Comforting Carrot Soup…

…add Coriander for a tasty twist!

What a grey, rainy, cold day needs is thick & yummy homemade soup for lunch…

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I like to make my soups in a slow cooker so that it just sits there until I need it, but this recipe works equally well in a saucepan

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 50g oil or butter (or a mix of both)
  • 150g sliced onion, leek, celery – if you have equal quantities of each, that’s great – if you don’t have one of them, don’t worry, just top up with the others!
  • 400g sliced carrots
  • 25g plain or gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp tomato puree
  • vegetable stock cube – I prefer the Kallo range of organic stock cubes – they add just the right amount of seasoning, have great flavour & are gluten free
  • 1 litre water

Optional extras

  •  1 tbsp ground coriander
  • fresh coriander

Method

  • Melt butter & oil
  • Add the onions, leek, celery & carrots
  • Cook gently with the lid on – without colouring – for 5 minutes
  • Stir in the flour
  • Add the water, tomato puree & stock cube
  • If you’re using ground coriander add upto 1 tbsp now, to taste
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 15 minutes or leave in slow cooker
  • Once the vegetables are soft, blend until smooth
  • Reheat gently with some freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish with fresh coriander, if using – perfect!

Healthy Bits

  • 170 calories per serving using butter
  • 11g fat per serving using butter
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Mmmm… Mushroom Soup

Rainy days require homemade soup for lunch…

Mushroom Soup

I like to make my soups in my slow cooker so that it just sits there until I need it but this recipe works equally well in a saucepan

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 50g oil or butter (or a mix of both)
  • 50g sliced onion
  • 250g sliced mushrooms – button mushrooms give a nice pale soup, chestnut & field mushrooms will yield a much darker colour
  • 50g plain or gluten free flour
  • 500ml water
  • vegetable stock cube – I prefer the Kallo range of organic stock cubes – they add just the right amount of seasoning, have great flavour & are gluten free
  • 500ml milk

Optional extras

  •  extra butter & sliced mushrooms
  • chopped parsley

Method

  • Melt butter & oil
  • Add the onions & mushrooms
  • Cook gently with the lid on – without colouring – for 5 minutes
  • Stir in the flour
  • Add the water & stock cube
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 15 minutes or leave in slow cooker
  • Meanwhile, fry the extra mushrooms in the butter until nicely browned
  • Add the milk & blend until smooth
  • Reheat gently with some freshly ground black pepper
  • Serve garnished with the extra mushrooms & sprinkled with the parsley – perfect!

Healthy Bits

  • 225 calories per serving using butter & semi-skimmed milk
  • 13g fat per serving using butter & semi-skimmed milk

The Best Broccoli Soup

Soooo cold & grey here again – the sun seems to pop out occasionally but soon gets hidden behind a blanket of thick grey cloud – time for more yummy soup to warm us up…

…the best broccoli soup is made from roughly 1/3rd flowers & the rest stalk! The flowers are great as a side vegetable but do not have the substance to make a hearty soup – do not be afraid to use the stalk – it really is super tasty & contains loads of nutritious stuff – a great way of using food that you would normally waste…

…I made my soup in my slow cooker but it also works well in a saucepan

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 50g oil or butter (or a mix of both)
  • 100g sliced onion, leek & celery (it doesn’t matter if you don’t have all of these ‘white’ vegetables – any combination will do)
  • 200g chopped broccoli flowers & stalk
  • 50g plain or gluten free flour
  • 800ml water
  • vegetable stock cube – I prefer the Kallo range of organic stock cubes – they add just the right amount of seasoning, have great flavour & are gluten free
  • 200ml milk

Method

  • Melt butter & oil
  • Add the all the vegetables
  • Cook gently – without colouring – for 10 minutes
  • Stir in the flour
  • Add the water & stock cube
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 20 minutes or leave in slow cooker
  • Add the milk & blend until smooth
  • Reheat gently with some freshly ground black pepper – perfect!

Broccoli Soup

…we had ours with some cheesey garlic bread today – yummy!

After lunch all I really wanted to do was curl up in my warm, cosy cottage & get on with some neglected sewing projects but Alfie needed a walk & the littlies had been inside long enough! So off we set, across the fields in a circular walk taking in a nearby village…

Sign

…we passed a lovely, old rotting tree stump which is obviously now the entrance to somebody’s home – maybe Mr & Mrs Fox or a family of rabbits…

Tree Stump

…passing through the sheep fields I was reminded of when my Littliest E was very young – as we kept chickens he thought that all animals had feathers, not fur – so when out walking through a field one day, he exclaimed, look Mum, I’ve found some ‘sheep feathers’ & we’ve called them that ever since!

Sheep Feathers

I often think that our Border Collie is mad & this just proves it…

Alfie

…it’s an icy cold day & he still insists on going into the brook to ‘rescue’ the stones!

Gayton Church

… once we reached our neighbouring village it was back towards home past the church – a strange building of two halves – it has a brick tower & walls to the rear, & a frontage built of stone

A lovely walk, but I’m glad to be cosy & warm back at home – my little display of Spring sunshine greeting us as we came into the kitchen…

Yellow Tulips

Spiced Parsnip & Leek Soup

Today dawned bright & sunny – such a contrast to yesterday! Still chilly though, so soup for lunch to warm us up…

I like to make my soup in my slow cooker so that it just sits there until I need it but this recipe also works well in a saucepan

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 50g oil or butter (or a mix of both)
  • 100g sliced leeks
  • 200g chopped parsnip
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder – optional
  • 50g plain or gluten free flour
  • 800ml water
  • vegetable stock cube – I prefer the Kallo range of organic stock cubes – they add just the right amount of seasoning, have great flavour & are gluten free
  • 200ml milk

Method

  • Melt butter & oil
  • Add the leeks & parsnip
  • Cook gently – without colouring – for 10 minutes
  • Stir in the spices & flour
  • Add the water & stock cube
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 20 minutes or leave in slow cooker
  • Add the milk & blend until smooth
  • Reheat gently with some freshly ground black pepper – perfect!Soup

As the sun was still shining we opted for another family walk this afternoon – this time from our village, up alongside the railway line – we all love waving at the trains hoping the driver will give us a toot & a wave!! No luck today but the bright moon kept watch over us…

Moon

… & home for more hot chocolate!!