After a long weekend at home due to the snow, it was back to business as normal yesterday. All the roads around here are back open, the drive-way is no longer a skating rink, the sun appears to have come out for a few hours, and whilst there’s still snow on the ground, that sun has worked its super-melting powers.
I must admit that is was nice being home for a couple of days, it meant that I could get on top of work and emails, and catch up with the housework. Yes, it’s not the most exciting way to spend a snowy weekend indoors, but with working all the hours in the shop there’s little time to sort the house out. And as I’m moving back to work from home in a couple of weeks, it was as good-a-time as any to get things organised ready for the chaos of moving.
It wasn’t all work, work, work and we did get out for a nice walk around the village and across the fields on Sunday. It was a beautiful day, if a little nippy on the old lungs (a couple of puffs on my inhaler on the way round). As I mentioned before, I’m a bit of a stay-indoors and watch the snow fall kind of girl, mainly because the cold, dry air sets off my wheezing; I’m not overly asthmatic but it makes me feel tired and annoyed at my lungs; silly things don’t they know the fresh air is good for them!
Anyway, it was back to work for me yesterday; the dirty slushy snow of Cirencester town centre and more moving and packing. All that lifting and packing is certainly good for keeping warm and definitely works up an appetite!
While I have a little kitchen in the shop, it’s only equipped with what I need for work. That said, there’s so many times I wished I had a microwave, just for warming things up. With my Weight Watching, I do like something a little more filling than a sandwich or salad in the winter. Cue my trusty wide Thermos flask, ideal for keeping my soup warm from the morning until lunch. I add a little boiled water just before I’m ready for lunch, give it a shake and there you go! So do I really need that microwave?
There are lots of low point Weight Watchers soup recipes about, but I find they can be a little insipid in flavour. If I’m being good, it always helps me feel fed if there’s something tasty on the tongue. My favourite 0 ProPoint soup is Chilli Tomato Basil, it’s one of my old favourites that I adapted to suit WW; and it was armed with a Thermos full of it, that I headed back to work this week!
Below is my original recipe; this version uses rapeseed oil and includes croutons made with the sourdough bread Ian baked at the weekend; but to make it WW friendly, leave out the croutons and use Fry-Light oil or dry fry the onions and tomatoes.
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 400g or 1 tin of chopped tinned tomatoes
- 8 or 1 handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Fresh red chilli
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Fresh basil
- Sea salt and black pepper to season
- Peel and roughly chop the carrot and onion.
- Slice the celery into chunks.
- Chop or crush the garlic clove.
- Chop the chilli.
- In a large pan heat the rapeseed oil, add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic and chilli. Cover and leave to cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the carrots have started to soften.
- Add the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, whole cherry tomatoes and tomato puree to the pan. Cover and bring to the boil.
- When the soup is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and add the basil leaves and balsamic vinegar.
- Using a hand blender, blend the soup until it is smooth, or leave chunks of tomato depending how smooth you like your soup.
- Serve with sourdough bread croutons and a swirl of chilli oil.