Lockdown is keeping us apart, but we can still be together and even share meals – why not give a Vegetable Soup Zoom Party a go?
There are a few easy steps to get your virtual dinner party off the ground. WiFi is the new long table; your phone is the new place setting. They are known as Virtual Dinner Parties, where you entertain separately but together.
Virtual Dinner Parties
- Make sure the family is all available at the same time.
- Decide what video platform you are going to be using – Zoom, Skype, Teams, Houseparty? (Remember the free versions mostly have time and people limits).
- Pick the soup recipe you are all going to cook.
- If you want to pretend like you are all going to meat at some fancy spot, dress up.
- Make sure everybody can use the chosen platform.
The concept of a vegetable soup virtual dinner party is simple – all parties cook the same soup and then log in to enjoy and share soup and conversation with their loved ones.
Because this is a soup party, you can all select your bread and trimmings and of course your bowls or mugs for the soup (Household Plastic has these really cute soup mugs that are perfect – and they are virtually unbreakable so they are great for the kiddies too).
Make this Fun
Make this fun by setting the table – pull out sentimental family heirlooms, pick a bunch of flowers or leaves from the garden, find some never used candles – you get the idea?
During the winter, soup is an ideal way to help the whole family boost their health as it’s packed with veggies, easy and budget-friendly to produce. And a great ingredients for a virtual dinner party.
So how about we select two easy (yet delicious) recipes that seem family friendly and inexpensive. Here are two recipes:
This recipe is so simple, and yet is the tastiest butternut soup ever! I am quite sure that the chilli pepper has a great deal to do with its success, it really is just a hint of a burn, but brings out the rich, nutty flavour of the squash perfectly.
- 1 1⁄2 kg butternut squash
- 2 large brown onions, finely chopped
- 3 small garlic cloves, finely chopped or 1 elephant garlic clove
- 500 ml vegetable stock or stock cubes to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 250 ml water
- 3 small strong green chilies or 1 large jalapeno, no pips, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 250 ml fresh pouring cream
- Peel and pip the butternuts, and cut it into about 5cm square chunks.
- Peel and chop the onions quite finely.
- Chop the garlic very finely, or push through a garlic press.
- Halve the Jalapeno pepper or green chillies and scrape out all the pips. Chop the green flesh very finely.
- Put the onions, garlic and chillies into the melted butter in a saucepan on a moderate heat and cook until the onions are soft and transparent. Add the lemon juice and chicken stock and stir until well mixed.
- Add the water and the cubes of butternut, and simmer until the soup is thick and all the ingredients are well blended together, about 1 hour.
- Liquidise with a stick blender or a food processer.
- Serve hot.
- Swirl a tablespoon or two of fresh cream into the centre of each bowl of soup just before serving.
Lentil: Curried Lentil soup
This soup is a variation of dhal, made with red lentils and spiced with curry powder.
- 25g butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, copped
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1-2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 175 g red lentils
- 2tsp lemon juice
- 600ml veg stock
- 1 tin coconut milk
- Chopped fresh coriander and lemon slices, to garnish
- Melt the butter and sauté onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes.
- Add spices and cook for 30 seconds further.
- Stir in tomatoes, lentils, lemon juice, stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes until lentils are tender and cooked.