Cooking: Pumpkin and sweet potato soup

I tend not to cook very much when it's just for me - the time and effort seems to outweigh the time spent enjoying the food. I'm happy to cook when it's to share but on the whole my cuisine is mainly steamed veg and tuna (when I'm being healthy) or packet food (when I'm not). (And a fair bit of dining out which I guess is closer to healthy than not but a drain on the wallet).

Now that I've decided to a) eat more healthily and b)get serious about saving money, I've launched into trying some new things. Most of my cooking to now has been some variant on a pasta, curry or chilli - hearty, comforting one pan foods. For some reason I've never quite done the soup (from scratch) thing, which is odd as I like a bit of soup.

Anyways, I broke my soup cherry last night with a pumpkin and sweet potato soup. (I was going to add some broccoli but there was no room in the steamer).

(I'm sure that right now there are at least a couple of people rolling their eyes at the song and dance that I'm making about cooking something which is probably one of the simplest things in the cookbook - that's ok, you have to start somewhere)

Now from what I've been told all you really need to do with soup is boil up your chosen vegies in some stock (vegie or chicken) until they are mushy then stick it all in the blender, add in your herbs/spices of choice and put it back on the stove to let it simmer for a while.

Well of course that was far too simple for me, so I figured that I'd steam the vegies instead (I would have steamed them over the stock but didn't have enough) and also fry/sautee up some onions to add for a bit of extra taste. (I don't know why but I seem to be obsessed with adding onions to pretty well everything I cook - and this is usually the first thing I add. Do you have a staple ingredient that seems to end up in almost everything you make?)

Anyways, this all worked out pretty well but two onions were probably 1.5 too many, as I have a pumpkin and sweet potato soup texture and a strong onion taste. (Lucky I like onions so much :)

So there's a lesson learnt. I also learnt that the handful of coriander that I added made almost no difference - hard to say whether it's just drowned out by the onion or whether much more is needed. Things to try.

Next on the agenda - less useful as a take to work and save money kind of thing - is baked fish. PC made this the other night and it was superb - and reaaaaalllly simple.

(My first - and I thought last - attempt at cooking fish was such a disaster that the kitchen stank of overcooked, possibly slightly off fish for the better part of a week.)

Update: I sent the above photo to my gmail account from my phone, simply labelled soup. This was the first of the "context-sensitive" Google adsense ads that appeared next to it. Everyone's a critic :) (Click on the image for a full size version - it says Urine Odor Remover Recipe)