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

Spicy Carrot and Coriander Soup

carrot and coriander soupI just love soup but I’ve found myself sticking to old favourites – broccoli and cashew, mushroom, lentil (see the links at the bottom of the page), so I’ve tried a new one! I like soup with a nice hit of spice so this carrot and coriander also has a big spoon of curry paste. It’s really simple, you just need to cook it for a while, it’s also a fab orange colour so would look great if you were entertaining.

You will need: 2 onions, 4 large potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 tablespoon hot curry paste (I used Madras), 2 teaspoons coriander, a teaspoon butter, 600ml vegetable stock, salt and pepper.

Dice the onions and pop them in a large saucepan with the butter. After 3 minutes add your curry paste and stir so the onions are coated. Dice the carrots and add to the pan with half the veg stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes. Dice the potatoes and add to the pan. Simmer for half an hour then add the coriander. carrot and coriander soupStir everything together and simmer for another 5 minutes. Blend everything together until it is a nice smooth consistency, add the rest of the stock and stir. Higher the heat and cook for another 5 minutes then serve.

This is a gorgeous soup, really spicy, really tasty and a healthy lunch. It’s also vegan, but if you wanted to add some double cream you could. It will also freeze, if you put the leftover soup into tupperware.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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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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Crunchy Cauliflower Crumble

DSCF1615Oooh, use of alliteration there, folks! This is a dead quick and simple recipe – super healthy, really tasty and a good sunday roast alternative. I love apple crumble and cauliflower cheese and this is a strange fusion of the two – it tastes good though, promise! Crunchy broccoli and cauliflower and baked mushrooms covered with crunchy cheesy breadcrumbs – simple! Also if you’re vegan, leave out the cheese and add a bit of olive oil to the breadcrumb mix instead.

You will need: 1 small cauliflower, 1/2 broccoli, 2 slices of breads worth of breadcrumbs, 35g cheddar cheese, 150g mushrooms, salt, pepper, Aromat, teaspoon sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Chop your broccoli and cauliflower into chunks, and pop in a pan of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes (make sure they aren’t too squishy) and drain in a colander. Grate the cheese and then mix the cheese, breadcumbs, a pinch salt, pinch of pepper, seeds and a pinch of Aromat in a bowl. Chop your mushrooms in half and wash them.

DSCF1604Place the broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower chunks into a casserole dish and pour the cheesy mixture over the top, make sure everything is covered. Then put in the oven for 15 minutes and you’re done!

DSCF1609You don’t have to just use broccoli and cauliflower – I’ve used potatoes and carrots for this recipe. As I said, it’s a really simple meal, but nice and hearty. Serve with crispy roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings for a great sunday roast or have it with a nice salad for tea, like we did.

Love, Mrs Gardom

It’s Scouse Day!!! Blind Scouse Recipe

 

DSCF1485So today is International Scouse Day – if you are unaware of the delights of Liverpudlian cuisine, Scouse is a thick chunky stew served with crusty bread and it dates back to 1706, and is traditionally a dish eaten by sailors (according to Wikipedia, anyway). My Grandad makes the best Scouse in the world. That’s just a fact. I remember eating it as a little kid in my Grandparent’s dining room – awesome. Blind Scouse is the term for Scouse without meat (don’t worry though this one doesn’t involve boiled animal bones) – it is Scouse day and we shall eat Scouse! Here’s how…

You will need: 1 large onion, 3 large carrots, 4 large potatoes, 200g lentils/ pearl barley broth mix, 700ml water, 1 vegetable stock cube, salt.

Soak your pearl barley mix in hot wtaer for as long as possible (most people say overnight but I’m never that organised, an hour or two will be fine). Chop up your carrots, onion and potato and pop in a large pan. Add your water and then put your stock cube in the pan and crush it with a spoon. Then add you barley mix. Have a good stir, pop a lid on the pan and leave for an hour. DSCF1472Give another good stir, add a bit of salt and pepper, and a splash more water and leave for half an hour. Season to taste (I think it should be really salty) and serve with crusty bread and loads of butter.  2014-02-28 18.38.49This is the ultimate homely, wholesome, tasty tea. A proper English classic. I love my city, and the fact it has it’s own dish is awesome. If you’re a Liverpool local or have never heard of the stuff, give it a try!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Crunchy Sunflower Crackers

DSCF1445I haven’t made crackers before – but we eat cheese and crackers for lunch all the time. On Bake Off this year they made crackers and it didn’t look too tricky so I thought I’d have a bash myself. I didn’t have any semolina in (which normally dries out crackers) so I used plain flour instead. I think they turned out quite well – crumbly and crunchy, with a nice olive oil flavour. Have a go yourself!

You will need: 200g plain flour, 70ml olive oil, 150ml water, 20g sunflower seeds, pinch mixed herbs and salt.

First of all put the plain flour and olive oil in a mixer, use a dough hook attachment and mix everything. Slowly add the water by tablespoon and keep mixing. Add the salt, mixed herbs and half the sunflower seeds.  Squeeze the dough together into a ball and knead for 5 minutes. The dough is quite tough so you have to really work those biceps! DSCF1416Leave for five minutes, and turn your oven onto the highest heat. Cut the dough into thirds, roll each third out as thinly as possible. Some people use pasta makers – which seems a good idea (they’re a bit pricey so I used a rolling pin). Sprinkle the leftover sunflower seeds onto the rolled out dough, flip it and roll again. Use a small cookie cutter to cut the dough into circles. DSCF1439Cover a baking tray with baking parchment and place the crackers on the sheet then brush them with a little olive oil. Place the crackers into the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Flip them over and put them in for another 3 minutes. Take the crackers out and place them on a wire rack to cool down. DSCF1448Eat with some lovely cheese and a chunk of butter or if you are vegan, try them with some tasty houmous. Or just have them as a nice healthy snack.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Grandma’s Lentil Soup

2014-02-20 17.17.56My Grandad is a butcher, so vegetarian cooking isn’t the most established tradition at my grandparents house but my Grandma makes the best veggie lentil soup whenever I’m there. It’s completely vegan, it’s full of goodness and has barely any fat. The slow cooking on a low heat really brings out the flavours and this is a lovely lunch.

You will need: 2 pints vegetable stock (my Grandma swears by organic stock cubes but it’s up to you), 1 cup of lentils, 1 large carrots, 1 large onion, 1 large potato, salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

2014-02-20 17.19.07Pour the stock into a large saucepan on a low heat. Peel your veggies, dice the onion and potato and slice your carrots. Add the carrots, lentils and onion to the pan. Cook on a low heat for an hour. Add the diced potato after an hour and leave to cook for another half hour. Season with slat, pepper and a big pinch of mixed herbs and serve.

2014-02-20 17.19.38This is a dead simple recipe, you just need a bit of time to let it cook. I’ve made this for my friends, my in laws, and obviously Sam and they all love it. It is a proper old fashioned soup, almost like a broth – absolutely full of flavour and so healthy.

Love, Mrs Gardom

 

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