I’ve been thinking about my daily lunch. I normally have a sandwich, which I buy ready prepared and extravagant from Waitrose. Hardly anyone eats bread daily in our house, so we would waste a lot if we made it regularly in our bread machine. Normally I can stop off and buy a sandwich on the way home from training or walking the boys but sometimes I have to make a special trip tp Waitrose, which is annoying. In the meantime, we have vast quantities of unused veggies cluttering up the fridge.

The solution is soup. And, yes, I know it’s easy to make soup in a pot with a spoon, but then it has to be transferred to the blender and back again, creating lots of washing up and drips everywhere. None of this is hard or even particularly time consuming but it’s just another load of faff on top of the pile of faff that is life. My old Kitchenaid blender is a bit leaky, and wont to cause explosions of carefully seasoned puree all over the place, so that’s off putting too.

Then I saw this soup machine in Lakeland. The reviews were good and it makes smoothies and sauces too, which would be a great boon to my ice cream-making. I’m dying to make peach ice cream but the faff is discouraging me. Logically the soup machine, which crushes ice, could be used for Bellinis too. I’m partial to a Bellini. 

Today, then, I took delivery of the anxiously awaited Baroness Denise Von Crouton. I was kindly assisted with my name choice by  @donna_gallers off Twitter, who has a one year old Kitchenaid stand mixer called Barbara

I chucked in a couple of leeks, some carrots, a potato and some stock. I’d chopped the veg up a bit but that was all and I used Marigold vegan bouillon for the stock. And while Lady Denise toiled away for half an hour, I made the batter for tonight’s pancakes.

Of course, the quality of the soup depends on the ingredients, and I think I should have added a small onion and perhaps a bit of salt. Straight from the machine, the soup was too hot and burned my mouth, but it was smooth and lovely and, I think, a very efficient way to make a healthy and economical lunch from whatever’s in the fridge. I think I should make some bread dough and freeze it as rolls, ready to eat with the soup.

Almost the best thing about the machine is the lack of moving parts that have to be taken apart and washed. You wash the lid and the measuring cup that sits in it, but otherwise the jug has its own cleaning programme. Just add water and some washing up liquid, press the button and watch it swish around cleaning itself. I’d be inclined always to do this as soon as possible after making the soup so that it doesn’t dry on to the glass, though.