Soup

Beetroot and Cumin Soup with Dumplings

Deep ruby red, velvety smooth, a satisfying mingle of sweet and umami. What’s not to like about beetroot soup. The small, slightly al-dente, Ukrainian style dumplings add a lively zing of horseradish, making for a very satisfying meal.

Stock: Stock is the vital ingredient in soup. Its flavours can make or break the final result. Too strong or too salty and it overpowers. To pallid and it’s difficult to balance the flavours. We have been cooking from scratch this past month, wasting as little food as possible. Chickens and Hams have been poached, not roasted, and vegetable scraps simmered, flushing out the final remnants of goodness and taste. This has meant a plentiful supply of good stocks for casseroles and soups.

Ham stock was the stock of choice for this recipe. I think the slight saltiness balances well with the sweetness of the beetroot. Traditionally though a beetroot soup would have a beef stock base.   If you haven’t any home-made stocks chose a good quality ready-made, beef or chicken stock.   For a vegetarian base white miso offers an interesting  depth and a slightly salty flavour.

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Wild Garlic

A happy find on our Sunday sunny afternoon walk this last weekend.  A small reminder that whilst life as we know it is very different, at the moment, for many of us, to the one we were leading only a few weeks ago, the world still turns and nature is still beavering away, quietly (or not so quietly if you have stopped to listen to the excited chatter of nest building birds recently), doing what it does.

patch of wild garlic

Wild Garlic

 

Below are some links to last years Wild Garlic recipes.  The cheesy garlic pull-bread is a real showstopper. Serve it warm, oozing with butter and cheese, very simply with a fresh mixed salad, with a fresh minestrone, or other favourite, soup.

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Turn the temperature up with winter warming soups.

Mulligatawny with Peshwari Naan

Turn the temperature up with this smooth and gorgeous Mulligatawny

When its cold outside is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of warming, nourishing soup?  Here are two very different vegetable based soups, a chunky Carrot and Chickpea soup that couldn’t be more simple to make and a versatile Mulligatawny. Both are meals in themselves and have the added advantage of being suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as being gluten free and adaptable for lactose intolerance.  Both  soups use herbs and  spices with natural health benefits helping to build defences against winter ‘bugs’. Continue reading