rather than any particular endorsement of the Tupperware brand over others.

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It seems that others do eat less than me for lunch on most given days, since my towering plastic stack does not even stand for the totality of my daily food consumption. Porridge, breakfast biscuits, nuts and chocolate are in my desk drawer / storage cabinet.

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I like to claim that this is amplified lunch stash is due to the fact that I tend to eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner at work. As an ex-colleague and healthy living ninja consultant friend of mine, Sarah, sighed, at least if you have to eat dinner at your desk it is home made.

I don’t always get time to leave the office during the day, and the fear of not having sufficient snacks to banish any hunger pangs during the day feels me with an even greater fear than having to stand the entire commute from Tooting to Blackfriars (how on earth would I put my make up on then!?).

So, you may just want to know now exactly what is lying inside the contents of my boxes of foodie pleasure? Here are some of the recipe and snacks I have used:
– Boiled egg and veggie (Quorn, etc) sausage for brekkie, washed down with a latte
– Berries to add to my high protein yoghurt for second breakfast
– Peanut butter and marmite sandwiches on brown / soya bread
– Soup as I like a warm lunch, e.g. Hemsley and Hemsley (see here) or a good old tomato and basil for first lunch
– Some sort of carb/ veg/ protein dish such as an omelette, sweet potato and feta salad or roast veg with halloumi or prawn stir fry for second lunch
– Slice of cake or muffin remaining from the weekend’s baking activities
– Other afternoon snacks such as sugar snap peas and crudites to have with a dip or the odd bean salad that Will brings home from his long days away.

I cook or prepare most of the more time-consuming elements of this ensemble on a Sunday night, in order to last me the week. Store cupboard staples such as porridge, popcorn, breakfast biscuits (e.g. Belvita), and chocolate in addition to the above are kept at work.

What do you eat for lunch in the office? I’d love to share recipe ideas!

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I say this to friends on a fairly regular basis, but I am a big advocate of soup. It is usually super healthy, low fat and nutritious, using inexpensive and easily available ingredients. No matter how tasty a salad or sandwich may be, soup for workday lunch is lovely and soothing.

Imagine my pleasant surprise then, when on my Twitter newsfeed pops up a link from Vogue. On the subject of soup. Most surprising.

http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/recipe/broccoli-ginger-white-bean-soup/

http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2013/10/16/hemsley-hemsley-roasted-butternut-tomato-soup-with-rosemary

Hemsley & Hemsley

I have made soup since my student days, many moons ago. A few years I ago was encouraged in my experimentation by flatmate Gill exclaiming from the kitchen to my bedroom upstairs how creamy my tomato and roasted red pepper soup was. I also used to test new recipes on Bec and Tom, my good school friends and short-term housemates, when we resided in the Grove Palace of Birmingham.

I have continued with my testing, and have had some fails (notably tofu and broccoli whilst living in Tunbridge Wells which ended up the consistency of blancmanche). I am always happy to try a recipe once, and whilst sceptical of some of the slightly more exotic ingredients (what exactly IS Tamari? Some relative of tamarind?) in the Vogue recipe, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and spent a few hours in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon.

Tomato and squash

I am really rather glad I did give them a go. They are easy to follow and go in to detail about the nutritional benefits of each key ingredient, making you feel as though you‘ve done something great before you have even started!

I’d high recommend both for simplicity, healthiness and, most importantly, tasting delicious! I adapted the broccoli and ginger soup recipe slightly, using miso paste and hot water instead of “bone broth”, and coconut oil instead of flaxseed oil.

Broccolli and ginger

You blend all the ingredients at the end so it has a smooth, creamy texture. I warned my long-suffering new-recipe taster Will that there was no fat in this soup, no cream or cheese that he usually enjoys, and that in fact it was a vegan recipe. There was, however, little hesitation to try the soup since it smelled amazing, warm and of ginger, coriander and coconut.

Blending

I was pleasantly surprised upon his announcement that it was one of the tastiest soups he had ever eaten. A brief debate ensued, regarding who was going to take the final portion to work. I won, since the chef always wins such debates…

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