I always tell myself that I am going to make myself soup to take to lunch. Delicious, wholesome nourishing soup! Knocked up in 20 minutes in my own kitchen, meeting my nutritional needs perfectly, not full of double cream (I KNOW IT’S DELICIOUS, COVENT GARDEN SOUP CO, BUT IT’S NOT FOR EVERY DAY, OKAY?) and thrifty as hell. Too much to ask?
Well, yes, because normally making soup is hell.
But unlike most soups, which are essentially a complicated stew that has been liquidised, this one is simple, filling, and genuinely nice, in an uncomplicated, “I only have 15 minutes to eat this while I read my buzzfeed articles, no demanding textures please” kind of way. It is made entirely of cheap vegetables and will ACTUALLY only take you 25 minutes to make enough for a week (if you let yourself off and just get a baguette on the Friday).
This shares quite a lot in taste with Heinz cream of tomato soup. If you don’t like Heinz soup, or baked beans (when eaten in a more conventional way), then you won’t like this – it has that sweet-rich-tomatoey taste of childhood to it. If you’re the kind of person who looks forward to nights your boyfriend’s out so you can have spaghetti hoops on toast for your tea, this is a big winner.
Oh, and it’s made of carrots and baked beans. No no, don’t stop reading, you were so interested a second ago!!! I PROMISE it’s not as weird as it sounds.
For 4 portions
1 tin beans (I am using Heinz baked beans, because I like them and I think they are nutritionally perfectly fine. But if you do not consider this to be a sufficiently healthy ingredient, substitute for a tin of any type of pulse, plus 2 tbsp tomato puree)
1 tin tomatoes
1-2tsp sweet/smoky paprika
A good scrunch of pepper
- Chop up an onion and chuck into a generously spray-oiled wok, or similar. Stir it about a bit.
- Peel and finely chop your carrots and add them to the pan.
- Mix together until they’re starting to go a bit floppy. Chuck in your paprika and pepper and make sure everything’s coated.
- Add the beans and tomatoes. Bring to the bubble, then turn th heat down as low as it will go.
- Leave it for about 10 minutes. Come and have a look, and probably add a bit more water.
- Leave for another five minutes.
- When you’re happy that everything is cooked and combined, take off the heat and attack with a handheld mixer.
And that’s it! When it’s cold, stick it in a jug in the fridge and decant a quarter of it into a reliably watertight Tupperware thing to take to the office every day. Serve with an apple and an air of wholesome smugness – but if anyone asks what’s in it, maybe best to just say tomatoes…