Courgette & Basil Soup

Now we live somewhere with a garden, I decided I wanted to grow my own vegetables this year. I dug up a very overgrown flower bed, bought some seeds and a small plastic green house and had a go (I did save a few seeds from vegetables we’d eaten such as squash, pumpkins and lemons). The spinach and chard are ready to be eaten and we’ve already made a start on the spinach, I’ll harvest a bunch of chard this weekend for next week. The first vegetable to really make an appearance though were the courgettes. I bought a variety seed pack, we had a couple of gorgeous pale green ones first and today I harvested a bright yellow one! It is beautiful!

Courgette and basil soup

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Spring Vegetable Soup

There are many soup recipes in the world but whenever I am searching through my cook books for a good one that uses the ingredients I have available, it is usually Gwyneth Paltrow that has the answer for me. This soup is what I like to think of as a kitchen sink soup, i.e. shove whatever you have left in the fridge at the end of the week in it kind of a soup. This soup was so refreshing and far tastier than I had visions of it being whilst I was stirring it. The idea of adding a spoonful of pesto to it was a stroke of genius, thanks Gwyneth. I’ll definitely be making versions of this soup again and again and again. Substitute whatever vegetables you have available, that’s the beauty of soup.

Spring soup

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Bean & Chard Soup

Lunch in the week is always a difficult meal for me to sort out. I usually make a batch of something Sunday night for the week ahead but I like something that I can heat up at work, is healthy, filling and not too time consuming to make. I turned to Gwyneth Paltrow for inspiration and she definitely delivered. This soup is filling, quick, tasty and contains one of my favourite vegetables: Chard! This recipe is from her book ‘It’s All Good’, it is my new favourite lunch for work. I urge you to try it.

Bean and chard soup

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French Onion Soup

Hello 2016! I don’t like January usually, it is cold and going back to work after a break always seems like such a struggle but I am slowly getting back into my routine. In times like these we need soup and specifically this soup. James’ dad cooked this for our NYE starter and I had forgotten how much I love this soup and wondered why I’d never made it before. I resolved to make it and we had it for dinner after the first dreaded day at work of the year. The thought of it kept me going all day at work. It was scrumptious. It takes a little time but most of that time you can be getting on with other things. You mustn’t rush the onions though, no no no.

 I made this version gluten free (using gluten free flour and bread) but you can use plain if you’d rather. I received a make your own halloumi kit for Christmas (it is amazing!) and saved the whey as advised to use in cooking pasta, rice and stocks, so I put a cup in my soup because it is full of protein. Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food.

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Feta & Cranberry Rice Salad

I’ve been on the search for new lunches, healthy but filling and tasty. Rice salads have been ticking those boxes recently. I’ve also had a real thing for feta, ever since eating an absolutely divine spinach, feta and pine nut pie several weeks ago. I spotted this recipe online but decided to add a tin of sweetcorn and a bag of spinach into the mix. I loved that besides the cooking of the rice this can all be made in a couple of minutes, making week day lunch meal prep much easier to fit into a weekend. The recipe serves 4 but I stretched it to 5, so I had a lunch for every day of the working week. It was delicious hot or cold; on colder days I microwaved it for a couple of minutes, the melted feta was divine.

Feta salad

I’m also a huge fan of dried cranberries so this recipe was definitely a winner in my eyes.

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