A couple of weeks ago I was approached by the kind folks who work for Jamie Oliver and they wanted to know if I’d be interested in creating a soup from a box of fresh veggies that they would have delivered from Aussie Farmer’s Direct.
You know this has been an extremely busy week for me but I think what Jamie is doing to convince people to cook quick, fresh meals from simple ingredients is nothing short of amazing. Far too long, especially in this “convenience” world we live in, families rely on processed food from a box on a shelf or from the freezer section in the supermarket.
Those foods might be fine on a special occasion but most of us know that we can whip up a meal in not much more time than it takes to heat up that box of food with ingredients we can’t pronounce nor spell. I was eager to participate and on Tuesday my box arrived.
The produce I received from Aussie Farmer’s Direct was beautiful. It looked like the basil had been picked 10 minutes before they sealed the box. It was that fresh. The celery had a crunch that can only come from freshness.
May 17th, today is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. It’s not about raising money, although that’s not a bad thing, it’s about raising awareness of what we can do to feed our family healthy, nutritious local food. Everyone can participate in the Food Revolution.
Why did Jamie choose soup as his food challenge?
- Quick Food – Soups are quick and easy to prepare, especially if you’ve got a blender or a food processor.
- Eating seasonally – soups can cater for any season. Try using vegetables that are in season, as it will not only taste good, but will save you money too.
- Practical – most soups are easy to freeze so you can just warm them through quickly when you need them.
- Nutrition – soup makes a really nutritious meal, as you can load them with vegetables.
- Thrifty – Soup is a great way to use up veggies when they’re just on the turn.
- Restorative – there’s nothing quite like a delicious, warm and spicy soup to keep the cold out on a winter’s day.
- Don’t throw away that roast chicken carcass – make stock from the bones and use it as a delicious base for your soups.
- You can also use root vegetables, rice, pasta or even stale bread to bulk up a soup, making it a complete meal on its own.
- Full of Flavour – tear in soft fresh herbs like basil, parsley and mint or try bashing up soft fresh herbs like basil and parsley and mixing them with some olive oil and lemon juice.
- Fun – Try Toasting seeds or nuts and sprinkling over soups to create some different textures.
- For special occasions to pimp up your soup, all sorts of cheeses can be crumbled and grated over or try a nice dollop of natural yoghurt.
You can tweet your creations using the hashtag #FRD2013 or tag @FoodRev to let them know you’re on board. Everyone should be encouraged to learn cooking skills and as food bloggers and food writers, it might be up to us to convince our families, friends and acquaintances about how easy it is to get a meal on the table.
The United States and Australia are two of the most obese countries in the world. Many people stick to highly processed foods because they lack the confidence they need to cook at home. Soup is a great place to start. Cook and taste and season until it’s just like you want it to be.
This whole week has been centered around the Noosa International Food and Wine Show which is only 30 minutes from home. Seeing all the passionate food lovers makes me realise just how lucky we are to have fresh food to cook with.
My box had a pumpkin, large beautiful hand of fresh ginger, a potato, apples, a large leek and much more. I decided I could make a lovely soup out of just that and make some kale chips as a topping.
- 550 grams pumpkin, roughly chopped
- 2 apples peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp roughly grated ginger
- 1 potato peeled and roughly chopped
- 2½ cups chicken stock (or whatever you prefer)
- ¼ cup cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- light grating of nutmeg
- 1 small onion chopped
- vegetable oil to sauté onion
- Heat a small skillet, add vegetable oil and sauté onion until translucent.
- Add ginger and stir well.
- Place onions and ginger into a large pot and add the remaining ingredients (except salt, pepper and nutmeg) and simmer gently until vegetables are tender.
- Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Return to saucepan, add cream and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Serve with chopped fresh herbs or kale chips.
Joanne T Ferguson says
Great combination of flavors soup Maureen, TRUE!
Off now to make my Rhubarb and Lentil soup too!
GREAT campaign by Jamie, raising awareness…good reminder to all to try and do!
What’s On The List?
Rhubarb and lentil? What a wonderful combination!
Sounds wonderful Maureen. I made pumpkin and silverbeet soup today, but I’ll give this one a go next time. I like the idea of the apple.
I know Jamie will be pleased.
Let me know how the apple works out for you 🙂 Hope you’re having a good weekend.
I adore sweet and savory and I love the autumny feel of apples and pumpkin. Gorgeous soup, Maureen. I also think what Jamie’s been doing in the UK and the US (and now Australia!) is not only marvelous and courageous but oh-so necessary. This is what we as food bloggers should all be doing with our blogs, our platforms and our voices. Great post!
You are exactly right, Jamie!
Jennifer @ Delicieux says
Such a gorgeous soup Maureen! I’m having pumpkin soup for dinner tonight in fact (Thai style). I love what Jamie is doing. It’s so important to re-educate people about food and how wonderful freshly cooked food can be and so much better than the horrible pre-packaged stuff available.
Food bloggers can go a long way toward helping Jamie prove that cooking at home is not only good food to eat but fun to prepare.
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
Maureen I’ve never considered adding apple to pumpkin soup, but since you’ve posted it, I can see how they would compliment each other! Great recipe, you’ve done Jamie proud 🙂
I’d like to think he’d serve a similar soup. LOL 🙂
That sounds like a delicious bunch of ingredients my friend and you have made one delicious soup with a crazy awesome combination!
Jamie would be proud 😀
I thought you might like it 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
This is a lovely looking soup Maureen! It’s so cold today and I think winter has come early!
Soups are always on the menu at my home for all the fabulous reasons you mentioned
That’s great! What’s your favorite soup?
It’s been freezing up here this week!
Denise Browning@From Brazil To You says
What a great cause to participate in, Maureen! Your healthy soup looks absolutely gorgeous and delicious. I love the combinations of flavors in it: pumpkin, ginger, and apples…Flavors that I confess I would not have thought of combining together at first but that I am tempted to try soon.
Me either but the box of veggies spoke to me
Lail | With A Spin says
Great flavor combo. Love the ginger addition.
The ginger gave the pumpkin soup just enough kick to be special. 🙂
Nusrat Azim says
Pumpkin-ginger-apple combo. Sounds like a flavor bomb ! I can eat a bucket full of your gorgeous soup 🙂
Eva Taylor says
Congratulations on having been asked to participate in such an incredible movement. Having grown up in a home-made is better kitchen I totally support this movement. It’s so much healthier and I agree, not as difficult as it seems. But you hit the nail on the head with the ‘no confidence’ comment; my husband often raves about how I can turn ‘nothing’ into a beautiful meal but it takes experience and confidence all of which are earned. And I had a good head start with my wonderful role model Mother (damn, I do miss her).
Soup is really one of my favourite meals, I have often said that I love soup so much, it could be my middle name! The pumpkin and apple combo sounds fantastic. and since we’re heading into summer, I’m wondering if this would taste as good cold as it would hot? I also love the kale chips garnish, very elegant.
Our weather is much much warmer this week and the foliage is in full bloom. They are predicting nice warm temperatures for our first ‘summer’ long weekend (Monday is Victoria Day and a Statutory Holiday). And it’s also our 27th Wedding Anniversary! Yes indeed, I was a child bride ;-). Hope you have a wonderful weekend. We’re heading up north to our cottage so I’m not sure how much blogging I will be doing
Glamorous Glutton says
Confidence is what cookings about. It’s learning that if things go wrong it really doesn’t matter and it’s far more likely that a wonderful fresh meal is produced. I think Jamie’s campaign is great and your soup is a fabulous contribution. GG
You sure did use those ingrediens well, Maureen. That’s quite a soup you created! Jamie Oliver is on a mission and I hope he’s successful. There’s too much to lose if he’s not.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Congratulations Maureen and a delicious recipe!
Other than the apple, the soup you’ve put together sounds similar to ones I’ve made in the past. Delicious.
The apple gave it a teensy bit of sweetness and it was delicious.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I think you’re right Maureen. We food bloggers have to help Jamie out in spreading the message and sharing our simple recipes too. Maybe one day we can change things!
What a wonderful looking box of goodies. I’m not a big soup eater but I have vowed to change that this winter!
Hotly Spiced says
When I saw the kale at the top of the box I just knew my uni students would be wishing that box came straight to our house. The presentation of your soup is gorgeous, Maureen and yes, Jamie is working so hard to try and get us all to eat right – and good on him! xx
I couldn’t agree more, Charlie. I was pleased to take part even though this is a busy week up here. 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Your soup looks so tasty, I love the ginger and nutmeg – perfect spices with pumpkin!
Methinks most of us cook pumpkin soup many times during the cold season: absolutely love your vibrant version! I remember Jamie back in his ‘Nakes Chef’ period and before – sometimes wondered why I took time out to follow him to the extent I did. No need: he has accomplished more in a worldwide way than any other ‘chef’ I know! I think he deserves the gratitude of each and every one of us in all the different areas to which he has given his time in the last decade! The talented boy I first watched has turned into a thoughtful man . . .
I agree with you. He could be sitting fat and happy on a beach anywhere with his squillions of dollars but he busts his bum every day to make things better for people by teaching them to cook good food.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I love everything about this post. I’m so glad you participated in the event! I adore Jamie’s Food Revolution stance and am still loving my fortnightly Aussie Farmers Direct vegetable deliveries – as you say, the produce is excellent. Your soup looks excellent too!
Gosh, I thought I had commented on this, but I guess I got so excited by the idea of Joanne’s rhubarb and lentil soup that I went looking for that! Anyway love pumpkin in soup, and it pairs so well with ginger. Really nice recipe, and a super post – thanks.
Thanks John. I found this comment in spam but not the other one. bugger. I wonder what akismet has against you today.
I loved when Jamie did the Food Revolution show here in the States! I wish it would have continued…more and more people eat convenience food these days… but whole foods cooked at home are so much better.
This soup looks fantastic. 🙂 I could eat two bowls and not feel guilty. 🙂
I didn’t know Jamie quit in the states. surely not.. it’s number one in obesity and Australia is number 2. 🙁
suzanne Perazzini says
What a wonderful idea and how great that you were approached to participate. I didn’t know that Australia was one of the most obese nations. That is shocking. I don’t know where NZ is on that list. I hope we are not so bad.
Next time you’re in Oz, have a look around 🙂
Gomo | cHow Divine says
I love the combination of pumpkin or butternut squash and apples. They are so great together. This is a soup I can definitely go for. Great recipe Maureen.
I’m glad you liked it and I’d love to know what you’d make from a box of random veggies. 🙂
I have a foodie crush on Jamie, I think he is beyond wonderful!!! What a fun opportunity to make a recipe for such an important day!!! Your soup sounds really delicious, and full of gorgeous flavors:-) Hugs, Terra
Hi Terra, I agree that Jamie Oliver has done a lot to put good food on home tables. At the very least he has us all talking about it.
Shirley from Rhubarb Whine says
Gosh you are a busy lady these days. How much fun, to be asked to join such a great project? Can’t wait to catch up and see you again – it’s been far too long x
Had drinks with Martin Duncan tonight and thought of you. We must have dinner soon! Let me know when you’re up to it and we’ll go someplace nice.
Your soup looks beautiful and so creamy. I am a fan of Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals. He demonstrates that it is easy to cook delicious meals with fresh and healthy ingredients without creating a war zone in the kitchen.
I’ve watched those shows too but I haven’t been able to master it in 30 minutes, can you? I’m more 40-45 🙂
I love that Jaime is trying to get us to all eat fresh and soup is perfect. I love soup and could make it all the time but got to please everyone :). I have some pumpkin in my freezer that I have got to use maybe I should try this out.
This soup is delicious.. we had it last Thanksgiving… perfection.. everyone asked for more 🙂 thanks for sharing Maureen..
Soup looks and sounds good, Maureen!
it IS good!
What an awesome box of food! I love what Jamie is doing with his food revolution. I saw the series when he tried to help the fattest town in the U.S. It was quite interesting. Great soup Maureen! I’m sure you’ve made Jamie proud! 🙂
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
Mmm…this soup captures the taste of fall! I’ll be making this once pumpkin is in season.
it does and it’s Autumn here (they don’t use fall as a season here) so this soup is great for cold nights
Nilu A says
Lovely post.. Fantastic soup.. I just love pumpkins Maureen 🙂
Mary Frances says
I couldn’t agree with all of this more – it is exactly my philosophy – as you know.
Beautiful and yummy looking soup you created!! You can see the velvet texture!! Great job!
I’m about to go make a fish stock now – from 2 red snappers.
Thanks, Mary Frances!
Phil@soup making says
It’s not a combination that i would have thought of putting together but it’s so interesting that i shall give it a try
I really liked it 🙂
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR ” ORGASMIC CHEF ” WEBSITE. I STUMBLED
UPON IT TONITE. AND I LOVE THE FACT YOU ASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH
JAMIE OLIVER. HE IS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR AND SO REAL. YOU , ALSO, ARE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. A ” SUBSTANCE ” WHEN YOU WRITE. I AM SO
GLAD I FOUND YOU. Becky Branham
Thank you so much, Becky! I hope we get to be great friends. 🙂
Annette z says
I’m making this soup for a dinner party tomorrow. Does the cream get mixed up in the soup or is it just for serving with a swirl? Thanks
The cream is mixed in and then you can decorate with more cream if you want to. It would be okay without the cream but it does make it a bit richer. Good luck and have a great time at your dinner party!