Both girls insist upon going out in it, carrying black plastic rubbish bags so they can slide down the snowy slopes. Then come in with very cold bums and huddle under feather duvets on the couch, sipping hot cocoa (the kind you make on the stove.)
It's fun to be a kid.
I'm making soup every other day since it's a great winter warmer and the girls love it. Add in inexpensive and it's a winner!
200g smoked lardons of bacon
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbl Olive oil
3 Tbl Barley
1 kg bag frozen soup vegetables (leek, swede, carrot, cauliflower, etc.)
4-6 medium potatoes, scrubbed well and chunked into bite-size pieces
Vegetable or Chicken stock (homemade or use stock cubes and hot water)
Sauté the bacon and the onion in the olive oil until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and soft. Add in the barley, soup veg and potatoes and cover with the stock. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
That's the basic recipe.
To make it a bit different: instead of the potatoes, I add in a handful of pasta at the end or a cup of brown rice (but then I allow 45 minutes simmering to cook the brown rice.)
I add in a couple handfuls of finely sliced kale.
I add in a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of white beans and several tablespoons of pesto to make a kind of Minestrone.
Sometimes I'll add in leftover chopped ham or sliced chipolatas or blobs of ground turkey or a couple broken-up steak hachée instead of the lardons.
It's a very versatile base recipe.
Try it soon, just the thing for a winter warmer.