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.

Mixed Bean Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Woman’s Own from many years ago!

Serves : 4

Prep time : 10 minutes;   Cook time : 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 tblsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 celery sticks, washed and sliced
2oz (50g) plain flour
1 tblsp tomato puree
½ pint (300ml) vegetable stock
500g carton sieved tomatoes
1 green chilli pepper, sliced
1 tsp chilli powder
400g can mixed beans in salted water, drained
420g can red kidney beans in salted water, drained
420g can butter beans in salted water, drained
400g can chopped tomatoes
Salt and ground black pepper

Step One : Preheat the oven to Gas 4/350oF/180oC. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and add the onion, garlic and celery. Sauté for 3 minutes, or until softened.

Step Two : Stir in the flour and tomato puree and cook for a further 1 minute.

Step Three : Add vegetable stock, sieved tomatoes, sliced chilli pepper, chilli powder, beans and the chopped canned tomatoes.

Step Four : Season well with salt and ground black pepper, then cover and cook in the oven for 40 mins. Serve.

Some other bean recipes can be found here …

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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Chicken Casserole

Take succulent chicken quarters and ad a selection of your favourite vegetables, spice up with a little salami and herbs, add a splash of port … and you’ve got a meal in one.

Serves: 4;   Approx. Cals per portion: 739
Prep time: 25 mins; Cooking time: approx. 55 mins

Ingredients:
1 1/2lb (675g) new potatoes, scrubbed
225g (8oz) shallots
225g (8oz) baby sweetcorn
225g (8oz) sugar-snap peas
Small bunch of fresh coriander, washed and tied together with string
175g (6oz) mushrooms
4 chicken quarters, each weighing approx. 300g (10oz)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
100g (4oz) sliced salami, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 1/4pt/750ml fresh chicken stock
2 tbsp cornflour
1/4pt/150ml white port or dry sherry

Step One : Depending on the size, halve or quarter potatoes. Peel and halve the shallots and place in a bowl with the potatoes. Reserve. Wash the baby corn and sugar-snap peas, then trim corn and top and tail peas. Place the bunch of coriander in a large casserole dish, then place the prepared peas and corn on top. Wipe and slice the mushrooms.

Step Two : Wash the chicken quarters and pat dry with kitchen paper. Trim away excess fat from the chicken and cut each portion in half to make eight pieces. Season with black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the chicken for 6-7 mins until golden brown on both sides. Drain and add to the casserole.

Step Three : In the same frying pan, sauté the new potatoes, shallots, mushrooms, chopped salami and garlic for 4-5 mins until lightly golden. Drain and place in the casserole. Mix the casserole ingredients well. Preheat the oven to Gas 5 / 375oF / 190oC.

Step Four : Spoon 1 tbsp of the frying pan juices into a saucepan and season.
Pour chicken stock into the saucepan. Blend cornflour with a little of the port or sherry and add to pan with remainder. Bring to the boil, stirring, and cook until thickened. Pour into casserole, then cover and bake in oven for 45 mins, or until cooked through. Discard bunch of coriander before serving casserole with crusty bread.

Find other Casserole recipes here …

Duck breast with orange sauce and breadcrumbs

Duck with orangeIngredients:

2 large duck breasts, with skin
30g (1oz) butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
50g (1 ¾ oz) fresh breadcrumbs
2 tsp thyme leaves

For the marinade:-

150ml (5 fl oz) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
Juice half lemon
Finely grated zest of half an orange
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Serves:  2     Prep time:  15 mins plus marinating time     Cook time:  20 mins
Cals per serving:  772     Fat: 49g

Step One:  Score the skin of the duck breast in diagonal crosses and place in a ceramic bowl.  Combine the marinade ingredients and pour over the duck.  Marinate in the fridge, turning occasionally, for about 8 hours.

Step Two: Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Remove the duck and dry with paper towels, reserving the marinade.  Heat a large heavy frying pan over a moderate heat.  Place the breasts skin side down in the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until nice and golden.  Transfer the duck breasts, skin side up, to a roasting tin and cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (for medium).

Step Three:  Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and simmer over a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened.  Season and keep warm.

Step Four:  Drain any fat from the frying pan and add the butter.  When foaming add the garlic, zest, breadcrumbs and thyme.  Sauté until the crumbs are golden.  Slice the duck breast either onto individual plates or on a small platter.  Sprinkle over the crumbs and serve with a jug of the sauce on the side.

Tip:  You can marinate the duck for up to 12 hours.  It is important to boil the marinade well before serving it as the sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living

Fig and Ginger pudding

Fig and ginger puddingIngredients:

150g (5oz) dried figs, chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g (3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
185g (6oz) caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
210g (7oz) self-raising flour
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pecan nuts, roughly chopped, to serve
Stem ginger, to serve

For the Sauce:

125g (4oz) unsalted butter, cubed
150g (5oz) brown sugar
200ml (6 ½ oz) cream

Ice Cream, to serve

Serves:  8     Prep time:  30 mins     Cook time:  40 mins

Step One:  Heat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4).  Grease a 18cm (7in) round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.  Put the chopped figs in a bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda and pour over 300ml ( 9 ½ fl oz) of boiling water.  Set aside.

Step Two: Beat the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then sift in the flour and ginger.  Add the soaked fig and the juice, then the vanilla and mix well.

Step Three:  Pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and firm to touch.  A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.  Leave in the tin to cool, then carefully turn out on a baking tray.

Step Four:  When ready to serve, heat the oven to 200oC (gas mark 6).  Make the sauce by placing the butter, sugar and cream in a small saucepan.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step Five:  Top the pudding with a few pieces of stem ginger and the pecans.  Pour a third of the sauce over the pudding and put in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.  Serve immediately on individual plates, and serve with the remaining hot sauce and cream or ice cream.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Winter Trifle

winter trifleIngredients: 

4 tbsp Grand Marnier
100g (3 ½ oz) dried cherries
100g (3 ½ oz) dried sultanas
250g (8oz) Jamaican ginger cake
600ml (20 fl oz) chilled custard
Toasted flaked almonds, to serve

For the Syllabub:

Grated zest of ½ lemon
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) sweet white wine
300ml (9 ½ fl oz) cream

Serves:  8    Prep time:  25 mins, plus refrigeration and standing time

Step One:  Soak the dried fruit in the alcohol for 6 hours or overnight.  Strain, reserving both the fruit and alcohol.  Cut the cut into slices 1 cm (½ in) thick and arrange a single layer over the base of a large glass trifle bowl.  Pour over the fruit and alcohol.  Pour the custard over the cake covering with cling film and chill for at least 3 hours.

Step Two:  To make the syllabub cream, mix together the lemon zest, sugar and wine and leave for 30 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve into a large bowl, then add the cream and whip until the mixture just holds it shape.  Be careful not to over whip it.

Step Three: Spoon the cream over the trifle and return it to the fridge until you are ready to serve.  Just before serving, decorate with toasted almonds and silver dragees, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Seafood Bisque

BisqueIngredients:

20g (¾ oz) butter
650g (1 lb 5oz) small shrimps or prawns (in the shell)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
1 stick celery roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
½ tsp fennel seeds
250g (8 oz) fillet salmon, skin and bones removed, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 tbsp tomato purée
125ml (4 fl oz) dry white wine
80g (2 ¾ oz) Arborio rice
2.5l (85 fl oz) fish stock (made with good cubes is fine)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
100ml (3 fl oz) double cream
Ciabatta, to serve

Serves:  8    Prep time:  15 mins      Cook time:  40 mins
Cals per serving:  269      Fat: 13g

Step One:  Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and fry the prawns (in their shells), onion, leeks, celery, carrot, garlic and fennel seeds for about 6-7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften.

Step Two:  Add the salmon, tomato purée, white wine, rick, stock, bay leaf and thyme and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about 40 minutes.

Step Three:  Let the soup cool a little and blend with an electric blender or with a hand-held stick blender until smooth.  Strain the soup through a sieve (it needs to be nice and smooth).  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Step Four:  When ready to serve, add the double cream and bring back to just under the boil.

Tip: If you’re feeling extravagant, add cooked crabmeat at step 2 for a richer flavour.

 Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Simple Beef Casserole

Simple Beef Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living

If you’ve never made a casserole before, this is the place to start.  This one couldn’t be simpler, as most of the cooking takes place slowly in the oven.  It has a lovely flavour and plenty of juice – don’t leave out the orange zest as it really lifts the flavour of the meat.

Serves:  6-8      Prep time: 35 mins      Cook time:  3 hours    Cals per serving: 619    Fat: 28g

Ingredients:  2 tblsp olive oil; 4 rashers streaky bacon, roughly chopped; 6 small brown onions or shallots, peeled and quartered; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 3 carrots, sliced; 1 ½ kg (3 lb) chuck steak or braising / stewing beef, cut into 3 cm (1 ¼ in) cubes; 2 tblsp plain flour; 500ml (16fl oz) beef stock; 250ml (8 fl oz) red wine; grated zest of ½ an orange; 4 sprigs thyme; 2 bay leaves; 2 tblsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Step One: Heat the oven to 160oC (gas mark 2-3).  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the bacon for 2 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion is tender.  Transfer to the casserole dish.  Add the beef to the casserole dish and sprinkle with the flour.  Mix well.

Step Two: Stir the stock, wine, orange zest, thyme and bay leaves into the casserole and bring to the boil over the medium heat.  Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours. Stir the meat occasionally as it cooks.

Step Three: Remove from the oven.  Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles and plenty of crusty bread.