Gloucester, today at 1pm – this stream is normally a trickle at the bottom of a two metre deep cutting (sorry, don’t have a “normal” picture to share!) I’d never seen it as full as this before, not even in July last year when we had major flooding here.

Gloucester, today at 4pm (photo edited but only so that you can actually see what the picture is of – it was much darker than this in real life). As you can see, after only another 3 hours of rain the water was considerably higher. Shudder.

PS – No, I don’t know what that midstream floating green stuff is either.  

Take: 1 onion; 3 cloves garlic; 1 large wrinkly swede; assorted flavour enhancing stuff (I used, more or less at random – sage, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garum masala, chicken stock powder); and about a cupful of frozen peas.

1. Chop the onion and garlic, place in a large saucepan, fry gently in some oil with the lid on the pan.
2. Peel and chop the swede. Cut it into pretty small pieces as it will cook quicker this way. Add the pieces into the pan along with your seasoning. Just cover with water. Cook until the swede is nice and soft, which will probably take 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Blend. (I use my little hand-held whizzer and do it in the pan – after the mixture has cooled for a couple of minutes, in case of splashing! Sometimes it is easier if you use a potato masher first to start breaking up the lumps.)
4. Add the peas. Add a little water if necessary to thin the soup. Stir, and cook for a few more minutes until the peas are done.
5. Serve, with grated parmesan sprinkled on top.

Makes – lots. I would guess, enough for four people, as long as they aren’t too cold and hungry!

You can use different vegetables e.g. parsnip, carrot or potato instead of swede and/or sweetcorn or pre-cooked chopped peppers instead of peas.

You could also add cream at the end for a richer soup, or if that sounds like too much, milk. I actually used rice milk now that I come to remember 🙂