Classic Fish Bisque

Serves : 6
Prep : 1 hour 20 min
Cook : 30 mins

Ingredients:
8oz/225g shrimps or prawns with shells on
2 bay leaves
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
6 peppercorns
2oz/50g butter
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1oz/25g plain flour
2 tblsp/30ml tomato puree
3 tblsp/45ml dry sherry
8oz / 225g cod fillet, skinned
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tblsp/15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tblsp/45ml double cream
Salt and pepper

Croutons:
4 slices white bread
3 tblsp/45ml olive
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tblsp/30ml chopped fresh parsley
4 tblsp/90ml single cream

Step One : Peel the shrimps or prawns, reserving the shells and set aside. Place the shells in a large pan with the bay leaves, leek, celery, carrot and peppercorns. Pour over 1pt/600ml cold water and bring to boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Step Two : Strain the stock through a sieve lined with muslin and set aside. Melt the butter in a large pan and fry the chopped onion very gently for about 10 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Step Three : Gradually pour the stock over the onion, stirring until thickened slightly. Stir in the tomato puree and dry sherry. Add the peeled shrimps or prawns. Cut the cod fillet into bite-sized cubes and add to the pan. cover and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.

Step Four : Stir in the cayenne and lemon juice. Allow to cool a little then liquidise in a food processor, in batches, until very smooth. Return to a rinsed out pan and stir in the cream and seasoning to taste. Heat through until almost boiling.

Step Five : To make the croutons, remove the crusts from the bread and cut into small squares. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the cubes of bread and cook gently on both sides until just golden. Drain croutons on absorbent kitchen paper then toss in the chopped parsley.

Step Six : Spoon the fish bisque into warmed serving dishes, top with a few croutons and add a swirl of cream to serve.

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Carrot and Ginger Soup

CarrotsServes: 6-12

Ingredients:
225g onions, finely chopped
100g butter; 900g carrots, finely chopped
4 pieces ginger in syrup
1 glass of dry cooking sherry
900ml chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Single cream (optional)
Parsley to garnish

Step One : Cook onions in butter until golden brown. Add carrots, ginger and sherry. Cover and simmer for 35-40 mins ensuring they do not dry out.

Step Two : Add stock and liquidise. Then sieve carefully back into pan. Season to taste and slowly add single cream (optional) until it turns the colour you prefer.

Step Three : Garnish with parsley. Serve hot or cold.

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Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese and Chutney

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (April 2014) and taken from The Ginger & White Cookbook by Tonia George, Emma Scott & Nicholas Scott.

When cooked for a long time, cauliflower has a beautiful velvety texture with a nutty and slightly spicy flavour. It goes excellently with blue cheese, but needs some sharpness to stop the whole thing getting too cloying, so add some lemon and a dollop of chutney as a garnish.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 onion, diced
Sprig of fresh thyme
50g butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium cauliflower (about 600g), trimmed and broken into 3-4 cm florets
1 litre vegetable stock
200ml double cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
250g Dorset blue or Stilton cheese
4 tblsp chutney (pear or apply chutney)
Freshly ground black pepper
Slices of toasted granary bread, to serve

Step One : Place the potatoes and onion in a large saucepan. Add the thyme and butter, cover and cook over a low heat until the potato is tender and the onion, translucent. Add the garlic and cauliflower, stirring to coat in the butter, and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, then cover and simmer very gently for 30 minutes – or until the cauliflower is tender.

Step Two : Remove from the heat, blend the soup to a smooth puree, then return it to the saucepan and loosen with a little water if necessary. Add the cream and heat through. Season well and add lemon juice to taste.

Step Three : Set out your soup bowls. Crumble a little bit of blue cheese or Stilton into each one, then spoon on the chutney and pour the soup around it. Add a twist of black pepper on top and serve with slices of toasted granary bread.

Souper Green Soup with Pumpkin Seed Croutons

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2015) and taken from In the Mood for Healthy Food by Jo Pratt.

This soup is packed with green vegetable goodness, and vitamins and minerals galore. The soup alone is great, but the croutons are a real tasty treat to scatter over the top, too. They’re salty, crunchy and very moreish.

IMG_1824

Serves : 6

Ingredients:
2 tblsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 medium-large courgette, sliced
1 litre vegetable stock
300g spring greens, roughly chopped
100g frozen peas, defrosted
1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the croutons:
100g feta cheese
50g pumpkin seeds
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp sumac

Step One : Preheat the oven to 220oC. Make the croutons first : break the feta into small chunks and gently mix together with the pumpkin seeds, olive oil, dried chilli flakes and sumac. Spread in a single layer on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, shaking the tray once to ensure even cooking. When cooked, the feta should start to turn golden in places, and the pumpkin seeds will be crunch and puffed up. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Step Two : Meanwhile, make the soup. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the fennel and garlic and gently sauté for about 5 minutes until the fennel is softened, but not coloured. Stir in the leek and courgette and continue to sauté for 5 minutes, then add the stock. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a simmer, then add the spring greens and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the peas, and as soon as the soup returns to a simmer, cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mint.

Step Three : Using a blender, blitz the soup until it is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the pumpkin seed and feta croutons scattered on top.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Danielle Walker’s Eat What You Love: 125 Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes .

Eliminating Dairy and wheat doesn’t mean giving up luscious soups. Instead of a roux, or cream, white sweet potatoes add silky richness.

creamy brocolli soupServes: 4-6

Ingredients:
3 tblsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and tender green parts
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
450g broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and chopped
1 small Hannah sweet potato or other white-fleshed variety, peeled and cut into cubes
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups Chicken bone broth
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Step One : Melt the ghee in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until they are fragrant and softened. Add the broccoli, sweet potato, celery and garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes more.

Step Two : Pour in the Chicken Bone Broth, add 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender and the broccoli is bright green.

Step Three : Using an immersion blender, or working in batches in a blender, blend the soup until smooth (if using a blender, remove the cap in the blender top and place a kitchen towel over the top to allow steam to release).

Step Four : Return the soup to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with a sprinkling of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Celeriac Soup with Hazelnut and Sage Pesto

Recipe taken from Clodagh’s Suppers: Suppers to celebrate the seasons by Clodagh McKenna and published in Psychologies Magazine (February 2019).

A great soup to make during the winter months.  The flavour of the celeriac has nutty undertones, and the consistency of the soup is so creamy.  The pesto adds a delicious crunchy texture and earthy flavour.  You can make it a few days ahead, and it freezes really well, so double the recipe when you are making it!

celeriac soup

Serves : 6

Ingredients :
50g butter
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion, chopped
75g blanched hazelnuts
1 ltr hot vegetable stock
100ml crème fraiche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Hazelnut and Sage Pesto
75g blanched hazelnuts
2 tblsp finely chopped sage
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

Step One : Place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter.  Once the butter has melted, add the celeriac, celery, onion and whole hazelnuts, and season with salt and pepper.  Stir well, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with foil or your butter wrapper and pop the lid back on.  Leave the vegetables to sweat for 15 minutes.

Step Two : Next, make the hazelnut and sage pesto.  Place a frying pan over a high heat, add the hazelnuts and shake the pan frequently to toast the nuts evenly, for three minutes – this will release all the oils and the flavour.  Add the chopped sage to the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl.

Step Three : Tip the toasted hazelnuts onto one half of a clean tea towel, then fold over the other half of the tea towel to cover and bash the nuts with a rolling pin until crushed.  Add the crushed nuts to the olive oil and sage, mix together well and set aside.

Step Four : Add the hot stock to the vegetables that have sweated down and bring to the boil, then leave to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Transfer the soup of a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender, and blend to a smooth consistency.  Return the soup to the saucepan, if necessary.  Stir in the crème fraiche, season and place over a medium heat to warm through.  Serve the soup in warmed bowls with the hazelnut and sage pesto drizzled on top.

French Country Soup

This classic recipe is nutritious and high in fibre and vitamins.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium leek, sliced
2 pints (1.1 litres) vegetable stock
1 medium potato, weighing about 175g (6oz), peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
200g (7oz) can chopped tomatoes
25g (1oz) dried pasta shapes
100g (3 ½ oz) french beans, halved
1 large or 2 small courgettes, sliced
100g (3 ½ oz) pre-cooked or drained, canned flageolet or haricot beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step One : Heat olive oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the onion and leek, and soften for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add stock, potato, celery, carrots and canned tomatoes, then simmer, covered for 15 mins.

Step Two : Add pasta, French beans and courgettes, and simmer for 15 mins. Stir in flageolet or haricot beans, season well and simmer for 2 more mins.

Step Three : Serve the soup with crusty baguettes.

More yummy soup recipes can be found here …

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Corn Soup

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 189;   Prep time: 10 mins;   Cook time: 55 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1oz (25g) butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 12oz (350g) sweeetcorn kernels
  • 2 pt (1.2 litres) chicken stock
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ pt (150ml) single cream
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped chives

Step One – Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add onion and garlic, and sauté for 3 mins. Add the sweetcorn and stock to the pan. Season well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 mins.
Step Two – Blend soup in a processor for 30 secs. Return to pan and stir in cream and chives. Continue to cook for 5 mins, without boiling, until soup is piping hot. Serve with crusty bread.
Other Mexican Food recipes can be found in

Kale Vichyssoise

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2018)

A twist on the classic, says Drew Smith in ‘Broth to Bow’ (Nourish Books, £20) but this version has more dimensions, and doesn’t have to be reinforced with chicken broth.

Serves:  4

Ingredients:

¼ head celery
2 carrots
1 onion
3 leeks
2 new potatoes
1 litre Potassium Broth*
Handful of kale
Bunch of fresh parsley
50ml double cream
Olive oil for frying
Bread cubes for croutons

Step One:  Wash, trim and peel the celery, carrots, onion, leeks and potatoes, then put in a saucepan.  Cover with the Potassium Broth* and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 40 minutes.

Step Two: Take off the heat and leave to stand.  Transfer all the vegetables and about half the liquid into a smaller saucepan, ensuring that you have roughly equal vegetables and liquid.  Add the majority of the kale, trimmed, and bring back to a simmer for 4 minutes.

Step Three:  Chop the parsley and add, then liquidise in a blender or food processor, and stir in the cream.  In a frying pan, warm some olive oil and fry a few bread cubes for croutons.  Using the same oil, fry a couple of kale leaves until they are crisp, and use to garnish.

Chestnut and chorizo soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2016) and taken from the book River Cottage Gluten Free written by Nutritionist, cook and River Cottage teacher Naomi Devlin.

Roast chestnuts have the starchy quality of baked potato, with a smoky sweetness that is fantastic with chorizo.  You can also use pre-prepared chestnuts here, for something that is almost as good.  If you need more protein, a poached or fried egg is a great addition.

Chestnut Chorizo soupServes:  4

Ingredients: 

400g fresh chestnuts (in shells)
125g chorizo or spicy salami, skinned
1 tsp butter or duck fat
Pinch of fennel seeds (optional)
4 carrots, roughly diced
1 large onion, roughly diced
1 celery stick, roughly diced
150g Swiss chard or rainbow chard
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1 tbsp tomato puree
large pinch of saffron threads
Greek yogurt and Turkish dried chilli flakes, to finish

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 220oC / Fan 200oC / Gas 7.  Make a cut in the top of each chestnut, place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until tender.  Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel, halve or quarter and set aside.  (It’s a lot quicker to use pre-prepared chestnuts, but you won’t get the same smoky flavour).

Step Two:  Cut the chorizo or salami into small chunks.  Heat a saucepan over a low heat and add the chorizo chunks with the butter or duck fat and fennel seeds, if using.  Cook gently for a few minutes until the chorizo oil starts to run.  Add the diced vegetables and cook gently for at least 20 minutes until they have taken on a deeper colour and smell sweet.

Step Three:  While the vegetables soften, slice the white stalk from the chard leaves and cut it into chunks; set aside.  Shred the leaves finely and set these aside too.  Add the garlic to the pan with the thyme leaves and tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes until the tomato smell rises from the pan.  Add the chopped chestnuts, chard stalks, saffron threads and enough boiling water to cover everything by 2-3 cm.  Bring to a simmer, put the lid on and lower the heat.  Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until everything is soft.  Taste for seasoning.

:  Either leave the soup chunky or mash it a bit, leaving some texture – you’re not aiming for a smooth result.  If it’s too thick, add a little water; if too thin, uncover, turn the heat up a bit and let it bubble to reduce slightly.  Finally, add the chard leaves to the soup and bring back to the boil; this will be enough to cook them through.  Serve each portion topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, if you like.  If the chorizo is mild, you may want to put some chilli flakes on the table.