Cross country skiing in Herts and Lentil & Paprika Soup

Second hand cross country skis were ordered for Christmas and I really thought that the chances to use them here in the lovely hills of Herts  would  just remain one of my many fantasies…I had such a vision for it.  Saturday night however there was hope – just before midnight we had enough snow for a little teaser in the back garden, leaving the front door on skis might have just become a reality after all.

I closed my eyes like a kid on Christmas Eve and woke up the next day jumping into 2 layers of running leggings, had a quick breakfast and off we went:

Breaking through the snow was more challenging that we initially thought and it took us a whole 2 hours to complete a 6 km circuit…going uphill pretty much all the way. We have walked and run the hills  of Youngsbury Park on so many occasions but doing it on skis was just a special moment.





To keep you warm and healthy in this cold weather I am sharing with you my Lentils and Paprika recipe:


  • 1 onion
  • celery branch
  • 4 carrots
  • 250gr green lentils
  • 1 tsp of tumeric
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • juice of one lime
  • coriander

Slightly fry the onion and celery in a tbsp of olive oil, season well with salt pepper and the spices, add the carrots and lentils (rinsed first).  Time to add the stock of your choice, I used chicken stock , bring the pan to the boil.  Once boiled removed the first spoonfuls of froth and reduce the heat.  Cook until the lentils are tender and blend.  I like to add fresh coriander and lime juice to give a fresh twist to the soup.



P.S: I could not resist a photo of the splendid Spanish Onion, I did not grow the beast but bought it from my local farm shop Pearce’s Farm Shop.

Stay warm x




Barcelona here we come – part 2

La Rochelle to Barcelona takes a little over 7 hours using the express route, that was not quite enough of an adventure for us so we decided to go through Andorra to check out the snow…the views were outstanding just one little element made the experience a tense one…going higher and higher I watched in horror the petrol gauge go down to nada…
I started holding my breath at one point – no idea why. Someone must have been watching over us as we made it passed the border and more importantly to the nearest station…phew…