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

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Prunes and Apple Stuffed Pork

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A hearty Winter warmer and an all-round family favourite – which virtually cooks itself!

Andrew: Another of my kind of recipes!!! One for the lazy cooks!!!

Ingredients

Serves upto 6

1kg (1000g) joint of pork

14 dried prunes, chopped small

1 eating apple, grated

Salt and pepper

Method

  • With a sharp knife, cut along the pork joint to reveal its inside.

Dawn: I’m using an inexpensive cut of pork here, the shoulder and it cooks well with the stuffing adding to its flavouring. 

  • In a small bowl, mix together the chopped prunes and shredded apple.
  • Place this stuffing mixture along the pork’s cut length and pull the pork sides together, securing along its length with intermittent pieces of string tied together to keep the stuffing in place.
  • Season with salt and pepper the skin.

Andrew: Mmm…crackling! 

Dawn: That’s the idea, Andrew. 

Andrew: The crackling was my granddad’s favourite.

  • Wrap the pork in cooking foil and place in an ovenproof dish. Place in a pre-heated over at gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade electric for 30 mins and then turn the heat down to gas mark 3, 160 degrees centigrade electric for 2 to 3 hours.

Dawn: I like meat that’s tender so I always go on regularly checking it with a fork during its cooking to see how tender it’s becoming. 

Andrew: Again, personal preference? 

Dawn: Absolutely, Andrew. Guidelines suggest 35 minutes per pound in weight (450g) plus 35 minutes thereafter. I think it’s down to how you personally prefer your meat cooked. 

  • Keep checking the pork to see if it’s cooked by sticking a fork into it at periodic times. When it’s soft, it’s cooked.
  • Remove the cooking foil to expose the pork for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking to enable the skin to crackle and go crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes prior to craving.

Andrew: Oh, crackling! Yum! And for more ‘cracking’ – get it? – great, easy and inexpensive dishes, follow our blog here and our Twitter account @Love_Food_UK

Dawn: Our Roast Root Ribbons go nicely with this, cooked in the succulent juices of the pork along with some green vegetables and a nice dollop of mashed potato, too. Mmm…my mouth is watering!

Amazing Apple and Cinnamon Crumble

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Filling, scrumptious and simply delicious, our apple and cinnamon crumble can be made as one large dish or cooked in seperate ramekins – whatever your preference, this is a firm traditional British staple pudding.

Andrew: I like the cinnamon twist to this. 

Ingredients

Serves 4

Fruit base

4 cooking apples or 7-8 eating apples (any kind)

10g sugar

4 tbsp water

Crumble Topping

50g plain flour

25g porridge oats

20g softened low fat spread

10g sugar (granulated, castor, muscovado are all possibilities)

15g flaked almonds (toasted, optional)

¼ tsp of ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

Method

  • Peel and cut into chunks the apples. Put in a saucepan.
  • Add the 10g of sugar and water.
  • Cook on the hob until the apples are partially softened, stirring so that the apples don’t stick to the saucepan base.
  • Once softened, spoon the mushy-looking apples into a large cooking dish or four ramekins. Set aside to make the crumble topping.

Dawn: You can add additional soft fruits at this point, too.

Andrew: Like blackberries?

Dawn: Yes, Andrew or dribble 20-30g of sultanas or currants into the apples so they are generously strewn amongst the apples. I do like blackberries added at this point especially if they’re hedgerow ‘freebies’.

Andrew: It’s worth pointing out that if you use cooking apples, you may decide to add a little more sugar as they tend to be less sweet than eating apples. 

Dawn: Excellent point, Andrew.

  • To make the crumble topping, put the flour, spread, sugar and salt into a large bowl and using your fingertips, rub these ingredients together until they have combined to form what resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the flaked almonds and gently combine.

Andrew: Be gentle at this point as you don’t want the almonds to become too fine.

Dawn: That’s right. I personally like the almonds to retain much of their size and shape as it adds to the finished texture and almost crunch-like quality of the topping when cooked.

  • Next, add the oats and with equal care shown to the almonds, combine these with the existing crumble mixture.
  • Add and combine the cinnamon.

Andrew: If you haven’t any cinnamon, use mixed spice. nutmeg or ginger. Whatever ground spices you may have in will all work really well here. 

  • You are now ready to sprinkle the crumble topping over the apple base. So, spooning the mixture, spread the topping equally over the apple fruit base.
  • Place a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4/electric 180 degrees for about 35-40 minutes until the apple juices are bubbling and the crumble base has turned a nice golden light brown colour.

Andrew: Serve warm with either ice cream or fresh cream.

Dawn: Simply scrumptious! Or, custard and we’ll be bringing you homemade custard in our forthcoming recipes, too. Stay tuned to updates by following this food blog and over on Twitter @Love_Food_UK