Sunday, 11 February 2018

Lettuce and Pea Soup

I can't wait for the slightly warmer Spring months to arrive so I can eat lighter and refreshing dishes. But  as it's freezing outside, I'll settle on eating hearty and filling soups. When it's cold and crisp outside, I really need something to warm me up, especially at lunch time. 
I regularly look for inspiration when making soup as I find eating the same flavour soups on a regular basis can become boring. I found a recipe for lettuce soup from one of the first cookbooks I brought around 10 years ago, BBC Good Food Low Fat Feasts. I did not know that lettuce could be used to cook with or to use as an ingredient in a soup, but the lettuce flavour added a warmth  and mellow flavour to the soup. I added peas as well as I wanted to add another vegetable serving. The recipe serves 8, but as I made this for myself, I froze half the soup in containers and was perfect for lunch a few weeks later.

Takes 40 minutes, serves 8 

25g butter
1 onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove
450ml vegetable stock
100g frozen peas
2 fresh lettuces, finely sliced
225ml milk
a little nutmeg
double and snipped chives, to serve

Melt the butter in a large casserole with a lid, then stir in the onion, potato and garlic. Add the stock,  frozen peas, season and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
Add the lettuce and cook, covered or 3-4 minutes until the stock returns to the boil and the lettuces are semi-wiltered.
Liquidise, then return to the pan with the milk. Season, add a pinch of nutmeg and serve with a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of chives.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

5 ways with chicken

I am having to repost my posts from the last few months, as I decided to change my blog name, and automatically presumed all the blogs will be relinked to my new address but how wrong was I.
This post was originally posted in November.
Although this time of year is associated with turkey, let's not forget the turkey's cousin, my favourite meat, chicken. There are several reasons to cook the humble chicken: this meat is used throughout the world, makes a fantastic meal, is cheap and cheerful and is crowd winner. Growing up my favourite chicken meals were either jerk chicken, curry chicken or roast chicken. As an adult i've ventured into new territory and have tried a variety of chicken dishes mainly from Mediterranean countries (Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal), which I must say have been very delicious. There is Greek chicken, chicken cooked in Greek spices and topped with feta cheese and avocado. Jerk chicken, one of my favourite dishes, is a dish seasoned with all Jamaican all spice seasoning and traditionally cooked on a barbecue, but still tastes wonderful cooked in the oven.

There is also Spanish chicken, i've cooked many variations of this one pot rice dish, all have been quick, easy and so tasty. The version I have chose to upload is Spanish chicken using red potatoes and chorizo; this version takes the same amount of time as the more traditional recipe. I think it's always good to have a little change on a classic dish.
I rarely cook eastern inspired dishes as I think they are quite difficult to get right. Perhaps I should not compare my Chinese cooking with the Chinese cooking at Wing Wah but my attempts have always seem to be lacking. If you fancy a healthy (ish) dish, try Thai chicken skewers. The seasoning is readily available from Asda, so there are no excuses.

Also if you fancy something different, why not make a chicken carbonara (without the pasta) and use the filling inside a calzone. Calzones are quite easy to make, if you are used to making pizza dough and bases.
Some of the books I have adapted my recipe from.

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