It is definitely soup season, nights are getting darker, air is getting colder and a bowl of warm soup is the perfect recipe after a long days work. If you are looking for a really tasty soup that is simple to make with simple store cupboard ingredients then this is for you. The things I love about soup is that you can make a huge pot and freezer it for later. Tasty cooking can not get any simpler than this.
I harvested some of my Carrots and Parsnips at the weekend, so this was what I had decided upon. With some good quality crusty bread on the side this is perfect for lunch or dinner. The bright orange colour also brightens up your dinner table.
Full of nutrition too, with Carrots & Parsnips both being full of good Vitamin C this can help boost your immune system at this time of year and very low in calories too. Lets not forget the spices, with cumin being a great aid for the digestive system and also full or iron. Garlic, with its active compounds which can help reduce blood pressure and also combat sickness including the common cold. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant, was classed as a Superfood too. It’s a win, win soup for me this season.
8 Medium Size Carrots, Chopped (I keep the skin on but you can peel if you prefer)
6 Medium Size Parsnips, Peeled & Chopped
3 Celery Stalks, Chopped
1 White Onion, Chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Ginger Granules or 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Turmeric
1.5 litres good Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
A Little Swirl of Cream to serve and a sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (Optional)
Crusty Bread to serve (Optional)
Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
Serve into bowl and finish with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of seeds.
You can keep soup in a fridge for about 3 days and freezer for up to 3 months.
Oh yum, this little dish was delicious! Looking to be more healthier this year, so I decided on a veggie pie rather than meat. Super delicious and filling too.
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
3 tsp plain flour, 1 tsp thyme
Vegetable stock pot, made up to 200ml
2 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g tin adzuki beans
1kg Potatoes peeled and halved
75g mature Cheddar, grated
1 tbsp English mustard
To cook the Soffrito (A soffrito is a flavourful mix of diced onion, carrot and celery gently fried in oil. It forms the basis of many dishes, including soups, stews and sauces. Add chopped garlic or herbs for even more flavour, if you like.) Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the celery, onion & carrot for a few minutes.
Cut a piece of baking paper the same diameter as your pan and lay on top of the veg, cook for a further 10 mins. ( The circle of baking paper helps to keep the vegetables moist and retain their flavour as they cook. It’s also useful when cooking the base of curries, soups and stews, but you can do without if you don’t have baking paper.)
Add the tomato puree and stir through the add the flour and combine.
Pour in the stock, beans & thyme and bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
Transfer to an oven proof dish and allow to cool. Preheat your oven to 170deg fan.
Meanwhile, to make the rarebit mash:- Boil the potatoes until tender and mash.
Stir in 75ml milk & 25g butter
In a separate bowl mix the 75g grated cheese and mustard together. Slowly stir in the 75ml milk, until smooth.
Stir in the cheese mixture to your potatoes.
Spoon the mash over the pie mixture evenly. Note: (The bean mixture should have formed a thin skin while cooling. Don’t stir it before adding the mash because this helps keep the layers separate while the pie bakes).
Sprinkle with some thyme and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown. I have a browning setting on my oven and its great for things like this.
So Rio 2016 is upon us, to help celebrate I decided to try my hand at a Brazilian themed dinner. I was so pleased with my results, so tasty! Here you are, my recipes:-
Empanadas are little pockets of leftovers, I filled mine with Soffritto, Mince and Black beans filling.
Traditional Empanada dough is made a bit like an unsweetened tart crust: flour, salt (and any other seasonings), and butter are mixed to combine, then eggs and water are added until the dough comes together. However, I cheated for quickness and used shop bought ready rolled shortcrust pastry.
For the Soffritto:-
3 celery sticks
1 large white onion
1 tbsp olive oil
Chop all the ingredients into very fine pieces (cubes).
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, cook until translucent and slightly browned. Then add in the carrot and celery, reduce to a low heat and cook for approx 1 hour until its all browned. The flavour that comes from the vegetables is amazing and almost caramelised like.
At this stage you can eat it on its own or add any other meats or flavourings.
For my filling for the Empanada’s I added to the Soffritto mix:-
200g Browned mince
200g Black beans
2 tbsp Chopped Chilli
1 tsp salt & pepper to season
When the filling is ready, you are now ready to make your Empanadas
Roll out your pasty into circular shapes, I used a 4″ pastry cutter.
Take a dessert spoonful of the filling and put onto pastry
Wet you finger and wet the edges of the pastry, fold over the pastry into a half moon shape and seal with your finger or a fork.
Place on a greaseproof paper baking tray and brush with either milk or egg wash.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg for 25 minutes.
Also check out my Brazilian Cheesy Bread here:- https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2016/08/06/brazilian-cheesy-bread/