Plentiful Curried Parsnip Soup

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So morish a recipe if ever there was one! Filling, tasty and a firm favourite that makes a great starter or a substantial lunch.

Ingredients

Serves upto 6

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 onion, sliced and chopped

600g of parsnips, peeled and chopped

1.2l vegetable stock (using two-three stock cubes)

Method

  • Put the cumin seeds into a large saucepan and toast for about 5 minutes until they are releasing their heady aromas.
  • Add the chopped onion.

Andrew: Where’s the cooking oil?

Dawn: I’m not using any in this recipe but it can be added to the saucepan after the cumin seeds have been toasted, if you prefer. 

Andrew: You could also use coriander seed and cardamom seed. Let them ‘pop’ in the pan and then crush with the back of a spoon or with a pestle and mortar before continuing.

Dawn: Interesting twist. I will try that one.

  • Cook the chopped onion until softened, for approximately 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Next, add the vegetable stock and the chopped parsnips.
  • Bring the saucepan contents up to boil and lower the heat.
  • Simmer until the parsnips are soft, for approximately 20 minutes.
  • With an electric hand whisk, blend the parsnips, cumin and vegetable stock mixture to form a smooth texture.
  • Serve warm with crusty, tasty wholemeal bread and add a twirl of single cream into the top.

Andrew: I love this soup! A veggie friend make some some time ago and it was delicious. For a fabulous variation grate some Bramley apple into the soup after it has been blended, heating through for 3-4 minutes to add the apple flavour and texture.

Dawn: And oh, so very simple to make!!! Costs pennies to achieve a really tasty and nutritious meal. 

For more tasty and easy meals, follow our blog here and our Twitter account over at @Love_Food_UK

Roast Root Ribbons

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An easy side dish to accompany a nice Sunday roast, this takes minutes to prepare and once popped in the oven, you can get on and do what you need to do as it’s virtually self-cooking.

Andrew: I like dishes like this!

Ingredients

Services 4

8 large carrots

8 large parsnips

2 tsp of cooking oil

salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  • Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips into long ribbons.
  • Place in a saucepan of boiling water and partially boil for 5-10 minutes. 

Dawn: The partial cooking via boiling is optional and you can simply put the root veg into a large, ovenproof dish if you’re short on time.

Andrew: That’s usually what I do.

  • While the vegetables are partially cooking on the hob, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade electric and place an ovenproof dish with the cooking oil in, in it.

Dawn: I’m using the cooking juices from a tasty joint here to add an extra “umph” to the vegetables taste.

  • Next, drain the vegetables of the boiling water and place in the cooking fat.

Andrew: Can I add garlic halves?

Dawn: You can add any root vegetables you may have in, Andrew. You’re only limited by your own imagination. I have a lovely baked onion recipe that I’ll share later in our side dishes section, too.

  • Cook until the vegetables start to look ‘caramelised’ and crisp in appearance.
  • Turn the vegetables occasionally so the whole of the root becomes golden in appearance.
  • Serve hot, seasoned to personal preference.

Andrew: Is this really down to personal taste, Dawn?

Dawn: No pun intended! Yes, Andrew. I tend to leave them for about 45 to 60 minutes because I really enjoy the ‘caramelised’ taste. Very yummy!

Andrew: Easy peasey, lemon squeezy!

Dawn: Indeedy! And speaking of which, you can decide to add a little splash of lemon juice to the cooking oil if you fancy a zing to the finished cooked taste. 

Andrew: And don’t forget to follow our blog and Twitter account @Love_Food_UK to stay tuned for more easy, quick and inexpensive recipes!

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Tasty Tomato and Basil Soup

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Soups. Hearty. Warming. Sometimes served cold as in the Med. Nutritious. Filling. Easy to make. And relatively inexpensive to pull together, here’s a real Winter warmer one for you.

Andrew: I love soups. I often have one at lunchtime as they are so simple to heat through and keeps me going through the afternoon. Chilled soups are excellent too. The Mediterranean vegetables absorb so much flavour that seems even more potent when cold. Garlic is especially good for this.

Dawn: Keeping the Vampires away!  You will find this one is so easy to freeze, too.

Ingredients

Serves 6 generous portions

1 large onion, peeled, sliced and diced

1 clove of garlic, peeled, chopped and crushed

1 tsp of dried basil (or fresh)

1.2 litres of vegetable stock (using two good quality stock cubes)

2 x 400g tins of tomatoes

Method

  • Put the diced onion into a large saucepan, adding a little cold water so it doesn’t burn.

Andrew: Can I use oil? 

Dawn: Yes, a teaspoon of cooking oil, any sort, will be fine. Even butter. Simply melt it before adding the onion. And warm the cooking oil prior to adding the onions, too. I prefer not to use oil as cooking the onion in water will soften it just as well and reduces the fat content. 

Andrew: In the Mediterranean, it is almost expected that you will use Olive Oil!

  • Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring it so it doesn’t stick and if need be, to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, add a little more water but make sure its hot water added to the hot cooking onion.
  • Once the onion is soft, add the garlic. Cook for a further minute.
  • Now add the two tins of tomatoes. If whole tomatoes, chop them. It speeds up they’re cooking time.
  • Add the vegetable stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the basil and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • With an electric hand whisk, pulse the soup so the ingredients become one thick consistency.
  • Now, season and hey, presto! Tasty Tomato and Basil Soup for you!

Andrew: Mmm…and serve with a wholemeal, crusty slice of warmed bread?

Dawn: Absolutely! You may even choose to add a nice green mixed salad. An ideal lunch time meal to set you up for the afternoon.