Dec 31, 2010

An Apology

I'm sorry foodie friends, I've been a bad, bad blogger. Over the Christmas I've had little or no blogging (or indeed cooking!) done but I promise, 2011 I will add more recipes for your eating pleasure!

Hope you have all had an awesome holiday season, and that 2011 brings you all you deserve, and more!

Dec 13, 2010

Brown Soda Bread

This is a great little brown bread recipe, you can knock it together and have it on the table in no time, which is useful seeing as it tends to disappear just as fast, if not faster, as you can make it! This is the bread we serve with soup, you can make and bake it whilst the soup cooks, and then it'll be cool enough to slice, but still slightly warm from the oven, when you get around to eating the soup. Mmmm!

Makes 1 loaf


225g self-raising wholemeal flour
225g self-raising flour
1tsp salt
1tbsp demerera sugar
1tbsp rapeseed oil
300-450ml whole milk


  1. Preheat your oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Sieve the self-raising flour and salt into a large bowl. 
  3. Add the wholemeal flour and sugar, following by the oil.
  4. Add the milk a little at a time until you have achieved a workable dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knock into a rounded shape.
  5. Place on a floured baking tray and cut a cross into the top of the round with a sharp knife.
  6. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the bread is well risen and crisp, and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing and eating!

Dec 6, 2010

Cream of Vegetable Soup

It's minus something important here, and the freezing fog has graciously moved off enough so I can see...when the cats sit on the window and want to come in. Definitely soup weather!

Made this one this morning whilst Himself had a lie-in. Nothing better than waking up to freshly made soup and bread (not that I'd know that since I'm always the one making it, but I've heard...) and it's also great for using up the vegetables that you'd otherwise turn your nose up at. Slightly sad looking carrots? In ya go! Pepper that may or may not be about to start sprouting fur? Cut off the soft bits and in you go as well! Everything and anything can go into this soup, whatever you have in your kitchen at the time. I've used leeks here as I had them and they needed using, but onions would be perfectly good as well. How many it'll serve depends on how much you make, this morning I used 'The Vat' so I've a good 4-5 litres of soup (and that's only it half full!). Just try and use the biggest saucepan you have, if you've made too much you can just pop it in the freezer (or drop some round to friends, family and neighbours), that's the joy of soup.

Serves: Lots!

4 carrots, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
Half a squash, cubed
1 head of iceberg lettuce, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 potatoes, cubed
1 bay leaf
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of rosemary
Handful of chopped parsley
Stock (vegetable or chicken), to cover
Salt & pepper
Half cup of cream
Knob of butter


  1. Prepare your vegetables and herbs. Have them all ready to rock and roll and it'll make the soup so much easier for you. Melt your butter in a large saucepan over a high heat.
  2. Add the leeks and celery to the saucepan and stir, cooking until slightly softened. Add the rest of the vegetables, and your herbs. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 6 minutes (make sure that you actually turn the vegetables over one another, and it's not just all the same ones sitting on the bottom of the pan).
  3. Add your stock, enough to just cover the vegetables. Either chicken or vegetable stock is fine, whichever you have to hand. If you're using pre-made stock cubes remember that they can have quite a high salt content, so go easy with the salt later on.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Remove from the heat and puree your soup. You may need to do this in batches. Return to the saucepan over a medium heat.
  6. Add the cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pop into bowls and eat, eat, eat!
This soup really goes help keep you warm on a cold winter's day so pop it on to cook then go out for a brisk walk. By the time you're back it'll be ready to finalise and serve, you'll have worked up an appetite, and it'll keep you full and warm for ages afterwards.

Gorgeous served with brown or white soda bread.