Downloading TV shows off the Net. I’ve never been able to, and as a result, I’ve never really felt connected to, you know, this century. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Wire - these shows and plenty more have aired in their entirety and I’ve never seen an episode.
Not that I’ve really minded, until earlier this year when I stayed with my dear friend Cuppy and we binge-watched the entire fourth season of Downton Abbey in one air-conditioned day while it sweltered outside. It was glorious.
And then came the news that they were going to make a TV show of my favourite book series in the entire world and I started cyber-stalking Twitter feeds and Instagram accounts and I was transported. I mean, it had everything I could want, chief amongst them a tall well-built red-head in a kilt. Oh and costumes, and scenery and a bunch of great British actors. But, mainly, kilts.
It was desperate times, readers, so with the help of my erstwhile friend Iain, I finally downloaded that first ep. And readers, I was away.
Delighted with my new-found skills, I bragged to my non-downloading mother about it and she replied by expressing a desire to see this
hawt red-heided kilted wonder TV show for herself. So I burned a DVD for her.
And it took forever.
It chewed up huge amounts of download data. I went to sleep, ate three meals, considered a course in origami and STILL it took its time. Enraged, I went on Twitter and vented, only to be advised by Dave that perhaps I was actually converting a data file to a DVD file rather than you know, just copying it over.
When I had come back inside after much screaming and cussing and swearing in the garden, Dave had helpfully sent me this recipe for Sweet Potato and Bacon Soup.
It’s a beautiful soup, full of smokey bacon and pimenton flavour and perfect for slurping on while watching kilted action. Mind you, it’s not exactly the same as licking Jamie Fraser all over, but then what is?
On second thoughts, don’t answer that.
I made a batch of this up then whipped down to the coast for a couple of nights and took it with me. My old friend Brenda quite liked it, polished off two bowls of the stuff…
Cheap as, I paid $1.40 for a 1.5 kg chunk of sweet potato. The soup can be jazzed up with cream, fresh or sour, lemon juice or olive oil. If I were entertaining maybe some garlic croutons would work.
- 1-1.5 kg of sweet potato, peeled and chunked
- Splosh of olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely diced
- ½ – 1 small red capsicum seeded and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped or squashed
- 4 rashers of short smoked bacon or about 150g spec, finely diced
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 2-3 tsp smoked paprika
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Coat the peeled and chunked potato in oil – toss it in your pan to get a thin, even coating. Put the potato onto a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Take the tray out and give it a shake – if they’ve stuck, turn them over using your tongs, then back into the oven for another 10 minutes. The aim is solid potato with some caramelised edges and corners.
Meanwhile, sweat the onion and red capsicum in the remaining oil until the onion is transparent, add the bacon and cook for another 5 minutes on a low heat. Add the garlic, black pepper and paprika and give it a good stir.
Finally combine the roasted sweet potatoes, onion and bacon mix and add the stock. Bring the pan up to a simmer and let it cook for 20 minutes. Cover the pan and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes then use a stick blender to finish it off to a consistent texture.
Makes 8 decent sized bowls.
$5.75 for up to 8 serves