Asparagus and Celery Soups

AsparagusandCelerySoups-pinTwo more delicious and nutritious vegetable soup recipes for you to try and enjoy. If you have a vegetable patch, asparagus and celery are must-grow crops!

Asparagus is perennial so minimum maintenance and also asparagus is often expensive to buy. From the garden it’s definitely cheaper and wholly organic.

Celery can be a little tricky to grow but with the right tender loving care, celery crops will reward you with nutritious food and a wonderful flavouring vegetable.

ASPARAGUS SOUP

Asparagus is a wonderful in-between crop. It will normally be ready to eat after the winter greens and before the first summer lettuce. Make an asparagus soup to reward yourself after a long day in the garden…

INGREDIENTS:
asparagus
butter or margarine
water or stock
seasoning
1 medium sized onion

METHOD:
1. Prepare asparagus and onion and cut into small pieces.
2. Melt butter in saucepan and add asparagus and onions. Cook gently until the vegetables start to soften. Keep the heat low and a careful eye open at this stage. Don’t burn the precious veggies!
3. Add stock and seasoning and bring to the boil. Simmer until vegetables are soft.
4. Either serve as a clear soup or puree the vegetables in a blender or through a sieve. Re-heat gently.

 
CELERY SOUP
This is a vegetable soup recipe you can use when you have a row of celery at the end of the summer that would otherwise die off in the autumn frosts.

INGREDIENTS:
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1-2 oz.(25-50g) butter or margarine
seasoning
flour
1 pint (450mls) of chicken or vegetable stock
8-10 fl.oz. (250-300mls) milk

METHOD:
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over a low heat.
2. Add chopped celery and gently cook until softened. Don’t overcook.
3. Stir in a couple of ounces of flour. Don’t leave any lumps.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in vegetable or chicken stock, and milk.
5. Return to heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until celery is completely cooked.
6. At this point, seasoning can be added and the soup served straight from the pan, or the soup can be whizzed in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to the pan to re-heat gently before serving.
Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Green and Roasted Soups

GreenandRoastedSoups-pin

We all know that leafy green vegetables are good for you so how about souping it up a bit!

LEAFY GREEN SOUP

– Heat a little oil in a large saucepan, and add a peeled and cubed potato, a chopped onion and a crushed garlic clove. Cook gently for a few minutes until potato and onion are soft. Stir all the time to prevent burning.

– Add vegetable or chicken stock to the pan and stir. Bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes.

– Add a couple of chopped courgettes if you have them, and whatever leafy green vegetable you have available: spinach, kale, spring greens, cabbage; or a mixture. Make sure the leaves have been rinsed and chopped roughly before adding them to the pan.

– Simmer until the vegetables are all tender. Allow to cool a little and blend in a food processor or blender.

– Pour into warmed soup bowls and garnish with a sprig of parsley or dill.

 

“Vegetable Soups can be made with left-overs too:”

ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP

– This recipe could be made from left-over roast vegetables but to make from scratch, you will need a mixture of vegetables, such as potato, carrots, parsnip, turnip, swede, leeks, and an onion. Prepare all vegetables and cut into cubes.

– Pour some olive or nut oil in a bowl and add the prepared vegetables. Stir gently to coat with the oil.

– Spread the veg out on a baking sheet and sprinkle over some chopped fresh herbs or dried herbs. Choose your own favourite herb or add a mixture of herbs.

– Roast vegetables in the oven until all are tender.

– Bring a large pan of vegetable or chicken stock to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.

– Allow veg and stock to cool for a couple of minutes and then put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend for a few minutes until smooth. Heat gently and serve piping hot.
Bon Appetit!

Linda x

 

 

100 Years of Soup

100YearsofSoup-pin

The following kitchen garden vegetable soup recipes were taken from ‘Cassells vegetarian cookery’…from a century ago.
I’ve broken them down into steps, but left the style alone!

COTTAGE SOUP
-Fry two onions, a carrot and a turnip, and a small head of celery cut up into small pieces, in a frying-pan, with a little butter, till they are lightly browned.
-Then put them in a saucepan, with about two quarts of water and a tablespoonful of mixed savoury herbs. Let this boil till the vegetables are quite tender.
-Thicken the soup with two ounces of oatmeal or prepared barley. This must be mixed with cold water and made quite smooth before it is added to the soup.
-Wash a quarter of a pound of rice, and boil this in the soup, and when the rice is quite tender the soup can be served.
-Some people add a little sugar, and dried powdered mint can be handed round with the soup, like pea soup.

**”For a glutenfree alternative to oatmeal or barley, a soup can be thickened with cornflour. Mix with a little cold water before adding to the soup.”**
JARDINIERE SOUP
-Cut into thin strips some carrot, turnip and celery.
-Add a dozen or more small button onions, similar to those used for pickling, and also a few hearts of lettuces cut up fine.
-Simmer these gently in some clear stock till tender.
-Add a few fresh tarragon leaves cut into very fine strips in the last minute of cooking time.
-Serve hot.

**”Hearts of lettuce? Maybe try chinese leaf if Romaine lettuce isn’t available?”

 

LEEK SOUP
-Take half a dozen or more fine large leeks, and after trimming off the green part, throw them into boiling water for five minutes, then drain them off and dry them.

NB: Careful with the ‘throwing’ – Maybe placing gently into boiling water would be safer. 🙂

-Cut them into pieces about half an inch long, and stew them gently in a little butter till they are tender.
-Add three pints of milk, and let two bay-leaves boil in the milk, flavour with pepper and salt, and add a suspicion of grated nutmeg.
-Thicken the soup with a little white roux and take the crust of a French roll. Cut this up into small pieces or rings. The rings can be made by simply scooping out the crumb, and cutting the roll across.
-When the leeks have boiled in the milk till they are quite tender, pour the soup over the crusts placed at the bottom of the soup-tureen.
-Some cooks add blanched parsley. Of course, cream would be a great improvement.

“In case you’re not familiar with the term ‘roux’ – it’s actually a simple white sauce. And the ‘cutting rolls into rings’ could be simply crusty bread.”

bread

MULLIGATAWNY SOUP
—Take four large onions, cut them up and fry them brown, with a little butter, in a frying-pan, with a carrot cut up into small pieces;
-Add to this a quart of stock or water, and boil till the vegetables and onions are tender;
-Then rub the whole through a wire sieve and add a brimming teaspoonful of Captain White’s Curry Paste and a dessertspoonful of curry powder, previously mixed smooth in a little cold water; thicken the soup with a little brown roux.
Some persons would consider this soup too hot; if so, less curry powder can be used or more water added. If you have no curry paste, cut up a sour apple and add it to the vegetables in the frying-pan. If you have no sour apples, a few green gooseberries are a very good substitute.
-Boiled rice should be served on a separate dish with this soup, and should not be boiled in the soup at starting.

“Love the reference to ‘Captain White’s curry paste’! Use you’re favourite curry paste, homemade or bought.. And again ‘roux’ is a thick sauce. You can thicken a soup by mixing a little flour or cornflour to a smooth paste with cold milk or cold water – add liquid a little at a time.”

NB: Coriander is a great substitute if you’re looking for a mild curry flavour. Grow some in a pot on the patio for a fresh supply!
ONION SOUP
—Cut up half a dozen onions and throw them for a few minutes into boiling water. (Again, ‘place’ don’t ‘throw’!)
-Drain off the onions, and chop them up and boil them till they are tender in some milk that has been seasoned with pepper and salt and a pinch of savoury herbs.
-Take a small quantity of celery, carrot and turnip, or carrot and turnip and a little bruised celery seed, and boil till they are tender in a very little water;
-Rub through a wire sieve, and add the pulp to the soup. The soup can be thickened with white roux, ground rice, or one or two eggs beaten up. Add eggs gradually or they will curdle.

Bon Appetit!
Linda x

P.S. Rubbing through a wire sieve was obviously done before food processors and blenders became the norm. So I would go for the machine version if you have one.

P.P.S. Herbs can cover a multitude of blander tastes! Grow a few on the windowsill and in your back yard if possible. Lots of great downloads over on the Herb Books page.

 

Roots and Soups

RootsandSoups-pin

More delicious soups to try! I know potatoes aren’t strictly speaking a root vegetable, but they grow underground so I’m pretending they are a root today!

CREAMY POTATO SOUP
INGREDIENTS:
3 potatoes
4 cupfuls of milk
1 tablespoon minced or finely grated onion
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
parsley

METHOD:
1. Peel and boil potatoes until cooked and press them through a sieve while still hot.
2. Heat milk with onion and add salt and pepper.
3. Cream butter and flour together and add to the milk to thicken. Stir well.
4. Add sieved potatoes, stir well then strain.
5. Sprinkle with sprigs of parsley and serve immediately.
CARROT SOUP
A colourful vegetable soup recipe with a little zest!
INGREDIENTS:
carrots
a couple of small – medium onions
a little butter
seasoning
water or stock
1 orange

METHOD:
1. Prepare carrots and onions and chop into small pieces.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan and gently cook carrots and onions in butter until they start to soften. Don’t let them burn!
3. Add stock / water and seasoning and bring to the boil. Simmer until vegetables are completely cooked. Leave to cool a little.
4. Use a blender or sieve to puree the soup.
5. Add grated rind and juice of orange and re-heat gently for a few minutes.
BEETROOT SOUP 
INGREDIENTS:
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed
1 parsnip, peeled and grated
1-2 carrots, peeled and grated
6 small beetroot, peeled and grated
2½ pints (1¼ litres) of chicken or vegetable stock
A little cooking oil
A little water
METHOD
1. Place onion, garlic and celery into a large pan with a little water and a light cooking oil. Cook until soft, stirring to prevent sticking or burning.
2. Add grated parsnip, carrots and beetroots to pan with chicken or vegetable stock, and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Growing EverydayVegetables

 

P.S. If you’re thinking about growing veggies this year, there’s an easy step-by-step guide to growing ten everyday vegetables over on the Growing page.

Vegetable Soup Recipe

VegetableSoupRecipe-pin

Vegetable soup recipes can be as easy as stirring a pot – in fact that’s mostly what making soup is all about – stirring the pot!

Soups can be made from virtually anything edible, but sticking to organic vegetables means you’re guaranteed a full dose of healthy vitamins and minerals.

Vegetable soup recipes are great for using excess crops… yes they do happen sometimes! At the end of summer you may have a whole row of celery left, and it won’t last very long in wet weather. Pull it and make soup with it!

Be flexible with your vegetable soup recipes. Add a little spice or a handful of mixed herbs to enhance the flavour of your garden vegetables.

One of the best herbs to add to soups ( and stews and casseroles ) is lovage. It tastes slightly like celery so don’t use it if you can’t stand the taste of celery, but otherwise it’s a great herb for flavouring vegetable soup recipes.

Growing it yourself is easy. It will come back year after year in ideal conditions. Find out how to grow lovage in this quick download.

20EverydayHerbs

 

Find it on the herb books page
Start off most vegetable soup recipes by preparing the vegetables and covering with water. If you prefer a meaty taste, use a beef or chicken stock instead of water.

Simmer the vegetables until cooked and it’s ready to eat! If you want a thick soup, drain the water or stock into a jug and blend the vegetables or push through a sieve if you haven’t got a blender. Return the vegetables to the pan, add a little of the reserved water or stock and stir over a low heat until hot. Add more water if necessary, a little at a time.

A bunch of chopped mixed herbs will make your vegetable soup recipe attractive to even the fussiest eater!

Here’s a basic vegetable soup recipe you can enjoy throughout the year. And with a little bit of planning, I may be able to post a few more delicious soups tomorrow 🙂

BASIC VEGETABLE SOUP RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:
8 oz.(200g) potatoes
8 oz.(200g) carrots
1 small onion
1½ oz. (40g) butter
1 pint (450mls) milk
1 vegetable stock cube
small amount of grated cheese
seasoning

METHOD:
1. Peel and slice the potatoes, carrots and onion.
2. Melt the butter in a large heavy pan and fry the onion gently until golden brown.
3. Add the milk, potatoes, carrots, stock cube and seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour.
4. Sieve or liquidise the soup, then reheat gently and serve with a little grated cheese sprinkled on top.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

Ye Olde Potato Recipes

More century old recipes with potatoes this time…

potatorecipes

Cracked Potatoes.

Prepare and boil new potatoes and, when ready to serve, crack each by pressing lightly upon it with the back of a spoon, lay them in a hot dish, salt to taste, and pour over them a cup of hot single cream or rich milk.

Scalloped Potatoes.

Peel the potatoes and slice thinly; put them in layers in an ovenproof dish and dredge each layer lightly with flour and salt. Pour over enough good, rich milk to cover well. Cover, and bake slowly till tender, removing the cover just long enough before the potatoes are done, to brown nicely. If preferred, a little less milk may be used, and a cup of thin cream added when the potatoes are nearly done.

“A little crushed garlic or chopped herbs could be sprinkled over each layer if liked.”

Potato Puff.

Mix a pint of mashed potato (cold is just as good if free from lumps) with a half cup of cream and the well-beaten yolk of an egg; salt to taste and beat till smooth; lastly, stir in the white of the egg beaten to a stiff froth. Pile up in a rocky form on a bright tin dish, and bake in a quick oven until heated throughout and lightly browned. Serve at once.

Potato Balls.

Mash some boiled potatoes with a little butter, pepper, salt, chopped parsley, chopped onion or shallot, and add a few savoury herbs. Mix up one or two (or more) well-beaten eggs, according to the quantity of potato, roll the mixture into balls, flour them, and fry them a nice brown colour. Serve hot.

Potato Croquettes or Cutlets.

These are very similar to potato balls, only they should be smaller and more delicately flavoured. Boil and mash potatoes. Drain, and for a rich mixture, mix in two hard-boiled yolks of eggs. Flavour mixture with finely chopped or grated shallot, savoury herbs or thyme, chopped parsley, and a little nutmeg.
Stir in one or two well-beaten eggs. Roll mixture into small balls no bigger than a walnut. (“Flatten slightly to form a ‘burger’ shape.”) These are then dipped in well-beaten egg, and then bread-crumbs. Fry in hot oil until a nice golden-brown colour and serve hot.

Potatoes à la Barigoule.

Peel some potatoes and boil them in a little water with some oil, pepper, salt, onions, and savoury herbs. Boil them slowly, so that they can absorb the liquor; when they are done, brown them in a frying pan in a little oil, and serve them to be eaten with oil and vinegar, pepper and salt.

These are all very different from my usual repertoire of baked, roasted or mashed! Might try a few of them though…

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

 

Asparagus Recipes

AsparagusRecipes-pin

More olden style recipe ideas. This time it’s asparagus in the spotlight. Personally I love asparagus and tend to fry it gently in olive oil for a few minutes or grill it but there are other ways …. 🙂

“I would prefer to read ‘steam’ rather than simmer or boil, but whatever works for you is good!”

 

Kitchen Garden Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus Points. -Cut off enough heads in two-inch lengths to make three pints. Gently boil until tender, drain off the water, add a half cup of cream, and salt if desired. Serve at once.

“This seems a little wasteful as read, but the rest of the asparagus stalks can be made into a soup or simply steamed and served as they are.”

Asparagus on Toast. -Cook the asparagus until tender, drain and place on slices of lightly cooked toast moistened slightly with the asparagus water. Pour over all a cream sauce prepared as directed below.

Asparagus with Cream Sauce. -Thoroughly wash asparagus, tie in small bunches, and put into boiling water; boil till perfectly tender. Drain thoroughly, untie the bunches, place the stalks all the same way upon a hot plate, with a dressing prepared as follows: Let a pint of cream come to boiling point, and stir into it salt to taste and a level tablespoonful of flour creamed with a little (cold) cream.

Asparagus with Egg Sauce. -Prepare and cook asparagus as directed above. When tender, drain thoroughly, and serve on a hot dish or on slices of lightly browned toast, with an egg sauce prepared in the following manner:
Heat a half cup of rich milk to boiling, add salt, and turn into it, very slowly, the well-beaten yolk of an egg, stirring constantly at the same time. Let the whole just thicken, and remove from heat at once. Pour over asparagus and serve hot.

Stewed Asparagus. -Wash, break into inch pieces and simmer till tender. Add sufficient rich milk, part cream if convenient, to make a gravy, thicken slightly with flour, a teaspoonful to a pint of milk; add salt if desired, boil quickly, and serve.

Asparagus and Peas. -Asparagus and green peas make a nice dish served together, and if of proportionate age, require the same length of time to cook. Wash the asparagus, shell and look over the peas, put together into boiling water, cook, and serve as directed for stewed asparagus above.

“Sooooo much cream again! Nice treat from time to time but it’s probably best to experiment with lower fat alternatives whenever possible.”

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

 

Cabbage Recipes

CabbageRecipes-pinThese Kitchen Garden Cabbage Recipes come from a book dating back a hundred years called “Science in the kitchen”.
I’ve been trawling through to find the best of the kitchen garden recipes that can be incorporated into today’s lifestyles. So far cabbage and potatoes seem to come up a lot, as they have always been pretty much staple foods over the years.

In the introduction to my resource for kitchen garden recipes, the author refers to good food being the way to a healthy mind, body and spirit. At the time, housekeepers were berated for not preparing food properly, nowadays we have the processed foods to moan about.

Although processing systems have vastly improved over the decades, the fact remains that well prepared fresh organic food will be healthier for the body than most processed foods….so get those crops going and experiment with new ways of eating them!

This first set of recipe ideas are all about cabbage… haven’t tried them yet so let me know what you think..

Baked Cabbage.—Prepare and chop a firm head of young white cabbage, boil until tender, drain, and set aside until nearly cold. Then add two well-beaten eggs, salt to taste, and a half cup of single cream or rich milk. Mix and bake in a pudding dish until lightly browned.

“This would probably be best baked in a medium preheated oven. The time depends on the size of the dish etc;. I would check it every 10-15 minutes”

Cabbage and Tomatoes. -Boil finely chopped cabbage in as little water as possible. When tender, add half the quantity of hot stewed tomatoes, boil together for a few minutes, being careful to avoid burning, season with salt if desired, and serve. If preferred, a little single cream may be added just before serving.

“I haven’t tried it, but I think you could probably use a tin of tomatoes if you haven’t any fresh ones. Heat through first.”

Cabbage Hash. -Chop fine, equal parts of cold boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage, and season with salt. To each quart of the mixture add one half or three quarters of a cup of single cream; mix well and boil till well heated.

“Not sure what a ‘quart’ is in todays weights and measures 🙂 but I would suggest adding cream a little at a time, and judging how much you need as you go.”

Chopped Cabbage or Cabbage Salad. -Take one pint of finely chopped cabbage; pour over it a dressing made of three tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a half cup of whipped cream, thoroughly beaten together in the order named; or serve with sugar and diluted lemon juice.

Mashed Cabbage. -Cut a fine head of cabbage into quarters, and cook until tender. When cabbage starts to cook, add 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters. When vegetables are tender, drain through a colander, press out the water and mash very fine. Season with cream, and salt if desired.

Stewed Cabbage. -Chop cabbage quite finely, and boil for about twenty minutes. Turn into a colander and drain thoroughly; return to the pan, cover with milk, and let it boil till perfectly tender; season with salt and cream to taste. The beaten yolk of an egg, stirred in with the cream, is considered an improvement by some.

“well… I guess there’s all sorts of things you can do with cabbages! They seemed to favour using cream quite a lot, but lower fat alternatives could be used I think.”

Bon Appetit!
Linda x

P.S. Sorting out some asparagus recipes for next time – my favourite veggie 🙂

Florentines

There’s so much fruit in these delicious cookies that I’m over-riding my healthy eating conscience – again! Found in The Chocolate Book by Valerie Barratt

Florentines-fb

Ingredients to make 8-10

2oz. (50g.) butter
2oz. (50g.) sugar
1oz. (25g.) all purpose (plain) flour, sieved
2oz. (50g.) almonds, blanched and chopped
2oz. (50g.) candied peel, chopped
1oz. (25g.) raisins, chopped
1oz. (25g.) glace cherries, washed and chopped
rind of half a lemon, finely grated
4oz. (125g.) plain chocolate

Method

1. Line baking trays with non-stick waxed paper and pre-heat oven to Gas mark 4 (180C)
2. Put the butter and sugar in a pan and gently heat until melted
3. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the flour
4. Add the almonds, peel, raisins, cherries and lemon rind and stir well.
5. Put teaspoons of the mixture well apart on the baking trays
6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for bout 10 minutes or until golden brown
7. While still warm, press the edges of the biscuits gently back into shape. Leave to cool on the baking sheets.
8. When cool, carefully lift the florentines onto a wire rack
9. Melt the chocolate and spread over the smooth sides of the florentines. When the chocolate begins to set, mark wavy lines into it with a fork. Then leave to set.

Bon Appetit!
Linda x

P.S. I was a little confused that 4oz. (of chocolate) equals 125g. when 2oz of everything else equals 50g. But as it allows us more chocolate, I’m going with it!

P.P.S. How about making a few that fit in a box and separating them with waxed paper. Lovely gift idea 🙂

These favour boxes at Amazon are pretty cool and they are very inexpensive!

giftpaperboxesVintage Favor Gift Paper Boxes Chic
These party favours boxes are beautiful enough for wedding favours, party favours, sweet, confetti, candy, chocolate, small gift and jewelry, and other gadget.it also suitable for nuts sugars tea leaves hand make biscuits small gifts

There are more chocolate delights over at Simply Chocolate (my personal indulgence!)

Chocolate Truffles

SheerIndulgence-pin

Rich and delicious grown up treats! This recipe (found in The Chocolate Book, and modified slightly) makes about 30 truffles. Six in a nice box would make a lovely gift.

Ingredients

8oz (225g.) Milk or Dark Chocolate
4oz (125g.) butter, diced
6oz (175g.) icing sugar
2 teaspoons (10mls) liquer (tia maria, brandy etc;)

 

For the coating:
Truffles can be coated in any of the following:
grated chocolate
chocolate hundreds and thousands
ground nuts
cocoa powder
ground praline
icing sugar

 

Method

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water then remove from heat.
2. Add the butter and liqueur and beat until smooth
3. Beat in the icing sugar
4. Chill until firm
5. Shape into 1inch (2.5cm) balls and roll in chosen coating.
6. Place in paper cases and keep cool

Enjoy!

Get it delivered! Why not ay? 🙂

sprinkles

Light Chocolate Flavoured Vermicelli 750g, Sugar Strands Sprinkles

 

 

 

cupcakecases

Wilton 415-2872 Baking Cases Elegance, Standard, Paper, Multicolour, Pack of 150  Amazon

 

 

I always forget to put baking ingredients on my regular shopping list, but ordering them online gets them in my kitchen ready to go!

Bon Appetit

Linda x