Curried Squash & Leek Soup

FAE055D1-284B-457A-9C2B-29EAA17FEC71During the block of snowdays recently, we did a lot of baking and soup making (see Our Snow Days Became Baking Days – Is The Gym Open Yet?), the kitchen became a hive of activity, partly to keep warm and partly for something to do! I’m going to attempt to post some of the recipes; I hope I can remember, or at least decipher the brief notes we scribbled down at the time! I always think the photos will be enough, or my Instagram posts listing the ingredients, but then I forget the quantities. So bear this in mind and don’t take the recipes too literally if you try them.

This soup came about because we had a butternut squash from our organic veg box that had been waiting a while to be used, but it was small, and I had bought some much-reduced leeks that needed using, plus there were a couple of cauliflower florets left from Sunday, when we’d used the rest of it, and the middle bit of a bunch of celery. They turned into a lovely warming soup on a freezing, snowladen day. My husband also made bread rolls that morning, which you can see in the photo, but they weren’t gluten-free, so I’m not featuring them here.

This soup is full of healthy ingredients and is anti-inflammatory. (Butternut squash provides vitamins A and C, B6, potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium, as do leeks). No cream or butter, just a little coconut oil.

As always, the recipes are vegan and gluten-free, organic where possible.

Makes enough for 4 servings.

Ingredients

Coconut Oil for frying

1 Small Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 Leek, trimmed, washed and sliced (keep as much of the greenery as is usable)

2 Cauliflower Florets, chopped

3 Large Carrots, scrubbed and chopped (peeled if not organic)

The middle stalks of Celery with leaves, chopped

Approx. 1.5 Pints Vegetable Stock, with 1 Tsp Yeast Extract dissolved in it

Half a Tsp each of Cumin, Ginger, Turmeric & Curry Powder

 Black Pepper

Pink Himalayan Salt if required for taste when cooked

D3C44198-2988-4D9D-A048-C401850C4360Method

Melt the oil until hot but not smoking

Add the spices and all the veg, mix well, add black pepper, place the lid on and sweat for a few minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally

2B810F41-36DB-40BA-8413-01CC69A4E2C3Add the hot stock with the yeast extract, enough to cover the veg

Replace the lid, and cook on a low heat until the veggies are soft but not mushy, stirring occasionally.

Blend with a stick blender, leaving some texture to it, taste and adjust the seasoning

Serve with warm rolls or flat bread

 

Copyright: Chris McGowan

 

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Vegan Dairy-Free Curried Cauliflower Soup with Sweetcorn

29398608_UnknownCauliflower is my favourite vegetable, but for some reason it doesn’t appear regularly on the family food order, so I find myself making a special request when I realise we haven’t had it for some time. Our local Waitrose isn’t too hot on organic foods and there’s no farmers’ market, so if we forget to include cauliflower in our weekly Ocado order, we have to wait another week.

Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C and a good source of protein, B Vitamins, Omega Oils, Vitamin K (for good bone health), Magnesium, Iron and many other minerals.

I am always thinking of new ways to eat this versatile veg and recently tried a curried cauliflower soup which turned out really well.

This recipe made enough for a large bowl for one as a main meal or two small bowls as a starter. It was ready in next to no time and is simple to make.

Not too spicy.

And the secret ingredient? Peanut butter! I love peanut butter and will use any excuse to include it.

Ingredients

(Organic where possible).

1 Heaped Tsp Coconut Oil

1 Small Onion, chopped

Approx. One third of a medium organic Cauliflower, washed and chopped, including any stalk

One and a Half Cups Sweetcorn, fresh or frozen – reserve the half cup until the end

1 Heaped Tsp Curry Powder

1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube

A Good Squeeze of Tomato Purée

Approx. 500mls Boiling Water

Heaped Tsp of Smooth Peanut Butter

Black Pepper & Pink Himalayan Salt

*

Melt the coconut oil until it is hot but not smoking.

Add the onion, stirfry for a few seconds, add the cauliflower and sweat for a few minutes with the lid on over a low heat.

Add the curry powder and stir well.

Add 1 Cup of the sweetcorn, dissolve the stock cube and tomato purée in the water and add to the pan.

Add a few twists of black pepper.

Replace the lid and simmer gently on a low heat until the veg is cooked.

When it is nearly cooked, lightly steam the remaining sweetcorn or cook gently in a little simmering water for a couple of minutes and strain. Set aside.

Blend the soup with a stick blender until most of it is quite smooth but leaving some unblended bits for bite, if liked.

Stir the peanut butter in well, adjust the seasoning, add the remaining cooked sweetcorn and serve.

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You might also like to try Fruity Vegetable Curry with Lemony Almond Cauliflower ‘Rice’ or ‘Couscous’

See also: Warming Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup

Zesty Orange Squash Soup – Yes, Really!

Cumin and Have Some Soup!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot, Beetroot & Basil Soup

Sweet & Sour Vegetable Soup

Thick and Chunky Winter Soup with Green Lentils

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Quick, Easy & Tasty Vegan Mushroom Soup (& Not a Drop of Milk in Sight!)

I love organic mushrooms. They are one of my must-haves on every weekly shopping list. I like different types but especially chestnut mushrooms. I like the firm, ‘meaty’ texture.  This week we had a glut, 2 weeks’ worth, as I’d been doing a juice cleanse and we forgot to cancel them. Most of them were little button mushrooms.

I really fancied some soup yesterday and thought I would try using some of them. I swithered about whether or not to use coconut milk and make a creamed soup, but really I just wanted it plain and simple, the milk felt too rich for my stomach. So here’s what I came up with. It’s not for the purists – the real chefs – I’m sure, but I loved it.

It’s quick and easy with only 2 ingredients apart from the oil and the seasoning. The only thing that may need adjusting is the salt levels: there is salt in the celery, tamari, stock cube and miso. We used 1 Tbsp of Miso but I’ve reduced it to a teaspoon in the recipe. I’m not even sure it needs it at all, I added it for the nutrients as much as for the flavour.

Miso paste is made from fermented soya beans and is a good source of probiotics (to keep the gut healthy), Vitamin K for bone health, copper, manganese and zinc as well as dietary fibre.

Chestnut Mushrooms are high in copper and vitamin B5 and are a source of B2, B3 and folate as well as potassium and selenium.

Celery is also an excellent source of vitamin K, and is a very good source of folate, potassium, dietary fibre, manganese and B5. It’s also a good source of vitamin B2, B6, copper, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A.

So all in all, this soup is very good for you (adjust the sodium if you need to keep it low).

Serves 2.

All ingredients organic, vegan and gluten-free.

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Ingredients

1 Tsp Coconut Oil

Approx. 350g/13oz Chestnut Mushrooms, washed and skin left on

Celery Stalk, scrubbed

Tamari

Mushroom Stock Cube + approx. 450-500mls Hot Water

2 Tsps Cornflour + a drop of Cold Water to mix

1 Tsp Miso Paste + a drop of the soup to mix

 Black Pepper

Method

Chop the celery finely and most of the mushrooms roughly, reserving a few small whole ones for garnish.

Dissolve the stock cube in the water.

Melt the oil till hot but not smoking.

Place all the celery and mushrooms in the oil, a little at a time, stirring to keep them moving.

Add a couple of splashes of tamari and a few twists of black pepper.

Stir again.

Place the lid on and leave to cook on a low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the whole button mushrooms and leave them aside.

Add the stock, stir, replace the lid and cook for about 35-40 minutes, making sure the celery is cooked. Stir a couple of times. Don’t boil it, just let it cook gently.

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Add a little cold water to the cornflour and stir until smooth, add a spoon of soup to the mix then add it into the pan and stir on the heat until the soup is slightly thickened.

Add the miso paste then blend with a stick blender.

Add more black pepper if required.

Serve with a few button mushrooms on top.

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Copyright: Chris McGowan