This time of year is perfect for enjoying soups! You can use local, seasonal, earthy ingredients for warming and healthy dishes.
Following our theme of taking care of your gut, these recipes are also good for your tummy too.
1 whole fennel
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 large onion – chopped/sliced roughly
1 full handful of pearl barley
1 vegetable stock cube
1 mushroom stock cube
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt/pepper to taste
Optional extras – fresh ginger and dried chillies.
Add all ingredients to a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the pearl barley is nicely swollen. You may need to add some water as the soup cooks depending upon the quantity and thickness you prefer.
Blend the soup to your liking, leaving a few chunks if preferred.
A handful of Quorn mince per person or measured 4oz (110g) – Quorn Mince is a great substitute for meat mince and makes delicious fillings.
1 x pepper per person, tops cut off and seeds removed
1 x large onion, finely chopped
2 oz peas (55g)
2 oz sweetcorn (55g)
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp marjoram
Mix all ingredients in a frying pan with some oil and keep turning until onion is soft.
Stuff peppers and put lids back on top.
Brush peppers with oil and place in a dish in the oven at 200c until peppers are soft, coloured and ready to eat. Any leftover mixture can be frozen.
A few years ago there was a problem with pine nuts. Apparently a beetle was causing havoc and they were very hard to find for a while. I started experimenting with different nuts and found a tasty alternative to the traditional pine.
You will have to work the quantities out through trial and error with this, so play in advance!
Flaked almonds – approx. 2oz (55g)
Walnuts – approx. 2 oz (55g)
A good helping of fresh basil
Fresh spinach – to your liking.
Lemon zest – half a lemon
Lemon juice – half a lemon
Salt and Pepper
Place the nuts in a blender and whizz until chopped finely.
Add garlic, all leaves and lemon zest to the blender and whizz again. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
Start whizzing again adding a trickle of olive oil and the half lemon juice until the consistency is as you would like it. Make sure you check the taste, if you feel that you are using too much oil, you can use either a little more lemon juice or a touch of water.
This will keep in the fridge or can be frozen. Serve with pasta or use as a tasty topper.