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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

[Recipe] Vegetable Soup

How To Make Vegetable Soup

I'm very much a ''throw it all in and hope for the best" type of cook. I sort of follow recipes but always experiment and attempt to try out adaptations.  I recently had a whole load of vegetables that were about to become past their best and needed to use them up so I had a glance at a recipe online, took note of what I had, threw it all in a pot and kept my fingers crossed.  It was one of the best things I've ever made and has become much-requested in this house.

If you have ever followed any of my other recipes, you'll know that I don't do much measuring so everything is adaptable.  This recipe makes six to eight large portions and is ideal for lunch with a crusty loaf or as a starter for a main meal. 


  • 4-6 carrots
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 peppers (any colour)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 large leek
  • 6 smallish potatoes
  • 2 small onions (I used red onion)
  • ¼ celeriac
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • turmeric
  • thyme
  • a big squirt of tomato puree
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes


  1. Peel and chop the carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes and celeriac into small cubes
  2. Cut the (de-seeded) peppers, celery, leek and onions into small pieces
  3. Add to a large pan with the vegetable stock, turmeric, thyme, tomato puree and can of chopped tomatoes
  4. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about an hour or until all the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally
  5. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth
  6. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is Slimming World friendly and stores in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for three months. Do let me know how you get on and if you have any top tips for making soup.