Everyone has ‘their’ soup. The one which makes them feel like they are supping a great big cuddle, to lift their spirits when they are ill, which makes a quick lunch that more poignant. For me it’s a classic Cream of Tomato Soup. It was […]
I am always looking for different ways to cook the most seasonal vegetables. At the moment carrots and parsnips are so plentiful and cheap I’m incorporating them into lots of meals. Even when they are served as a side, you can ring the changes if […]
I am lucky enough to have a friend who embraces veggies and throws together meals with them so well I want to recreate their fantastic flavours as soon as I return home. And this Italian Kale Stew came about as a direct result of a wonderful afternoon at her house. And finding some fresh full-stem kale at the local farm shop which I just had to have.
While I have called this a stew, it could also be termed a very full broth, although I think the chew factor always changes something from soup to stew! It’s just perfect for the winter as it is hearty but certainly not stodgy or unhealthy. In fact the high vegetable content, especially the kale which is packed with filling fibre but zero calories and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and a number of minerals many of us are deficient in, is perfect for keeping you feeling in tip-top condition this winter and balancing the approaching Christmas excess. The beans add protein and make it a satisfying meal. And it’s such a cheap dish to make it’s perfect for both saving money and losing the extra Christmas pounds in the New Year.
I like to serve this with fresh bread, to mop up the juices, or a homemade quiche but it’s just as yummy on its own.
Italian Kale Stew
- Splash of oil or water
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 100ml red wine (optional)
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 1 litre of water
- 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 2 teaspoons mixed dried Italian herbs or dried oregano
- 300g kale, hard stalks removed, sliced
- 400g tins of beans, for example black eyed, flageolet, borlotti, cannellini beans
- Step 1 Place the oil/water, carrot, onion, garlic, celery and kale into a large saucepan and cook with the lid off for 5mins, add a little water if it starts to stick.
- Step 2 Remove the lid and if using add the red wine, cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat then add the tin of tomatoes, herbs, the vegetable stock, tomato puree and kale.
- Step 3 Bring to the boil and simmer for 10mins with the lid on.
- Step 4 Remove the lid and simmer for another 5mins or until all the vegetables are just cooked before adding the drained tins of beans.
- Step 5 Cooks for a few more minutes so the beans are heated right through then season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
I have a minor obsession with my children loving Indian food for no reason other than I love it myself and cannot wait to take them to India which I think is one of the most fascinating and special countries in the world. They love […]
There is nothing better than free food! And this soup practically was. Even though winter is approaching nature is still providing some fabulous freebies. On a recent walk I found myself walking on a carpet of chestnut cases – many of which still filled with […]
I had one of ‘those’ shopping trips this week – without checking what was in the fridge I hit the shops and was more than a little surprised that we already had 1kg of carrots in the chiller drawer when I slipped the second kilo in! So this Roasted Carrot and Paprika Soup was my no-waste rescue plan!
I do think that roasted veggies add a certain extra depth to a soup and as I was already roasting a butternut squash for a pie (recipe coming soon!) the oven was on and it was easy to pop them in. If you don’t have time to roast beforehand then by all means simply add them to the stock and boil them with the onion and garlic until soft.
Paprika is often underrated as a spice but is great for adding flavour if you don’t like too much heat. I have used a mix of smoked and spicy paprika in this recipe but you can use just smoked or just spicy depending on your preference. I also serve mine with a spray of chilli oil. If you don’t like coconut milk feel free to add single cream instead.
Roasted Carrot and Paprika Soup
- 1kg carrots, cleaned/peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon spicy paprika
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 tin coconut milk or 250ml single cream
- Salt and Pepper
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas 6.
- Step 2 Mix the carrots with 1 tablespoon of the oil on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 30mins, they should be soft and browning on the edges.
- Step 3 In a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic with the other tablespoons of oil until soft.
- Step 4 Add the paprika, carrots and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are soft.
- Step 5 When the veggies are cooked add the coconut milk or cream.
- Step 6 Allow to cool before blending it well.
I know some people are crazy about cauliflowers but they have never been top of my fave veggies. Often they are cooked in a way which is so bland so I have resolved to find more exciting ways to make the white vegetable more exciting. […]
I’m always looking for new beetroot recipes for my family because we love it and I want to grow some next year too. The beauty of Beetroot and Chickpea Fritters is they are so versatile. They are fab in a wrap instead of falafel, they […]
Whenever I see Pad Thai on a menu I have a magnetic like attraction to it! There’s just something absolutely perfect about the combination of flavours and textures. Obviously I can’t eat it out every day as I would love to, so I have come up with a super quick and tasty Fifteen Minute Pad Thai which has become a go-to recipe for an easy dinner.
And let’s face it, that’s quicker than a takeaway…
Fifteen Minute Pad Thai
- 120g dried rice noodles
- 3 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 120g small peeled prawns, fresh or defrosted (can substitute for more tofu or vegan ‘chicken’ pieces)
- 100g marinated fried tofu pieces or ready fried beancurd in 1cm pieces
- 100g bean sprouts, rinsed
- 3 spring onion greens, chopped into 3cm/1inch lengths
- 3 tablespoon Thai nam pla fish sauce or vegan equivalent
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon palm/soft brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon roasted, salted peanuts, lightly crushed
- Small handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander
- Half a lime cut into wedges (optional)
- Step 1 Prepare the noodles to pack instructions but take care not to let them get too soft so they don’t get mushy. After rinse in cold water and drain well, then toss in a teaspoon of oil. This stops them sticking together.
- Step 2 While the noodles are soaking, make a kind of scrambled egg by frying the eggs in one teaspoon of the oil in a wok and stirring them as they cook. If you prefer you could make a mini omelette and thinly slice it. Place to one side.
- Step 3 Now fry the garlic and prawns together for a few minutes in the wok over a high heat. Set aside.
- Step 4 Mix together the fish sauce, ketchup, lime juice, sugar, in a small bowl.
- Step 5 Now it’s ready to combine. Start bean sprouts, spring onions, then sauce, egg, tofu then noodles, delicately combining all the time.
- Step 6 After a couple of minutes everything will be hot. Serve immediately with the peanuts and coriander on the top and a wedge of lime on the side.
There is nothing quite like a beautifully ripe fig. They have such a unique flavour which really sums up the mellow end of summer and beginning of autumn. I feel the flavour is enhanced and deepened when they are grilled or lightly cooked so their […]