Broccoli and Cashew Soup

20140211_151220There is a tiny vegetarian cafe in my hometown and they made the best soup. I tried their broccoli and cashew (which seemed like an odd combination) and loved it so decided to make my own. This is one of those recipes that I make all the time for lunch – really healthy and full of flavour.

You will need: a whole broccoli, one large potato, one and a half pints of vegetable stock, one onion, three garlic cloves, oil and 100g roasted cashew nuts.

Dice the onion and the garlic and fry in some vegetable oil for about 5 minutes. Add the stock. Peel your potatoes and chop into small chunks and add to the pan. Chop your broccoli into chunks and add that as well. 20140211_135243Bring everything to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cashew nuts and cook for another 10 minutes. Blitz the soup in a blender until it is a thick consistency. I think the flavour from the stock is enough but if you want to add salt and pepper feel free (if you are using salted cashew nuts I wouldn’t recommend adding more salt). Let the soup cook for another 5 minutes and serve with some chunky bread.20140211_145909

This is a great soup, dead simple to make and very good for you. The cashew nuts add a really interesting flavour and it makes a nice filling lunch. It’s also completely vegan.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Lazy Sunday Casserole

20140119_160112Sundays when me and Sam both have the day off are some of the best times. Yesterday we had bagels for breakfast, Sam went out and bought the paper, we stuck our favourite records on while I painted and Sam read The Observer. Before embarking on my art marathon, I decided to make a nice big healthy tea, which I could pop in the oven and leave to cook. This dish is perfect for a Sunday tea, with the lovely smells of cooking casserole wafting out of the oven while you listen to Led Zeppelin and paint.

You will need: half a yellow pepper, 1 red pepper, half a cauliflower, olive oil, 100g chickpeas (soaked), 1 tin green lentils, 2 tin tomatoes, 2 large carrots, 1 onion, 4 cloves garlic, coriander, tumeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, 500ml vegetable stock.

Pop your oven onto 120 degrees. Half your garlic cloves, dice the onion and fry in a little olive oil until soft. Chop all your veggies into big chunks. 20140119_115119Put your tin of tomatoes and 400ml stock into the casserole dish and season with 2 teaspoons of cumin (I love cumin!), 2 teaspoons coriander, 1 teaspoon tumeric, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add your lentils, chickpeas and vegetables to the casserole and stir everything together. Then just put your dish in the oven and leave to cook for about 2 hours. 20140119_124130After two hours add another tin of tomatoes, 100ml stock and a bit more seasoning if you wish and give it a good stir. Pop back into the oven and cook for another two hours.20140119_155900Serve in big bowls with some nice crusty bread – bliss. Because it had been cooked for so long, the gorgeous spices will have infused and the vegetables are nice and soft without being mushy. This is such a nice dish, you could even serve it with roast potatoes as a main. It’s also vegan and so very healthy!

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom

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Vegan Spicy Bean Soup

20131228_183431So it’s 2014 soon and we sat down and did the budget… eek! Looking at some money saving tips, one was to make batches of food and freeze them. I realised the only reason we ever get takeaway is because I can’t be bothered to cook, so yesterday I made a massive batch of spicy bean soup and froze it in tupperware, as a standby for a quick, healthy, cheap meal to bung in the microwave. This is one of those dishes I made using whatever we had in the cupboards, and lots of lovely spices. It takes a couple of hours to cook for all the flavours to come out but you just add all your stuff to one pan and leave to simmer, so it’s rather easy. It’s a bit hot so use less spices if you wish, but I love a good hot soup on a cold day. And in Liverpool in December, it really is cold!

You will need a tin of chopped tomatoes, 400g chickpeas (if you are using dried ones make sure they have soaked for at least 4 hours), an onion, 1 tin of mixed beans (I used one with cannellini beans, adzuki beans and flagolet beans), 4 carrots, 1 onion, 3 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 1 stock cube dissolved in 450ml boiling water, oil for frying.

20131228_162722Dice your onion, peel and chop the carrots and drain all of your beans and the chickpeas. In a large saucepan, fry the onion in a teaspoon of oil until it is soft. Add your tin of tomatoes, then add the chickpeas to the pan. Then add your stock and the spices. One really good tip for buying spices is to look in the indian section of supermarkets, rather than buying the expensive little jars, you can buy 400g packs from brands like East End and Indus for about two pounds! Add the mixed beans to your pan and the chopped carrots. Bring it to the boil and then cook on a low heat for 2 hours until everything is soft and well cooked.

20131228_162517 Serve with a big dollop of cream cheese and some lovely chunky bread. This soup is ridiculously healthy, it’s vegan, if you want a break from dairy, and is full of flavour.

Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom