Tomato and Red Lentil Soup

20140612_122332Soup is normally a winter thing in our house, but I decided to try make a summery soup this week. It has a lovely Mediterranean flavour, it’s a nice healthy lunch and is dead easy to make. It could also be frozen and kept for when you need a lunch quick!

You will need: 4 fresh tomatoes, 1 onion, 600ml vegetable stock, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 200g red lentils, a teaspoon basil, pinch of salt, a little olive oil.

Dice your onion and cook until brown in a large saucepan with a little olive oil. Pop the lentils in the pan, then pour 3/4 stock over them. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Chop your fresh tomatoes into lovely big chunks.2014-06-18 11.21.10 Add the tin of tomatoes to your saucepan and  give everything a good stir. Simmer for another 10 minutes and add the fresh tomato, basil and salt. Stir, leave for 5 minutes and you’re done.tomato lentil soup

This soup tastes lovely and fresh, even though the core ingredients will be in your cupboards. It’s a good one to make when you’ve ran out of food as well! If you want to add some more spice, I would recommend a little paprika and cayenne pepper for a nice smoky taste. It is quite a simple recipe so add as much or little as you like.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad

Vegan Pesto Pasta SaladI’ve recently started a new job and Sam has been working loads so cooking excellent food and blogging about it has kind of been on the backburner this week! As lunch times are either just before or just after work I wanted to make something quick and healthy that could stay in the fridge. So I made my pesto pasta salad. I always make this for buffets or family parties because it is just so simple yet the taste and texture are awesome. These quantities are for a massive batch that you can shove in a bowl, leave in the fridge, and grab yourself a plate in a rush but if you want to make smaller portions, go ahead!

You will need: 200g Fusili, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 5 tablespoons of green pesto (I love pesto!), 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, a good handful of walnuts, 100g pitted queen olives and 25g chopped nuts.

Pop your pasta in a pan and cook (I cook mine for 12 minutes). When it is done to your liking, drain in a colander and leave to cool. Take a large salad bowl and pour the cool pasta in. First of all add your pesto and give it a really good stir with a wooden spoon. Slice your olives and add them along with the rest of the ingredients. Season to your liking (I used aromat, black pepper, and some basil) and make sure everything is mixed together.Vegan Pesto Pata Salad

And that’s it. A really gorgeous healthy meal that takes no time to cook and is a bit different from an egg mayo sarnie. It’s also vegan (hurrah!) but if you fancy you could put some chunks of mozzarella or feta in. In fact, I am tucking into a plate myself now.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Ch…ch…ch…ch… Cherry Cake

20140210_203513Little Runaways reference there for you! I haven’t baked in ages and I really love having homemade cake in the house, just in case people pop in or we get a bit peckish so I made a lovely cherry loaf cake. Lovely and sweet, full of cherries and vanilla essence, this is my recipe for a thoroughly British cake.

You will need: 6oz self raising flour, 2 tablespoons madagascan vanilla, 6oz sugar, 6oz margarine, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons milk, 2oz glace cherries (with some for decorating), 300g icing sugar (with a couple of teaspoons of warm water so it is thick and gloopy).

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. First of all cream your margarine and sugar in a mixer. Add the eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla essence and milk and blend together.  Chop your cherries into quarters and add the cherries to the mixture, making sure they are thoroughly combined in the mixture.photo 1  Sift in the flour and the baking powder and mix everything together. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper and spoon the mixture into the tin, popping a few half cherries into the top of the cake. photo 2Bake on the middle shelf for about half an hour. Once your cake is cooked, golden brown on the top and soft and squidgy in the middle. Turn out onto a plate. Mix up your icing in a measure jug and cover the top of your cake with it, I never worry about my cakes looking too neat, but I cut some cherries in half and covered the top with them which looks cute.20140210_202629

This cake is probably a bit too summery for Feburary but glace cherries are always a treat no matter the season! I’m not a fan of almonds but if you wanted to add them to put a Bakewell twist on it then feel free, just use less flour. Eat a big slice with a giant cup of tea and think about the summer!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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