Tag Archives: soup

Smoky Yellow Split Pea Soup

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful break over the festive holidays. I spent a magical five days with my mum and her three dogs in Verwood, Dorset. It was so relaxing, which was just what I needed after a busy year finishing the cookbook.

We went for daily walks in Verwood Forest, had a glorious day on Bournemouth beach, and spent our evenings watching films and munching our way through all the Christmas goodies. As you may have seen on my social media channels, I was totally spoilt by family and friends this Christmas and received lots of beautiful boxes of vegan chocolates. Needless to say, most are empty now.

And after all the excesses of the festive season, this month I’m looking forward to getting back to my favourite way of eating – simple meals filled with natural ingredients and packed full of flavour and nutrients.

To kickstart my recipe shares for January, I have one of my family’s favourite winter-warming dishes – Smoky Yellow Split Pea Soup ❤️

Not only is this soup easy to make, but it’s incredibly cheap too. A 500g bag of Suma yellow split peas costs £1.15 and we only use half a bag in this recipe. Add in the remaining ingredients and this soup costs about £2.25, which works out at 56p per portion. Bargain! Continue reading

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Filed under Living Rich on Less, Lunches & Light Dinners, Soups

Cosy Mushroom Minestrone

My cookbook has gone to print! It was so scary hitting the ‘send’ button. In fact, it took me a good few hours to pluck up the courage to hit it. I was paranoid that I was going to send an old version my mistake so I kept checking and re-checking the file names. I was turning into a slightly scary, crazy woman but I finally took a deep breath and just hit the button. And while I’m waiting for it to roll off the printers in London, I’ve been having fun in the kitchen, trying out new ingredients and recipes.

One new dish that has been hugely popular in my house lately is this Cosy Mushroom Minestrone ❤️ With the weather cooling off and the evening’s start to draw in, these are the kinds of dishes that I start to crave. Warm, filling and super savoury. This is my idea of the perfect comfort food.

Cosy Mushroom Minestrone

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Filed under Dinners, Lunches & Light Dinners, Soups, Vegan magazines

Malaysian Coconut Noodle Soup

Happy Friday everyone! And to all our friends over in the USA, Happy Fourth of July! I hope you’re having a fantastic extended weekend

Today, I thought I’d share one of our all-time favourite noodle soups. It’s my family-friendly vegan take on Malaysian Laksa Lemak. This dish usually contains a fair amount of spice, but I’ve toned down the heat to make it suitable for youngsters (and lightweights like me!) It makes a great weekend lunch or light weekday meal.

Malaysian Coconut Noodle Soup

While you wouldn’t normally expect to see smoked tofu in this dish, I find the flavour works beautifully with the fragrant spiced gravy. I use Cauldron’s Organic Smoked Tofu (which you’ll find in the chiller cabinets in most of the UK’s major supermarkets). Its smoky flavour is very mild which suits Lil’ L (other brands have been ‘too smoky’ for him). If the smoky flavour isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute with sesame tofu or your own marinated tofu.

Caudron Smoked Tofu

If you want to keep the dish gluten-free, go for a brown rice noodle rather than wholewheat. One of my current favourite organic noodle brands is King Soba, which is currently available in the UK from independent health food shops and online. They cost £1.89 for 250g, which is a good price for organic noodles. If you can’t find them locally, you can buy them directly from King Soba, and they offer free delivery when you order six packs.

King Soba Noodles

 

Malaysian Coconut Noodle Soup

This recipe was featured in the latest issue of Fresh Vegan. Launched just a few months ago, this digital magazine has already gathered a huge following. It was recently nominated in the VegfestUK’s best publication awards, alongside well established magazines such as Vegetarian Living, so a huge well done to the FV team

What I love about Fresh Vegan (and what sets it apart from other food magazines) is the diversity of its features. It includes restaurant and product reviews, travel features, interviews and much, much more. If you’re interested in hearing the ethos behind the magazine, there’s a great interview with its creators over at HappyCow.net.

Fresh Vegan June 2014 Issue

 

Have you got any plans for the weekend? I’m really excited about the Tour de France, which starts tomorrow in Leeds (UK) no less! It’s my favourite sporting event of the year. And of course we still have the World Cup and Wimbledon. In between watching all this sport, I’m looking forward to heading out on my bike. A little bit of tennis (or ‘bat and ball’ in my case) might be in order too. Whatever you’re up to, enjoy! xx

 

 

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Filed under Dinners, Lunches & Light Dinners

Curried Vegetable & Lentil Soup

A big thank you to everyone that’s been entering my giveaways! I love hosting giveaways on my blog so make sure you keep those entries coming… the more popular the giveaways are, the more likely it is that companies will offer me more great stuff to give away in the future 🙂

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the lucky winners of two recent giveaways…

Simona, winner of Joni Marie Newman & Celine Steen’s Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food

and

Susie W, winner of Chris & Carolyn Caldicott’s World Food Cafe Quick and Easy

The giveaway for Kathy Hester’s Vegan Slow Cooking For Two -or- Just for You is open until 31st October, so there’s still plenty of time to enter. This is the book that encouraged me to buy a slow cooker and I’m so pleased that I took the plunge! I’ve used it loads already for cooking main meals, large batches of beans, scrumptious rice puddings (a childhood favourite of mine!) and, of course, Kathy’s amazing Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all your comments under the giveaway entries. I love the sound of so many of the foods that you’ve tried during your travels. We should definitely try and re-create them! I’ve also loved reading all about your favourite comfort foods. Curry and soups were popular responses, and I’m with you on those!

Now that the weather’s taken a turn for the worse here in the UK, I can feel the shift towards ‘comfort food’ mode in my cooking, and curries and soups are making weekly appearances on our table in one form or another. One of my current favourite dishes is a lightly curried vegetable and lentil soup. I think I’ve made this soup three times in as many weeks! We’ve been enjoying it at weekends, either for Saturday lunch or Sunday supper. I’ve been having the spare portions for lunch during the week, while Lil’ L’s been taking a flask of soup with him to school 🙂

Lightly Curred Vegetable and Lentil Soup 2 - 500 copy

As well as tasting yummy, this soup is packed to the brim with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The addition of lentils also gives the soup a great iron and protein boost.

It’s a very filling soup, so it can easily be served as a main meal, alongside some chunky pieces of wholegrain bread or warm garlic bread.

Here’s how we make it:

 

Lightly Curred Vegetable and Lentil Soup 1 - 500 copy

This recipe has been shared at Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve posted a number of family-favourite soup recipes. Now that we’re in ‘soup season’ I thought I’d collate the recipes to make them easier to find. I’ve added a dedicated ‘Soups‘ page to the blog, which can be accessed via the Recipes page.

Next on my ‘to try’ list is a slow-cooked minestrone soup. I’ve seen some really cute wholegrain mini pasta stars in my local health food store that I’m dying to try out 🙂 Have you been making any soups lately? What’s your all-time favourite soup?

 

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Filed under Lunches & Light Dinners, Soups

Nettle Soup with Ginger and Miso

Well, I haven’t had any success growing vegetables in my garden yet, but I have an abundance of nettles that are happily growing there 😉

Nettles

What many people don’t realise is that nettles are actually a ‘super food’, packed to the brim with nutrients.

“High in potassium, iron, sulphur, vitamin C, vitamin A and B complex vitamins nettles provide a high amount of dense nutrition with very little calories. The sulphur makes them great for the hair, skin, and nails. In addition, the tiny hairs, besides emitting histamine, also release serotonin and acetylcholine, two neurotransmitters that help to suppress appetite and also settle mood. Finally, nettles have gentle diuretic properties, which help relieve water weight gain, flush the body of toxins, and purify the blood”. [Source

 

Obviously you can’t eat nettles raw (unless you want to sting your mouth to pieces) but, by simply drenching them in boiling hot water, their sting is instantly removed and then they can be eaten just like other greens.

Nettle Leaf

One of our favourite ways to eat nettles is blended into a soup, flavoured with onion, garlic, ginger and miso.  We also like to include a large sweet potato in the soup, which adds a touch of sweetness as well as giving the soup a beautiful, silky smooth texture.

Just in case you haven’t come across miso before, it’s a Japanese soybean paste that has this wonderful, rich savory flavour that makes it perfect for soups, sauces and gravies.  I’m currently using the Clearspring Japanese Organic Brown Rice Miso, which is available in the UK in Waitrose and Sainsbury supermarkets, as well as in health food stores. While the jar recommends that you store it in a cool, dark place, I keep my jar in the fridge and it’s lasted months!

Clearspring Brown Rice Miso

If you’ve never picked nettles before, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure you’re wearing gloves, a long sleeve top and trousers (long pants).
  • Use a pair of sharp scissors to snip off the top leaves from each stalk (about four leaves per stalk).  Before snipping, check the leaf to make sure there are no creatures or caterpillar eggs on it.
  • Place the leaves in a colander and thoroughly wash them under running water (remember to keep your gloves on).
  • If you’re using the nettles in a soup, there’s no need to soak them in boiling water first.  Simply chop them up (still wearing your gloves) and add them to the pan.

Nettle Leaves

If you’re not fortunate enough to have a patch of free nettles growing in your vicinity, you can replace them with another green, such as kale or chard.  It’ll taste just as nice 😉

Nettle Soup with Ginger & Miso

While it’s not the prettiest soup in the world, it tastes delicious!  Lil’ L can vouch for this.  It’s his current favourite soup, and he loves taking a flask to school for his lunch once a week.  In fact, last week, he asked if he could have it for his lunch two days on the trot.  I really hope other children enjoy it as much as he does!

Here’s the recipe:

Nettle Soup with Ginger & Miso

In addition to the nettles, we’ve had great success growing dandelions this year.  Dandelion pesto will be on the menu next week 😉

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! xx

Are there any ‘weeds’ that you enjoy eating?  If you have any family recipes, please do share below 🙂

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Filed under Lunches & Light Dinners, The Garden