It took me a while to come around to the idea that Rufus might actually eat soup. I wasn't about to give him a spoon and let him loose with a bowl on his own - I am not that stupid (most of the time). But then it occurred to me that I could dunk bits of bread into it for him and he could feed himself those, while I snuck the odd spoonful into his mouth while none of the baby led weaning police were looking. It worked quite well. He ate the whole bowlful. We started with butternut squash and have moved onto chicken.
Butternut squash soup - fry up a sliced onion, a sliced leek and a crushed garlic clove in olive oil. Peel and chunk up half a butternut squash, throw in a roughly chopped sweet potato if you happen to have peeled too many for sweet potato chips the night before like I had. Allow to soften for a bit and then add some homemade chicken stock and leave to bubble. Get distracted, then sprint back into the kitchen some 40 minutes later to discover that your soup is nicely reduced and just needs to be whizzed up in a blender - perfect.
Chicken soup - roast a chicken, eat all the best bits and then bung the rest in a large stock pot. Chop an onion into quarters, don't bother peeling it, do the same with a leek and a couple of carrots - add them all to the pot with a bay leaf, some thyme and parsley and some peppercorns. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and leave to bubble for at least an hour and a half with the lid half on. Leave to cool (I left it over night). Strain off the liquid into another pan. Pick the meat off the chicken and drop into your stock along with the now very tender bits of carrot (you can slip the skins off now quite easily) and the insides of the onions. Blitz this up with a blender until smooth and creamy.
In another pan gently sweat down some sliced leeks, garlic and finely diced carrot in some butter and olive oil. When soft add a table spoon of plain flour and stir. After a minute or so add in the blitzed up chickeny stock and heat through until slightly thickened. You can toss in some peas too if you like. I tend to bag this up into portion sized batches and then put the peas in when I reheat it. I was suprised at how lovely this is - I'd say it could rival heinz and pee all over the New Covent Garden chicken soup that I ate a lot of when I was pregnant.
Mrs Jones is a far from yummy mummy with a penchant for M&S fudge bars and a mojito on a Friday night. She became Mrs Jones in 2009 and a mummy in 2010. In 2011 she is attempting to remember her own name and not put washing powder in the dishwasher....