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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Tomatoes and the HUGE Potato

Well… I decided to clear out the greenhouse at the weekend and give it a good old scrub out.

We picked the last of the tomatoes, including the green ones…. they look fab in the dish together, the colours are so vibrant.. I would really like to make some tomato and chilli relish, so if anyone out their has a tried and tested recipe that they would like to share, i’d love toi hear from you

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Next I dug some potatoes from the 3rd bed for our dinner… and look what I dug up…. the organic Lady Balfour variety that I got reduced to 50p at the local garden centre turned up trumps…. with this whopper

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I took it into my workshop to measure it … it was a whopping 6inches long and weighed in at 1lb 12.1 oz!!!

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Lettuce : Paris White Cos

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I’m really looking forward to trying out different varieties of lettuce this year in the garden, this particular variety has been around for a great many years and is listed online as an heirloom variety.

A really tasty cos (barrel-shaped) lettuce with an old fashioned flavour.   Sweet and crunchy, ideal for summer salads.

  • Sow Indoors March-April
  • Sow Outdoors April-July
  • Harvest – From may Onwards
  • Cost £1.49 per packet
  • Seeds Sown Indoors in the greenhouse on Sunday 26th April 2009

Squash – Sweet Dumpling

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I have never tried growing squash before so this is a first for me and I’m quite excited about it 🙂

Sweet Dumpling – This small, mildly sweet-tasting squash resembles a miniature pumpkin with its top pushed in. Weighing only about 7 ounces, it has sweet and tender orange flesh and is a great size for stuffing and baking as individual servings. Sweet dumplings are tiny but great for roasting and presenting whole.

  • Sowing Time : Indoors Mar-May & Outdoors May
  • Harvest : October
  • Cost £1.79 Per Packet
  • Seeds Sown : Indoors in the Greenhouse on Sunday 26th April 2009

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 🙂

Tomatoes & Chilli

Tomatoes & Chilli

Originally uploaded by T o w n i e

Tomatoes & Chilli

This is the last of my tomato crop.

The plants in my greenhouse are well past their best, so I have decided to pick whats left and clear out the plants. The lack of sunshine has not helped their growth and fruit production this year.

I think they were also hit by some kind of tomato blight as some of the stalks and branches had grey furry stuff growing on them, has anyone else experienced this on their tomato crops this year?

First attempt at growing Carrots….

I planted some carrot seeds back in April and the other day I pulled a few just to see if they were ready and they were 🙂  A real success given the horrendous summer we have had.

The variety sown was Unwins Early Scarlet Horn, they taste fabulous too.

My neighbours must have thought I was mad dancing around the garden with a small bunch of carrots,….. do I care… not one bit 🙂

It is just the best feeling in the whole wide world harvesting vegetables planted from seed.

Vegetable Savoury Rice

Recipe:

  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 8 Mushrooms, quartered (I quarter mine so the kids can pick them out easily)
  • A couple of handfuls of frozen peas
  • A small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 red chilli finely sliced, no seeds included
  • enough long grain rice to serve 4
  • Light and Dark Soy Sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method :

  1. Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet
  2. Put all the vegetables into a large non stick frying pan and saute until soft
  3. Once the vegetables are soft and the rice is cooked, add the rice to the same pan as the vegetables and stir in enough soy sauce to coat the rice and heat through until piping hot… and serve.

My OH loves this rice with Scampi piled on the top

How the Veggies are progressing…

A bit of a mixed reaction with the growing season so far… it started out great, lovely and warm, then it kinda went downhill after that.. its not been that sunny and it has rained a fair bit, and I think this has had an impact on the veggies growing both in the greenhouse and in the garden.

Here is an up to date report on some of the veggies growing in my garden..

First of all the peas… I have some planted straight into the garden and also some growing in a trough on the high wall..

Both were sown inside the greenhouse then planted out about 2 weeks apart, the result for both is that they have grown about 10 – 12 inches tall (not really that big), they have produced pea pods, but not that many of them, I’d be lucky if there was enough to serve up onto one plate let along freeze a bag of them so we could enjoy them in winter.. so verdict on the peas 1/10 really disappointed.

Now on to the tomatoes in the greenhouse… I have around 10 plants all seemingly doing well but not a lot of fruits, in fact I had to take 2 off the plant this morning as they had blossom end rot, I always remember my dad moaning about it when I lived at home, cursing the blossom end rot lol, now i’ve got it!

The micro tom tomatoes… I dont think I will be growing these again, for me, its a bit of a messy looking plant and the fruits are too close to the soil.

 

The Potatoes are doing really well (I think)!   Grown in big spud bags, they should be ready to harvest quite soon.

Next… the onions, I’m not sure if they are doing well or not to be honest, I would have expected them to be bigger than they are, but we shall wait and see what happens..

The Carrots seem to be doing ok, must get some weeding done this weekend before the weeds take over..

Courgettes… well they seem to be doing just grand, in full blom at the moment, here’s hoping I get fruit this year, last year they rotted away just after forming because it was soooo wet.

I have some flowers growing in the garden too, which are adding a lovely splash of colour….