I hope my recipes and passion for all things food, in my blog, in our cooking classes and always around our table inspire you to want to cook and celebrate the pleasures of the kitchen and table. The pleasures truly are amazing!
It has only just dawned on me that you would not be silly for thinking I am Vegetarian.
In my first blog post, there were my cauliflower fritters and in the following, I confessed what an avid Brussel Sprouts lover I am. Here again, I find myself posting another great vego number. I am not vegetarian although I enjoy eating this way often. You might be craving a meat-ier recipe but I am so keen to share this next recipe with you! I have cooked it so much of late & I love it.
This is the soup that my Mother has always made for me as an adult whenever she thinks I have needed nourishment and nurturing. We have had this soup dropped off when each of our babies were born and whenever I have been bed ridden and in need of a Mother’s love. She often leaves the whole chilli in the soup which is always a breath taking surprise a few days later!
This soup makes me feel so ‘good’. This is big praise for food I think. Delicious & that you can feel it doing you ‘good’. Oh…and a little piece of advice – you just have to try the toasted bread with the goats cheese (with or without the soup). I have an avid affection for ‘Meredith Dairy’ fabulous goats cheese. I like to keep it in fairly large supply in our fridge & have been know to get the shakes if we go below 6 jars!
Spiced red lentil and carrot soup
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
250g Persian Red lentils, washed and drained (my preferred brand is Mount zero)
1 long red chilli, split through the centre and bruised gently but left in one piece
2 tablespoons of tomato paste (optional)
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1.5 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
Natural yoghurt, olive oil and washed coriander leaves, to serve
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring gently for 5-10 minutes. Add the red lentils, chilli, tomato paste,ground coriander, ground cumin and stir to combine. Cover with stock and bring to the boil. Turn heat down, season to taste, cover saucepan and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and drizzled with olive oil and garnished with coriander.
In addition, I love to serve this (or any soup) with some thinly sliced olive bread,drizzled with olive oil and chargrilled. Whilst hot, I spread with a layer of ‘Meredith dairy’ goats cheese. If I have some caramelised onions in the fridge, some of these on top of ‘Meredith Dairy’ goats cheese is, well ‘heaven on a plate’ for me!
Click here for a lovely recipe for caramelising onions.
It’s getting cold outside which causes me to live like a hermit, wax way less often than one should and the inevitable struggle to get the kids out of bed. The good news is, it also means wonderful, wonderful cauliflower does this make up for hairy legs??!!).
This dish is delightfully simple and has ‘comfort’ written all over it for me. Make bite size versions for a wonderful starter / great party food or make larger ones and serve for dinner with a big green salad and a glass of wine. Is this not the perfect Sunday night?
Makes approx 18 small fritters
300g (2 cups) self raising flower
125g (1 ¼ cups) grated parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons of Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chives, finely chopped
Sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-2 tablespoons of milk
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Break or cut the cauliflower in to quite small pieces. Add the cauliflower to the boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes, until soft (you should be able to pierce the cauliflower stem with a knife with ease if cooked through). Drain & cool.
Combine the flour, parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, chives, salt and pepper and then mix with the cauliflower. Add the lightly beaten eggs and mix again. Add a little of the milk, if needed, to bring the mixture together.
Add enough olive oil to cover the base of a frying pan and heat over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add tablespoons of the mixture and cook on the first side until golden. Turn each fritter over and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula. Cook on the second side until golden and cooked through.
Serve these warm but not hot to enjoy their maximum flavour or at room temperature.
Makes approx 18 small fritters.
I always serve these fritters with my ‘beetroot & aceto balsamic relish’. They are so perfect together! Alternatively, you could make your own spicy dipping sauce to make these tasty gems even tastier! To do this, grab yourself a blender and whizz up 4 roughly chopped tomatoes with some dried chilli flakes (or fresh chilli), a few drops of balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of roughly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.