Home-made Soups

Making home-made soup is one of the most notoriously easy but underdone cooking activities. I owned a blender for over 2 years before I made my first home-made soup, but I have never looked back. All it involves is bunging together various vegetables/stock/spices/herbs, and stewing them for a while, before liquidizing! It really is that simple. And they are brilliant when trying to eat healthily or trying to lose weight. They feel substantial and filling, because when you make it yourself it is often thick and chunky. And they are full of nutritious vegetables. This is very appropriate after my last post – home-made soup is actually good for you.

My flatmate and I are now huge fans of home-made soup (it’s rare for there to not be a random coloured concoction brewing on the stove), and I’ve been meaning to do a soup post for months. Here it finally is. This is the first, but it will definitely not be the last. Here is my recipe for Courgette and Pear Soup. (The amounts are estimates, and as with all home-made soup, a little freedom to experiment is always allowed).

Lucy’s Courgette and Pear Soup

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130g sliced courgette

40g spring onion

150g pear

160g cauliflower

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

A sprinkling of tumeric

1/2 a chilli pepper (if you want it spicy)

1 chicken stock cube

Simply fry the courgette and spring onions with the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, tumeric and chilli. Then add about a cup of hot water with chicken stock dissolved. Finally put in the cauliflower and pear and let it all simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the pan, and pour the stew into a blender to liquidise. Once it has all been blended put the soup back in the pan and add water as necessary, until it is the consistency you prefer.

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Final mouthful of Summer

Over the last few days in London, we have seen a last minute attempt at summer! It’s very exciting, and also very annoying as I had just got my winter coat out. Anyway, bygones.

To match the slithers of sunshine, I decided to crack out a magnificent salad again and wanted to share it with you. As usual, there is a mountain of lettuce, as usual there are colours applenty (pink beetroot, green cucumber, orange peppers, red tomatoes, brown lentils) – however this time I really treated myself. I went to Waitrose, the supermarket that always smells tantalisingly of rotisserie chickens, and I bought… a rotisserie chicken. Torn chicken and quinoa garnished my mound of lettuce and made one very tasty salad. Dressed simply with balsamic and olive oil, it was a salad made in heaven and tasted just like the sunshine that will no doubt be gone by tomorrow.

 

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Eggy Mush

Inspired by Greek eggy mush (see last post on Greek food) I made a British eggy mush for my lunch today, and thought I’d share the basic recipe with you here:

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Ingredients

2 large tomatoes

1 large onion

2 handfuls of spinach

2 eggs whites

1 whole egg (white and yolk)

Salt and pepper

This is so simple, but tastes divine and has nothing bad in it. It’s an excellent post work-out meal, as it has tonnes of great protein, a little good fat, and then loads of rehydrating vegetables.

The idea is to make an omelette and fail…

Whisk up your 3 eggs (I use 2 egg-whites just to make it is as healthy as possible, but can’t stand a purely egg-white mixture as I think a lot of taste is lost), and add salt and pepper. Now throw your chopped up tomatoes and onion into the pan and let it sizzle in a little olive oil. Add the spinach only when the tomatoes and onion have softened a little, then finally pour in your whisked eggs. Remember, this is a failed omelette – so make no attempt to maintain a shape or form. Just keep mixing the eggs and vegetables in the pan until all of it is cooked.

You can then pour the delicious creation straight into a bowl and eat by itself, or (as in the picture above) put it on top of a piece of toasted rye bread, and add a massive pile of balsamic-drenched kale on the side. Again – goodness, goodness and more goodness.

Happy Wednesday 🙂

Delicious Things in Bowls

I have been inspired by my new favourite food-porn website (see last entry)!

 

2 photos in particular excited me beyond belief and inspired me to hunt down the recipes and make my own version, and I would like to share them with you now. Let’s start with breakfast:

 

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

This is basically porridge with vegetables included – double whammy of brilliance. As my nutritionist/personal trainer friend texted when I sent him a picture: “Oh Sh*t!!! Love that!!”

 

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To make this marvel, I used 50g porridge and one medium-sized carrot grated up. I added to this mixture about half a teaspoon of ginger (maybe use a little less, as the ginger taste was a bit too strong) and a sprinkling of cinnamon. For liquid, I used 100ml soy milk and 100ml water, although apparently adding a bit of orange juice works well. Finally when the porridge was just about ready I added about 20g of raisins. When serving, I put a small amount of golden syrup on top (no more than a teaspoon).

It was absolutely delicious and so filling.

Now, moving on to lunch/dinner!

 

Cauliflower Egg-Fried Rice

This is basically egg-fried rice, but instead of rice we use finely grated cauliflower. Both these recipes seem to involve grating a vegetable. And decanting into a bowl. Who knew I was so unimaginative…?

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Yum yum yum. This is amazing! So how to? Well firstly I grated about half a raw cauliflower and put it aside in a bowl. Then I picked some random vegetables and a bit of meat. Anything will do (this is a good way to use leftovers) but I selected: an orange pepper, an onion, some mushrooms and chorizo. I chopped up the aforementioned ingredients and fried them in a bit of olive oil with lots of garlic. I then poured the bowl of grated cauliflower into my wok of ingredients, and added some soy sauce. I stirred all of this around for a few minutes then finally cracked an egg into the middle and continued to stir. When I was sure that all the egg had cooked, I poured the mixture into a bowl and garnished with a couple of basil leaves and a drizzle of some chilli-olive oil that I had leftover from a delicious jar of olives. Perfection. And really just a massive bowl of vegetables with a bit of protein bunged in there from the meat and egg. Absolutely nutritionally divine. And it also looks good on camera!

 

Tomorrow I am off to join my parents in Greece for 4 nights, so you can be sure that a post on Greek food will accompany my return at the weekend. Until then, have a wonderful few days.