Roast Capsicum & Tomato Soup

A full bodied soup which leaves a tingle on your tongue,

simply perfect on a chilly evening.

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Grab yourself a baking dish & bung in 2 capsicums (deseeded & quartered), 1kg of juicy red tomatoes (quartered also) & 3 garlic cloves (peeled & crushed open with the side of your knife). Drizzle over a wee bit of olive oil & whack in a 200c oven to roast for 40 minutes.

When time is up, simply transfer that lot, including all the luscious juices, into a saucepan & give it a jolly good blitz with Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) until it’s lovely & smooth before seasoning well with salt & white pepper.

Stir through an entire tub (300g) of sour cream, then gently reheat.

Pop in some cooked pasta to oomph it up a wee bit & It’s Chompin Time!

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French Onion Soup

It’s well & truly soup season here on our mountain top!

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French Onion Soup is one of those super easy retro classics that every home cook should have up their sleeve.

Start by peeling a couple of large onions & cutting into thick slices.

Heat up a generous knob of butter in a stock pot & chuck the onions in with a teaspoon of sugar (I use raw sugar). Stir that until the onions are nicely translucent, they should be golden but not darkened in colour.

Throw in a dessertspoon of plain flour & cook that off before gradually pouring in 2 litres of chicken stock. Season it well with salt & white pepper.

Whack the lid on & cook that over a gentle heat for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Then it’s Chompin Time!

Potato Soup

Lusciously creamy hot soup with a flavoursome crunchy surprise,

this is Hubby’s second favourite soup that I make.

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This is hands down so dead set easy to make, you’ll be sure to whip it up all Winter long!

Heat up a good glug of oil in a pot & bung in 3 large spuds, which you’ve peeled & chopped. Pop the lid on & let them do their thing over low heat for 10 minutes.

Next, pour in 1 litre of chicken stock before throwing in 2 bay leaves & bringing to a simmer. Whack the lid back on for another 10 minutes cooking time.

Meanwhile, let’s crack on with the potato chip croutons!

Peel & dice 1 large tattie, heat a good glug of oil in a deep sided frypan, throw in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with the diced potato & simply toss those about to cook over a high heat until they’re gorgeously golden – how easy is that?!?!?!

Back to the soup – remove the lid & take out the bay leaves, they’ve done their job, then remove from the heat before adding in 250ml of sour cream. Give that lot a jolly good stir. Now it’s time for good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to make his grand appearance! Whazz that soup up until sumptuously smooth & finally season with salt & ground black pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls & plop the potato chip croutons into the middle.

Fabuliciouz!

Oh, & in case you’re wondering, Hubby’s favourite soup is my Nan’s recipe I use for my Pea & Ham Soup!

Pumpkin Soup

It takes just THREE humble ingredients to whip up this absolutely fabuliciouz soup!

Yep, you read that right! 

Only 3 Ingredients!

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  1. Butternut Pumpkin
  2. Thickened Cream
  3. Cayenne Pepper

After a fairly intensive weekend of dancing action for Mini-Me with her first competition, I needed to whip something up in a hurry that was both tasty & able to fill our tired tummy’s! This Pumpkin Soup has always been our fam-bam go to staple for just such occasions.

Start by peeling & chopping up 1/2 of a butternut pumpkin before bunging the chunks into a saucepan with a wee bit of water. Pop a lid on & allow that to simmer away slowly over a gentle heat to reduce. Just keep an eye on the liquid so that the pumpkin doesn’t stick or burn as every single one of them will be different in the amount of water they let out during cooking.

When the pumpkin is mushy soft, remove from the heat & mash it all up then grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blitz to a gloriously smooth consistency.

Pour in 300ml of thickened cream, stir to combine & whack back on the heat to gently warm through.

Finally, season with cayenne pepper to however much floats your boat.

Then It’s Chompin Time!

Mushroom Soup

This is most definitely a lick your bowl clean worthy recipe for all those fungi loving foodies out there, and I whipped it up in only half an hour!

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This is one of the very rare recipes I’m going to tell you to measure your oil! Shock horror, I know! A good glug just won’t cut it in this one I’m afraid.

Start by heating 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil in your large saucepan over a medium heat, before melting 4 tablespoons of butter in it.

Bung in 1kg of sliced mushrooms to cook down until they’ve released most of their liquid. Grab a few out to set aside for garnish later on.

Throw in 3 teaspoons of minced garlic & just let that cook off for a minute before whacking in 3/4 teaspoon of dried Tarragon & 1 litre of chicken stock (you can use Veggie stock instead if that’s what floats your boat). Bring that lot to a simmer & allow it to cook away, uncovered, for a good 10 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat & grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blend it all well before whisking in 1/2 cup of thickened cream in a slow, steady stream.

Season ever so generously with salt & white pepper before serving in large bowls & garnishing with a flourish of thickened cream drizzled from a teaspoon & those reserved cooked mushrooms from earlier.

Thai Prawn Curry

A fabuliciouzly flavour packed curry that can be on the table in half an hour!

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This is going straight into my post ballet quickie file! Juicy prawns, fresh veggies & wonderfully fragrant coconut curry soup – what’s not to love?!?!?!

Start by trimming the ends off a solid handful of green beans before chopping them in half & popping into a bowl. Then slice off two sides of a red capsicum to dice up & whack that on top of the beans. Next, drain a 400g tin of corn kernels, giving them a good wash & rinse & setting those aside separately.

Bung a good splash of peanut oil into a wok (or fry pan if you don’t have one) to heat before throwing in the beans & capsicum along with 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste. Cook those for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat keeping it all moving.

Add in the drained corn & a 400ml tin of coconut milk then reduce the heat to simmer away for another 5 minutes.

Chuck in 500g of raw green prawns (peeled & cleaned – no poo tubes please!) & stir until the prawns have turned a blushing pink to indicate they’re cooked through.

Finally, freshen it all up with the juice & zest of 2 limes & season with 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Ladle over bowls with prepared rice noodles already in them.

It’s Chompin Time!

 

Chicken Paprikas

It’s Mini-Me’s Ballet Concert weekend!

That makes it all about sparkles, glitter & mum taxi duties for me as I rush her between final rehearsal, opening night & next day matinee! It’s an all out onslaught of a weekend!

Never fear, the in-laws are here!

So last night, we were treated to this wee Hungarian traditional number – check it out!

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Start off by heating up a glug of oil in a stock pot over a very gentle heat to fry off 2 finely chopped onions & 1 finely diced red capsicum together. When they’re just softened, add in a whole tablespoon of salt! Stir it well, the salt will help break them down even further.

When they’ve fully sweated down, bung in 1kg of chopped up chicken thigh. Combine it well & whack on a lid. You’ll be surprised just how much liquid comes out into the pot from all this!

Allow the chicken to slightly whiten before adding in a sliced chilli, 2 broken bay leaves (they release more flavour when you break them) & 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Give that lot a jolly good stir & straight back on with the lid.

When the chicken has fully whitened, stir through 1 tablespoon of paprika then bring to the boil before chucking in a tin (410g) of crushed tomatoes. Use the same tin to splash in 1/4 tin full of water. Once again stir then whack that lid back on top.

Now we just wait until the chook is cooked all the way through, usually takes about a half hour from this point.

Serve this ‘soup’ like meal over freshly cooked pasta – Fabuliciouz!

Lemon Lamb Casserole

Our wee lemon tree may be tiny but gosh she puts out a lot of fruit!

So what’s a girl to do with so very many lemons?!?!

I think I shall declare this to be Lemon Week! 

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To kick off our celebration of citrus, a hearty casserole will do just the trick in these dying days of winter.

Start off by heating a glug of oil in a deep saucepan & sealing 500g of diced lamb, remembering to season generously with salt & pepper. Remove those straight into a waiting casserole dish.

Next, heat up a wee bit more oil in the same pan to then add in a heap of root vegetables, any type that floats your boat or you have kicking around the place, I’ve used half a dozen tatties & a few carrots in this one. Pop in a few decent teaspoons of minced garlic to flavour & just get a wee bit of colour of those veggies.

Bung in 1 litre of chicken stock on top of the veggies & bring that up to a nice boil. You’re getting a head start on the veggies cooking but also you’re deglazing the pan at the same time to ensure that no flavour is ever left behind! At this point you can choose to either thicken your sauce with a wee bit of cornflour or choose to have more of a soup for your casserole.

Pour all of that, very carefully, into the casserole dish & give it a jolly good stir to mix through the meat as well.

Gently place fresh lemon slices across the top before spraying with extra virgin olive oil (this stops the lemons from burning) & then either cover with a lid or alfoil before whacking into a 180c oven for an hour. Now, at the 40 minute mark you will lid to remove that lid or alfoil.

Remember to discard the lemon slices from the top before serving. They’ve done their job in releasing their luscious juice into the casserole & nobody wants to eat the remains!

Goulash

As you know, Hubby is Hungarian, this means he really enjoys a good feed of Goulash every now & then. With the temperature plummeting & rise in snowfall on the mountains around us, it’s the perfect time of year for me to whack one together.

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Now every region, & indeed every family, in Hungary have their own variation of the National Dish. Family ‘secrets’ abound about the Goulash & most cooks will jealously guard their recipe, always leaving out an essential ingredient when passing on the knowledge. This is the recipe, in full, that Hubby & I came up with for our wee fam-bam which all three of us hook into!

First heat up a good blob (about a tablespoon) of butter in a large pan & throw in 500g of diced chuck steak to just seal the meat, remembering to season generously with salt & white pepper.

Bung the sealed meat into a slow cooker before adding a tin (400g) of diced tomatoes, a tub (140g) of tomato paste, a few peeled & chopped carrots & potatoes along with a deseeded & diced red long horn pepper (if you can’t get your hands on one of those just use a red capsicum instead).

Stir through 3 overly generous tablespoons of paprika & season very well with salt & white pepper.

Make sure everything is mixed up well before whacking on the lid & cooking on low setting for about 7 hours. If you don’t have a slow cooker, then everything goes in the stock pot you’ve sealed the meat in, pop on a lid & gently simmer for 3 hours.

When time is up, use a big stick to make your way through the drooling neighbours who’ve gathered around your kitchen & add in a tub (300ml) of sour cream to stir through & make your Goulash really creamy.

Place butter tossed steamed potato chunks into large bowls then scoop the Goulash over the top & greedily devour to warm you up from the inside on a bitterly chilly evening.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Is there anything as comforting on a bitterly cold, wet day than a hearty bowl of steaming soup?

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Wafts of luscious aromas filled my home & made us all salivate, desperately watching the pot for my Chicken Noodle Soup to be ready. We’d been out & about in the rain & now just wanted to greedily devour this comforting classic.

Grab yourself a large stock pot boiler. Peel, wash, chop & plop the following veggies into it – 2 sticks of celery, 2 onions & 3 carrots.

Dice up 1 kilo of chicken thigh, season well with salt & white pepper before heating a wee glug of oil in a fry pan to brown them off. Whack those in the pot too & give it a jolly good mix up.

Next pour 2 litres of chicken stock in & add 4 bay leaves, a tablespoon of ground black pepper, a teaspoon of mixed herbs & a teaspoon of paprika. Stir to get all those seasoning spices dispersed.

Bring the soup up to the boil before lowering the heat to a gentle simmer for 3 agonisingly long hours of drool time.

When the time is up, you may choose to partake in the classic soup sport of bay leaf fishing, or just leave them in for people to discard themselves as they eat.

Bung in a packet (250g) of vermicelli rice noodle straight into the soup for the final 2 minutes to allow them to cook in the soup & there you go – It’s Chompin Time!