The second place to ‘getting-loved’ by these two, will have to go to a bowl of soup. Soup in my household is not just destined for winter. Even in summer there will regularly be some sort of soup on the table. Which soup is determined by the mood or occasion. From the dressed up fancy cold soups to impress; to a good old hearty soup acting as the hug for the evening.
Today’s soup was one brought on by a recent bout of inadequacy. I desperately needed to try something that I haven’t tried yet – just to see if I still can.
It’s like this, after a couple of months of lots of highs and lows in my new life of freelancing, followed by a stunning big job that fell in my lap, I felt kind of invincible. Then, it happened, I walked into a meeting and I could add NO new creative idea. The dreaded creative brick wall! How’s that for being brought down to earth. Now if you know me, you’ll know I will go into a complete self-doubt zone for a day. At least it’s just for a day.
But, I have to snap out of it and what do I do? First I revisit Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk about Your elusive creative genius. This I do to remind myself that important to getting myself out of this is to keep showing up; at my desk, in the kitchen, at the meetings, on my blog. Show up, do my job and I will get the inspiration and my creative twin back.
Showing up in the kitchen and naturally, what do I make: soup. A warm inviting bowl of soup soothes everything. Being closer to summer, I decided to add something that always reminds me of summer – beer. I’ve never cooked with beer as I prefer to drink it. The result was this soup – warm, with a touch of beer bitter and nice creaminess from the cheese.
So if you feel stumped, remember keep showing up. And perhaps it’s also worth it to just look outside of yourself at other people and everything around you. Look at these things with a relaxed mind and you will see the potential in everything. Never underestimate the everyday simple things and how they can give you direction and inspiration. Look what sunshine and beer did for me.
Beer, cheese and potato soup
4 Medium potatoes (peeled and cut into small cubes)
1 Medium onion (finely diced)
2 Garlic cloves (crushed)
500ml Vegetable stock
300g Cheddar (grated)
Some biltong for presentation
Melt the butter in a medium sized pot, over a medium heat so it doesn’t brown.
Add the onion and garlic and sauté over a medium heat.
Add your cubed potatoes and the 500ml vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and turn down to medium to lightly boil the potatoes till they’re soft.
Remove the pot from stove and let it cool slightly.
Use a hand blender and blend the potatoes and stock until smooth. Alternatively blend it in a blender in different batches.
Replace the pot on the stove and turn it to medium heat.
Add the grated cheese, mix well and let the cheese melt, stirring regularly.
Add the beer – do it slowly as it will foam.
Stir through thoroughly.
Turn down the heat to low and let this simmer until it’s a bit thicker.
Taste and simply add some salt to taste. I haven’t added a whole load of other flavours as I prefer to get the cheesy taste and slight bitter notes. You can add other flavours if you prefer to.
Dish up and as it pairs well with beer, top the soup off with some biltong.
And for the lemon. This soup is not a calorie counter! So, before you hit the gym tomorrow, add the lemon juice to the hot water to kick start the body.