I realise that not everybody will enjoy cooking or experimenting in the way that I do and, even for me, there’s no need to make absolutely everything, this condition presents something called compromise. 

Today’s first offering is simple shop-bought fresh tomato and basil soup, really, really pleasant.

Bowl of soup with side of spiralised potato

I tried everything you would usually think of to get carbohydrate with soup; Toast, Croutons -  no success, they just provided another jam, so I have returned to my faithful spiralised crispy potatoes which do the trick nicely. 

If you have any left over you can pour yourself a drink, read a book, play the guitar, watch the telly and enjoy them.  Tell me that’s not good for the soul?

If you fancy trying something more extravagant from scratch then here is the basis of an Italian style dish using 12 fresh Langoustine and 6 fresh oysters.  

First, make a broth with the shells of both above as follows:

Start with equal amounts of celeriac, onion and carrot, keep quantities the same as to the size of the onion.  Sweat down with a little oil, add 500 ml of water with a vegetable stock pot.

Next add the oyster and langoustine shells after washing first.  Season with black pepper, a bouquet garni of oregano, basil and thyme and simmer for four hours, add seasoning to taste.

A pan of Italian broth

Strain through a sieve, remove shells and press all the goodness out of the cooked vegetables.  Discard all debris and strain a second time into a large deep pan and add a carton of Passata, more bouquet garni, and further seasoning to taste, simmer and then sieve once again.

Boil some orzo pasta separately to accompany dish, clean the set aside langoustines and put in the broth for a few minutes only, they have to go in last to keep them subtle and soft, only enter into the pan the amount you intend to eat, you can always go back and do seconds!