This weekend has been filled with lovely people again. My Godparents and a BBQ on Sunday and a jaunt to Cliveden House with friends on Saturday. I've known A, one of D's friends, since A was about a week old and we met at an NCT gathering. Well, it would be more appropriate to say that I met her Mum! A and D are so very cute together. They play well and like to give cuddles. They also generate some quite complicated imaginary games together - space dogs and mummy Mike the Knights being the most memorable.
It's lovely to see how they play with one another, how they encourage each other to do the right thing (and sometimes instruct on cool things that aren't necessarily the right thing) and to let them just run wild. Well, to some extent! It's amazing to see how they've gone from tiny babies who didn't really interact with anyone to small people who come up with these elaborate games and are totally immersed in the world of the other.
Cliveden house is great - although we haven't managed to get inside, we've managed to see something different every time we've been there. This time was the 'castle' just beyond the Long Garden. We still have areas to explore - it's vast! I'm looking forward to going for the Christmas trail later in the year.
This week's soup has been one of my favourite soups since starting Sunday soup. Probably only beaten by Mexican Chickpea Soup. It has lots of things that I love - courgette, pepper, paprika and a bit of harissa to give it a kick. It's one of those soups that is ridiculously filling but at only one propoint, it's incredibly virtuous. It's beautiful too - while the gloom has overtaken us, this beautiful little red beauty is a great thing to have in the lunch box. Be warned though, not one for the smallests - too spicy!
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
2 small courgettes, diced
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 tin of tinned tomatoes
800g vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of harissa paste
100g green beans, cut into thirds
Sweat the shallot and the garlic in frylight or with a splash of water for seven minutes, allowing to become translucent. Add the peppers, courgettes and paprika. Stir. Again, allow to soften for a further five minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock and harissa paste. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
At the same time, boil a pan of water and add the green beans. Boil for five minutes - you want the beans to be al dente. Drain the beans.
Remove the soup from the heat and blend. Stir through the green beans.