soups & stews
Having lived in the tropics for some time, whenever I return to colder climates these are my go to meals to make me feel all warm and fuzzy again without having to either permanently live in the bath, constantly carry around a steaming cup of tea, or don that Christmas onesie that makes me look like I'm wearing an adult nappy! Now that I am taking the plunge and moving to London, this will be the first British winter I have done in nearly a decade so expect this page to get very busy over the coming months! In all seriousness though these are wonderful, easy ways to pack your meals full of nutrition and colour. If you have a slow cooker then most of these meals could be bubbling away waiting for you when you walk through the back door soggy socks in tow. I am a huge fan of making stock from scratch, one of those things from childhood that is fully ingrained and I simply feel soups just do not have the same subtle depth of flavour with out it. So snuggle in and find your hug in an oversized bowl.
Bolognese, vegetable stew.
I tend to be a big fan of batch cooking and always try to have some kind of base tomato or Bolognese sauce in the freezer. One pack of mice will easily do four portions for me and then you can use that base to make lots of different meals; whether it is a traditional Bolognese on a bed of courgetti, lasagna, add some different beans, lentils and a few extra spices and you have a great chili… the list goes on.
Also known as regular stock this has come back into fashion in a big way in the last year or two. Having been brought up with every roast chicken carcass being instantly covered with water before left over vegetable peelings being sprinkled over the top and half the freezer being filled with this otherwise dubious looking liquid, I always tended to think this is what most people do. Evidently not….!
Homemade stock cubes
This is just the simplest thing and makes the perfect stock cube that you can easily just pop in your freezer in a well labelled zip lock. Don't want them ruining that Friday evening G & T! Simply take the vegetable, chicken or beef stock that you have made and pour into ice cube trays, pop in the freezer and voila! Add a couple to your bolognese, marinades or even your scrambled eggs as an alternative to butter. Simple, organic and preservative free!