All posts filed under: Winter warmers

Homemade cream of mushroom soup

Funny things happen once you find yourself stuck at home with a sore throat and the battle for Middle Earth unrolling in the background. It got me thinking that Hobbits, too, have a great passion for good food, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People. Particularly, J.R.R. Tolkien’s small & homey people love mushrooms. Do you remember – when they have set off on their epic-journey-quest, firstly,  they shortcuted through a field of mushrooms? :) Sam: Trust a Brandybuck and a Took. Merry: What? That was just a detour, a shortcut. Sam: Shortcut to what? Pippin: Mushrooms! As it happens, though, I am not a hobbit (my husband especially is happy about me not having hobbit feet), I share the everlasting love for mushrooms. We both do. Making a cosy warming bowl of this delicious soup was a great way to continue adventure with Frodo&Sam out of  the TV screen and keeping our bellies nicely full. This full of earthy mushroom flavours soup is fairly quick and easy to make. A delightful dish, I am happy to revisit regularly. Try it with dinner today! Homemade …

In search of perfection: soy tikka masala

I have a problem. I have a husband, too, but he is not the problem. The problem is, I am happiest in the kitchen when I’m going deep on some quest: studying cookery books, trying to do everything from home-made gelato to creamy mussels. The problem is that my husband prefers familiar food. Who could blame him for that? As that alone wasn’t enough, I have to admit that I have been a pescetarian now for over 15 years and leaving side by side with avid meat-lover sometimes might be tricky. I have to give him a huge credit for supporting me and keeping me company throughout all of my experiments. Since we moved to UK, I wanted to try one of the nation’s most popular dishes – a brilliant curry – tikka masala. To the joy of my husband, I quickly figured that soy chunks have a very good quality of absorbing gravy, so no time wasted, and my take on spicy & tangy classics have hit our dinner table :).  In search of perfection: soy …

Uplifting creamy roasted bell pepper soup

This is a delicious and warming soup, superb on a cold day. A winning combination of roasted bell peppers and other soup-friendly veggies like onions, leek, carrots, celery and garlic, accompanied by cumin and a bit of garam masala takes it up a notch. It’s also exceptionally velvety and rich in flavour. Add some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick. Preparation + cooking time: 60 -70 min / Serves 2 or 4 for starter/ Veg-friendly We would need: 3 large bell peppers (red, orange and yellow), halved and seeded Olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 leek, cleaned and trimmed, white parts only 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 celery stick, chopped 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley 1 tsp of ground cumin 1/2 tsp of garam masala 1 tbsp of sweet paprika 2 bay leaf 3 cups of vegetable stock Salt & pepper to taste 1/4 of heavy cream DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to Gas mark 7/ 425°F/ 220 °C. Place peppers, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil to lightly …

Food cupboard spicy bean soup

This hearty, delicious warming soup uses some basic food cupboard ingredients and comes together very easily, which makes it perfect for chilly winter days. Keep the winter out and warmth in with this spicy & flavoursome bowl of soup. Preparation + cooking time: 45-50 min / Serves 2 / Veg-friendly We would need: Olive oil 1 onion, finely sliced 1 carrot, sliced 1 big potato, diced 1/3 of celery stick, chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 x 400 g can of chopped tomatoes 6 cups of vegetable stock Sea salt & freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp. of sweet paprika 1 pinch of dried red chilli 2 bay leaf 2 tsp. of chopped fresh parsley or ½ dried 1 x 400 g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed DIRECTIONS: Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and when hot, add onion and carrot. Stir in diced potato, celery, garlic and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Tin in the tomatoes and add the stock. Season with salt & pepper. Sprinkle in sweet paprika and a pinch of dried …

Winter treat: Creamy prawn gratin

A delicious creamy oven bake inspired by home-holidays-nostalgia. Rich, good-hearty starter, which makes it almost a petit dîner. Preparation + cooking time: 25-30  min / Serves 4  We would need: 2  tsp. of butter 1 onion, finely chopped 100 g prawns 5 crab sticks Parsley (optional) For sauce: 1 tsp. of butter 1 tsp. of flour 1 cup of milk salt & pepper to the taste 1 tsp. of soya sauce Few drops of Tabasco sauce 4 tsp. of grated cheese DIRECTIONS:  Melt the butter in a saucepan and over medium heat cook onion until transparent. Cut crab sticks and prawns into small pieces and add to the saucepan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.  For sauce: In a new pot melt the butter over low heat, then stir in the flour. Cook for about 1 minute constantly stirring. Slowly add the milk. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Use a whisk to create a smooth sauce. Lastly, add salt&pepper, a spoon of soya sauce and few drops of Tabasco sauce. Stir until the sauce is completely smooth and thickened. Pour …

Rachel’s cream of tomato soup with crunchy lemon chickpeas

This quick & simple recipe comes from Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook “Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook”. The soup celebrates the simplicity of ingredients and transforms them into a luxurious lunch meal. Yet another proof that you can make a fuss free dinner from basic food cupboard ingredients. This silky textured tomato soup with roasted garlic and a splash of cream, topped with baked lemony chickpeas for additional crunch, is sincerely brilliant. Would definitely cook again. Preparation + cooking time: 50 – 60 minutes / Serves 2 / Veg-friendly We would need: 1 x 210 g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1/2 unwaxed lemon, sliced 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil sea salt 1 x 400 g tin of good-quality chopped tomatoes 250 ml of vegetable stock 1 tbp of sugar 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar freshly ground pepper 100 ml single cream DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/ 350°F/ 180 °C. Toss the chickpeas, lemon and garlic in the oil and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and …

Awesome pumpkin&carrot cream soup

I was raised with the idea that his majesty soup is one of the essentials of the dinner table. Naturally, I had tasted a huge amount of different soups, but this one, I have to tell you, is absolute goodness! The trick for the rich taste and silky texture is in roasting our lovely veggies. So, are you ready for the feast? We would need: 1 kg of pumpkin or butternut squash Some olive oil 1 large onion 3 cloves of garlic 2 carrots 1 stick of celery 1 litre of hot vegetable stock Seasoning (chilli pepper flakes, coriander, cumin) Some dried rosemary (optional) DIRECTIONS: Start with pre-heating the oven to 170°C. Peel, de-seed and chop pumpkin into wedges and place them on the baking tray. Drizzle over a little olive oil and add some salt and pepper to your liking. I also like to add some rosemary. Roast the pumpkin for about 1 hour, until soft and a bit caramelised on the edges. Chop the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Use a large saucepan to heat …