Category Archives: lunch

Pumpkin Mushroom Soup

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Hmmmm….this just might be my favorite soup recipe of all time.  It is another throw back from my time at the Peacock Cafe, though I don’t have that original recipe.  In fact, I lost the recipe I did have, so this one is just a guess!!  😀  Tastes good still, so that is all that matters.

It is definitely easier to use canned pumpkin, though that is something that just doesn’t seem to exist here in England.  If, like me, you will be using a fresh pumpkin, be sure to choose a small, sugar or pie type.  They are more flavorful than their jack o’ lantern counterparts.   To prepare your fresh pumpkin, first cut it into fourths.  Then remove the seeds and stringy bits.  Place into a large stock pot full of about 3 inches of boiling water, cover with a lid and let steam for around a half hour. (alternatively, you could roast them in the oven until cooked) Remove from the water and let cool.  Once they are cool, spoon out the flesh and puree.  It is not safe to can fresh pumpkin  (something about being low acidity, causing embolism…) but you can freeze it with no adverse side affects!

p.s.–Adding un-hulled pumpkin seeds to soup is not a good idea…even if it does make it look pretty.  Remove the shell from the seeds first!

pumpkin mushroom soup

Pumpkin Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tbsp butter

8 oz (250g) mushrooms (oyster, chesnut or baby bella), sliced

1 Tbsp curry powder

2 Tbsp flour

3 cups veggie stock

2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp honey

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup heavy (double) cream, to serve

Method:

1. In a large stainless steel stock pot, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the onion and mushroom and cook until the veg is soft.

2. Mix the curry powder and flour together in a small bowl.  Add to the stock pot, stirring to coat evenly.

3. Pour the veg stock into the pot and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to a high simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

4. Add the pumpkin puree, honey and salt and pepper.  Cook for another 10 minutes.

5. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Adjust seasoning and add the heavy cream to serve.

 

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Corn Chowder

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I need to stop blogging so late at night….my mind turns to mush at around 10pm and I’m left with very little to write.  😛

But, I digress….this is corn chowder.  It is good.

corn chowder

Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

2 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped fine

1 cup of frozen corn

milk

1 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper

sprig of rosemary or strips of crispy bacon to garnish

Method:

1. Parboil the potatoes in water for 7-8 minutes, or until a knife can just pierce.

2. Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat, add the onion and fry until it is just turning soft. Add the carrot, potatoes, salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Add milk to about 1″ above the veg; simmer over low heat until the potato is soft and mushy (about 15 minutes) Make sure to keep at a slow boil as to not scorch the milk!

4. Add the corn and cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup leaving some chunks of veg behind. Season to taste and garnish with either a sprig of rosemary or some crispy bacon.

Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Sandwich

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God, I love pesto.  It’s just so tasty.  I know it’s cheating, but I have never actually made it myself…I keep meaning to, but then my basil always dies before it produces enough.  One day my ideals will match my gardening prowess.

This sandwich is extremely simple (as are most sandwiches).  It’s really just a true celebration of summer, as it is packed with roasted summer produce.  Yep, I am trying make the most of the last dregs of summer before it completely disappears!

roasted veg and pesto sandwich

Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Sandwich

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 zucchini (courgette), thinly sliced lengthwise

1 eggplant (aubergine), thinly sliced lengthwie

1 red pepper, cut into long strips

olive oil

salt and pepper

pesto

fresh mozzarella

whole grain baguette

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 400*F (200*C). Arrange the vegetables on a baking tray, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are just turning brown.

2. Assemble the sandwich by cutting down one side of the baguette. Spread pesto on the inside and layer the vegetables and mozzarella inside.  Return to the oven until the cheese is melted.

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

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Few things in life go as perfectly together as broccoli and cheddar cheese, no matter what form they come in!  Today was super rainy and cold, so the boys and I stayed in and watched movies all day.  We are running pretty low on ingredients, so after a cursory scan of the contents of my fridge, I was left with no choice  decided to make this nice, hearty soup. It is really yummy and filling, yet still feels pretty light…which I’m thinking is just because of the color.  Serve with a nice crusty bread roll or with these homemade cheese crackers.

broccoli and cheddar soup

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter

1 large potato, peeled and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

1 lb broccoli, florets cut into small pieces and stalk peeled and chopped

1 veggie stock cube + boiling water

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp paprika

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

1. Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add potato, onion, carrot and broccoli stalk pieces and fry until the onion is soft.

2. Add boiling water (about 1″ above the veg) and the stock cube; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potato is done (approximately 30 minutes).

3. Add broccoli florets and more water to just cover the veg, if necessary.  Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook for about 5-7 minutes.

4. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup completely.

5. Return to the heat; add the cheddar and stir to melt.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

Hummus Wraps

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I almost feel guilty posting this, as it is so simple.  But the taste is big, even if the effort is minimal.

When I worked at a cafe, we used to have this on our menu.  It’s pretty simple to make your own hummus, and the variations are limitless.  Whether you are making lemon, roasted red pepper, garlic or just plain hummus, they will all take just about 10 minutes. If you are interested in making your own hummus, visit this site for a wealth of different recipes.

For these wraps, I just used a plain hummus.  Worked a charm 🙂  Serve with kale chips for a healthy lunch.

hummus wraps

Hummus Wraps

Ingredients:

torilla wrap

hummus

a small handful of cheddar cheese, grated

1/8 cup each of tomatoes, cucumber, carrots

romaine lettuce, washed and shedded

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Spread hummus onto tortilla wrap.

2. Sprinkle on cheddar cheese and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

3. Fill with veg and fold.