Ok. I realise that a few weeks ago I raised a question from some of you: just what is ‘mumps soup’?
Well. 5 years ago, I was in my final year of university. I was feeling pretty rubbish, which for November usually suggested I was coming down with the annual winter cold as you do. Only over a weekend, the area around my left ear began to swell up to the point where I could barely open my jaw. My friends thought it was an ear infection, so I still went to church (idiot) and on Monday headed to my GP, because I was quite frankly very hungry and could no longer chew or get things in my mouth too easily. I felt awful for probably wasting her time, until she diagnosed me with mumps. (Who knew you could get one-sided mumps with only half your face swelling up?!)
By Day 2 of quarantine I was going insane and my flatmate (lovely as she was) bought me angel delight, packet soup, jelly and a whole batch of other stuff that I would never eat since beginning my study of Health Sciences. Emergency calls of desperation were made to members of my Assent cell – namely Raz and Jam, who are advocates for all that is organic, fair trade and healthy (and locally grown where possible). They came to my rescue with Jam’s hand blender and all the vegetables Raz could find so I could teach myself how to make soup.
It’s a bit of a random recipe, but I love it – and I’ve made mumps soup numerous times throughout the winter months since! However, last week was the first time I made it since moving to Edinburgh (because the process is messy).
2 sweet potatoes
2 red peppers
1 onion (optional)
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
Handful of fresh coriander
Handful of fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper
Sprinkling of ginger
Peel & roughly chop sweet potato, carrots, onion, parsnips. Roughly chop the red peppers and broccoli. (the beauty of hand blenders is that it really doesn’t matter if you are inept at chopping vegetables in a neat & artistic way like myself)
Heat walnut oil in a large saucepan/soup pot, once oil is heated add vegetables and stir them until they are coated in the walnut oil. Sprinkle a little salt over them and cover with lid. Leave over a low heat for about 15-30 minutes to braise until softened.
While vegetables are braising make up chicken stock (if using stock cubes). I usually need about 1-1.5 litres.
Pour in stock. Add herbs and a grinding of pepper. Leave to simmer for approximately 45 minutes with lid off.
Leave to cool slightly then blend until smooth.
Reheat and serve in a bowl, or pour into portion sized mircowavable containers, leave to cool and then freeze to give yourself a stock of soup for the winter (or at least part of it…)
Let me know how it goes if you try it!