Today I decided to embrace the fresh autumn weather, and have a nice walk into town to do a bit of shopping. After surveying the sky briefly, I decided I wouldn’t need an umbrella – there were only a couple of clouds, and none of them were ominously grey.

You can probably see where this is going.

It was about a 40 minute walk to the shops I wanted to go to, and halfway through my walk, the heavens opened… a lot. It was tipping it down. Needless to say, I ended up with very soggy feet and my hair frizzed up to the size of a small planet.

Moral of the story: This is England, you always need an umbrella.

Aaanyway, when I got home I peeled off my soggy socks, put my pyjamas on and wished I had a bowl of soup to warm me up. This one would have done nicely.

This was my first time trying broccoli and cheddar soup, and it was ace. If you want to make it vegan, just skip the cheese (and sub the butter for oil) – it made the soup nice and creamy, but it would still have been delicious without it. Blending the broccoli added a nice thickness, so it was pretty creamy anyway.

I love making soup, because it’s so imprecise – whereas with some recipes (especially baking), you have to measure everything perfectly, use certain ingredients at just the right temperature, and bake for a very specific time, when making soup you can pretty much just stick some vegetables in a pan with some stock, and cook it down for as long as you want. It won’t be ruined if you cook it for an extra 10 minutes, so you can go away and get other things done at the same time… you know, if you’re that productive type of person. If you’re more like me, you can leave it while you go and look at Pinterest for a few minutes several days.

Served with some slices of fresh tiger bread thickly spread with butter, this was a really nice way to warm me up the other day. Unfortunately I have none left, so today I’ll have to settle for a hot chocolate (oh, woe is me).

Broccoli and cheddar soup

Serves 3

40g butter
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, grated
275g broccoli, cut into small florets
1.5l vegetable stock
1tbsp basil pesto
100g cheddar cheese, grated

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and cook the onion, garlic and carrot over a medium heat until softened, around 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and basil pesto, and cover the pan. Leave to simmer for around 30 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Blend the soup until no lumps of broccoli are left (an immersion blender is best, but if you don’t have one, you can carefully transfer the soup to a countertop blender before returning it to the pan).

Once blended, add the grated cheese and stir for a few minutes until it has melted into the soup. Serve warm with fresh bread.