Broccoli and Stilton Soup

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I was in my local supermarket earlier and I picked up 2 heads of organic broccoli reduced to only £0.03 each!!  …. you know what it’s like, your head starts going through possible yummy recipes… my head was telling me soup! 😉    I nipped round to the cheese counter and picked up a bit of stilton.

|This recipe should serve six.

Ingredients:

  • 50g / 2oz butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 2 large heads of Broccoli
  • 2-3 oz of Stilton Cheese or adjust depending on your preference
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
  • 1-1.5 litres boiling water and a stock cube

Method :

  • Heat the Butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and leave to cook on a low-med heat for 8 mins until they become soft and clear
  • Whilst the onion and garlic are softening, chop the broccoli as finely as possible.   Add the chopped broccoli to the onions and pour in 1 litre of boiling water an a stock cube and bring back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • When the broccoli is tender, add the stilton cheese.   Whizz the soup well in a liquidiser to give it a really smooth texture.
  • Check and adjust the seasoning and reheat if necessary.

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Hearty Scotch Broth Soup

Hearty Scotch Broth Soup.

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I have been cooking and baking for a long time now and I am embarassed to admit that I have never ever made a pot of Scotch Broth Soup before {hangs head in shame} … that was until thursday last week 🙂 !  I always had this strange idea that it would turn out to be a disaster and never bothered to make it, but…..  

Whilst I was in the supermarket last week, I picked up a couple of bags of vegetables from the reduced counter,an absolute bargin @ £0.10 pence a bag, and locally grown.. In the bag I got a couple of handfuls of carrots, 2 Onions, a leek and a small turnip, the plan was to make a stew and some soup, so I toddled round to the pulses and dried foods section and picked up a 500g bag of Vegetable Broth Mix.

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Ingredients :

  • 2 oz Vegetable Broth Mix
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped finely
  • 3 Medium Carrots, Grated
  • 1 Leek, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A Tablespoon of Oil and a knob of butter
  • About 1 – 1.5 litres of water

Method:

  • Soak the broth mix overnight, in a bowl cling filmed and in the fridge.
  • Next day rinse the broth mix under cold running water and set aside
  • Take a heavy based saucepan and add to it the oil abd butter and melt
  • Add the finely chopped onion and cook int he pan until translucent/softened
  • Add the grated Carrot and sliced leek
  • Add the broth Mix and combine
  • then add enough water to cover everything in the pan and loosen it all off, you can always add more water to loosen it off should it get too thick
  • Add the stock cube/boullion or granules, Salt & Pepper and mix well
  • Simmer until everything is cooked and the pulses softened…. I left mine cooking for a couple of hours and it was fine.

Verdict : 8/10 – It tasted fab and I would make it again but experiment with adding a diced potato and diced turnip 🙂

The Cost of Living..

Is it just me or does anyone else think the cost of living is rocketing?

  • Mortgage rates are fairly high
  • Electricity and Gas prices have just increased (again)!
  • animal feed costs have rocketed
  • petrol and diesel are so expensive, roughly £1.03 per litre / £5.15 a gallon

I was reading stoney’s blog yesterday and he has a very interesting post regarding the increased cost of animals feeds.   I need to re-order organic layers pellets and organic mixed corn for my chickens this weekend.   I will look out the receipt for the last lot I ordered and compare it, just to see how much its gone up.

I’ve no idea how much it now costs to do a full weekly shop at a supermarket these days purely because I shop locally where possible,  it would be interesting to hear from people that do and your views on the subject.  

For the last couple of years I have chosen to shop locally for my meat(local butcher) , vegetables (local farmshop),  I buy my all my basic ingredients (flour, sugar, spices etc) from the Neeps Food Co-op.   

I do use the supermarket for the things that I just cant buy locally and my bill never really comes to much more than £40 for those items and thats for a whole month.

I make all our food from scratch, using raw ingredients to create wholesome, hearty, good, organic homemade meals and baking, I would say that I don’t spend an awful lot of money on luxuries, Now that I’ve had a wee rant about how this, I’ve decided that I will do a wee project and do an analysis of how much it costs me to produce the things I make.. i.e. each meal, the cakes,  puddings,  & the soups I make.

From now on every recipe that I post I will report just how much it cost me to make it for information.

Leek & Potato Soup

Leek & Potato SoupOriginally uploaded by Towniesmallholder

I made some Leek and Potato Soup & crusty white bread this morning for us all to have for lunch this afternoon.

The recipe is just kinda thrown together off the top of my head, but is the basis for the majority of Leek and Potato soups that you would find in cookery books.Ingredients:

  • 1 large Onion, Diced
  • 3 Large Leeks, Sliced
  • 3 Large Potatoes, Cubed
  • 3 Small Cloves of garlic, Sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Marigold Vegetable Boullion
  • 2 Litres Water
  • Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Maldon Sea Salt, large pinch
  • Freshly ground black pepper

method:

  1. Put a large heavy based pot onto the top of the stove, and add the olive oil.
  2. add onion, garlic and leeks and saute until soft.
  3. add the cubed potato and stir in
  4. add the veg stock and stir that in too
  5. add the water and stir well.
  6. let the soup simmer away for an hour or so
  7. remove from heat and allow to cool a bit then blitz it in the liquidiser until smooth.

When you are ready to serve the soup, add a swirl of double cream in the middle of each soup bowl and either garmish with a wee bit of chopped flat leaf parsley or finely chopped chives.

Green Lentil Soup

Later on today we will be taking a wee trip to see Nancy at our local Farm Shop to pick up our veggies for the coming week..   I wanted to use up what we had left over from last week so thought i’d make some soup.    The weather today is horrid its raining heavy, its windy and cold.. just the right kinda day for a bowl of soup and some fresh made crusy bread.

The bread is churning away in the breadmaker and the soup is bubbling away on the cooker ..

The quantities are approximate, because when I make soup its usually ad hoc, I always forget to take a note of exact quantities.

  • A large heavy based soup pot
  • organic vegetable stock cubes
  • a big pinch of maldon salt
  • black pepper – about 20 turns of the pepper mill should do it
  • 4 litres of water
  • 6 smallish carrots grated
  • 2 diced onions 1 x brown and 1 x red
  • a head of brocolli
  • 2 potatoes grated
  • a big bunch of fresh curly parsley chopped
  • green lentils I used about half a small packet will guess at 150g
  • 3 medium length skinny leeks sliced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • A tablespoon of tomato puree

method:

  1. bring water to the boil
  2. Add salt and stock cubes, stir until disolved
  3. throw in all the vegetables and lentils
  4. let it simmer away for about an hour
  5. remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
  6. then blitz it in a blender until smooth

Serve in a a bowl with a little dollop of double cream and sprinkle with some finely chopped parsley…. not forgetting a big chunk of freshly baked bread and butter.

My Mum’s Special Christmas Chicken Soup

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This is my dear late mum’s special recipe for her Christmas Chicken Soup..  

This is a special tradition in our house at christmas, whereby we always have this soup as a starter for our Christmas Day Dinner.   Dueto going up to my in-laws for our christmas dinner .. .. I have decided to make a big pot of this soup today and we will have some before we go out to see the Panto Cinderella at the Carnegie Hall tonight.

 Now for the recipe…

1 Whole Chicken (to make the stock)

3 Large Leeks or 6-8small leeks halved and chopped

A small handful of long grain rice

2 chicken stock cubes

1 large Onion finely chopped

a good bunch of flat leaf or curly parsley

Maldon Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method:

Put a big pan of water onto the cooker, place the whole raw chicken into the water and bring to the boil… Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and allow to cook for about an hour to an hour and a half.

Once the chicken is cooked, allow the liquid to cool down a bit, then remove the chicken and put aside, then strain the liquid through a sieve to catch any loose bits of bones / fat and scum..

Wash the pan and return to the stove, pour the strained chicken stock back into the clean pan, sieving it again as you pour it in.

Bring the pan of chicken stock to the boil again,  and add the 2 chicken stock cubes.

Add the leek, onion, long grain rice, salt and pepper to the pan and simmer for 10 mins

Add one of the chicken breasts, chopped into bits or just shred it into the pan from the above cooked chicken.

 Add the chopped parsley and allow to simmer for 20 mins.

Then enjoy with a home made crusty baguette ripped into chunks spread with a good organic butter.