Creamy Parsnip Soup and a visit to the Harry Potter studios

Creamy Parsnip Soup Julie's Family Kitchen

Have you ever wondered what Butterbeer tastes like? OK, so you have to be a diehard Harry Potter fan to be asking this question in the first place. During the school half term holidays, we took the children to The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Whilst there we sampled the popular drink consumed by witches and wizards at drinking establishments such as the Leaky Cauldron, the Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head. Well, all I’m going to say is that it tastes remarkably like cream soda! It’s an experience not to be missed for Potter fans and I’d highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe for Butterbeer but I do have a wholesome recipe for Creamy Parsnip Soup. I tend to associate parsnips with Christmas as that’s really the only time I buy them but I had three largish parsnips in my organic veg box recently that needed to be used. Inspired by the success of my Celeriac Soup, I made this deliciously creamy soup. I think you’ll enjoy it too.

Creamy Parsnip Soup

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsCreamy Parsnip Soup Julie's Family Kitchen

450g parsnips (peeled and chopped)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 stick of celery (finely chopped)
½ tablespoon olive oil
600ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
100ml milk
salt and pepper
half fat creme fraiche (optional)

Method

1. In a lidded casserole pan heat the olive oil.

2. Sauté the onion and celery for until soft. Then, add the parsnips and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add the hot chicken or vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes until the parsnips are tender.

4. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, return the soup to the pan and stir through the milk on the heat.

5. Then serve with spoonful of creme fraiche and extra black pepper. Enjoy!

Creamy Parsnip Soup Julie's Family Kitchen

Until next time.

Julie
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Celeriac Soup

Celeriac Soup Julie's Family Kitchen

As vegetables go celeriac is a pretty ugly vegetable, knobbly and gnarly looking it is not that appealing. Celeriac is not a vegetable that I’d normally buy but it so happened to be one of the substituted items in my new weekly organic veg box delivery. However, I’m now completely won over by this overlooked vegetable and its subtle celery taste. I’ve added some milk to this celeriac soup recipe to help bring out the natural creaminess of the vegetable. It really is a delicious soup and is a great way of introducing yourself to this root vegetable, go on give it a go.

Celeriac Soup Julie's Family Kitchen

Celeriac Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsCeleriac Soup Julie's Family Kitchen

650g celeriac (peeled and diced weight)
1 medium white onion (finely diced)
1 stick of celery (finely diced)
½ tablespoon olive oil
600ml hot vegetable stock
100ml milk
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Salt and pepper

Method

1. In a large lidded casserole pan heat the olive oil.

2. Dice the onion and celery, then sauté in the pan until soft.

3. Add the diced celeriac to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes.

4. Add the hot stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for about 35 minutes, until the celeriac is tender.

5. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, return to the pan and stir in the milk on the heat.

6. Serve in bowls with a scattering of seeds on top. Enjoy with crusty seeded rolls.

Celeriac Soup Julie's Family Kitchen

Does anyone else have a weekly veg box delivery? If so, do you use a nationwide distributor like Abel & Cole and Riverford or do you have a local provider instead? What do you think about the quality, quantity and selection of vegetables you receive? I’m a little undecided at the moment whether it’s for me, so I’m going to continue for another couple of weeks before I make up my mind.

Until next time.

Julie
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Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Happy New Year. I don’t know about you but I find January and February quite gloomy months and I start to crave the warm sun of high summer. However, I’m determined not to let the winter blues get me down by arranging things to look forward to. I have booked my place on a cookery workshop later in the month and have arranged a special fun day out in February for all the family (but that’s top secret for now!).

With all the indulgences of Christmas and New Year behind us, I like to get back to eating proper hearty food that is healthy too. Soups are a great way of getting in some of those essential 5 a day without it seeming to be a chore. My tasty Tomato, Bean and Chorizo soup is bursting with smoky paprika and tomato flavours. The haricot beans and small chorizo chunks make this a filling soup to be enjoyed on chilly days. It’s a great alternative to tomato soup especially if you want something a bit more substantial for lunch. I recommend serving it with crusty seeded bread.

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsJulie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (very finely chopped)
75g diced cooking chorizo
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ dried oregano
pinch of dried chilli flakes
500g passata
400g tin of chopped tomatoes (best quality)
200ml cold water
400g haricot beans (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan, then sauté the onions until soft.

2. Add the diced chorizo, paprika, oregano and chilli flakes. Stir well and sauté for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the passata, tinned tomatoes, water, haricot beans and sugar. Season with a good grinding of sea salt and black pepper. Stir well.

4. Bring to the boil, then put on the lid and simmer gently for 50 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve the soup in warm bowls with seeded crusty bread.

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Julie's Family Kitchen Tomato, Bean and Chorizo Soup

Here’s to a great 2015.

Until next time.

Julie
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Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage
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Tomato and Basil Soup

Tomato and Basil Soup

How hard can it be to make a simple tomato soup? Seriously, I was beginning to question this myself. Well, a lot harder than I originally thought that’s for sure because my first attempt failed miserably. Thankfully, I’ve now come up with this Tomato and Basil Soup recipe that tastes utterly delicious with a beautiful balance of sweetness and acidity (which is where I went wrong before). Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make too. Using storecupboard ingredients this flavoursome soup is most definitely a soup I’m going to make regularly.

Tomato and Basil Soup

Tomato and Basil Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsTomato and Basil Soup

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (very finely chopped)
½ clove of garlic (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon dried basil
500g passata
400g tin of chopped tomatoes (best quality)
200ml cold water
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt and black pepper
handful of fresh basil leaves (chopped) plus extra to garnish

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan, then sauté the onions until soft.

2. Stir in the garlic and dried basil, sauté for a further couple of minutes.

3. Add the passata, tinned tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Season with a good pinch of sea salt and a grinding of black pepper. Stir well.

4. Bring to the boil, then put on the lid and simmer gently for 1 hour. Just before serving stir through the chopped fresh basil leaves. Serve the soup in warm bowls with a couple of basil leaves on top.

Serve the Tomato and Basil soup with crusty wholemeal rolls.

Tomato and Basil Soup

The aroma that filled the house after I made this soup was just amazing. I made the soup in the morning then had to take the girls to their gym class. It was so good to come home for lunch to the welcoming smell of homemade tomato and basil soup on a very damp and cold day. My girls and I loved the soup, I hope you enjoy it too.

Until next time.

Julie
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Roast Pumpkin Soup

Roast Pumpkin Soup

With pumpkins piled high in the shops, now is just the right time to make this delicious pumpkin soup. Of course, if you have carved a pumpkin for Halloween then this recipe is a great way of not wasting the pumpkin flesh. It’s a hearty earthy soup, ideal for warming those toes after trick or treating or why not serve it on Bonfire night around the roaring bonfire.

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Roast Pumpkin Soup

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsRoast Pumpkin Soup

600g pumpkin (peeled weight and cut into chunks)
1 medium onion (cut into 8 wedges)
600ml boiling water
1 Kallo organic chicken stock cube
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon runny honey
salt and black pepper
handful of pumpkin seeds to serve

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to Fan 200c.

2. Put the pumpkin chunks and onion wedges in a large roasting tray, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over the allspice. Toss to ensure the pumpkin and onion are evenly coated. Roast for 30 minutes.

3. Make up the stock with the boiling water and stock cube.

5. Put the cooked pumpkin and onion into a blender, then add half the stock, honey, a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper then blitz.

6. Add the remaining stock and blitz in the blender again until smooth, adding a little extra water from the kettle to get the desired consistency.

7. Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and crusty seeded bread on the side.

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Roast Pumpkin Soup

Happy Halloween, until next time.

Julie
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I’ve linked up this recipe to Tea Time Treats organised by Janie at The Hedge Combers and Karen at Lavender and Lovage, this month hosted by Janie.

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Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Oh I do like a bit of spice in a bowl of soup, not too much but enough just to waken those taste buds. This is my first soup for autumn and I wanted to experiment with my fail safe carrot soup recipe, which is utterly delicious too I must add. Anyway, I think you’ll agree this tasty carrot and lentil soup, spiced with garam masala, fresh coriander and chilli is a real winner. Healthy and full of tantalising flavours, this is no boring lentil soup. It’s worth making just for the beautiful smell of the garam masala wafting from the kitchen. Enjoy!

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsGaram Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

400g carrots (chopped in rounds)
100g red lentils
1 small onion (finely chopped)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
600ml hot chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 red chilli (sliced in rounds)

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan and sauté onion until soft.

2. Add the carrots, chilli flakes and ground coriander. Sauté until the carrots just start to soften.

3. Add the hot chicken stock, lentils and a grinding of black pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes.

4. Stir through the garam masala and continue simmering for a further 10 minutes.

5. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender with an additional 100ml of water. Blitz until smooth. Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper if necessary.

6. Just before serving, stir through the fresh coriander and top with fresh chilli rounds, if you like. The fresh chilli will make the soup fiery hot, just omit if you don’t want the soup too hot.

Garam Masala Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

This carrot and lentil soup would be great served at Bonfire night celebrations and will certainly keep you warm. I hope you like it.

Until next time.

Julie
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I’ve entered this recipe into #CreditCrunchMunch organised by Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and Helen at Fuss Free Flavours. This month it is hosted by Hannah at A New Addition.

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Roast Butternut Squash Soup

Roast Butternut Squash Soup

Warming and gently spiced with sweet cinnamon this tasty soup is lovely with wholemeal crusty bread. I’ve topped my soup with a swirl of sour cream making it a little indulgent and simply delicious.

Home made soup tastes so superior to anything you can buy in the shops. Most importantly, it gives you greater control over the level of salt in your soup. If you’re especially concerned I would suggest using a low salt stock cube or make your own stock instead. Home made soup is usually very economical too, another good reason for making it yourself. Plus not forgetting eating a vegetable soup like this one is a great way of increasing your vegetable intake.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

600g butternut squash (peeled weight and cut into 2.5cm cubes)
1 small onion chopped
600ml boiling water
1 Kallo organic chicken stock cube
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A little sour cream

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to Fan 200c.

2. Put the butternut squash cubes in a large roasting tray, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Toss to ensure the butternut squash is evenly coated. Roast for 25 minutes.

3. Add the chopped onion and roast for a further 10 minutes.

4. Make up the stock with the water and stock cube.

5. Transfer the butternut squash and onion to a blender, then add half the stock, a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper and blitz.

6. Add the remaining stock and blitz in the blender again. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

7. Reheat if needed and serve with a swirl of sour cream.

Roast Butternut Squash Soup

This soup keeps well in a covered jug in the fridge for a couple of days. Like a lot of soups it does then thicken so just add a splash of boiled water when reheating.

Why not try my Spicy Carrot Soup and my Frugal Soup, both are packed full of flavour and are easy to make too. I hope you enjoy this soup as much as me and do let me know what you think.

Until next time.

Julie
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Frugal Soup

Warming soup and soda bread

Warming soup and soda bread

During the last few years I have become acutely aware of how much food gets wasted and how many people go hungry. This world-wide problem is not something I can solve but with this in mind I’m trying to be more creative with the ingredients I have and not waste anything.

This delicious soup is the result of frugal me using up half a butternut squash and five spindly carrots left in the fridge. I’m pleased to say that the soup was quite yummy, mopped up with the very last of the cheese and sun-dried tomato soda bread made a few days ago.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1/2 butternut squash (285g approx)
5 carrots (175g approx)
1 small onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 Kallo organic chicken stock cube
600ml water (reserved from the cooked carrots)
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Peel and chop the carrots and butternut squash into about 1.5cm chunks. Roughly chop the onion and set aside.

2. Pre heat the oven to Fan 200c.

3. Par boil the carrots for about 8-10 minutes, then drain the cooking water into a jug to be used for making up the stock.

4. Place the butternut squash and par boiled carrots into a baking tray.

5. Drizzle with the olive oil, add a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper. Then, add the ground mixed spice and toss everything together.

6. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and add the chopped onion, stir everything round and then place back in for a further 20 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, make up the stock using 600ml of the carrot cooking water and the stock cube.

9. Remove the roast vegetables from the oven, double-check they are cooked by piercing with a knife, if soft then they are done.

10. Transfer the vegetables to a blender and add half of the stock, then blitz. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary along with more stock. Then blitz in the blender again.

I only used 450ml of the stock but add more if you prefer a runnier soup.

Your soup is now ready to serve. I like to have a little grinding of black pepper on top of mine and eat it with cheese and sun-dried tomato soda bread.

Do you have any frugal soup recipes? I would love to hear about them. Don’t forget you can leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Until next time.

Julie

Spicy Carrot Soup

Delicious carrot soup

Delicious carrot soup

Warming and comforting, there is nothing better than a bowl of delicious soup. A bowl of my spicy carrot soup will definitely keep out the chills this Bonfire Night. Be careful with the chilli flakes, you don’t want it too hot.

Spicy Carrot Soup

Ingredients (Serves 3)

450g carrots, sliced in rounds
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 Kallo organic chicken stock cube
600ml boiling water
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan and sauté the onions for a couple of minutes.

2. Then add the carrots and chilli flakes. Cook in the pan for a further 5 minutes.

3. Make up the chicken stock using the stock cube and boiling water, then add to the pan.

4. Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid partially on for about 20 minutes, until the carrots are cooked.

5. Remove the carrots and onion with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, along with half of the stock.

6. Blitz in the blender, then add more of the stock and blitz again until you get the desired consistency. I use all the stock but that’s up to you.

7. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Blitz again in the blender for a moment.

8. Serve immediately with crusty bread or reheat later when needed. I like to grind a little black pepper on top of my soup when I serve it.

The soup goes perfectly with my Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato Soda Bread.

Simple, easy and tasty. I hope you enjoy.

Until next time.

Julie