Category Archives: Veggie

Vegetarian meal ideas from English Country Cooking.

Roast Vegetables for a filling and healthy breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Roast Vegetables

I’ve been enjoying smoothies for breakfast regularly over the summer but now the shorter days are back I’m looking for something warmer that feels more substantial, and that’s where roast vegetables come in.

Really quick and easy to do and you can make as little or as much as you like so there’s some for another day or to use up for lunch.

(Added 16/11/2016) – Of course as the lovely Eileen points out on our Facebook page (do come and join us there!) you can use any vegetables you happen to have for this, carrots, swede, parsnip, beetroot, celery, celeriac.  It’s nice to ring the changes and some times you just have to go with what the fridge and the larder can offer up.  Experiment and enjoy!

Roast Veggies ready for the oven © Sue Todd Photography

Roast Veggies ready for the oven.

Ingredients:

A mix of vegetables, I used celery, peppers, squash, red onion, tomato, aubergine and courgette.

Olive Oil and seasoning to taste.

Method:

Chop your vegetables into chunks.  Line a shallow tray with greaseproof paper and put the chopped vegetables on top.  I like to use greaseproof as it stops the oil burning onto the tray.

Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste.  You can add bacon or sausages to the same tray to cook – you may not need so much oil then.

Pop in the oven until cooked – about 15 to 20 mins.

Roast Vegetables with sausages for a filling and healthy breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Roast Vegetables with sausages for a filling and healthy breakfast. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

To Serve:

Serve with bacon or sausages and add some eggs if you want a bit more.

 

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

First of all let us wish you a Happy New Year! As always some people have had a great year and others not so good.  But its a New Year and a new start so I’m hoping it will be a great one for all.

It’s a cold start to the New Year here in Northumberland so what better than a large pan of home-made soup to warm you through after a brisk walk outdoors.  We ate this with a loaf of Olive Bread, sadly not home-made as that would have been divine, but this was okay and went really well with the soup.  Tomato soup just seemed like the ‘right’ thing to start the year off and we’re a bit partial to Tomato soup, here is another one we made last year.

As a child I remember plain  and rather boring lentil soup, a variation made using a ham hock and then tinned soups which I generally hated.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully forget the taste of Heinz Oxtail soup, ugh, I loathed everything about it, the only one I ever felt able to eat was the cream of tomato one.  However once you’ve made your own there is no going back.  Soup is one of the fastest meals you can make from fresh ingredients and its so, so much better than anything processed.  Be great for a winter picnic too!

Some key ingredients to a good tomato soup. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Some key ingredients to a good tomato soup. © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of tomatoes
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 1 pint of vegetable stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a splash for the peppers
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese grated to serve
  • Bread to serve with the soup

Method:

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup. A lovely winter warming soup © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup. A lovely winter warming soup © Sue Todd Photography 2016

Finely chop the onion and garlic.  Using a deep heavy based pan, gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil until they are transparent.
Meanwhile cut and de seed the peppers, put them on an oven tray and splash with olive oil. Put the peppers in the oven to roast until the skins have changed colour and they seem cooked. Ours went in the roasting oven of the AGA, for somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.
Roughly chop the tomatoes, add them to the pan containing the onion and garlic and fry for five minutes.
Add the stock, bring the pan to the boil and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
When the peppers are ready, roughly chop them and add them to the pan with the tomatoes, onion and garlic.
Retaining some small sprigs of basil for garnish, chop the rest of the basil and add that to the pan as well.  Cook for a further 10 minutes.
Season to taste.
Remove from the heat and blend.  You can use either a blender/food processor or a hand-held blender – we use a hand blender and make sure we still keep some texture rather than having it entirely smooth, but do what you prefer.
Return the soup to the heat to warm through.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed before serving.
Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup © Sue Todd 2016

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup © Sue Todd 2016

To serve:

Dish the soup up in warmed bowls with a sprig of fresh basil in the middle accompanied by grated fresh Parmesan and some fresh bread.

Carrot Hummus, something healthy to start the year.

Carrot Hummus © Sue Todd 2015.

Carrot Hummus © Sue Todd 2015.

It’s that time of year where everyone is eating healthy food and the gyms are packed with those of us keen to shed the extra Christmas pounds.  Well we’re not going off to the gym and actually our diet hasn’t changed much even for Christmas, but we thought something healthy to start the year off was a good idea, so we offer you Carrot Hummus.

We stumbled across Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’ Carrot Hummus recipe while looking for another recipe, as yet unfound, its currently in one of those ‘safe’ places never to see the light of day.  It seems I’ve brought my penchant for safe places into 2015, oh well ….

Back to carrots…. This carrot hummus recipe works well with carrots that are past their best too.  I had a bunch of carrots that I suspected were headed for the compost pile – its currently feast or famine while I try to get the hang of this online shopping for groceries malarkey.  As we had more carrots than we actually need, we forgot about our original intentions and set too, to make this Carrot Hummus.  I have to say its fabulous and we had some for lunch today on toasted leftover french bread, along with some little quiches which also needed eating up like the bread.  It would work well to pop in a lunch box with crudites, pitta breads or on toast.

If you don’t have cumin seeds or coriander seeds but you do have ready ground cumin and coriander simply substitute these and miss out the toasting part.  It still tastes good.

Carrot Hummus garnished with basil and lemon © Sue Todd 2015.

Carrot Hummus garnished with basil and lemon © Sue Todd 2015.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds,
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds,
  • 6 tbsp of olive oil or rapeseed oil,
  • 1 tsp honey,
  • 500 g carrots, peeled,
  • 3 large garlic cloves, bashed,
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon,
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons of tahini, (or smooth peanut butter),
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method:

If you are using a conventional oven, preheat it to 200C/Gas 6.  Using a dry frying pan, toast your cumin and coriander seeds until they are just fragrant, you don’t want to burn them, so no longer than a minute.  Then grind these with a pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder.  (If you are using ready ground cumin and coriander, miss this bit out!).

Take a large bowl and whisk together 4 tsps of your oil along with the honey and spices (toasted or non toasted).

Dice the carrots up into 4 to 5 cm chunks and put these into the bowl with your dressing and the add the garlic.  Mix it all up well and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Tip the carrots and spicy dressing into a small roasting tin and pop it in the oven to roast.  If you are using an AGA, use the roasting oven.  They’ll need about 35 minutes in the oven, but do take them out half way through and turn them so that they cook/brown evenly.  When they  beginning to char nicely around the edges and are tender then remove them from the oven and leave them to cool for a while.

Tip the whole lot into a food processor now, ensuring that you remove any skins from the garlic cloves.  Add the tahini, the remainder of the oil and the orange and lemon juice and whizz up in the food processor until you have a puree.  Taste the resulting mixture and add more seasoning if needed.  That’s it!  Simples!

 

Carrot Hummus © Sue Todd 2015

Carrot Hummus © Sue Todd 2015

Porridge with grated apple, blackberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Porridge with grated apple and blackberries © Sue Todd 2014

Porridge with grated apple and blackberries © Sue Todd 2014

Breakfast time today and another decision needed.  No compote left, still no bread made, no bacon, no sausages…. oh dear!  However with a garden full of apples and blackberries we didn’t dally long on decisions.

Porridge again but today with grated apple (picked straight from the tree and grated directly) and blackberries fresh from the bush, and a good drizzle of maple syrup to boot.  This was lovely.  I still prefer the porridge with blackberry compote but … this is a close run second.  You could get the recipe from the link, but here it is again to save you having to click, with the amends for this version.

Ingredients:

  • 160g oats
  • 600ml milk, (semi-skimmed, full fat, gold top, soya, whatever takes your fancy here really)
  • pinch of salt,
  • Couple of apples grated
  • Few handfuls of blackberries
  • Maple syrup to taste

Method:

Put the oats, milk and a pinch of salt into a saucepan on a gentle to medium heat and stir.

Bring the pan up to simmering point and simmer until its smooth and creamy – round about 5 minutes should do it nicely.

Remove from the heat, dish up into bowls, add the grated apple and scatter with blackberries before drizzling with maple syrup.