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Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Hello folks! Just a quick announcement before getting on with this post. Food Magazine‘s 2013 Reader Awards are accepting nominations for your favourite West Country food producers, shops, chefs, cafes and restaurants and, for the first time, bloggers. If you have any favourites that you think deserve some recognition you can vote for them here. And if you’ve enjoyed reading this little blog I would be over the moon if you nominated it. #awkward! Thank you!

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I had been planning to make a pot of vegetarian three bean chilli for some time but as the weather has become more spring-like I’ve been eating less soup and stew for lunch and more salads and sandwiches. Since my kitchen is now in a state of disrepair (more on that soon) it seems a lot more sensible to make a salad than try and cook something up on my paltry single hob. Despite fancying a cold lunch, I still wanted the flavours of a good bowl of chilli so I set out to make something spicy and smoky but salady at the same time. (more…)

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I’m calling time on this miserable, chilly month with some sunshine in a bowl. January has seen me trying out various ways of transporting my soup to work without it leaking all over the inside of my handbag; my thermos has given up the ghost after one to many bumps. I’m quite pleased with my bargain (£3.49!) bento-type box, it doesn’t keep food hot very long but can go straight in the microwave, no decanting required. Unfortunately it’s quite bulky and won’t fit in my bag like the thermos did and, since it’s white, everyone thinks I’m toting around a loo roll. I’m tempted by one of the uber-cute Fuel flasks, complete with dry section for crackers or crûtons, but the price is rather high and they look a tad small. Does anyone out there in the blogosphere have any recommendations?

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Happy New Year!

Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and fruitful 2012!

New year brings with it a fresh round of resolutions and a recommitment to healthy eating after all that festive indulgence. I’d like to shift the few pounds I’ve gained over the last fortnight but I’m in no particular hurry to dive into salads and raw veggies whilst I’m still in duvet and snuggly hoodie mode. I want comfort food that’s guilt free and tasty to warm and fill me up after I’ve been out in the driving rain playing with my shiny new running watch. I have five months to train for my first ever half marathon but my dedication to yummy food is not going to waver.

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I always prefer using homemade stock in recipes but it’s not always practical to make or easy to store. Freezer real estate is valuable stuff and I have to be very selective about what I choose to keep; there’s just no room for bags of vegetable flavoured ice. Especially since you can get some pretty good stock powders. But even the best of powders don’t allow you to match the ingredients to your tastes or the seasons.

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This has to be one of my all-time favourite soups. When I was little my mum used to ask my brother and I for meal and lunch requests; I would ask for leek and potato soup pretty much every week and, now I’m grown up and moved out, I call her for the recipe on an equally regular basis. Whenever it’s cold and I want a taste of home I make this soup so it’s about time that I actually documented the recipe (I’m sure I’ll just find another reason to call mum).

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A week or two ago I was bemoaning the fact that I was bored with soup and needed some new recipes and, whilst I’m still looking for some new ideas, I flicked through my little black book to rediscover some of my old favourites. Only my very favourite recipe conquests go in the book, nothing new or untested, nothing mediocre that I wouldn’t make again. I don’t think of myself as a particularly sentimental person but I like to think that when I (and if ) I have children, these will be the recipes I pass down to them, the ones that they grow up with that will always remind them of home.

I’ve made this soup countless times, it’s simple, filling and slightly exotic. The chilli warms you through, the coconut milk adds a rich, creamy flavour and the roasted butternut squash makes this soup slightly sweet. I usually make this on a Sunday and keep portions in the fridge ready to pop in my thermos for a packed lunch which works out well since the flavours in this soup develop over time. I prefer to use butternut squash but pumpkin would work equally well.

Butternut squash and coconut soup

Serves 4

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400ml low-fat coconut milk
  • 200-300ml vegetable stock
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Peel and chop the butternut squash into large pieces. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil. Roast until soft, about 30 mins depending on size of pieces.

Meanwhile heat a little oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook the leeks with the garlic and chilli until soft and translucent. Add roast squash, stir and cook for 2 minutes more. Pour in the coconut milk and 200ml of stock and bring to a boil.

Take of the heat and purée with a stick blender or mouli until smooth and silky. If the texture is too thick add the rest of the stock. Season and serve.

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