Carrying on with the health kick I made a soup that definitely hits the mark on all counts, a tasty filling and healthy soup that weighs in at a lowly 150kcal (approx) per portion! Try it and you won’t be disappointed.
It’s worth taking the time to skin the baby broad beans, as the soup looks and tastes nicer without the white sheaf that surrounds each green bean
Serves 4 – Gluten Free*
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp Harissa
1 litre hot vegetable stock
400g can chopped plum tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
100g frozen baby broad beans, skinned
zest and juice ½ lemon
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onion, celery and the carrot. Cook on a low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft.
Add the cumin, garlic, harissa and tomato puree and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes until the aromas are released.
Turn up the heat, then add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas, plus a good grind of black pepper.
Simmer for 8 mins.
Then throw in the broad beans and add the lemon juice,
Cook for a further 2 mins.
Season to taste, then top with a sprinkling of lemon zest.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
During a quiet moment, which a few and far between during the holiday break, I had a chance to look for new foodie ideas and recipes. This one reminded me that I should get as batch of flavoured oils on the go again, The Rosemary and Garlic infused oil is a brilliant variation that I haven’t thought of, along with the Thai infusion!
Not That Mr T
Flavoured oils are one of my kitchen essentials. If you go to any farmers market there is almost always a flavoured olive oil stand, and they are usually crazily expensive! What is great though is these are so cheap and easy to do yourself. Simply get yourself some oil bottles, fill them with whatever takes your fancy and then top up with oil. These can also be re used again and again, just make sure you sterilise them between each use otherwise the insides will not stay so pretty. Leave them to fuse for a week or so and they are ready to go. Below are just a few suggestions of flavour combinations.
Hot and Spicy
Simply fill with chilli’s and some dried chilli flakes and then top up with olive oil. If the chilli’s are quite fat then just chop them in half.
This punchy red cocktail is from the menu at the Reform Social and Grill, in the Mandeville Hotel in London West End. Although it’s been inspired by tradition dating back to the days of an Victorian British Gentlemen’s Club, it’s far from stuffy!
The Boyo, a fruity rum based cocktail is certain to kick start the Christmas Festivities.
Serves 10-12 – Gluten Free*
300ml Pampero Rum
120ml Raspberry puree
120ml Strawberry Puree
120ml Blueberry Puree
90ml Vanilla Syrup (add a few drops of Vanilla Extract to a stock Sugar syrup)
30 ml Rose syrup (add some Rose Water to a stock Sugar syrup)
150 ml Lime juice
120ml Soda Water
A Scoop of crushed ice
Blend the ingredients in a jug
Serve into ice filled glasses and garnish with a Cranberry or two or a festive drink or Redcurrants for a refreshing summertime libation.
*Gluten Free - Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently.
This is one of my quick and easy supper recipes, an American classic that is filling and tasty. Originally a way to use up leftover spuds, I now find that I have to cook this one from scratch as it’s become a midweek favourite, especially with a couple of poached eggs.
Serves: 4 – Gluten Free
500g potatoes, diced into small cubes
2 tbsp oil
1 clove of garlic, minced or crushed
1 medium brown onion, finely diced
340g tin Corned Beef, diced into small cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1-2 fresh free range eggs (per person)
Place the potatoes in a pan of salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain and set aside
Heat the oil in a large heavy based frying pan.
Fry the onion for 3 mins or until it starts to soften
Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute
Add the potatoes, mix careful and fry for a further 5 mins
Now add the corned beef, and gently mix into the potatoes and onion, being careful not to break the mixture up too much. Fry for a further 3-4 minutes.
Spoon the mixture into a heat proof dish and pop under a hot grill until crusty and golden brown
Heat a large saucepan of water to boiling and add the vinegar.
Break the eggs one at a time into a ladle and pour into the water, swirling the water beforehand
Simmer the eggs for 2 minutes, remove and drain
Serve the hash with the eggs on top and a squeeze of ketchup on the side.
This is a classic and versatile recipe, I use it regularly and always make a double batch and freeze it in portions, as it makes a quick base sauce for so many other dinners.
Once you’ve made it you’ll never want to use a jar again.
Serves 8 -12 Gluten Free
5 garlic cloves
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
large bunch fresh basil
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tbsp tomato purée
4 x 400g/14oz cans chopped plum tomatoes
1 tbsp caster sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a wide saucepan or large frying pan,
Fry the onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent and soft but not coloured.
Add the garlic and finely chopped basil stalks and sizzle for one minute, again not allowing them to colour.
Stir in the tomato purée.
Tip in the chopped tomatoes, and sugar.
Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Simmer slowly for 30 minutes until the sauce is rich and thick.
Tear and stir in the basil leaves just before the end.
This can be frozen but should be used within a month.
For a creamy mascarpone and tomato sauce, add 1 tbsp of mascarpone cheese per person to the sauce and a little bit of the pasta water to thin it a little, Top with some Basil leaves and a generous grating of parmesan. Or fry off some meatballs and add to spaghetti for a quick and easy meal.