It's true that most people have a handful of trusted recipes that they make across the week; dishes that although may not inspire or wow, are family favourites and deliver on what they promise.
For me, there's one ultimate meal that ticks every box. But I wouldn't describe it as standard in any regard. Somehow I manage to find new ways to reinvent it throughout the winter season and I actually look forward to making and eating it each week. That is, until the warmer weather kicks in.
So what is it? Soup. The humble one-pan meal that delivers in so many ways.
Firstly, it's cheap. Use whatever veges you have on hand and a little beef or lamb - the cheaper cuts actually work best in a soup if you're slow cooking it. The only way to do a good soup in my opinion. And add whatever legumes or grains you have in the pantry to bulk it up.
It doesn't take too much time to prepare. The majority of the time is taken up chopping the vege but once it's all in the pan or slow cooker, you can leave it to do its own thing. It's also the gift that keeps on giving. Make a big batch on Sunday and you have a whole weeks worth of lunches sorted and a few dinners.
And the variations are endless... an Italian minestrone, spicy Thai, Moroccan inspired, French Navarin, the classic tomato or my favourite, lamb and barley.
But the best part has got to be, tucking into a hot dish of whatever style soup you've created on a freezing cold winters day. I do my best to fit a gym session around lunchtime during the week and I also find soup gives me mountains of energy and keeps me feeling full long after my workout.
I could potentially be soups number one fan however, give it a go yourself this winter and I'm sure you'll be rivaling me for the title. But a warning... once you start, it's hard to stop!