Four Green Squares

the tiny little blog no-one will ever read

Super easy kid-tested cream of potato soup (AKA Squished Potato Soup) March 20, 2013

Filed under: recipes — FourGreenSquares @ 3:34 pm

I came up with this easy, high-protein soup for my potato-mad, protein-lacking, super-fussy vegetarian six year old. It has since become a once-a-week staple: home-made soup in under half an hour. I kid you not!

Ingredients (for 3-4 servings)

  • 4 -5 med/large potatoes (one per person plus one for pot)
  • Quarter of a cup tiny red lentils
  • Mixed herbs and bay leaf
  • Organic vegetable stock
  • Milk


  • Scrub and chop the potatoes. Since they’ll be mashed, the size of the pieces isn’t important but smaller ones will cook faster.
  • Put potatoes in a large saucepan, add boiling water two inches over covering, and turn on med-high heat.
  • Add lentils, veg stock (amount as recommended on package for soup–I use a teaspoon of Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon), herbs and bay leaf.
  • Cook for 20 mins uncovered–until lentils are pretty much dissolved and the potatoes have become soft. Check and top up with water if necessary while cooking. You don’t want to add too much back though, since this is a thick soup not a broth.
  • When done, remove from heat and fish out bay leaf. Check seasonings and add salt and/or pepper to taste.
  • Mash with potato masher. You want to end up with a watery mashed potato consistency, but you can leave thicker or chunkier depending on your preference as well. This is a very forgiving recipe!
  • Fill bowls about 2/3 with the concentrated soup and swirl in milk right in the bowl. You could do this in the pot but I find leftovers keep better in the fridge without the milk added. Plus adding it directly in the bowl cools the soup down to a kid-friendly eating temp pretty much right away.


I know, I know. I said a simple soup and here I am complexicating it right back up again. Well, hopefully the little one won’t be a fussy eater forever, and when that day comes, I’ll be ready! So, variations:

The lentils in this–which give it such a rich, hearty flavour and a big protein boost–mean you don’t have to worry about adding any other type of bean or pea. But broccoli, spinach, kale (cooked separately and added at the end) or cauliflower all could boost the veggie content.

You could also switch part of the potato to sweet potatoes, swede, turnip or parsnip. Or sauté the potatoes in some cumin and turmeric before adding the water. Or..or…or…hey, what about adding some, I dunno, leeks?

I serve it with carrot sticks and cucumber slices on the side but YMMV according to the fussiness of your eater!


You know you’re a writer when… March 17, 2013

Filed under: the way it is,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 10:40 am


•you have a head full of cold

•you washed a tissue in with a load of darks

•the sole of your child’s school shoe has split and you won’t get to the shop before Monday morning

•you’ve head-butted your way through a draft of a story that’s been nagging you for ages

…and all in all, you consider it a good day.


Don’t take my word for it, though. See for yourself… March 1, 2013

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 11:14 am


Today is the last day to get in your application to the 2013 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Workshop at UCSD.


I’ve been meaning to write a Clarion six months on post, but  keep finding new things I want to say, and now the deadline is here.


Ack, out of time! (which is how I felt pretty much every week at Clarion as story submission time loomed).


What can I say, short and sweet? Do it. Apply. If you get in, go. (Clarity and brevity; real-life application of one Clarion lesson right there).


Even now, months later, I am still grateful every day for the experience and still discovering just how much I learned in those far-too-short six weeks.


Good luck!