I thought we might get away with not having any snow this winter, but unfortunately I was wrong. We had about 10cm fall overnight, which may not sound a lot to those of you who live in countries that get proper snow, but in the UK, 10cm basically means everything stops. Schools are closed, trains and planes are cancelled, people work from home... I have every intention of not leaving the house at all today. There's also a chance that I may be sat here in my cosiest pyjamas, and it's 2:30pm.
Soo, what to eat when it's freezing outside? I thought a nice comforting veggie pot pie might go down a treat, but unfortunately puff pastry isn't something I usually have in the house, and there was no chance of me setting foot outside to get some - that would involve getting dressed, which is a ludicrous idea. Instead, I adapted my usual pie filling recipe to make a soup version. All of the flavours and all of the comfort of my favourite pie without having to go out in the snow. Perfect.
I love how pretty this soup is, with all the colourful vegetables poking out of the creamy liquid. This is definitely not one for veggie haters. It's hearty and filling, so perfect for the winter, but I think all the fresh veg make it a pretty good summer soup too. I served it with some crusty bread but honestly, it's substantial enough to be absolutely fine on its own.
If you wanted to, you could use this same recipe to make a normal veggie pot pie - just don't thin it down at all at the end, put it in a baking dish and cover with some puff pastry before baking. I do love a bit of pastry, but this version saved a few calories while remaining just as tasty.
I hope you're all keeping warm and not getting stuck out in the snow. I'm going to curl up under a blanket and read a book. I hate the snow, but at least it gives me an excuse to not do anything.
Veggie pot pie soup
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2cm dice
1/2 head broccoli
100g tinned sweetcorn kernels, drained
250ml vegetable stock (I used 1 stock cube plus 250ml hot water)
1/2tsp dried oregano
4tbsp plain flour
150ml semi-skimmed milk
250ml hot water
Cut the broccoli into small florets. If you want to, you can also trim any tough parts off the stalk, and cut this into small dice.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and cook the onion, garlic, carrot and broccoli over a low heat for 10 minutes. Leave the pan covered, stirring every few minutes. Add the corn and vegetable stock, and season with the oregano and plenty of black pepper. Again, cover the pan and leave over a very low heat while you make a white sauce.
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter, and mix in the flour. Stirring constantly, cook over a medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, before adding the milk a little at a time. Ensure each amount is fully incorporated before adding more.
Combine the two mixtures, and stir well to combine. Add hot water until the soup is at your desired consistency - I used about 250ml. If the vegetables are still not quite soft enough, leave to simmer very gently for a few more minutes. Otherwise, serve immediately.