I cant’ remember exactly how long I’ve known Helen: was she at Victoria Girls’ Primary School (VG) when we moved to Grahamstown in 1970, or did she come to the school in 1972 or 1974, or somewhere in between?Yip, that’s me, front right with what looks like knock knees. Truth be told, I was probably cold; never had knock knees. Didn’t cope well with cold; still don’t. I can’t see Helen in this photograph taken at a recent school reunion of a photograph* – 1972, I think, looking at my hair.
I know that she doesn’t remember this, either:
My one and only foray into acting in 1974: an operetta, Beauty and the Beast. I had a role as an ugly sister, Fatima. As I recall, I had a solo at around this point in the proceedings. Always forgot the words, which is the main reason I remember this. Oh, and the bolero and pants were luminous yellow. I recall my mother making not just my costume but a whole hoard of others.
Either way, when Helen came to VG, doesn’t matter. She and I must have had a few things in common; doesn’t matter what because she I have re-established a virtual friendship with at least two, no, three things in common: a fondness for things feline, a penchant for wine with an enforced aversion to reds and an enjoyment of both cooking and experimenting in our kitchens.
Oh, and also in my band of virtual friends are the camel’s head and hump.
So, when Helen dreamed up a soup based around red vegetables, of which we have a surfeit from time to time, I had to give it a go.
She kindly sent me the recipe:
What I did:
- Without red onions (this year’s crop was good, but they were small), I used white onion and I added a little yellow pepper to make up the quantity of red peppers.
- I added the garlic to the bits that were roasted and popped the creamy garlic out of the skins before putting all the bits in the pot.
- Like Helen, I used the liquid from the carrots to make up the right quantity of vegetable stock; I use a commercial, dried, low sodium and MSG stock powder.
- The tomatoes came out of the garden and instead of 2 tins of tomatoes, I added a jar of my own bottled tomatoes.
- I didn’t skin the roasted tomatoes – I prefer to keep as much fibre as possible in the soup. One could strain it afterwards, though, if one wanted.
- I didn’t weigh out the basil: I picked what I thought would be the right amount and flung merrily it into the pot.
The use of the different coloured vegetables didn’t affect the flaming red or the flavour – it was delicious. Here it is packed for the market.
Happily I didn’t sell much (not soup weather the last two Saturdays, and a very quiet market that week), so we this delicious soup formed part of our lunches last week. Not quite as tastefully presented as Helen’s:
Helen’s heavenly Roasted Red Soup is set to become a permanent addition to my regular repertoire!
*which explains the shiny UFOs, top left
P S I hope that sometime in the not-too-distant future that our virtual friendship will result in a real life re-kindling around our table and with a couple of glasses of our favourite tipple!
© Fiona’s Favourites 2016