Lean, Green and Mean soup

This soup originally started as a way to use up my remaining veggies before I did the grocery shopping the next day. Stretching my budget, reducing food waste and packing in the veg – lots of my favourite things! We loved the combination so much that we’ve just kept going with it!

Fabulous dietary fibre, an amazing array of natural vitamins and a decent source of protein too – this one is such a great lunch for cooler days in winter.

It make about 10 serves and freezes well.

  • 1 large head broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1kg sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2L hot stock
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (75g)
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp Garlic olive oil

Heat oil in a large pot, add in the sweet potato.

Cover sweet potato with hot stock and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes before adding in the cauliflower and broccoli. Place lid on soup pot and allow to simmer for about 12 minutes.

Add in the spinach and seeds (if you don’t like bits, you are best to mill your seeds before you add them) and simmer for a further 3 minutes.

Add in the nutritional yeast and use an immersion blender to blend until the soup is fairly smooth.

20180330_141455-1

Serve warm on it’s own or with a your bread of choice.

20180422_183128

Enjoy πŸ™‚

 

A serve of 2 ladles has approximately: 177.8cal, 27.89g carbs, 5.64g fat, 7.08g protein and 3.48g fibre

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

As the cooler weather rolls around I am SO looking forward to soups featuring weekly on our dinner menu again.

I love soups for so many reasons; they are inexpensive, fast to make, you can make them in serious bulk for quick and filling lunches during the week, you can absolutely pack them with veggies, they can help you avoid food waste by using up your veg that might be otherwise past its best and they are easy to adapt for food allergies (I have even seen vegan, low FODMAP stock powders recently!)

This is one of our favourites … With a few little tricks it is a creamy, velvety comfort soup …. With none of your normal creamy ingredients πŸ˜‰ as well as its serve of fabulous dietary fibre, it’s also got some decent fat and protein to keep you going.

  • 1 1/2 large heads cauliflower (approx 1.2kg), chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 6 medium stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 400g tin butter beans, drained
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • Pinch pink salt flakes
  • few grinds black pepper
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 100g sunflower seed butter
  • 8 cups hot veggie stock (Massel for store bought)
  • Optional: fist sized piece of sweet potato, peeled and diced

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add in the onion and celery.

Fry, stirring regularly until onion is golden.

Add beans, cauliflower and herbs. Sweat down for about 3-4 mins. Add sweet potato at this point if you’re using it.

Add stock and bring to simmer, roughly 15-20 mins (until you can slide a fork easily into the veg)

Add salt, pepper, yeast and seed butter then use an immersion blender until the soup is perfectly smooth.

20180324_161138

Makes about 10 serves. Delicious on its own or serve with fresh crusty bread of choice.

20180324_180025

This one tendss to separate a little if you freeze and thaw but comes back together with a good stir.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Broccoli and Broad Bean Soup with Crispy Croutons

Soup is such a winner in winter. So fast to make, cheap and healthy and you can make a serious bulk batch for easy, warming lunches!

Broccoli and Cauliflower are in delicious form and in such abundance here at the moment – so let’s celebrate them!!

For the soup:

  • 2 tbsp garlic oilve oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • large sweet potato (roughly 700g after peeling)
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 cups broad beans
  • 8 cups hot chicken stock (Massel for a store bought option)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • OPTIONAL: For a creamier soup – 2 tbsp cream/coconut cream (the thick part from the top of the can)

Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan.

Add in the onion and celery and fry, stirring regularly until it is quite coloured.

Add in the diced potato and thyme and mix well to coat. Fry for a further 4-5 minutes, then add in the stock. Bring to a gentle simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Add in the remaining vegetables and bring back to a simmer for a further 10 minutes.

20170519_190148

Add in nutritional yeast and cream/coconut cream now if using and then use a stick blender to puree (If you are using a blender, be very careful to follow instructions about blending hot food …. you’ll need to let it cool and do a little at a time to avoid a nasty burn risk!)

20170519_191204

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

20180128_190624-1

This makes a very large quantity – probably 12-14 serves. Freezes and defrosts well.

For the croutons:

  • 4 slices of your bread of choice
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cheesey sprinklesΒ (or parmesan if it suits you)

Brush the olive oil evenly over the bread, on both sides.

Chop the bread into the sized croutons you’d like and then lay on a lined baking dish, scatter over the sprinkles and mix to make sure they are evenly covered.

20170520_161557

Place into a pre-heated, low oven (120C) and bake for about 40 minutes, tossing them over after 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

20170520_185106-1

Use to top your soup.

20170520_185530.jpg

Enjoy πŸ™‚

20170520_185718

P.S. If you are like my husband, and are a massive carnivore, you can always add some diced bacon into the cooking time for the croutons and crumble it on the top of your soup.

Moroccan Lamb Soup

This morning it actually felt a little cool in Perth – hooray!! Cooler weather in my book means soup! Out comes the slow cooker!

We are getting to the last 2 weeks of our 3 months of meat bulk buy so I am starting to need to get a bit creative with the cuts left and my pantry staples. Thankfully I have had an abundance of pumpkins in my garden so that has helped.

This delicious, hearty soup got rave reviews from my husband, the small one and the 2 big boys (both gave it 9/10) …. miss fussypants refused to even try – but that’s not unusual!

Such a great way to use a really cheap ‘left over’ cut of meat so about $4 of meat makes enough for our family of 6 twice over – hello easy freezer meals!

  • 1 medium butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1 large gold sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 400g tins chic peas, drained and rinsed
  • 400g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups very hot chicken stock (I used Massel)
  • 800g lamb soup bones
  • 2 tsp Moroccan seasoning ( I make this one)

Place the pumpkin, potato and chic peas in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Add in the tomatoes, stock and seasoning. Mix well.

Add the bones to the mix and press them down so that they are covered with liquid.

20160405_071140

Place on the lid, and set on low. Leave for 8 hours.

Remove the bones from the soup and use a fork to pull off the meat.

20160405_171957

Return the meat to the pot.

Use a stick mixer to blend until smooth (or a blender/processor/thermal mixer in smaller batches – please be VERY careful blending hot liquid inside a confined space!!). Season with salt and pepper to taste – I didn’t need to add any tonight.

20160405_172622

Serve immediately – it’s particularly yummy with warm garlic bread damper (see recipe below)

 

20160802_182000-1.jpg

Enjoy πŸ™‚

For the garlic damper process (Speed 5, 15-20 seconds) together 3 cups spelt flour (I did wholemeal and white), 3tsp GF baking powder, 1 tbsp Nuttelex/Vegan butter, 1 cup milk of choice and 1 tsp garlic salt. Bring together to a rough disc, press on to a lined baking tray, use your hands to rub 1 tsp of garlic olive oil over the top and sprinkle with flaked salt, slash the top and place into a preheated moderate oven for about 25 minutes or until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped.

20160405_175254

 

Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup

This soup in its original form was a regular feature on my Mum’s winter menu as I was growing up.

I seem to remember taking great effort to convince my younger brother that the rice vermicelli in it was dried eels brains … and for ages he believed me! Rotten sister!

It is such a comforting winter food that it is still a favourite of mine.

  • 4 large chicken thighs, very finely diced*
  • 4 tins corn kernels, drained and rinsed
  • 200g rice vermicelli
  • 12 cups hot chicken stock
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp Port or Sherry
  • 1 large head of broccoli, chopped

In a very large saucepan heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onions are golden.

Add in the chicken* and season with pepper, thyme and port. Cook stirring until lightly browned

Add in the stock, stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, take 2 of the tins of corn and place them in the food processor. Process until it fairly smooth. (You can just used 2 tins of creamed corn for ease if your diet allows, but the ‘extras’ in tins of creamed corn do not agree with Ellie).

Add in the now creamed corn and the whole kernels of corn and stir well. Add in the broccoli here.

Break up the rice vermicelli and add to the soup.

Heat until noodles are soft and serve.

20180520_180252

 

 

This makes a very large quantity – love my giant 11L saucepan!! Go with a half batch if your saucepan isn’t quite so big!

Hello lunch for the next month!!
Hello lunch for the next month!!

Soup freezes well and keeps in the fridge for about 4 or 5 days.

*If you have some left over roast chicken it works really well here in place if the chicken thigh, just chop it and add it in at the same time as the corn and broccoli.

Enjoy!

Beef, barley and lentil stew

I love winter time – the cold, grey days give me energy … I know, I’m strange!

One of the things I love is making delicious comfort food that warms and fills you up. I love that I can cook huge quantities of soups, curries, stews and casseroles that are packed with veggies and freeze them for easy meals. This is one of those meals.

It is quick and easy to make (about 10 minutes to start and another 5 later), is really cheap – about $8 for the entire 6L pot and the left overs freeze and defrost really well.

  • 800g beef soup bones20140608_084430
  • 3-4 carrots, diced (skin on is fine)
  • 3-4 large sticks of celery, diced
  • 3 potatoes, diced (skin on too) OR 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 400g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • approx 2L water
  • Salt to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in the slow cooker and fill with water to cover. Place lid on and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove beef bones and strip the meat. Remove sprigs of thyme. Dice the meat up and return to the pot, stirring well. Add salt to taste.

June 2014 040

That’s it!

June 2014 041

Enjoy πŸ™‚

Chicken and rice casserole (with cream of chicken soup replacement)

I saw a meal like this on the ‘Stay at home Mum’ website and I was inspired to create something similar that was safe for our family.

The two things that most appealed to me was that it used up left overs so it was economical and that it is able to be completely prepared ahead of time so that there is no cooking required during the crazy hour πŸ˜‰

The biggest issue was the dairy – clearly cream of chicken soup is a no go in our house … so I’ve made up a replacement πŸ™‚ It is basically a flavoured white sauce.

  • 1 heaped tbsp nuttelex/vegan butter1-Blog 030
  • 1 heaped tbsp GF flour/spelt flour
  • 1.25-1.5 cups milk of choice
  • 1 tsp Massel chicken stock powder

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour.

Allow to cook out until frothy. Using a whisk, mix well and continue to mix as you gradually add the milk.

When the mix is smooth and thickening add the stock powder. Remove from the heat when it reaches the consistency of a tin of cream of chicken soup. It tastes very Β creamy and ‘chickeny’.

*Update: To give this sauce an extra boost I have recently been adding about 1 cup of steamed pumpkin. Simply take about 1/2 a cup of the soup and blend it together with the pumpkin pieces, until smooth, then whisk back into the saucepan.

20170207_122944

Now for the casserole.

  • 3 cups finely chopped veggies (i used 1 cup each of carrots, peas and corn)
  • 2 cups finely chopped chicken (good way to use up chook left overs!)
  • 1 quantity chicken soup replacement (as above)
  • 1 cups hot chicken stock (use Massel for an instant variety)
  • 1.5 cups rice (I use basmati or brown rice)
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup cornflake crumbs/gf breadcrumbs

Cook the rice in a large saucepan – don’t let it get too soft as it still has more time in the oven.

Drain the rice and return it to the saucepan.

Add the veggies and chicken to the rice and stir to combine. Leave to the side.

Leave the soup replacement in the saucepan where it was made, return it to a low heat and gradually add the chicken stock, whisking to keep it smooth. Allow to thicken a little, constantly stirring for a couple of minutes.

Pour the stock and soup mix in to the rice saucepan and combine well.

Pour the casserole in to a baking dish.

Melt the butter in a separate dish, add the crumbs and yeast and mix until well combined and turned into a fine crumb.

Sprinkle crumb mix over casserole.

20170207_125546

Bake in a preheated moderate oven until topping is golden and bubbling – about 35mins.

Serves about 8 and freezes well.

1-August 2013 157

It was very well received in our house. Peter and I enjoyed it, Ellie polished off the whole bowl, Will had seconds and thirds and even Harry ate it with a bit of convincing (silly Mummy didn’t hide the yucky peas ;)).

This is a pretty flexible dish. You can easily make it a vegan/vegetarian dish by removing the chicken. You could also add any veggies or left over meat you have, or even replace the rice with pasta.

Enjoy!