This quick and simple spring soup makes use of the wild garlic found in plentiful supply around the uk. You can easily identify a patch from the smell! I keep a small patch in my own garden for ease of harvesting.
The vibrant green is perfect for early spring and Easter themed meals. The creaminess comes from the courgette and as ever a good slip is built on a good stock! A stock cube is just fine but make sure it’s a good one!
1 large bunch wild garlic leaves, roughly torn
1 courgette, roughly chopped
1 small leek, sliced
1 cup frozen petit pois
1 vegetable stock cube
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
– Heat a table spoon of olive oil in a large pan.
– Add the courgette, leek, garlic leaves and peas and cook over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the courgette is soft.
– Add half a litre of boiling water.
– Add your stock cube and garlic.
– Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender until all the chunks are gone.
– Return to the heat and bring to a simmer. Season to taste.
– If you want to adjust the thickness you can add more water if necessary or simmer on a low heat to reduce further.
– Serve with a garnish of thinly sliced wild garlic leaves and a dollop of sour cream.
– Melt the butter in a medium sized pan. Add a small splash of olive oil to stop it catching.
– Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until soft and browned.
– Add the white wine and vegetable stock.
– Blend with a stick blender until your desired level of smooth. (I like bits in my soup but if you want a totally smooth soup you’ll need to decant into a liquidiser and blend in that then resume cooking.)
– Bring the soup to a boil then turn down to a simmer.
– Add the cream and heat gently until the edges are bubbling.
I know, it’s a long name but I felt it summed up this dish perfectly! Basically a whole heap of veggies, some nice thai green curry and a whole lot of SLURP! I got a spiraliser and it is so much fun! I like to prep a few veggies at the same time, box them up and refrigerate them for use over the next couple of days. Here I used carrot and courgette as my noodles. You could also serve this dish with rice if you wanted but don’t worry, this dish is plenty filling on its own without the carb!
1 large chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 jar thai green curry paste (I just use Tesco’s, it’s got a nice kick to it!)
2 tbsp coconut milk powder+~400ml boiling water/400g tin of coconut milk
1 courgette, spiralised (or julienned)
1 large carrot, spiralised (or julienned)
1 long red sweet pepper, sliced
2 handfuls spinach
100g mange tout peas, sliced
3 spring onions, sliced
– Heat a spray of oil in a large, deep frying pan.
– Add the chicken and the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until the chicken is white all over.
– Add the coconut milk powder and water (or the tin of coconut milk).
– Bring to a simmer.
– Add the vegetables.
– Give a good stir around to coat in the sauce.
– Add more boiling water to bring the liquid level up (we didn’t do this before because the amount of space your veggies take up can vary!)
– Serve in bowls!
I know I’m not the only one who has been feeling the effects after the excesses of Christmas but I have resolved this year not to go diving straight into a “Chicken and Steamed Veg” phase that will last all of a week. I still want to eat great tasting food and I refuse to feel guilty for it! If I can make my food taste great AND be healthy well, great, but I’m not going to beat myself up about relishing one of the great pleasures in life: Good Food! With that in mind this year I hope to be sharing with you a good mix of fresh, healthy ideas and some slightly more indulgent recipes for you to enjoy!
First up is this delightful Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe. Mushroom Soup always has a bit of an unfortunate aesthetic but, my goodness, does it taste good! This soup is so simple to whip up and pairs brilliantly with my Bacon, Liver and Porcini Mushroom Pate as a fancy starter (soup shots are my new favourite thing!) or a light lunch.
– Heat a splash of oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
– Add the onion and gently saute until soft.
– Add the mushrooms and stir about until cooked.
– Add salt and pepper to taste.
– Add the stock cube and the water (I basically just fill up the pan leaving about 1″ at the top, you can always add more water later to thin the soup if you want)
– Give everything a good stir and make sure the stock cube has dissolved.
– Turn off the heat and put your pan on a stable heatproof surface.
– Use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth. (Or pour into a food processor)
– Serve immediately or leave to cool completely and refrigerate until needed then reheat until piping hot on the stove or microwave.
As a part of my recent transformation into a healthy eater I have become a huge soup convert! I have soup for lunch every day at work and most of the time it’s home made. I discovered that bread really doesn’t sit right with me day in, day out. Now it’s more of a weekend treat. But this meant that sandwiches were off the menu. I will never, ever, be a salad loving girl… Or at least, the kinda of salads I will eat will never be considered healthy! (Bacon, avocado, DRESSING!)
Soup was my salvation. It’s hot, a life saver for those of us with body temperature issues, filling, especially for a liquid, and most of all healthy! I like to eat my soup with 2 rice cakes for a little bit of crunch. (There’s another dieting secret, rice cakes are freakin’ delicious! No one ever told me that!) There really is no end to the tricks you can play with a basic combination of vegetables and stock.
This soup started life as a plain old Butternut Squash Soup. It was good but when I tasted it I thought “This could do with some zing!” So I added some lime juice. Then I thought “This needs a little punch” so the fish sauce came out. And then the coconut milk was just a natural progression and while I was at it why not add some chilli and spices and really give it some pep? And so, Spicy Asian Butternut Soup was born. Enjoy!
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chunked
1 onion, diced
1 chicken stock cube (vegetable if vegetarian soup is desired)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes or 1 fresh chilli, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
100ml coconut milk (or cream, or powder, whatever you have is fine!)
1/2 tsp dried ginger (2cm fresh grated ginger would be better but I didn’t have any)
1/2 tsp dried coriander
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/ 200C while you prep your butternut squash.
– Toss the chunks of butternut with the olive oil on a large baking dish or tray and scatter with a pinch of sea salt.
– Roast the squash for 30 minutes until just starting to colour and crisp up a little bit.
– Heat a splash of olive oil in a large heavy pan.
– Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until just turning translucent.
– Add the butternut squash, the stock cube the chilli and ~1.5l of boiling water.
– Bring to a boil then turn off the heat.
– Use a handheld stick blended to blend the soup until smooth. (Dependent upon your squash you may find you have quite a thick soup at this point. Just add more water if you prefer a runnier consistency.)
– Add the lime juice, fish sauce, coconut milk, ginger and coriander and give a good stir to circulate everything properly.
– Make sure you taste it as you go! If you feel it needs a little something extra, go for it! This is your soup, tailor it to your preferences!
I thought I’d stick with tradition and apologise for not posting more. It seems to me that in the summer I don’t really have a lot of enthusiasm for cooking new and different things. I like to stick with trusty favourites so I can get on and do things in the daylight. Luckily, it would seem like autumn is well and truly on the way in. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and I was wearing a coat today! Lucky for blog readers, anyway!
I whipped up this soup late last night as I realised that a Snickers bar 5 hours earlier did not really cut it as far as dinner was concerned. Calories, yes, vitamins, no! It was wonderfully warming but still light, bright and gloriously green. The perfect end of summer soup.
Serves 4 as a starter (2 as a main with seconds!)
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 bags/bunches watercress
750ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
creme fraiche to serve
– Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat.
– Add the onion and celery and 1/4 tsp salt.
– Put a lid on the pan and allow to sweat for 5 minutes.
– Add the stock and the watercress and put the lid back on for 3-5 minutes until the watercress has wilted. Reserve a few sprigs of watercress to garnish.
– Blitz until smooth with a stick blender.
– Grate in a little nutmeg and check the seasoning and adjust to taste. (I tend to add a bit more salt than is good for me to be honest so I try to start low and work up a bit at a time)
– Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche in the middle and a sprig of watercress on top. Excellent served with crusty bread, equally good without!
Soup season is well and truly upon us. I recently bought a new cook book devoted entirely to soups but so far I haven’t even glanced at it. I work on the basic principle of cook a vegetable or two, add stock, blitz it with the stick blender = Soup! Most vegetables are better for a bit of roasting I find. Especially peppers (yum, yum, yum!). Tomatoes and garlic aren’t too shoddy either! Eat this soup with hunks of well buttered bread for a lovely, warming lunch time pick me up.
Serves 4 as a starter (or makes 2x500ml flasks for taking to the office)
2 red peppers, halved and deseeded
~5 vine tomatoes, quartered and deseeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, diced
1 pint hot vegetable stock
– Preheat your oven to gas mark 6, 200C while you do your pepper and tomato prep. You want to get rid of all of the seeds.
– Place the peppers, tomatoes and garlic in a large roasting dish and coo in the oven for 30 minutes.
– In the meantime heat some olive oil and a knob of butter in a large pan on a medium to low heat until just getting foamy.
– Add the onion and a generous sprinkling of salt and gently sautee until soft.
– When your vegetables are done take them out of the oven and chop them up a bit.
– Add them to the pan.
– Add the stock.
– Use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth with no lumps.
– Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Season to taste (another generous sprinkle of salt and a good grind of black pepper does the trick. You could also add some dried basil if you wanted.)
– Serve hot.
I live alone and I often say that boredom is the mother of invention. I didn’t want to eat this soup two meals running, no matter how delicious it was, so instead I took half the soup to work in a thermos and to the second half I added half a tub of marscapone and shredded some mozzerella in there as well and heated it all up. Then I tipped it over cooked pasta. Voila! A whole new meal! This served two so I spread it over two dinners.
Hi, I'm Anna and this is what's going on in my kitchen and growing in my garden.
Everything you see here is how it looked as I cooked and ate it. I don't like to make things too fussy. I want you to know that if you try one of my recipes what you see is what you'll get.
Don't forget to leave a comment, I love to know what you're thinking and if you do try out a recipe then let me know how it worked for you. Happy cooking!