Posts Tagged ‘soups’

How green you are! “Green veggie power soup”

I know what you’re thinking. Not another bowl of green!!

I promise to do something else soon. Like some healthier baking. Some almond chocolates. Or a big family vegetable lasagne (dairy free) Some sorbets. In the hope that it gets warm enough to warrant them?

But today friends, green. And lots of it.

My friend posted this link up, and Lo and behold- I had pretty much all the ingredients save the green beans. I felt duty bound to prepare it immediately, and if you don’t quibble about quantities, working on the chuck-it-all-in principle, it is extremely quick to whip up (less than 15 minutes I’d say) Here is the website for the recipe.

Once cooked, blend and season to taste. (I added bouillon powder during the cooking, and salt/nutritional yeast at the end)  I blended my spinach in raw, because, why not?  I think a small clove of raw garlic would not have gone amiss either. It was beautiful and vibrant and …green..and my son refused to eat it!   So I consumed it all, and thoroughly enjoyed it. His lunch was quite Green….just not green in colour. He looked actually indignant when I offered it to him!

That’s all for now. I can hear my little man coughing up in bed….he should have had my power soup at lunchtime  🙂


Did that merit an exclamation mark? I think not. I have been known to over-use them, and often have to delete one or two (or more) as I re-read blog posts or emails. The exclamation mark implies that I am exuberant or even surprised by this particular success- whereas in fact 1)it’s not the most exciting thing I have ever made to be sure (some might not find any of what I make exciting 🙂 )  and 2) It is really impossible to do it wrong.

I’m talking about vegetable stock. Now you see why the exclamation mark is surplus to requirements.

Just a wee update to the post about making your own vegetable stock here by storing up your tops, tails and peelings in the freezer until you have enough to make a nice crock-pot full of stock.

Much as I love vegetables, when I saw the carrot peelings, onion tops and tails, broccoli stalks, vegetable juice pulp, celery ends etc etc floating in cold water (filtered, at least!) I felt a bit dubious. I threw in some sea salt, and 2 bayleaves, and cranked up the slowcooker.

After a few hours cooking, and straining (a regular sieve would be fine), I had a beautiful dark coloured savoury tasting stock. It was very delicious. It’s confirmed. I even drank some (it’s freezing here! Exclamation mark worthy temperatures)

So now I’m wondering why I used bouillon powder for the vegetable/red lentil soup I made this morning……………..I guess I’ll need to make some more soup. (I suppressed an exclamation mark there, for example)  I am definitely going to do this from now on, at least until I have a garden with a compost bin. It’s almost zero effort, and there are a lot of water soluble vitamins in that stock.

That’s all for now. Wishing you joy in your journeys today, and some exuberance worthy of an exclamation mark  🙂

Home-made vegetable Stock

We go through a fair amount of veggie peelings- carrot tops (adults) carrot peelings (pickier kids), onions tops and tails (don’t tell Ellie there is onion in almost everything I make) celery ends (just me folks), fat broccoli stalks (raw broccoli salad + my friend Melisa= perfect lunch-at-home date) kale stems, and all the other usual planty stuff. I stumbled across this idea somewhere online, and I thought I would share.

I loved it because we don’t have a composter in our smallish rented garden, and though the Council collects food waste, I am more than happy to find other ways to use my waste. (Celery ends, and broccoli stalks, by the way, can be used in a green juice, but it may be a little too green for some…..this idea is “green” too. All is well)

Simply start a “stock” bag in your freezer, and every time you top and tail vaggies, peel them, have something about to turn or whatever it is, throw it into your freezer bag. I have made home-made vegetable stock before, but mainly with leftovers that happened to be in the fridge. This way, you just store it all away until you have a nice big bagfull.

Then throw it all into a slow cooker overnight, with water- adding- for example:

  • 2 bayleaves
  • sea salt
  • peppercorns (optional)
  • a small glug of olive oil
  • a few garlic cloves
  • herbs of choice- such as thyme, for example
  • a small onion if you don’t have sufficient onion pieces in your bag.
  • other things to add for a deeper flavour if wished: miso, some Marmite, etc


In the morning strain it……..and throw the veggie pieces into your food waste. Okay, okay………I know what you’re going to say…but you got some stock out of it, right?! (Obviously cooked waste is no good for a garden composter. My council composts under controlled conditions so that cooked and raw can be broken down together without bacteria developing.)


My freezer bag is almost full, and while I should have probably tried it before posting, I cannot see how it can go too wrong. It is after all, vegetable water.

Happy Thursday. I have a children’s party to prepare for my smiling, dancing, jiggly salad-loving sidekick Ellie. 5 on Sunday!


Peas and Thank You: Spicey African peanut stew

Autumn days seem so right with chickpeas, sweet potato, red lentils and curry spices all in the same bowl.  To me, anyway. So right, in fact, that I just ate a massive portion now (lunchtime) and am wondering what I can eat tonight when everyone else is eating this. It’s just that my hands were so cold, and Isaac was so…asleep, and I just wanted to reward my long walk in a cold wind.

This Spicey African Peanut stew is courtesy of Peas and Thank You so to reciprocate courtesy, if you want to make this, follow the link below for the recipe quantities. However, I will tell you, it’s a throw-it-all-in-the-slow-cooker dish, and it contains the following ingredients:

  • Chickpeas
  • Tinned tomatoes (I used tinned cherry tomatoes, she used “fire roasted tomatoes”)
  • Peanut butter (not that much)
  • Coconut milk (I didn’t have any; I added some coconut oil but you can’t taste it. Oh well…)
  • Curry powder, and a few other common storecupboard spices
  • minced garlic
  • minced fresh ginger
  • vegetable stock
  • red lentils
  • sweet potato

    Better than peanut butter sandwiches.










No salt! Other than a little if you use it in the stock (I just added a little bouillon powder) 

I am proud to be thoroughly enjoying a meal seasoned only with spices, and me a salt-lover.

Here’s the link then:   Peas and Thank You: Spicey African Peanut Stew   (It starts with an anecdote of her children. Read on)

Really, click that link. It is one delicious stew.

As I mentioned at the beginning, autumn days and warm curried stews with pulses are a marriage made in heaven in my opinion.

Perfect. Almost…….I think I will just add a pinch …just a pinch….of sea salt  🙂

Two-way Soup (Red lentils/split yellow peas)

I do not feel too enamoured towards this soup right now. And this is why:








(And to think I was miffed about a sundried tomato that was too tough to blitz) Or should I hate the blender?  No….wait…’s ME who aligned it incorrectly, causing the base to stay screwed in, and the whole goblet of nourishing autumnal protein to come cascading down all over the work surface and floor. Thankfully I had made so much, that this was the second goblets-load that I was blending.

I haven’t posted that many soups. I have posted the odd stew, like lentils, and some savoury smoothies (aka “raw soups“) but generally, I feel like a recipe for a autumn vegetable based soup is superfluous? I might be wrong. I just always make them by chucking whatever I have in a pot, with seasoning, blending (normally successfully) and then serving with brown rice or some home made bread, or to make the girls very happy, brown rice vermicelli from Morrisons. They love “tiny pasta” in their soup.

But since this fiasco begged a photo, I will post a recipe.  It’s dead simple.

  • 1 cup of yellow split peas (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 red onion
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • vegetable bouillon powder (2 Tablespoons)
  • 1.2 litres of boiling water
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 2-3 sundried tomatoes thrown in whole (optional)
  • 1-2 celery stalks
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. For quickness, throw everything in the slow cooker and put on High until mid afternoon. (OR  Pre-saute the onion and garlic gently in olive oil first)
  2. Once cooked, leave to cool, and blend (careful now! Oh, did I mention I didn’t leave the soup to cool as you are supposed to, and also burnt my whole forearm?!)
  3. Once blended, I divided the soup into two pans. For the kids, I added brown rice vermicelli (cook for 5 minutes) and seasoned additionally with salt and nutritional yeast. In our version, I added some curry powder, a tiny bit of  ground ginger and garlic salt and cooked it off a bit longer. Serve with brown basmati rice, warm, in the soup.

There you have it. Healthsome protein-rich two-way soup. As opposed to every-which-way soup. Serve with warm mini spelt rolls. I did 🙂

Savoury smoothies

The first time I came across a recipe for a “raw soup” I couldn’t imagine anything wierder, or more unappetising.i pictured some kind of cold ditchwater with raw onion, rubbery mushrooms and dodgy looking sprouts a-floatin’. It didn’t take me longer than a few seconds, however, to remember  that my favourite ever summer “soup” is gazpacho– a raw soup!

Raw soup. Savoury smoothie. Blended salad. Whatever. It’s a raw veggie drink and I love raw veggies!

So, no photo…..but I just thought I would encourage you to think of different ways to enjoy nature’s bounty- blended. I find with a savoury smoothie, you have to be a bit more careful- with sweet delicious fruits, it’s very difficult to go wrong- with vegetables, you just have to take care to balance sweetness and “bite”. Tomatoes and red bell peppers are always a good way to go as a base.

The other day I did a simple one with:

  • 2 red bell peppers (small)
  • 2 large flavoursome tomatoes
  • 1 spring onion
  • a glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • a small avocado
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • a pinch of salt that was larger than I care to admit
  • Enough water to get your blender going. (perhaps 1/2 cup of water?)

If it is hard to blend at first, use the “pulse” button and pulse until it can ger going, then blend till totally smooth and creamy, and drink!

Here is an amazing one. Oh seriously, this is good!! It is a summer recipe, when tomatoes and red bell peppers are flavourful and abundant. Perhaps I am a little late with this? Personally I still find these really refreshing, and have not go into craving warm hearty stews yet. One word of warning: Tone down that garlic if you are not accustomed to raw garlic. The quantities are not for the faint-hearted, neither are they appropriate for anyone who will be in contact with…well…anyone, for…quite a long time. Unless you are sharing it with someone. And even then….I am doubtful!  I love it, I have to say, but I am not sure that is always an appropriate benchmark for everyone  🙂

So, here is the link. You need to blend it extremely well in a good liquidizer (not a handheld blender) to get that creaminess. It is almost free of fat, but for extra creaminess, and added nutrition, add a small avocado once everything is blended, and blend briefly until smooth. I am a firm believer that the addition of a small avocado to most salad dishes and salad-drinks is rarely, if ever wrong 🙂

RAW Smoky Roasted Garlic Red Pepper Soup     If you make this, add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika for extra smokiness, I do.

May I just reiterate once again, how amazing you feel inside when you feed your body all these plants and clean food?????  

Consider it reiterated, then.

Thank you 🙂

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