Chopping vegetables in the relative calm of the early afternoon when at least some of the kids are out of the house has benefits that go beyond the obvious. The most important from a nutrition perspective is that garlic activates if it’s given time to sit at room temperature after it’s chopped. I don’t know about the science but if you’re interested in you can google it. I heard it from the naturopath I work with (Nourish-ed). Also , on a more frivolous note, if you preparing some of the food in a calm environment rather than the chaos that is often as known as ‘witching hour’ the pre-dinner hour in a house full of small children then you can just enjoy it a little more and that kind of makes it all a bit more of a positive vibe. If you’re a frustrated artist you can even put your veg into colour contrasting bowls and take a moment just to marvel at how beautiful they look.
For the soup I used a base of garlic, chili, celery, leeks and bacon, then added leftover roast chicken from last night, chicken stock, chopped potatoes , cup of red lentils and quite a bit more water because I cooked it long and slow and lentils kind of dissolve but absorb a lot of water. Add the corn closer to the end of cooking and also some sour cream and parsley if you like that kind of stuff.
(Inspired by Nigel Slater’s Chicken and Smoked Sausage Chowder in Real Food)