Pumpkin and bacon soup

Since college is sucking my will to live at the moment, the meals I manage to make are usually ones you can completely ignore until you remember you were making dinner 30 minutes previously.
When I was wandering around eason’s the other day, I came across a cute little soup book: 1 Stock, 50 Soups. It had a particularly yummy sounding recipe for bacon and pumpkin soup. I had pumpkin, and I had bacon. This is a simple recipe for soup. I made it quite lazily and just shoved everything into the pot and left it, but if you have more time, I recommend you cook it as directed. If you’d like to see the recipe for this hearty and comforting autumnal soup, just click below to have a nose around. Enjoy!

2tsp olive oil
2 onions {I used just one}
600g canned pumpkin {I used 3 cups of pumpkin puree}
200g smoked bacon, diced
pinch of grated nutmeg
1.2 litres basic stock
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the pumpkin, bacon and nutmeg, stir well, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes. Pour in the stick, increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While that is cooking, make the bacon croutons. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the bacon and fry for 4-6 minutes on each side, until crisp and it has released all its fat. Meanwhile, cut the bread into 1inch squares. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Add the bread squares and cook, turning and tossing until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Transfer soup to a food processor {or use hand blender} and blend until smooth. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle into warmed bowls. Sprinkle with the croutons, crumble the bacon over and serve immediately.

NOTE: I did the first step all in one go. Shoved everything into the pot and left it. The soup turned out gorgeous. Yum, yum.

Click here for a handy cooking calculator, should you prefer to measure in cups, mls, oz etc.

Anchors aweigh – Part 1

I am particularly nervous this morning. I suppose it began in July of this year. I was in a tattoo parlor getting my final micro-dermal implant removed, when I asked the gentleman if he knew of any tattoo artists in Ireland who dealt with chameleon black light tattoos. He told me that only one guy in all of Ireland did, and to my luck, his studio was a 10 minute walk away. I nervously made my way over, and to my surprise, it was pretty nice. Not your typical tattoo parlor. I had a chat with Remis {the owner} and since they had opened within the week, the closest date he could book me in for a black light tattoo was in four months time.
That day is tomorrow at 15:00.
This event goes back much farther. I’ve always wanted a tattoo. I really adore them, but in the same breath, at times they look tacky. Like when you’re at a formal event and that Tweety Bird tattoo you got on your 21st birthday is creeping up out of the top of your dress. Or lower back tattoos – sorry to those of you who may have one – but I think they’re tacky as hell. Coupled with muffin tops. Worst look ever.
Back to my story – I had been researching for months, until I came across this particular style of tattoo – chameleon black light tattoo. It can only be seen under ultra violet {UV} light. It was my loophole. I was really pumped when I found this style of ink, and researched the availability in Ireland with no luck. Until that day in July. I am now roughly 24 hours away from getting it.
What I had pondered over the four months was what I was going to get tattooed. My choice had been always one of three: old school skull and cross bones, an anchor {I really like old fashioned tattoos}, or a pair of scissors. To be placed on my left forearm. I hummed and hawed over the past months, and in true form, I only drew up my tattoo this morning. And I am mildly infatuated.

You spin me right round, baby

In 2005 Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf opened their upside-down shop in Milan. Famous for their unconventional fashion sense, it comes as no surprise that their store is a focal point, in and of itself.

For my Studio V in college I used this shop as well as a number of Escher’s pieces as inspiration for an alternative bar which I called ‘Bottoms Up’. 

Amazing design, but I don’t know if I could spend more than 10 minutes in the shop. I find my brain working overtime just looking at the pictures. The pillowed archways set off a couple of H&S alarms, but aside from that, the detail is astounding. From the parquet flooring on the ceiling, to the upside-down vases and chandeliers. Even the door on the shop front is upside-down {see second last image}.
Thanks to coolboom for the photos.