Mushroom Soup

DSCI1421 A real “must” for when Winter bites!

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 onion, peeled, sliced and chopped

450g of mushrooms, peeled and sliced

1pt of vegetable stock

1pt of milk (full, semi or skimmed, whatever is your preference)

1 tsp of dried basil

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • Place the onion in a deep saucepan with a little splash of warm water: cook until the onion is tender and becomes transparent in look.
  • Add the vegetable stock and almost all the sliced mushrooms, keeping back a few to use to garnish the dish when cooked.
  • Bring the ingredients up to boil and then turn down the heat to allow the ingredients to simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a frying pan, add the remaining sliced mushrooms and a splash of water: cook until they appear caramelised and then set aside.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat and while stirring the mushrooms, slowly pour in the milk, stirring all the time. Return the saucepan to the hob and heat gently, adding the dried basil and season to taste.
  • Serve in warmed dishes and atop each with the seperately cooked mushrooms.

Dawn: A simple and easy soup recipe to serve any time of day. 
Andrew: Very nice, too. For more easy-to-cook meals, follow thsi blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and our Twitter feed @Love_Food_UK.

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Roast Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup

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Here’s a lovely and tasty, low cost soup to snuggle up with – costs pence to make and once you start making your own, you’ll really taste the difference between gorgeous homemade soups and those that are shop bought, mass produced ones.

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 medium sized butternut squash (thoroughly washed)

1 onion, peeled, sliced and chopped

1.2 l of vegetable stock

1 tsp of dried rosemary

Salt and pepper to season

Dawn: What I love about this recipe is that by roasting the butternut squash prior to adding, the final taste when eating the soup gives an almost ‘toffee caramel’ taste. 

Andrew: And just to point out that the butternut squash doesn’t need to be roasted beforehand as it can be peeled, de-seeded and cut into small chunks to add when required. 

Dawn: That’s right, Andrew and all you need do is keep checking the squash is cooked by pressing a fork into it: when the fork goes in all the way, the squash is cooked. I do like to leave the outer skin on though and roast it before making this soup – it really adds to the taste. Remove the wee ‘knot’ of the stalk, beforehand, obviously. 

Andrew: How do we start this Winter Wonder, Dawn? 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200 °C electric.
  • Cut the washed butternut squash in half and scoop out all the seeds and pulp surrounding them. Score with a sharp knife, diagonal lines and criss-cross the length of the squash. Place on a non-stick baking tray and place in the centre of the oven.

Dawn: Scoring the flesh of the squash before placing it in the oven makes it easier for the baking to add to the roasting effect, giving the heat rough edges to cling onto and so adding to the toffee caramel taste I simply adore! 

  • Cook until the squash starts to acquire a chargrilled roasted look to the cut parts. This will take approximately 45-60 minutes to achieve.
  • When the butternut squash has cooked, put the dried rosemary into a medium sized saucepan and toast for 2-3 minutes until the rosemary has started to release its sweet aromas.
  • Add the chopped onion and a little warm water. Cook for about approximately 5-10 minutes until softened and starting to become transparent-looking.
  • Tear the butternut squash up into smaller chunks and add to the onion along with the vegetable stock. Bring the ingredients to the boil and then cover, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • With an electric handheld blender, pulp the ingredients until they have combined to form a thick gooey consistency. Add the salt and pepper to personal preference.
  • Serve in warmed bowls on its own or with a mixed green salad.

Dawn: Butternut squash is a marvellous source of betacarotene which helps to protect against heart disease and cancer. It’s also a great source of vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, calcium and pitassium.

Andrew: WOW! A real “super food”, Dawn! And in this instance, cooking with the skin on retains a lot of the goodness, too. 

For more easy-to-make recipes and cooking tips, follow the Cooking Duo’s blog here and the Twitter feed over @Love_Food_UK

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