Sunday, 5 April 2009

Mushroom Soup

Today I made mushroom soup from a recipe of Lindsey Bareham in "A Celebration of Soup".

Obviously I can't quote the recipe here as I have no doubt it will be copyright, but if you don't have her book, go out and buy it now! It is the best book on soups ever.

The only other good mushroom soup I made was when I was offered, I don't know how many mushrooms , but it was most of a good sized basket. I just made this soup by melting some butter and chopping up all those mushrooms, sauteing them with some onions then adding chicken stock and bringing it to the boil before simmering them for about an hour.

Then, of course, off to the blender and the addition of some milk.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Cucumber and Mint Raita

Yesterday I had a delicious curry and, with a little help from TBSITW, came up with this recipe:


1/2 cucumber
250 ml/8 fl oz natural yogurt
large handful mint leaves, chopped
clove of garlic, finely chopped


Grate some of the cucumber skin, remove the rest and discard. Cut the flesh from the seeds and discard the seeds. (This removes a lot of the water.) Chop the flesh and dry a bit between two sheets of kitchen towel. Mix together all the ingredients and serve chilled.

This is so easy I wonder why I always bought raita!

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Pak Choi Soup

Okay, me neither!

The vegetable box this week brought a brown bag of pak choi (or Chinese leaves).

I think they like to challenge me!

Stir fry seems to be the most common use, although the leaves can be used instead of lettuce.

The leaves looked beautiful, lovely fresh green parts and creeamy stems.

So, soup it was.

I had 2 medium and 3 small onions in the fridge and 1 large potato.

I sliced the potato until it looked llike chips, then chopped the chips to even squares.

I then chopped the onions.

I sauted both gently in butter until well coated, meanwhile slicing the whites of the pak choi and tearing the greens.

The whites got added to the potato and onion mix and stirred in for a bit.

Then I added the torn greens and stirred them till they wilted down.

I poured on chicken stock and brought the pan to the boil before leaving to simmer for about 30 minutes.

When cool I blended it with a hand blender.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

French Onion Soup

I found yesterday, when clearing the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator, that I had an excess of onions (also potatoes, but that is for another post), so I decided to make French Onion Soup.

After cutting off the tops and bottoms and skinning the onions I found I had almost a 1 lb, so I made the soup like this:


1 lb onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 oz butter (I use organic)
salt and pepper
pinch sugar
1 level Tbsp flour
100 ml dry white wine*
1 litre beef stock **

* I know I should stick to lbs and ozs or metric, but my measuring jugs are metric.
** Back in the day I used to used Campbell's Condensed Beef soup, then stock cubes, but now I am trying these new stocks. M and S have bags of stoct, but I was in Asda and got some concentrated stock. Verdict to follow.


1. Heat the oil and butter and stir in the onions until coated.
2 Cover and saute very gently for about 10 or so minutes, stirring to make sure they don 't stick.
3. Add the sugar and seasoning and cook for 30 minutes stirring all the time until the onions are golden.
4. Make a roux with the flour, stirring well to make sure it is incorporated in the onions, then fry for about 3 minutes.
4. Pour in the wine, stirring followed by the beef stock, stirring all the time.
5. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for half an hour.

Traditionally, French onion soup has cognac added, and I used to use Remy Martin, but I am not so fond of using that now (never thought I'd see the day).

To serve, you would use slices of French loaf, toasted, and covered with grated Swiss cheese floating on the top. If you do this, you will probably find it is enough for a meal, certainly a lunch.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Chicken Soup


4 chicken drumsticks
3 onions
4 carrots
1 stalk celery
2 Tbsps Basmati rice
Thyme, Bay leaf
Seasoning to taste


1 Make the stock by placing 4 drumsticks in a deep pan along with 1 whole onion, 1 whole carrot, celery stalk cut into pieces.
2 Cover with water and bring to the boil.
3 Boil for 60 minutes; remove onion, carrot, celery and herbs. Discard.
4 Leave the 4 drumsticks covered to cool.
5 After the stock has cooled remove any fat or detritus on the surface.
6 Skin and cut up the cooked chicken and add it to the pot.
7 Grate some of the carrots and chop the rest.
8 Chop the onions finely and add to the pot.
9 Add 2 Tbsps Basmati rice.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve with some chopped parsley.

This is such an easy recipe. You can use chicken thighs (but not breasts as they don’t make a good stock.

Monday, 29 December 2008


This recipe used to be a favourite of mine for inflicting on guests


It is posted again todayin response to a fervent request.

2 lemons
8 Tbsp white wine
3 oz castor sugar
4 - 6 egg yolks
1/2 pt double cream

Grate lemon rind and put with juice and wine in a bowl and leave overnight

Strain liquid

Whisk cream until stiff, add sugar and rewhisk

Add strained liquid and rewhisk until stiff again

Monday, 1 December 2008

Beef Casserole.

Yesterday I took a pack of organic stewing beef which I had removed from the freezer the day before. So I made it into a casserole using what I had in the fridge.

First I cut each piece in two to make 1 inch cubes, then I put them into an empty freezer bag into which I had placed 2 Tbsps flour, tied the bag closed and tossed them around until all the pieces were thoroughly coated with flour.

Then I put some olive oil and a bit of butter, suffficient to cover my large saute pan, heated it a bit and tossed in the flour-coated meat.

While the meat was starting to brown I peeled and chopped two large onions and a carrot. Normally I would have used several carrots, but there was only one in the fridge so I peeled and cut up two potatoes. I also chopped two leeks.

With all these vegetables added to the meat, I stirred them constantly until all the meat was browned and the vegetables were coated with the butter/oil mix.

At this point I stirred in some defrosted mushrooms.

Finally I added some stock made with a beef stock cub and some red wine sufficient just to cover.

After the pan had come to the boil I turned the temperature down and left it to simmer for three hours.

Some I shall eat and some I shall freeze in single serving portions.