As part of a month of cooking, I fired up my soup maker for the first time in, well, quite a while. The next recipe in the book: Winter Lamb and Lentil Broth.
The recipe included a turnip, which were discontinued in both Tesco and Co-op. My Asian colleague suggested that Asian cash-and-carry shops would probably stock them as they are staple ingredients used to thicken up dishes like curry. My parents' friends suggested a swede would have a similar effect.
After sourcing for a few days, I started to prepare the ingredients. The cutting board got a bit crowded with everything on it, but I managed that far. I followed the instructions, putting in the required amount of each ingredient, but the total food ready to go into the soupmaker was around three times more than the soupmaker could take. I put in a certain amount and set the soupmaker to begin cooking, but after a few seconds the power cut out. I tried again. No luck. I Facebooked Morphy Richards. Their page was awash with complaints from people trying to use a whole range of their kitchen equipment. The brand eventually got back to me telling me that the device has sensors that will cause the machine to cut out if too much material has been put in. They also suggested that I put in the stock first and then add the rest of the food, so that it doesn't fry and stick to the bottom of the appliance, that being what may have caused the outage.
I started Take 2.
The recipe wanted 650 mls of stock, but my pyrex jug only went up to 500. I had a plastic jug that went up to 900, but boiling water isn't great for plastic in the long run, is it? I risked it anyway.
When it came to filling the soupmaker, the amount of stock the recipe asked for came to way more than the machine could handle.
I cooked a portion of the mixture in the soupmaker for the required time on the suggested setting of “chunky”. When the device beeped to say it had finished, I poured out a bowlful.
It smelled and tasted utterly foul. The chunky setting had done no additional chopping- I'd had to chop the ingredients myself before I added them to the mix, and they were the same size when they came out of the machine. The vegetables were still hard, so I poured it back into the soupmaker and gave it another 30 mins. By the end of the second run the lamb had been tenderised but the veg were still tough. None of the dish was tasty.
Suffice to say, I binned the excess mixture.
My mum is planning to borrow the soupmaker and give the same recipe a shot to see if it's just me not getting it right, or whether it's genuinely a shit recipe. In all fairness, this is one of the few recipes I've attempted that straight-up didn't work out. Everything else I've ever followed from a recipe has pretty much been edible and usually tasty.