Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Tanya and Curtis’ Fennel and Potato Soup

6 Jul

My friend Tanya is gorgeous girl who likes fun times and yummy food – maybe that’s one reason why we’re friends!

Recently Tanya cooked Curtis Stone’s roasted fennel and potato soup, and I loved it. I knew there was something extra  in the soup, and that it wasn’t merely potato and leek, but I couldn’t quite pick the fennel taste, as it was very subtle, but definitely gave it a depth of flavour which was beautiful.

I made it for tea tonight, the perfect meal for a rainy, wintery night – complete with crusty ciabatta toast and pastrami – oh, and the ultimate luxury – warm pyjamas, MasterChef and my husband : )

Roasted Fennel and Potato Soup

Ingredients
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 500g russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup lite cream (if you are like me, you can do without the cream, but I will use it when I have guests and want to impress!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives to serve
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180’C
  • Toss the fennel and onions with 1 tablespoon of oil on a large heavy baking tray to coat. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the fennel and onions are tender.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened slightly.
  • Add the broth, potatoes, and roasted fennel mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Continue simmering for 18 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Remove the soup from the heat and cool slightly.
  • Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth.
  •  Strain the soup into a clean large saucepan.
  • Add the cream to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls then garnish with the chives and serve.

Serves 6

Note: I cheated a bit with this recipe. I was in need of a quick to make dinner, so skipped a few steps, and the recipe was still beautiful! I softened the fennel, leek and potato in the bottom of the pot with a little bit of garlic and olive oil. To that I added my stock and let simmer until tender. I then Bamixed the mixture, then added the cream, then served. Voila!

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Intrigued by Zucchini Flowers…

16 Jun

 I am incredibly intrigued by the pretty and delicate flowers of the zucchini plant.

MasterChef seems to use these regularly, and the are often featured on the menus of fancy restaurants!

Has anyone ever cooked with these blossoms?

Have you ever eaten them?

Share your thoughts, experiences and recipes with us!

 

Cooking for Love

11 Jun

I am a family girl.

Family is the most important thing in my universe.

In November I was blessed with a second family to call my own. When I married my beautiful husband Mark, I inherited his Mum and Dad (Helene and Gerald), two older brothers (Brett and Peter), and sister in law (Linzi). Since then, the magnificant little Lily Josephine has joined our family, and enriched it beyond imagination.

Today is a sad day for Linzi and Brett, they are attending the funeral of Linzi’s dear friend’s mother. Funerals are exhausting things, I always leave them feeling incredibly flat and making dinner is often the last thing I feel like. And I don’t have a 3 month old baby either!

I am fortunate enough to have four days off work over the long weekend, and because i’m oh-so-organised (!) I had my housework all done quite early today, so I turned my attention to making Linzi and Brett (and baby Lily) a comforting, wintery, home made meal. I think cooking for someone is such an easy, but pleasureable thing to do. It is something we can ALL do, meaning that we can’t take the sadness of a friend dying away, we can’t make a baby sleep through the night, we can’t make a mother’s exhaustion disappear, but we can make food. 

My Mum often cooks this recipe, and I feel warm and cozy whenever I eat it.

Ultimate comfort food!

Cottage Cheese Loaf

Ingredients
  • 500g lite cottage cheese
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 large finely chopped brown onion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vegemite
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Sprinkle of mixed herbs
Method
  • Simply mix ingredients together using your (freshly washed, ringless) hands
  • Spread mixture into a greased oven proof dish
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 200’C
  • Serve with any vegetables your heart desires!

I would serve this with boiled baby potatos with butter and chives, lovely green asparagus and anything else I had in the fridge! 

A little tip on boiling potatoes – or anything starchy! If you add a splash of olive oil to your water, you won’t get that horrible starchy foam which boils over and makes your stove look dirty!