Wednesday, 8 January 2014

chicken laksa inspired soup

Leftovers.  As the kids get bigger and eat more, the leftovers become more and more scant.  Certainly, there is never enough leftovers from a chicken for a meal for 5, and on our budget I would really like a chicken to stretch to 2 meals! 
This is a proper filling soup recipe, so filling that even my husband keeps out of the fridge after a bowlful...

fresh coriander, 1 bunch (leaves stripped, stalks chopped, KEEP THE STALKS!)
thumb sized picec of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium red chilli, chopped (I take out the seeds too)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 block of creamed coconut (made up to packet instructions) or a tin of coconut milk
star anise, a couple
leftover chicken, picked from the carcass (freeze the leftover bones to make stock another time)
glass noodles or whatever you have to hand
a couple of limes
fish sauce
chicken stock (about 500ml)

1.  Heat a tablespoon of oil/ 10g of butter in a pan and add the onion, ginger, chilli and coriander stalks.  Leave to sweat over a low heat for 10-15 mins, remembering to stir, until softened (especially the onion)
2.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
3.  Add the leftover chicken, coconut, star anise, chicken stock, and a splodge of fish sauce, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
4.  Add the glass noodles (or similar, whatever you find at the back of the cupboard!) and cook for another 5 mins
5. Add lime juice to taste and add the coriander leaves just before serving up...


Friday, 21 June 2013

tomato soup

My kids like tomato soup out of a tin.  This is a recipe that has evolved to try and recreate that tin-fresh flavour!  When I first made it without the carrot I found it too acidic until I remembered some advice from my old Italian housemate and added a carrot to neutralise the acid.  Bingo!
It also uses a glut of tomatoes and can be frozen before adding the cream/yoghurt.
All weights are approximate, the good thing about soup is that you can use up what you have available without getting bogged down in the details...  This makes 4-6 bowlfuls.
I had little luck growing my own tomatoes last year as it was so cold, but this is an old pic from the year before where I grew some really lovely marmande beefsteaks as well as sungold and some other yellow tomatoes.  I'm hopeful to have a few more homegrown this year!
You Will Need:
1 medium carrot
1 medium onion
1 medium potato
800g - 1kg tomatoes
1-2 cloves garlic
300ml home made stock or a stock cube melted in 300ml boiling water (I really like kallo at the moment)
Cream or organic plain (live) yoghurt to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)
You will also need a stick blender or food processor as well as a sieve and a second saucepan or jug to sieve soup in to.
1.  Chop the carrot, potato and onion and sweat in a saucepan over a low heat for 10-15 mins till the onion has softened. Don't worry about chopping everything too finely, you are going to blend all the lumps out of the soup before serving!  However, the smaller you chop, the quicker the veg will soften.
2.  Chop the tomato and add to the pan.  Finely chop the garlic (or push it through a press) and add to the pan.  Cook over a low heat for a minute or so (while boiling the kettle and mixing up the stock cube if you are using).
3.  Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4.Turn off the heat and use the stick blender to knock out all the lumps.  Don't go too crazy and blend the tomato pips as well as they might turn your soup bitter!  Alternatively working in batches decant the soup to a food processor (be careful not to overload the processor!) and blitz, but be careful not to blitz the pips.
5.  Push the soup through the seive into a second pan or pyrex jug.  If you are going to freeze the soup allow it to cool before containering it up and freezing.
6.  Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt stirred in or some cream, with some fresh baked bread to serve and maybe a couple of basil leaves.

Home cooking in the home counties

Welcome to my blog!  Some of you might have arrived here from my other blog redclovercrochet where I write about my latest crochet creations and put all my free patterns.  It seemed the best idea to keep the two themes of crochet and cooking separate so here I am, again!

This blog is a place for me to put up recipes I have made up or adapted over the years and record how successful they are (or not!) with the ultimate panel of judges: my 3 children!

While I was growing up my mum grew our own fruit in the garden and cooked up all manner of recpies to try and get myself and my brother to Eat Our Vegetables, but with little success (sorry Mum!).  Now that I'm a mother and in pretty much the same position, I feel her pain at having spent hours preparing a good meal for an unappreciative crowd, fortunately my kids are less harsh critics, although I have yet to cook a meal that all 3 will eat - for me 2 out of 3 is the best I have achieved so far!  But, they are growing up fast and their tastes and attitudes are changing so I keep trying!