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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Lazy Pork Ramen

I love Wagamamas. I was always a ginger chicken udon kind of girl but then I discovered their pork ramen and I was hooked. It was the tea stained egg and the crispiness of the pork that made me try it and my gosh it is delicious. I was craving it this weekend and looked up a recipe. The recipe I found was very long and involved with 12 hours to make stock and 3 hours to roast pork. I couldn’t be doing with it (even thought I am sure if you have the time it is totally worth it) so I used it as an inspiration but totally changed it. This is my cheat’s ramen recipe and it hit the spot. It wasn’t quite Wagamamas but it was damn tasty.

Ramen

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Italian Pork Stew with Summer Herbs (Slow Cooker)

It was my birthday last month and as you can imagine, there were one or two cook books in the mix of all the wonderful presents I received (I have wonderful friends and family!). One of the books I received was from my sister and very thoughtful, given my new slow cooker love affair, it is aptly named ‘I Love My Slow Cooker‘. This recipe (from the aforementioned book) caught my eye because despite liking pork we very rarely cook it at home, the addition of chickpeas and mint had me sold. I love coming home from a long day and walking through the front door to the delicious smell of dinner already cooked! This stew was divine, the meat was tender and the sauce rich and tasty.

Stew

The recipe states tinned plum tomatoes but my secret convenience ingredient is tinned cherry tomatoes, they have much more flavour in my opinion.

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