Recipes

Seasonal Soups

At this time of year, when the rain seems endless and the days are short, there’s nothing nicer than than a bowl of lovely hot soup to warm you up. So we thought we’d post some of our favourite wintry recipes. Soup is also a great way to use delicious seasonal vegetables like leeks, roots and winter greens.

Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients

3 leeks

700g potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 litre vegetable stock (we think Marigold Vegetable Bouillon works well with this soup)

3-4 tablespoons of non dairy cream (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Peel and dice the potatoes.

Boil potatoes till cooked, drain and put aside.

Wash and chop the leeks.

Gently fry the leeks in the olive oil, till soft (use a soup pan).

Add cooked potatoes and vegetable stock to leeks.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Take off heat.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you’re using cream,  stir it through the soup now. Or swirl it on top, once you’ve served it up.

This soup can be blended or served with the vegetables whole.

Eat with crusty bread.  Or if you’re feeling fancy make croutons by…

Cutting bread into small cubes, gently heating 2 tablespoons of olive in  frying pan, adding the bread, sprinkling with salt and pepper and turning gently, until it’s golden and crispy all over.

Spicy Parsnip Soup

Ingredients

800g of parsnips, peeled and diced

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 teaspoons of fresh ginger peeled and grated

2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed

3 teaspoons of garam masala

1 litre vegetable stock (we think Marigold Vegetable Bouillon works well with this soup)

3-4 tablespoons of non dairy cream or unsweetened non dairy milk (choose cream for a richer soup).

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Gently fry onion in olive oil, for 5 minutes.

Add garlic and ginger and continue to gently fry until veg is soft but not brown.

Add garam masala and stir continuously for 2 minutes, to cook off the spice.

Add parsnips and stock, bring to the boil, then turn down heat and simmer until the parsnips are soft.

Allow to cool slightly, add cream or milk, then blend.

Use salt and pepper to season to taste.

Serve with crusty bread or toast.

 

Gluten Free Pancakes

DSC_0087

These pancakes are so tasty that you won’t believe they’re gluten free (and vegan!). You can make the batter the night before, and leave it in the fridge (best to take it out a little while before making the pancakes). As always, all of the ingredients are available in our shop. Enjoy…

Ingredients

This makes about 8 to 10 pancakes. Easily doubled.

  • 200g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 100g buckwheat flour
  • coconut milk, hemp milk or rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 ripe banana
  • organic sunflower oil

Method

Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over very low fire. Mash the banana in a bowl. Put in the melted coconut oil and the vanilla essence.

Sieve the flours into a large bowl (if you can be bothered), add a little salt to taste (half a teaspoon or so), then add the coconut oil and mashed banana mixture. Add some milk, using a hand whisk or an electric one. Rice milk gives a sweeter taste, more suited for sweet pancakes. Hemp milk works very well, as does coconut milk. Soy milk gives a more granular texture and is best avoided. Keep adding milk and whisking until you have a consistency that just about runs off the whisk when you lift it out of the mixture, without pouring off it. (If you want to make pancakes just after taking the batter out of the fridge, you might want to stir in a little bit more milk to make it runny again.)

Pour a little bit of sunflower oil into a frying pan (a small one will do) set over a medium heat. You want a good quality oil like Clearspring’s, as the oil needs to be really hot and a non-organic oil will taste bad. When the oil starts to smoke, pour in a ladle full of the batter. Work the batter around the pan, so you get a pancake that is about 20cm in diameter (8 inches). As we are using self-raising flour, they will rise a bit. When the edges start to brown, flip the pancake (a metal spatula works best). The underside should resemble the surface of the moon. If you want to fill the pancakes, put the cheese and/or fried mushrooms on one half of the pancakes, use the edge of the spatula to score the pancake in half, and fold over.

You want to keep the pan really hot (without overheating it), so once one pancake is finished, you want to put a little more oil in straight away, and start making the next one.

Our favourite toppings are maple syrup, blueberry spread, lemon and sugar, or strawberry spread non dairy cream. In the summer, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are good. We recommend Meridian fruit spreads as they are sweetened with apple juice.

Stuffed Jack-Be-Little Squashes

DSC_0053We threw this together the other day because we had these yummy looking squashes in the shop, so quantities are a bit haphazard. All of the ingredients in this recipe came from our shop. If you have stuffing left, you can always eat it for lunch the next day…

Ingredients (for 6 medium squashes):

  • 6 Jack-Be-Little squashes
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 small red onion
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100g wild rice mix
  • 1 Kallo mushroom stock cube
  • 1 small handful of dried porcini mushrooms
  • some warm water
  • some grated Violife mozarella ‘cheese’
  • 1/2 tspn vegan Marigold stock
  • 80 g of mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or whichever you like)
  • 1 Tblspn of ground almonds
  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes
  • some herbs provencal
  • some olive oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C (180 C fan assisted)
  • Cut off the heads of the squashes, keep these for the lids.
  • Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits (you can dry the seeds and grow more squashes)
  • Rub the insides and rims with olive oil (don’t bother with the lids)
  • Put the lids back on and put the squashes into the bottom of the oven on a tray
  • Put the rice on to steam
  • Soak the porcini mushrooms in a cup of warm water, add the stock cube
  • Fry the sliced leek with the herbs in olive oil, add sliced onion, then the chopped garlic and finally the sliced chestnut mushroom.
  • Add the tomatoes, the Marigold stock and the soaked mushrooms.
  • Roughly chop the nuts and add to the cooked rice together with the ground almonds.
  • Stir the rice into the sauce, add salt to taste
  • Once the squashes are pretty much cooked, take them out and put the stuffing in. Grate the mozarella on top, put the lids back on and return to the oven for the cheese to melt.
  • We served this with organic Robinta roast potatoes (scrub clean, cut into smaller pieces, rub with olive oil and salt, put into top of oven until done) and local organic curly kale, steamed and tossed in olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.
  • Stop eating before you explode.
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