So if you ask my husband what soup he loves the most with no hesitation he says “Leek and Potato”. He associates it with family get togethers and particularly Christmas and I have found it is a sure fire way to ensure a smile from him after he has had a long day at work. Plus there is always some left over for lunch the next day.
Leek and Potato Soup
2 -3 medium leeks
3-4 medium potatotes
1 ½ pint veg stock or chicken stock
2-3 oz non-dairy marg
Chop all the veg. Make the onions small like for a pasta sauce, cube the potatoes and slice the leeks finely.
Melt non-dairy marg in a saucepan and sauté the veg until you get that gorgeous leeky/oniony aroma. Whilst the veg is sauting add freshly ground black pepper and some salt. I use a salt with seaweed and herbs for a bit of variety. Keep stirring and tossing the veg so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add stock, and stir thoroughly, leave to simmer. When the potatoes feel soft, like they would feel for mash, you can either use a potato masher and thicken or blend in the food processor.
When it’s starting to get chilly outside but not quite stodgy fill up food time I always find that homemade soup gives me warmth and comfort without making me feel tired and sluggish.
There is a little bit of preparation that needs to be done with this recipe but it is soooo worth it and you can make up batches to freeze great for easy warming cups on Bonfire Night or Halloween or even, like I did last year, for a family Christmas get together.
Homemade Tomato Soup
3lbs ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped, read about how to peel tomatoes easily here
1 large onion chopped finely
1 clove garlic crushed
1 large potato peeled and grated
500ml- 725 ml of veg stock, you can use chicken stock if you are not veggie
1 tbsp tomato puree
Sweat the onions in a little olive oil until soft and glossy
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. If you want to spice it up add 2 dried crushed chillies at this stage. And stir well.
Pour over the stock and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes.
Grate the potato ( get a child or your other half to help with the cooking and do the grating with a food processor) and stir into the soup, simmer for another 15 minutes.
Give it a short blast in the blender and it’s ready to serve. If making a large batch blend in batches and reheat as needed.
So my baby boy is 13 today and his request for a Birthday cake is Chilli Chocolate cake. I decided this year to make a slight twist on the usual chocolate sponge with chocolate fondant icing. and here it is…
175g caster sugar
175g vegan marg
175g self raising flour
tsp vanilla essence
1 fresh red chilli, a largish sweet chilli works best
chilli chocolate flakes
First put oven at 180 degrees.
Line the base of a round cake in with greaseproof paper and grease the walls of tin with vegan marge.
In pestle and mortar grind up half a red chilli and seeds, you need to make it into a paste so take out all your aggression on it, so it looks like this
Cream caster sugar and vegan marg until lighter in colour and fluffy in texture. Add the chilli paste.
Slowly add 3 beaten eggs and 1 tsp of vanilla essence. Slowly spoon in the flour and mix/fold until all mixed beautifully then place in the cake tin.
Put in the oven for 25/30 mins test cake by placing a skewer or knife in the centre of the cake if it comes out clean the cake is cooked.
Finally when the cake is cooked melt the chilli chocolate flakes and spread over the cake. If you like the cake spicier add more chilli to the cake mix.
The marbling effect on the cake happens when the chocolate dries and hardens. A perfect older child or adult Birthday cake