Chef Janine’s Tip

It’s officially soup season. Making your own soup is a great way to use older-looking veggies at the bottom of the fridge. Some top tips for making a great soup are: Sauté the vegetables really well before adding in any stock. I like to gently fry my veggies in butter or rapeseed oil until they’re beautifully soft (there’s nothing worse than the flavour of raw onion in a soup). Use really good stock or bone broth, if you can. Not because I think they have any health benefits, but because they give the best flavour. Always add a splash of something creamy at the end – butter, evaporated milk, cream or coconut milk are all perfect. Season your soup with plenty of salt! If you can’t figure out why your soup tastes bland, it’s because you’re not seasoning it well enough.

Rural Rhymes

Remembering the Ploughing

Down the years we will remember

The ploughing fest of late September

From early morning we made our way

Towards the hum of tracks, the smell of clay

From every county they made their way

A hundred thousand every day

Lines of cars for miles and miles

Admission gained through a dozen stiles

But COVID came to spoil the fun

No ploughing for twenty or twenty one

Competitions yes but behind closed doors

With only the judges to count the scores

Unlike previous years, a quiet place

Empty sites, just open space

No bustling crowds or trading stands

Or country airs from performing bands

When we think back to days of yore

We walked for hours till our feet were sore

We didn’t mind about mud or muck

Ow when homeward bound, our car got stuck

A day at the ploughing was well worthwhile

Foot sore and tired! A hard day’s toil

But come what may it will return

Bigger and better, after its short sojourn.

– Paddy Egan, Longford

Photo of the Week

Winter Barley: 10-week-old Golden Retriever pup Barley checking out the tillage section of the Irish Farmers Journal.

Tweet of the Week

Instagram Inspiration

Let’s face it, it was pretty hard to find romance in lockdown. But now that restrictions have lifted it might be time to put yourself out there again. We spotted that @rozannapurcell is running a series of Hike Life Single Events. Between now and Christmas, there will be six hikes in some of the most beautiful parts of the country where you can sign up, spend a day in nature and meet some other single people looking to find new connections, including over-40s and LGBTQ+ specific hikes. The first one takes place on Paradise Hill on 10 October.

Number of the Week

4 – The number of things ICL thinks the new boss of Horse Racing Ireland must do.

Quote of the Week

From psychotherapist Enda Murphy:

When we focus on the future, we get anxious. When we focus on the past, we get depressed. When we focus on the present, we relieve both.