recipes for healthy living

Tag: soup

Butternut squash soup with Cumin, Chives and Crispy Onions


Even I get tired of cooking sometimes, especially January when the excess of December is still fresh in mind. That is why soup is a perfect excuse – Healthy eating disguising a bit of laziness!

I like to add some interest and the ground cuimin adds a lovely flavour and topped with chives and crispy onions brings this recipe to delicious heights. Fully of the goodness of the squash and spices and perfect to bring to work.

Makes enough for 4
1 butter nut squash peeled and chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 oz butter
1 tbsp cuimin seed ground
1/2 block of coconut dissolved with 1 pint of stock or 200ml coconut milk from tin
1 stock cube made up to one pint.
Chopped chives and crispy onions to serve

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium pan
Add the onion and sweat with the lid on for about 3 minutes
Add the ground cuimin seed, butter nut squash and the butter
Stir to mix and coat the veg with the butter as it melts.
Put lid on and cook for about 7 minutes on a medium heat to sweat the veg
Add the stock mixed with the coconut and cook until the veg is tender
Puree, taste for seasoning and serve with chopped chives and onions on top.

Spicy Thai Soup with Meatballs and Pickled Veg

Cold weather, numb fingers, seeing your breath – this is the perfect antidote, hot spicy, the contrast of the sweet & sour crisp vegetables is a perfect balance to the coconut laced spicy soup. A great recipe you could have ready for when you come in from a long cold walk over Christmas. There I finally said the C word…. .

1-IMG_7867 OO&L

Thai Meatballs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1lb minced beef, lamb or pork
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Kecap manis
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt and pepper

Tip the meat into a large bowl and add the garlic, chilli, ginger, fish sauce, kecap manis, plenty of salt and pepper and leave to marinate a while. Shape the meat into small balls. Heat a decent amount of oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs over a medium heat until browned on the underside, flip and cook the other side until browned. You can continue cooking on the pan until just cooked through and set aside until the soup is ready.

Thai Green Veg Soup
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled mashed and chopped
2 Tbsp green curry paste
400ml can coconut milk
1¾ l veg or chicken stock
5 kaffir lime leaves if you can get them – well chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 bunch spring onions, the white sliced on the diagonal and the green finely chopped
2 Bok Choi – the white sliced more finely than the green, and separated.
280g pack fine green beans, trimmed and chopped
juice 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
small bunch Thai Basil if you can get it

Heat the oil, add the onion and fry for a few minutes to soften without colouring.
Add the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken or veg stock, lime leaves and fish sauce, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the spring onions bok choi and green beans and cook for 4-6 mins, until the beans are just tender. If you were able to get the basil, blitz it with the lime juice and add to the soup with the sliced spring onion and green top of the bok choi. (Otherwise just add the lime juice without the basil). Give a final taste for seasoning, add the meatballs and heat through.
Serve with lime wedges and pickled vegetables for a delicious filling comforting meal.

Pickled Veg
A selection of thinly sliced carrot, deseeded cucumber, spring onion, very thin slices of cauliflower
Pickling juice
100ml each of water and white wine vinegar heated gently to dissolve 3 tbsp sugar
Take off the heat and let cool. Add your veggies and set aside until needed

Coconut and Butternut squash Soup with Yeasted Bread Rolls

OO&L Soup and Bread

OO&L Bread Rolls

These little rolls are a bit like Brioche only with less butter and more eggs. They take a bit of time but in my world, are totally worth it. I was raised on bread and lots of it, My husband is always amazed that I seem to do quite well on it and I’m always trying different recipes. The knead, wait, knead a bit more is easy if you are spending the day at home. Oh, and the soup is delicious too! đŸ™‚

Yeasted Brioche Rolls
2 tsp. dry yeast
7 fl oz water
1 lb strong white flour
2 tbsp honey
2 eggs beaten
2oz unsalted butter melted
2tsp poppy seeds to decorate

Sprinkle the yeast into the water, leave until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted water.
Draw in enough of the flour into the water to form a soft paste
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to sponge and rise about 20 minutes
Add the honey, the beaten eggs and melted butter
Mix in the rest of the flour from the sides to form a soft dough
Put the dough into a buttered bowl, turning to coat evenly with the butter
Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size about 2 hours
Knock back and leave it rest for about 1o minutes
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and chafe to form nice rounds
Place on a buttered baking sheet or into small brioche tins and cover with a team towel.
Prove until doubled in size about 45 minutes
Brush with egg glaze and sprinkle with poppy seeds and sea salt
Bake in the oven until a lovely golden brown colour and sounds hollow when tapped underneath – about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Coconut and Butternut squash soup
Heart healthy coconut oil and milk add a delicious nutty creaminess to this soup. Can also be topped with some Sriracha or Harissa if you would like to add a bit of heat.

Serves 6-8
3 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 butter nut squash peeled and chopped
1 large onion sliced
2 garlic cloves peeled chopped and mashed
1 tbsp fresh ginger finely chopped
1 ltr vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk – I use Thai gold

Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan.
Add the butter nut squash, onion, garlic and ginger, stir and season well.
Cover and cook on a medium heat until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes
Stir in the coconut milk and the stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are fully cooked
Blend the soup until smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve topped with fresh chopped coriander.

Hot and Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

The wind raged and howled around the house but we did not get it as bad as our southern cousins. Eva had to join us in the bed she was scared by the noise of the wind which ‘Sounds really cross’.
Cross indeed it was – this soup helped forget about it: comforting, hot, spicy, sour and sweet. Left over chicken works perfectly if you have it to hand. Full of the goodness of all the vegetables and fueling enough for an evening meal.

OO&L Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 4

1 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast about 6oz each
100g rice noodles
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut in a medium dice
1 small head of broccoli cut to bite size florets
1 medium onion finely sliced
1 tbsp good quality curry paste
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 spring onions, shredded
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
a handful of coriander chopped and a sprinkle for the top

Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces
Heat the rapeseed oil over a medium heat, add the sweet potato dice, broccoli and onion and mix to cover with the oil. Season well and sweat gently for about 5 minutes.
Add the curry paste, tomato puree and cook out stirring well for about 3 minutes.
Add the stock and cook until the vegetables until almost tender.
Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, half the spring onions and the coriander.
Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender.
Season with fish sauce and soy sauce, taste and adjust as needed,
Ladle into bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions.

New Year and a recipe for Leek and White Bean Soup with Chorizo


Happy New Year!
I don’t make new year’s resolutions, never have in fact. Far too much pressure in my opinion, why heap such an amount of expectation on top of yourself just because it is the start of another year. One which in my case, I started especially hung over, definitely not a day to try and muster up the will power to stop smoking, get fit, loose weight or what ever new year goal has been set. Instead I ate some comfort food, had a quick walk, drank loads of water, and went to bed really early and loved every minute of it, safe in the knowledge that for the rest of the year, I generally eat well, get exercise and enjoy as much spare time as I can either in the company of my friends and family or in the kitchen doing what I love best.

(And for the record, I used to smoke, a lot – gave them up thank god, in the middle of the year not at new year, and despite the odd craving, I’m happy to report I’m still off them).

This soup can be whipped up in no time, full of the goodness of the vegetables and beans and especially lovely with the crispy Chorizo on top.

Leek and White Bean Soup with Chorizo
Serves 6
5 leeks washed, trimmed and chopped
1 400gr tin of white beans (butter, cannellini, which you prefer) drained and rinsed
1 ltr veg stock
1 oz butter and 3 tbsp rapeseed oil

Heat the oil and butter until foaming
Tip in the leeks, season really well and mix to ensure they are covered in the butter & oil mix.
Turn down the head and let them sweat for about 10 minutes until softened.
Tip in the beans, mix well and add the stock.
Bring up the just boiling and turn down and cook for about 10 more minutes until the leeks are fully cooked.
Blend really well, taste and adjust for seasoning.
Just before seasoning, cut 3″ piece of chorizo into small dice and cook on medium pan until crispy and releases the oil.
Top each bowl of soup with some of the chorizo and drizzle over some of the oil and serve.

OO&L Leek Chorizo Soup II

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