Sheila, my wife, was away on a course over a full week-end. I was left to look after the five kids. Cooking for them was basic standard and probably not up to GreatGrub level. There was nothing bought ready cooked and I had few complaints from my children.
On Saturday night I found myself unusually alone and with nowhere to go. The next day in our Synagogue the Ladies Circle was holding a Cookery Competition. I decided to join in, but with nothing fancy, nothing from a cook book and something out of the ordinary. I decided to take the opportunity to clean out the fridge. I was certain that I would find all the ingedients I required stuffed away in hidden places.
I placed the pressure cooker two thirds filled with water on the stove and attacked the fridge. Into the cooker went a quantity of limp lettuce and celery, four or five carrots which had seen better days, two large soft onions, one each of wrinkled yellow and green peppers and two sprouting potatoes and a sprouting garlic (I removed the sprouts). The vegetable tray was now exhausted.
I added to the mix a chicken carcase left over from lunch and added two crushed chicken stock cubes.
Realising that my soup required some tasters I liberally sprinkled in salt, ground black pepper, soy sauce and Worcester sauce. Throwing caution to the wind I added two desert spoonsful of cumin. The lid went on the pressure cooker and I applied the heat for about forty minutes. The aroma that pervaded the kitchen persuaded me that I could have a prize winner on the boil.
The heat off, the pressure cooker cooled down I removed the lid and had a quick taste. To my untutored palate it was perfect. I removed the chicken carcase and the remains of the garlic and then submitted the whole to the blender. Four visits from pot to blender, the resultant mush decanted into a waiting pot and I was ready to go.
Next morning I put the soup back into the pressure cooker (cleaned out the night before) and reheated. The still hot pot went on to a tray and off to the Synagogue with the excited kids in tow. They barely forgave me for not letting them help with the preparation.
The ladies of the Synagogue knew that Sheila was away and were much amused by the fact that I had chosen to enter their competition - the only male contender. The judges rated my “Bachelor Soup” of sufficient merit to obtain a ‘Special Commendation’. My kids thought I had been robbed!