By Dream Angus
This week we have had a sustained cold blast from Siberia and as well as causing travel disruption it has also highlighted just how vulnerable we are to problems of food distribution. Setting aside the panic buying of bread and milk by the same people who exhibit similar behaviours at Christmas and New Year, the food that cannot get to the shops during weather events like this should make us all think about our own food security. What can we do ourselves to have enough supplies in?
Obvious stuff like watching the weather patterns and getting good advice in advance of a weather event like this one is really important. Reports were circulating about this one days before it arrived allowing people to stock up.The problem is many people are not aware of the weather and don’t take notice until it is too late. Just like taking advice not to travel we are sometimes our own worst enemies during such events. Venturing out-of-doors can become dangerous, with people becoming stuck in snowbound traffic overnight in sub-zero temperatures who were only ‘nipping out to the shops’.
Another tried and tested approach to our own personal food security is to stock up on items in your larder that will last long and are also quite good value at this time of year.
Here is a recipe for a hearty Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup. The Butternut cost 89p, I bought three leeks for £1.00 and the sweet potato was left over from New Year and stored in a cool place. Butternut will keep for a very long time as well. Stock cubes from the cupboard cost about £1. The soup will last you a few days or less if you share it as I am about to do.It makes a warming meal and if you are also following the simple bread recipes on Orkney News you will be very resilient in the face of the cold blast.
Butternut And Sweet Potato Soup Recipe.
1 Butternut Squash
2 Sweet potatoes
2- 3 leeks
6 stock cubes to taste ( I used chicken but you might use vegetable stock instead or a mix of both)
You can also use turnip, parsnips, and celery.
Variations include adding coriander.
Glug of olive oil
Sea salt and coarse black pepper, but go easy on the salt as it is in the stock cubes.
Cut the leeks and cook in a large 5 or 6 litre pan with the glug of olive oil
Add all the other vegetables chopped. I use a hand blender with recipe once it is cooked.
(The Butternut should be cut in half and the seeds and stringy bits removed.I peel mine but some people cook it skin and all. If your Butternut Squash is too big you can also put it in the oven to roast as it makes a really tasty roast vegetable.)
Add boiling water and stir adding in the stock cubes.
Simmer until all the vegetables are soft and let cool.I use a hand blender at this point to blend it it into a smooth soup. The more wreckless among you can add some cream when serving.
Enjoy your larder and stay safe this winter.