Tag Archives: veggie

Italian-Style Potato & Bean Soup

Don’t cook the spinach too long or it tastes good but looks like a sort of manky camouflage colour. Ask me how I know.

Italian-Style Potato & Bean Soup
Serves 2-3

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
40g baby new potatoes
3/4 pint vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp dried sage
splash white wine vinegar
150g spinach, defrosted if frozen
1 can red kidney beans, drained

Sauté the onion and garlic in a little oil until softened. Drop in the potatoes, stock, purée, vinegar and sage. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins or until the potatoes are cooked. Add the spinach and kidney beans and warm through. Season well and serve with crusty bread.

Wild Quinoa Pilaf

I wish quinoa didn’t look like quinoa. I mean it tastes good, it’s easy to cook, it’s a nice ingredient to have in the cupboard. It just looks grim, more like stuff you’d find embedded in a chalky cliff than something edible. Cooked – well, I’m not going to say what I think it looks like cooked for fear of putting everyone else off it. Ick.

Anyway, here’s how to cook it to make it look a bit better than it does on its own.

Wild Quinoa Pilaf
Serves 2, probably.

1/3 cup wild rice
1/3 cup quinoa
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
handful of mushrooms, chopped

Cook the rice for however long the packet tells you, but 15 minutes before that time shove the quinoa in. Drain, trying not to fall into the ‘I’m sure quinoa isn’t too small to be drained in this colander. I could use a sieve but it seems a shame when I have a perfectly good colander’ trap – just use the sieve straight off. Trust me.

Meanwhile(ish), sauté your bacon and garlic and onions and mushroom, perhaps adding a dash of chilli flakes, perhaps a light sprinkling of nice earthy herbs. Then mix in the drained grains and either serve as is or stick in the oven a bit to crisp up the top.

OK, so Camargue red rice isn’t that wild. Nor is quinoa… although it was organic and about two years past its use-by date so it’s about as wild as it’s ever going to get without starting to move.

Courgette & Cumin Soup

I’m achingly close to finishing the scarf. Four more rows of the main pattern and then 8 of ribbing. This is a good thing, as it has been becoming increasingly more obvious to me that my knitting method is completely and utterly wrong. Sure, it all comes out as knitting in the end, but I don’t think my backwards-one-hand-contorted-style that I developed age 8 and have never bothered to sort out will stand up to projects any more demanding than a scarf. And since eBay has just made me buy a set of circular needles, I may as well do them some justice by using them properly.

Apart from that, I have a cold. So soup was inevitable.

Courgette & Cumin Soup
Serves 1 sniffly female

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 courgette, sliced
couple of potatoes, diced
1 green chilli, diced
300ml vegetable stock

Sauté onion, garlic & cumin in a little oil until soft. Shove everything else in, cover and simmer 15 mins. I had mine chunky but you could zuzz it if you so wished (and if you want to drink icky green goo, I don’t think the colour’d be quite right). I left a good number of chilli seeds in there, in the hopes of burning out the little bastard cold germs with which I am riddled. I don’t think I left enough in, so I’m hoping the the garlic will follow it up with a delayed reaction.

I’m a firm believer in the old adage ‘feed a fever, feed a cold’. It forms part of my general guidelines for life:

Ill? Sad? Angry? Confused? Drink through it!
If you can’t drink through it, eat through it.
If you can’t eat through it, sleep through it.

After that point the emergency services should probably be called. Such a serious situation should be left to the professionals.

Mushroom Jalousie

My mum used to make this for us when I was a kid – I think it’s quite possibly one of my favourite recipes ever. I’m not sure if she knows that… Actually, I think I’ve had drunken conversations with her when I’ve slurred my appreciation for it, so it’s all ok. I have expressed my gratitude for it. Anyway, it’s one of those recipes I pretty much know off by heart, and which I don’t really alter any time I do it. It’s quick and simple, and brilliant comfort food.

Mushroom Jalousie
Serves 3

250g puff pastry
1 onion, chopped
175g mushrooms, chopped in a similar fashion
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp marmite
3 slices worth of breadcrumbs
50g cheese, grated
1 small egg, lightly beaten

Sauté the onion and mushrooms in a little olive oil until the juices start to run. Remove from heat and stir in the basil, pepper & marmite; then add the breadcrumbs and cheese, and lastly the egg.

Roll out the pastry to about the size of your baking tray. Fold in half along the long edge to make a crease, then fold one of those halves over again and cut diagonal slashes in it. Unfold and lalala you have little arrow shapes like > > > in your pastry.

Pile the filling on the other side, wet the edges, fold the > > > side over the top of the filling and mush the edges together so they stick and seal. Brush with milk (for a glaze) and bung in the oven for 20-25 mins until pretty and golden.

(Alternatively, divide pastry and make cute little pasties, bake for a bit less time then freeze individually for ready meal goodness.)


Now, discussions. The cheese only needs to be cheddar or somesuch… did think about experimenting with stilton but the marmite gives it enough of a salty kick, so I don’t think it’s necessary. Also, is a bit of over-complication for something which is supposed to be down-to-earth and, umm, uncomplicated.

Oh 3 slices of bread is about 100g. If that makes much of a difference. And you’ll only be using half a block of bought puff pastry, so you can use the rest to make cheese straws/other pastry-based snacks. In fact I’m considering mince pies… I have at least one jar of mincemeat in the cupboard that I failed to make anything with at Christmas.

Hot Mushroom Soup

Just a quickie rustled up from leftovers in the fridge.

Hot Mushroom Soup
Serves 2

1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
125g mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup rice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
veggie stock*
good dash cayenne pepper
dash white wine vinegar

Soften the onion & garlic in a little oil until translucent. Sauté the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then shove in the remaining ingredients (to taste, etc). Simmer for about 15 minutes. Er. That’s it. You could use noodles instead of the rice… and actually, I tarted it up by whisking an egg and then dropping it by spoonfuls into the soup. Looked like shite (hence no picture) but tasted pretty good.

*when it comes to amounts for the stock, just use as much as looks right. Put in enough to cover everything by a couple of inches. If you like your soup thicker, go find a different recipe. 🙂