Pea and Mint Soup

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Soup – such a simple, short word that belies the depth of variety and flavours to be had from this liquid food. From light consommé to thick, hearty stews containing delicious chunks of meat and vegetables, soups serve to make wonderful meals and are great for using up leftovers and vegetables close to their sell by dates.

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 onion, peeled, sliced and chopped

1.2l of vegetable stock

900g of frozen peas

2 tsp of dried mint (or couple of sprigs of fresh mint, washed and finely chopped)

Salt and pepper to season

Dawn: There’s nothing to beat the taste of a really good, homemade soup and the real benefit of crafting your own is that you know exactly what has gone in to it. 

Andrew: Yes, and I really like how soups can be served piping hot or chilled – which remind me of Mediterranean holidays!

Dawn: Dreaming in the kitchen! Yet that’s the beauty of food: it can transport us to places and times bringing make memories whilst creating new ones. So, let’s press on and create a memorable meal here. 

Method

  • Place the onion in a medium sized saucepan and add a little of the vegetable stock. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onion starts to become transparent in look.
  • Add the frozen peas and the rest of the stock. Bring to boiling point and then lower the heat to low, to allow the ingredients to simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the peas are soft. Test with a fork by prodding a pea or two to test if they are soft.
  • Add the mint and sample the taste. Add seasoning.
  • With a hand held blender, blend the ingredients until all are combined. Serve with warmed, crusty bread.

Andrew: Soups can have traditional accompaniments such as croutons and grated cheese that are served with French onion soup as well as ingredients such as cream or yoghurt swirled on top like here. 

Dawn: Or crispy bacon bits, fresh herbs – even small pasta pieces! You can just about use anything that compliments the main ingredients and enhances a soup’s flavours. You really are only limited by your own imagination! 

For more imaginatively simple, easy and economically appealing meals and tips, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and the Cooking Duo’s Twitter account @Love_Food_UK and see you there for a daily new recipe. 

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Vine Fruit Filled Butternut Squash with Spicy Delight

DSCI1394 A real vegetarian treat is this one! And so easy to pull together.

Ingredients

Serves 2

1 large butternut squash, thoroughly washed

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 onion, peeled, sliced and chopped

50g of currants

25g of dried prunes, chopped

25g of dried apricots, chopped

1 tbsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of cumin seeds

1 tsp of ground ginger

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • Cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and flesh from both sides. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over both halves.
  • Place the baking tray in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6, 200 °C electric. Cook for about one hour or until the squash is tender when you put a fork into both halves.
  • While the butternut squash is baking, put the onion, currants, prunes, apricots and spices in a frying pan along with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and cook, until the onion becomes caramelised. Set aside until the butternut squash is baked.
  • When baked, half the vine fruits stuffing equally between both halves of the butternut squash and place back in the oven to heat for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Season and serve on warmed plates, either alone or with a green salad.

Dawn: And that’s it, folks!

Andrew: You could garnish with toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds which will compliment the dish. 

Dawn: Great idea, Andrew. That’s exactly what I’m going to do for dinner this evening! Thanks for the tip. 

For easy-to-make meals, simple to follow recipes that conjure up wholesome dishes, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and our Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK for regular updates, tips and recipes. 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year, Everyone!

@Love_Food_UK and this blog is one month old and you’re helping make this the best job in the world! Thank you! We really appreciate your comments, tweets, retweets, favourites, likes and following our new food blog so we’ve wishing you the very happiest New Years Eve – here’s to each and everyone of you having a wonderfully, joyous and eating happy 2014!

2014 will see us bringing you fab fat-free recipes, scrumptious surprises, our own pre-nommed (Dawn: Is there such a word?!? Andrew: There is now!!!) eateries and lots of tips plus news we think you’ll be interested in. Contact us if you have a foodie question, if you’re looking for something special yet simple to cook at home and follow this blog for daily email recipes plus cooking tips – straight to your very own inbox! Nothing could be more simpler to receive gorgeous food ideas to help make your money go further. So, if you’re looking for a January detox or a special Valentine’s Day treat, simply press ‘Follow’ on this blog (www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com) – we’ll do the rest!

Happy, healthy eating and fabulous foodie New Years wishes to you!!!

From the Cooking Duo,

Dawn and Andrew