Broccoli, Leek and Potato Soup

broccoli leek potato soup

I have a confession to make. I hate chopping vegetables. Shocking, isn’t it? I’m meant to be enthusiastic in the kitchen and enthrall you with my tales of culinary triumph and then I go and tell you I hate chopping vegetables.

But it’s true and it’s the reason why I haven’t done a soup recipe before now. I love soup, especially homemade, but the need to chop lots of veggies always puts me off. However I got over it recently in order to make this deliciously healthy soup and share it with you all.

Making your own soup is a great way to control the salt and fat content of your lunch, and it’s also a really tasty way to get some produce into your diet. Obviously at this time of year it makes for great comfort food too.

 So no excuses – get chopping!

 

Broccoli, Leek and Potato Soup

Serves 4. Preparation time 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • One head of broccoli, chopped
  • Two leeks, peeled and chopped
  • Two large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Three cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • A few dashes of black pepper
  • A tablespoon of butter

Method:

  1. Prepare the veggies and stock. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat
  2. Gently saute the leeks until soft – don’t allow them to brown. Add the stock and pepper and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the potatoes, return to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
  4. In the meantime, steam the broccoli for around ten minutes or until tender. Add to the soup mixture when the potatoes are cooked.
  5. Use  a hand blender or food processor to blitz the soup until smooth. If serving immediately, return to the heat to ensure it is piping hot. Otherwise leave to cool and then store in the fridge for up to three days.

 

How do you feel about chopping veggies? Do you ever make homemade soup? What are for your favourite types of soup?

 

Something to Chew Over – everyday food, just a little bit special!

What I Ate Wednesday #13

WIAW

Thirteen may be unlucky but I had a great day of eats for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks to Jenn for hosting another party and keeping the WIAW fun going strong.

I started off the day with a steaming bowl of PB&J hot oats.

pb&j oats WIAW

I also had a kiwi on the side.

For lunch I had tuna and chickpea salad, some Ryvita and a vanilla yoghurt. I also had a latte with an apple mid-morning.

tuna chickpea salad WIAW

Dinnertime and it was one of my favourites, chicken and cheesy dumplings casserole.

chicken cheesy dumplings casserole

And to finish off the day on a sweet note, I had the last one of my batch of carrot cake cookies.

carrot cake cookies WIAW

Has anybody been baking lately? Who else is joining in on the WIAW fun?

Something to Chew Over – everyday food, just a little bit special!

Carrot Cake Cookies

carrot cake cookies

I love carrot cake. I love making my own cookies. And so I give you…carrot cake cookies!

There’s something very Christmasy about making cookies and the first weekend of November is definitely not too early to start getting in the spirit of the season!

This is a quick and simple cookie recipe which gives deliciously chewy results. It’s foolproof too – it really can’t go wrong! These cookies are reasonably healthy with plenty of fibre and not too much sugar. They’re very a satisfying snack as well as a sweet treat.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • One cup of plain flour
  • Halfa cup of rolled oats
  • One teaspoon of baking powder
  • Two teaspoons of cinnamon
  • One teaspoon of ginger
  • One egg, beaten
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil (or vegetable/sunflower)
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Eight tablespoons of golden syrup (or maple syrup)
  • Two carrots, peeled and finely grated

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone lining.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl – flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Add the grated carrot and combine.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in another bowl – egg, oil, vanilla and syrup. Add to the other bowl and stir together until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Use a wet tablespoon to drop the mixture onto the baking tray. You can make them small or large – I made ten medium sized ones. Flatten them slightly with the back of the spoon and make sure you even enough room between the cookies as they will spread as they bake.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and firm. Cool on a wire tray.

 

carrot cake cookie

What are your favourite cookie flavours? How do you like your cookies – chewy? Crunchy? Soft?

Something to Chew Over - everyday food, just a little bit special!

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

It’s getting colder and darker and so the need for hearty, stick-to-your-gut comfort food is getting stronger. These homemade gnocchi absolutely fit the bill, especially for dinner after a wet run (my favourite time to eat this dish).

Making the gnocchi is simple but the beauty of this recipe is that you can make them in advance and then they only take a few minutes to boil up and serve. I like to prepare them the night before (up to point 3 in the recipe) and then I know I’ll have a satisfying dinner ready in no time when I come back from my post-work run.

Here I served mine with a dollop of pesto and some grilled courgette (zucchini). A cheese sauce would also be delicious if you fancy something really filling.

Homemade Gnocchi

Serves 2. Preparation time 30-40 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Three or four medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 50g plain flour
  • One egg yolk, beaten
  • Teaspoon of black pepper

Method:

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft, then drain.
  2. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl until completely smooth and lump-free. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together to form a dough.
  3. Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a floured work surface. Knead for a minute or two and then shape the dough into walnut-sized pieces. Flatten each piece with a damp fork. You can store the gnocchi in the fridge at this point – place on a floured tray and use within 24 hours.
  4. Bring another saucepan of water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for around 3 minutes or until they rise to the top. Drain and serve immediately with pesto or cheese sauce.

Have you ever tried making or eating gnocchi before? How would you serve them? Are you a fan of potatoes?

Something to Chew Over – everyday food, just a little bit special!

What I Ate Wednesday #12

WIAW

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting the party! This is what I ate on Monday, which was a day off in Ireland.

I made some oatcakes for breakfast and served them with some vanilla yoghurt and golden syrup, with two plums on the side.

breakfast oatcakes WIAW

I had some barley salad for lunch as I had some barley leftover from a batch I made at the weekend ( I was making cinnamon barley pudding). In the mix was some barley, cheddar cheese, tomato, scallions and of course lettuce.

barley salad WIAW

I had unphotographed almond butter with apple slices for lunchtime dessert plus a homemade latte.

I wanted something warm and comforting for dinner and bratwurst and chickpeas casserole fit the bill.

bratwurst chickpea casserole

I had the last two fizzy lemon fingers for dessert.

fizzy lemon fingers WIAW

And some microwave popcorn for an evening snack.

Did anybody else have a day off on Monday? What are your favourite comfort foods? What do you like to put in salads?

Something to Chew Over – everyday food, just a little bit special!

Nuts about Nuts

I absolutely love nut butters and nuts so I thought I’d share some of my favourite ways to enjoy their goodness!

 

As a porridge mix-in…

courgette porridge

Courgette porridge (zucchini oatmeal)

Banana walnut oats

Apricot and almond porridge

Carrot cake porridge

PB&J oats

For breakfast treats…

Banana breakfast pudding

Chocolate almond breakfast pudding

Apricot and almond pancakes

 

To sprinkle on salads…

peanut salad

Need-to-use-up-the-lettuce salad

Tuna and peanut salad

 

In baking…

date and walnut bars

Date and walnut oat bars

Almond granola

For healthy snacks…

Adding fruit and veg to your snacks part one and part two

Workout snacks

What are your favourite nuts and nut butters? How do you like to use them?

Something to Chew Over - everyday food, just a little bit special!

Fizzy Lemon Fingers (fat-free!)

fizzy lemon fingers

How does a super tasty fat-free lemony treat sound? Good?  I thought so. Along with a cup of tea, this is a great afternoon pick-me-up which will only take a few minutes to prepare.

So what makes these cake fingers fizzy? The combination of baking soda and lemon juice creates a sherbet-like sensation which any citrus fans will love.

If you don’t have any stevia, simply substitute in half a cup of caster sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Fizzy Lemon Fingers

Makes around 8 fingers. Preparation time 10 minutes plus 20 minutes baking.

Ingredients:

  • One cup of plain flour (use rice flour to make it gluten free)
  • One-quarter of a cup of NuNaturals Stevia MoreFiber Blend
  • Teaspoon of baking powder
  • Half a teaspoon of baking soda
  • One banana, mashed
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • Teaspoon of NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia
  • One egg, beaten

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 180  degrees. Spray a loaf pan with oil
    2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl – flour, stevia powder, lemon zest, baking powder and baking soda.
    3. Combine wet ingredients together in another bowl – mashed banana, lemon juice, liquid stevia and beaten egg.
    4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until thoroughly combined. The mixture may get a bit frothy but don’t worry, this is where the fizziness comes from!
    5. Bake for around 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and placing on a wire tray.

Have you ever baked with stevia? Do you ever cook without fat?

Something to Chew Over – everyday food, just a little bit special!

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