Broccoli Soup

Yet another soup from Lucy’s friendly Foods! I promise I’ll stop posting soup recipes soon. Well, just as soon as spring arrives.

Maybe broccoli soup doesn’t sound very exciting to most people, but it does to me! So simple – but packed full of healthy flavour – a great way to get a dose of green goodness. And it’s a vegetable that children seem to love, although mine can eye a green soup with suspicion.

A few chives on top, a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, a hunk of my rosemary focaccia and it’s another simple, winning lunch.

Broccoli Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large head of broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 potato
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or more according to taste
  • 700ml vegetable stock

– Saute the onion in the oil until softened but not brown

– Add the broccoli and potato and tir.

– Pour in the stock. Place on a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

– Liquidize or blitz until smooth.

– Add the salt and taste. Adjust the seasoning.

– Serve garnished with chopped chives, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some black pepper.

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Sweetcorn and Leek Soup

Brrr, it’s been freezing for weeks, so soups have been a regular feature for lunch. The idea for this variation on vichyssoise came from a book by the legendary Alice Walters – I’d never really thought of messing around with the classic leek and potato combination before, but the addition of sweetcorn does add a new dimension. And say the word ‘sweetcorn’ and my children are there!

Sweetcorn and Leek Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 2-4

  • 4 leeks, whites only, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tin or 2 ears of corn, shaved off the ear
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • salt and ground white pepper, to taste

– Gently sweat the leeks in the sunflower oil until they’re unctuous and soft but not browned

– Add the potatoes and sweetcorn. Stir.

– Pour over the hot stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.

– Simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are well cooked.

– Liquidize.

– Taste and add seasoning as required.

– Serve garnished with croutons and parsley.

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Celeriac, Apple and Thyme Soup

It’s snowing today in the UK – proper piles of fluffy white stuff everywhere! We normally have a little sprinkle of snow that melts almost immediately, so a decent amount of snow is a reason to celebrate.

School was initially open for the girls, and we had a rather white knuckle drive there on the icy roads, only to decide it was a bad idea and immediately turn around and come home. So the rest of today is a snow day! 🙂

We’ve already sledged to the shops and got rather cold in the process – so this winter warmer of a soup (chosen due to yet another gnarly celeriac in this week’s veg box) was most welcome for lunch. I can’t say the girls loved the flavour of celeriac – maybe it’s a bit of an adult flavour, but D and I enjoyed it greatly. We actually added a bit of horseradish at the end but in reality it didn’t need it, and had a perfectly interesting flavour without.

Celeriac, Apple and Thyme Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 sweet apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
  • 700ml vegetable stock

– Sweat off the onion and leek in the oil until nicely soft but not browned

– Add the celeriac and apple and half the thyme leaves. Stir to coat in the onion mix.

– Pour over the hot stock.

– Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the celeriac is cooked through.

– Blitz in a liquidizer. Taste and season as required.

– Serve topped with more thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Savoury Scones

Tangy scones that are perked up with marmite, nutritional yeast, and herbs. Pow! Flavour punch. Need a savoury bite to accompany that steaming bowl of soup? These fit the bill nicely.

Savoury scones (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) NB Contains gluten.

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makes 10

  • 200g plain flour (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder, levelled off
  • 40g dairy-free spread
  • 1 tbsp marmite mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 120 ml oat milk
  • glaze: 1 tsp marmite mixed with 1 tsp boiling water and 1 tbsp oat milk

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 6

– Oil and flour a baking sheet.

– Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the oregano.

– Rub in the spread with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

– Pour in the oat milk and watery marmite mix. Bring together to form a soft dough.

– Turn out and lightly knead.

– Press out the dough to 2 inches high and cut out circles with a cookie cutter.

– Place on the baking sheet and brush with the glaze.

– Bake for 20 minutes until the scones have risen and golden.

– Cool on a wire rack.

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Mmmmm Minestrone Soup

It’s freezing out, definitely the weather for hearty soups. I usually make smooth soups to fend off the inevitable comments from the children about unidentified ‘bits’, but I’ve been feeling like a good Minestrone for ages, and it’s a great way to use up whatever veggies you’ve got hanging around in the fridge. Use any combination of veg that you’ve got handy, just make sure to add the borlotti and pasta for an authentic touch.

Minestrone Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) Caution: contains gluten, to make gluten-free just use gluten-free pasta

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Serves 4-6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 peppers, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins worth of vegetable stock, measure using the empty tomato tin
  • 1/2 tin borlotti beans
  • Handful green beans, roughly sliced
  • Handful frozen peas
  • Handful baby corn, sliced
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 2 handfuls pasta
  • Handful basil leaves
  • salt and pepper

– Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in the oil until soft but not browned
– Add the peppers, garlic and oregano and cook for a while until soft and fragrant
– Add all the other ingredients (except the basil), bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables and pasta is cooked
– Taste and adjust the seasoning
– Stir in the shredded basil
– Serve garnished with extra basil and olive oil.

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Curried Parsnip Soup

Brrrr, it’s cold! The temperature has dropped – suddenly it’s frosty, the trees are bare and there’s the hint of Christmas in the air.

In the UK, around Christmas time the shops are suddenly laden with parsnips, brussels sprouts, nuts and clementines. I love parsnips at any time, but there’s something especially comforting about root vegetables when the weather is cold and crisp. And that sweet, earthy parsnip flavour is just right for adding spice to. This curried parsnip soup is a real winter warmer – perfect after a walk out in the frosty countryside.

Curried Parsnip Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 3-4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and chopped
  • 6-7 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsps curry powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 litre water or vegetable stock
  • 4-5 dashes tabasco sauce (optional)
  • red chilli, sliced, to serve

– Saute the onion and celery in the oil until soft but not browned.

– Add the parsnips and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.

– Stir in the curry powder and cook out for a couple of minutes.

– Pour in the water/stock and simmer for approx. 20 minutes until the parsnips are cooked through.

– Puree in a liquidizer until smooth. Taste and season as desired.

Add the tabasco sauce, if using.

– Serve garnished with red chilli.

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