Winter-recipes

Pork And Vegetable Hot Pot With Creamy Champ Recipe

Just because the warmer weather is setting in, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a hearty vegetable hot pot. Created by 2014 Masterchef finalist Jamie Fleming, this recipe incorporates an Irish component of mashed potatoes, herbs and butter to deliver a full flavoured and authentic taste.

RELATED: Minced Beef Lamb With Roasted Rice Recipe 

Ingredients

Hot Pot

2 tbsp olive oil

650g pork neck

100g plain flour

150g speck, diced

2 small red onions, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large parsnip, peeled, cored and chopped

550ml Ocean Spray cranberry juice

500ml chicken stock

400gm whole tinned tomatoes

8 sage leaves

½ bunch of thyme

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

salt and pepper, to season

40g butter

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Champ

600g Desiree potatoes, peeled and chopped

200ml milk

150g butter

¼ bunch of parsley, chopped

¼ bunch shallots, chopped

Salt and pepper, to season

Pork And Vegetable Hot Pot With Creamy Champ Recipe

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Lightly flour and brown pork in a casserole dish on a stove top with the olive oil and speck. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add more oil to the pot and sweat garlic and onion. Add carrots and parsnip. Fry until cooked through.
  4. Add pork back to pot and allow to summer for 5 minutes, stirring as needed.
  5. Deglaze pan with Ocean Spray cranberry juice. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, sage, thyme and mixed herbs.
  6. Once liquid is at a light simmer, transfer to oven with lid on for 90 minutes or until meat is tender and pulls apart easily.
  7. Place pot back on cook-top and allow to simmer. Add butter and vinegar to stew and reduce as desired.
  8. For champ, boil potatoes in salted water until soft and cooked through.
  9. Strain boiled potatoes and pass through a ricer to create mash.
  10. In a pan on low heat, beat milk and butter with a wooden spoon. Add mixture to potatoes and mix through. Season to taste and add shallots and parsley.
  11. Serve champ topped with stew.
September 1, 2015

One Pot Lamb, Chickpea And Pumpkin Stew Recipe

In the midst of winter there’s nothing more satisfying than a hearty hotpot and this lamb, chickpea and pumpkin stew recipe ticks all the boxes: warming, healthy, convenient and delicious! What’s more it can be frozen and reheated for meals down the track.

RELATED: Tofu Stir-Fry With Almond, Miso Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

300 g diced lamb leg

2 tbsp olive oil

200 g pumpkin, diced (Japanese or butternut are both good)

2 celery stalks, diced

1 onion, diced

1 red capsicum, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger

1 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin

1 1⁄2 tsp smoked paprika

1 cinnamon quill

1 litre vegetable stock

2 400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

400 g canned cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes

To serve

Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and coriander

Thick natural yoghurt

Juice of 1 lemon

Extra lemon wedges to serve

One Pot Lamb, Chickpea And Pumpkin Stew Recipe

Method

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add vegetables and sauté for about 3 minutes until starting to soften, stir in spices until fragrant, then add stock and chickpeas and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes until well-flavoured and vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 11⁄2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, brown lamb well all over, add to soup and simmer to warm through.
  4. Stir through a handful of parsley, squeeze in lemon juice to taste and check seasoning.
  5. Serve hot with thick natural yoghurt and scattered with extra smoked paprika.

Recipe courtesy of BeefandLamb.com.au

August 18, 2015

Curried Sausages With Yellow Fried Rice Recipe

To keep you feeling all warm and fuzzy amidst the chilly weather, Woolworths has provided us with this hearty curried sausages recipe. Creamy, slightly sweet and with a mild hint of spice thanks to the Worcestershire sauce and turmeric, it’s a dish that whole family can enjoy. For all the single ladies out there, this recipe if freezer friendly and will keep for up to 2 months; therefore, you can go back for seconds, thirds and even fourths!

RELATED: Kylie Kwong’s Stir-Fried Beef With Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients 

6 thick beef sausages

2 tbsp Woolworths Select Spanish mellow olive oil

2 onions, halved and thinly sliced

3 tsp curry powder

1 large golden delight potato, peeled and cut into 1.5cm dice

2 1/2 cups water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp Woolworths Select tomato paste

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp apricot jam

1/2 cup thickened cream

1 cup frozen baby peas

60g baby spinach, optional

Yellow fried rice

1 tbsp olive oil

450g packet microwave white long grain rice

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

Method

  1. Place sausages in a large saucepan, cover with 2½ cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain. Slice on an angle into 2cm-thick slices.
  2. Heat oil in a large wide-based casserole pan. Cook onions over medium heat, stirring for 10-12 minutes, or until soft and browned. Add curry powder, cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add diced potato and toss to coat. Add water, worcestershire, tomato paste and brown sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in sausages, jam and cream, cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir through peas and spinach.
  4. Meanwhile, for the rice, heat oil in a large frying pan, add rice and turmeric, cook stirring until heated through.
  5. Serve curried sausages with yellow fried rice. 

Tip: Freeze for up to 2 months, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Swap the cream with evaporated milk and/or swap the spinach with 125g can corn kernels, drained and rinsed.

July 9, 2015

Red Grape Granita, Lime Posset, Honey And Pistachio Tuille

Winter is a prime time to try out a new, decadent dessert recipe. So, why not impress your party guests by having a red-hot crack at this light, refreshing, and show-stopping winter dessert packed with flavour and the all-important wow factor?

RELATED: Classic Tomato And Mozzarella Pizza Recipe

It comes courtesy of Brisbane hotspot, Stokehouse Brisbane Restaurant. There, young, talented head chef Richard Ousby (pictured) is making a big impact on the dining scene and will shortly launch his new-season menu.

fine-dining recipe, dessert recipe, winter recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

Granita

1500g red grapes

100ml water

25g caster sugar

Lime Posset

500ml thickened cream

125g caster sugar

125g freshly squeezed lime juice

Honey And Pistachio Tuille

110g unsalted Butter

165g honey

225g icing sugar

240g plain flour

170g egg whites

40g shelled pistachio kernels

Method

Granita

  1. Juice the grapes using an electric juicer, and measure out 700ml, reserving any leftovers for another use.
  2. Whisk the grape juice, water and sugar together in a large saucepot and bring to a simmer over a high heat, whisking occasionally.
  3. Once the mixture has boiled, allow it to cool to room temperature then strain though a fine mesh sieve into a wide baking tray.
  4. Use a large spoon to scoop the froth off the top of the liquid, discard the froth.
  5. Carefully place the baking tray into the freezer and leave overnight to freeze solid.

Posset

  1. Place the thickened cream and caster sugar into a heavy bottomed pot and whisk well
  2. Bring the cream to a simmer over a medium heat while whisking constantly
  3. Once boiled, remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the lime juice
  4. Allow to cool on the bench to room temperature, then strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve into a suitably sized pouring jug
  5. Divide the cooled cream mixture between 4 individual serving glasses, cups, or ramekins, gently tapping the filled glasses on the bench to level the posset flat
  6. Carefully place the glasses in the fridge overnight to set

 Honey and Pistachio Tuille

  1. Place the butter, honey, and icing sugar together in a mixer bowl and use the paddle attachment on a high speed to beat together thoroughly.
  2. Beat the butter mixture until pale and doubled in size, approximately five minutes.
  3. While the mixture is in the machine, sift the flower into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Place the pistachio kernels on a chopping board and roughly chop using a large heavy knife.
  5. Turn the stand mixer off, add the sifted flour, and then turn back on at low speed.
  6. Once the flour is completely incorporated, turn the speed back to high and slowly pour in the egg whites a little at a time, making sure the whites you’ve added are fully incorporated before adding the next amount.
  7. Stop the machine once more, and use a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl, so that any remaining flour or egg can be incorporated correctly then continue to beat on high speed for a further one minute.
  8. Spread the tuille mixture over a flat baking tray lined with a non-stick silicone baking mat, aiming for a uniform thickness of around 2-4 millimetres.
  9. Sprinkle the chopped pistachio over the tuille mix and bake in a preheated oven at 140C for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Remove the tuille from the oven and let cool to room temperature before peeling off the silicone mat and breaking into rough, palm sized pieces.

To assemble

  1. Remove the granita from the freezer and immediately scrape the frozen mixture with a fork.
  2. Spoon a generous two-to-three tablespoons of the scrapped grape granita on top of each posset.
  3. Stand three shards of honey and pistachio tuille into the glasses of granita and serve this gorgeous winter dessert immediately. Enjoy!

fine-dining recipe, dessert recipe, winter recipe

June 24, 2015

Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Warm your soul and delight your taste buds with this spicy pumpkin soup recipe! It’s super easy to whip-up if you’re pressed for time and can be frozen in batches to enjoy throughout the week. Cooking for more than one? It’s the ideal family meal that the littlies will love when accompanied with warm, crusty bread.

RELATED: Corn And Zucchini Fritters With Poached Eggs Recipe 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 (300g) golden delight potatoes, peeled, chopped

1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, chopped

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tsp ground coriander

1 litre salt-reduced chicken stock

1/2 cup pure cream

Pure cream, chopped fresh chives and toast, to serve

Method

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until onion has softened.
  2. Add potato and pumpkin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until potato starts to brown. Add chilli and coriander and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add stock. Cover, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and then simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until potato and pumpkin are tender. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly.
  4. Blend in batches until smooth. Return to pan over low heat and stir in cream. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Season with pepper.
  5. Divide between bowls, top with cream and chives and serve with crusty bread if desired.

Recipe via Taste

June 9, 2015

Lamb And Vegetable Samosa Pie With Sweet Potato Recipe

If you’re a fan of Indian samosas, then you’re going to love Zoey Bingley-Pullin’s modern lamb and vegetable samosa pie spin-off. Packed full of nutrition, this recipe can also be altered to suit the littlies, by opting to leave out the spicy ingredients. Who said kids couldn’t enjoy nutritious food!?

RELATED: Tofu Stir-Fry With Almond Miso Sauce Recipe

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

Pie top

3 sweet potato, peeled and cut into

3-4cm cubes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 can brown lentils, drained and rinsed

Pie Filling

1 tbsp olive oil C

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin (optional, adults)

1/2 tsp grated ginger

3 tsp bombay curry powder (optional, adults)

500g lamb mince

200g green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces

1 carrot, grated

1 can tomatoes

1 egg, whisked

Salad

1 sweet gem lettuce, broken into leaves

1 lebanese cucumber, diced

Salad dressing of your choice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  2. Cook sweet potato in the pot of boiling water for 10-12 minutes, until very soft.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large fry-pan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes, until softened. Add the cumin, ginger and Bombay curry powder and cook, stirring constantly for a further minute, until fragrant.
  4. Add the lamb mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the mince, for 5-6 minutes, until browned. Stir through the green beans, carrot and can of tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the beans are tender. Allow to cool slightly, stir through the whisked egg.
  5. Drain the sweet potato and roughly mash with olive oil and lentils.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour lamb filling into an oven-proof pie or casserole dish and top with mashed sweet potato lentil mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pie is bubbly and sweet potato starts to colour.
  8. While the pie is cooking, toss the salad ingredients together.
  9. Spoon pie onto plates and serve salad on the side.

Recipe courtesy of My Food Bag

April 14, 2015

3 Winter Breakfast Recipes

As we’re now in the midst of the colder winter months, a warm and filling breakfast is surely a must-have to start the day. Generally cold juices and smoothies are phased out for a more favourable breakfast of warmed oats or even hot beverages with a side of fruit. Although is it possible to create a filling meal when you have limited time before starting your day? Here are just a few recipes to get you inspired for your own winter breakfast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

Containing both essential proteins and fibre to keep your body full throughout the day, pumpkin oatmeal pancakes aren’t just your average breakfast meal. Sprinkle some pecan seeds or flaxseed over the top for taste, and the added health benefits of this superfood.

Ingredients

1 cup white flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 sweetener

2/3 canned pumpkin (mashed)

2 eggs

2 tablespoons canola oil (or olive oil)

3/4 full cream milk

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, sweetener while also adding a pinch of ginger and salt. Stir until combined, then add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Spray a large frying pan, then over medium heat use a tiny amount of oil. This will help the batter to combine and won’t let it stick onto the pan.
  3. Spoon some of the batter onto the frying pan, then turn until both sides are golden brown.
  4. Serve with natural honey or sugar-free maple syrup to taste.

Baked Egg in Avocado

For those who love both eggs and avocado, this recipe is definitely one for you to try out. A simple morning meal which is filled with protein and essential fats, it will surely keep you fuller for longer.

Ingredients

1 avocado

2 eggs

Goat cheese crumbles (or feta cheese)

Pinch of sea salt

Parsley

Ground black pepper

Method

  1. Start by cutting the avocado directly in half and removing the pit. Then remove some extra avocado from the centre to make room for the egg.
  2. Place avocados facing up on a tray lined with baking paper.
  3. Then crack an egg into each avocado. If the egg spills out, simply clean up the mess or remove the extra yolk with a spoon.
  4. Pop them into the oven and bake at 180°C for about 15-20 minutes until the centre is completely baked. If you like your eggs with a runny yolk, only leave them in for about 10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle parsley, sea salt, pepper and cheese for extra taste.

Cinnamon and Banana Porridge

A hearty breakfast recipe which is healthy and sweet at the same time. If you don’t like banana and strawberry, feel free to choose some other tasty fruits which work just as well.

Ingredients

1 cup of buckwheat grouts

2 cups almond milk

1 cup water

2 bananas

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Method

  1. Add the buckwheat into a pan of boiling water and allow the mixture to heat up for a few minutes (don’t allow it to completely boil).
  2. Chop up your bananas, strawberries and other fruits then add the cinnamon and honey to the mixture. Until the water has been completely absorbed, add in the almond milk and stir well.
  3. Cook for about 20 minutes then pour into a bowl and let it cool slightly before eating.

Recipes via Deliciously Yella, Foodie Underground and Overtime Cook

Image via Foodie Underground

By Felicia Sapountzis

June 27, 2014

The Best Chicken Soup Recipe You’ll Ever Make

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade chicken soup – it truly is soulfood. We love to use a leftover roast chicken to make chicken soup, but uncooked chicken breasts work well here too. Here is the best chicken soup recipe we’ve ever made, plus 5 variations including Thai, Chinese and Italian.

Ingredients

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, cut into 1cm slices

2 celery ribs, cut into 1cm slices

2 cloves garlic

6 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

6 peppercorns

Leftover roast chicken or 2 uncooked, skinless chicken breasts

250g pasta like vermicelli, orzo or egg noodles

Method

1. Heat a large stock pan over low-medium heat. Saute the onion in a little olive oil until starting to soften. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and continue to saute for 5 minutes.

2. Add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns and chicken, and enough water to just cover, and bring to a boil. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes (if using uncooked chicken, check that the chicken breasts are cooked by taking one out and cutting it in the middle). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Remove the thyme, bayleaf and peppercorns. Shred the chicken using 2 forks, return to the stock and add the pasta. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.

Variations

Thai
Add julienned slices of ginger and 1/2 cup of coconut milk 5 minutes before serving. You can also add a few drops of fish sauce and sesame oil. Replace the pasta with rice noodles. Finish with a handful of coriander leaves and thin slices of red chili.

Chinese
Instead of seasoning with salt, season to taste of low-sodium soy sauce. Instead of pasta, add frozen dumplings to the soup and cook for 5 minutes before serving with thinly sliced spring onions.

Italian
Along with celery and carrots, saute diced zucchini and florets of cauliflower. Add a can of tomatoes to the pot after sauteeing the vegetables. Before serving, add a handful of chopped parsley.

Mexican
Simmer the soup with a smokey chili pepper like chipotle or poblano. When ready to serve, replace the pasta with crunchy corn tortilla strips (or broken tortilla chips) and diced avocado. Serve with coriander.

Indian
After sauteeing the onion, add 1-2 tablespoons of Indian curry paste and cook for 2 minutes before adding the vegetables. Add small cubes of potato to the carrot and celery.

August 12, 2013

Winter Cooking Ideas

Spring may be on the horizon, but we still face some chilly days and nights before the frost of winter finally melts away. Head Chef at Esca Bimbadgen, Mark Bennett reveals the ultimate winter menu to add that extra serving of warmth and help you survive the final weeks of winter.

Mark says, “Follow these simple yet soul-warming cooking tips to keep the kitchen hot and your belly full for the remainder of winter.”

1.       Relax
Winter food philosophy is all about taking it slow – leave your food to cook slowly while it soaks up the rich and comforting winter flavours.

2.       Expensive doesn’t always mean best
Winter is the perfect excuse to incorporate cheaper cuts of meat into dishes. Braise these down for a delicious, tender and flavoursome taste. Long and slow cooking processes are ideal for breaking down the tougher cuts of meat, and the general rule of thumb is that the tougher the cut of meat the more flavour it can carry. Winter is the perfect opportunity to bring out those long slow cooking processes that produce the best braises and stews. Make use of that slow cooker.

3.       Get hearty
Winter is a time to look to meals that warm you from the inside out. For the perfect hearty meal, opt for meat loaded with marbling such as shoulder, shank or neck. Sear it in a pan and add some baby onions and root vegetables. Pour in a bottle of wine and cover the dish with a lid or foil. Place in the oven until you can pierce the meat with a skewer or knife. Remove the cooking liquid and place in a pot to reduce to a sauce. Slice the meat and serve the vegetables and sauce.

4.       The grand finale
Winter dessert is about one thing and one thing only; chocolate. Chocolate fondant is without a doubt the perfect melt-in-your-mouth end to your winter feast. It’s warm, it’s soft… and it’s gooey in the middle. A flawless finale.

What are your favourite winter meals?

The Esca Bimbadgen Winter menu features a selection of delectable dishes such as Milk braised pork shoulder with roasted walnuts, apple segments, cannellini and tomato ragout; and the Bimbadgen Shiraz braised beef bourguignon with roasted shallots, mushrooms and baby carrots.

The awarded winery restaurant, Esca Bimbadgen has recently received outstanding accolades in recognition of its ongoing success, including the Restaurant and Catering Association NSW’s Best Tourism Restaurant in Northern NSW and a ‘One Glass’ rating at the recent Gourmet Traveller 2013 Wine List of the Year Awards. Esca has also been named a finalist at the Newcastle Central Coast Tourism Awards, with awards taking place on August 14th.

August 2, 2013

Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

This easy pumpkin soup recipe is low in fat and calories but full of flavour, which makes it the perfect winter warmer when you want to lose weight.

Ingredients
2 butternut pumpkins
1/2 brown onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg

Optional toppings
1/4 apple, unpeeled, finely diced
Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche
Handful chives or coriander leaves
Toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped toasted almonds

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160C. Slice pumpkins lengthways, scoop out seeds and place pumpkins cut-side down on a baking tray. Roast for about 30 minutes or until a knife pierces through the flesh easily. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh into a blender or large bowl.

2. While the pumpkin is cooking, saute the onion and garlic in a small pan in some olive oil over low-medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned.

3. Add the softened onion and garlic to the pumpkin, add the stock and blend or use a hand blender to puree until velvety smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add nutmeg, blend again and taste.

4. Serve immediately, topped with any or all of the optional toppings.

What’s your best pumpkin soup recipe?

July 28, 2013

Best Ever Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

What’s better on a cold winter’s night than shepherd’s pie? This traditional shepherd’s pie recipe is perfect for a midweek dinner.

Remember shepherd’s pie is made with lamb mince but cottage pie is made with beef mince – just use whatever mince you have!

Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
500g lamb mince
2 Tbsp tomato purée
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
500ml beef stock
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp hot milk

Method
1. Heat a little olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion and carrots for a few minutes. Add the lamb mince, break it up with a wooden spoon and brown, tipping off any excess fat. Add the tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce, then fry for 2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Take the lid off for the last 10 minutes to cook away excess liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C and make the mash. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain, then mash with the butter and milk.

3. Put the mince into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and ruffle with a fork. Bake for 20-25 mins until the top is starting to colour. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

July 23, 2013

Quick And Easy Winter Vegetable Soup

This low-calorie, vitamin-rich vegetable soup makes a delicious and filling lunch or dinner. Use the best canned tomatoes you can find, and top with a dollop of pesto for great flavour.

Ingredients
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 can of whole tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Handful spinach or kale leaves
6 cups water
Leftover parmesan rinds
2 Tablespoons pesto

Method
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the can of tomato, bay leaves and spinach or kale leaves, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the parmesan rinds and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Discard the rinds and bay leaves. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of pesto and serve.

Hint: Use this vegetable soup as a base to add other ingredients like cooked beans or lentils.

Collect and freeze parmesan rinds when you finish grating cheese, then add to soups and casseroles to infuse the dish with savoury flavour.

July 21, 2013

Saucy Chocolate Pudding

Sometimes, only a hot saucy chocolate pudding will do, served with a shock of cold vanilla ice cream of course! We love this no-fail recipe from chocolate cookbook 50 Shades of Chocolate.

Ingredients
90g butter
120g dark chocolate callets
¼ cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
¾ cup self-raising flour
60g milk chocolate callets
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method
1. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat and allow to cool. Add sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla essence and stir. Slowly add flour and stir until smooth.

2. Pour mixture equally into ramekins and sprinkle with chopped milk chocolate callets.

3. Bring water up to boil, take off heat and add sugar cocoa powder and vanilla essence until all have dissolved. Gently pour chocolate sauce over the back of a spoon on top of the mixture into the ramekins.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes in 180C oven. Serve hot pudding with deliciously cold ice cream.

Recipe from www.50ShadesOfChocolate.com.au by Claire Preen, RRP $14.95.

July 12, 2013

Creamy Mushroom Soup With Poached Egg

Everything’s better with an egg on it! This creamy mushroom soup flavoured with thyme and chives is the perfect midweek meal or indulgent dinner for one.

Serves 4. Preparation time: 10 minutes, cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, sliced
600g mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups salt reduced chicken stock, plus one cup water
6 sprigs fresh thyme, stalks removed
1 cup evaporated milk
½ bunch chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
1. Heat saucepan and add olive oil, sweat the onions and garlic until translucent. Add mushrooms and thyme; gently cook while stirring occasionally for 2 -3 minutes. Add the wine and continue to simmer until liquid has reduced by half, then add chicken stock, water and potatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or until mushrooms and potatoes are fully cooked.

2. With a hand blender, blend to a smooth consistency and add evaporated milk. Check seasoning.

3. For the poached eggs, bring a pot of water and vinegar to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer.

4. Crack each egg into a small bowl. Slowly lower the eggs into the water and cook for 2-3 minutes or to your liking. Remove eggs from water and place onto kitchen paper.

5. Ladle soup into bowls and place one egg into each soup bowl.

6. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve with crusty wholegrain bread.

What’s your favourite soup recipe?

July 11, 2013