Recipe - Carrot & Cumin Soup

A little something cosy but super healthy for those moments when you're not sure if it's Winter and Spring.

Ingredients for 2 servings
A little coconut oil
3 x carrots, peeled & chopped into small cubes
1 x red onion, sliced finely
1 x small clove of garlic, crushed
1 x teaspoon of cumin
350ml water
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Melt the coconut oil and add the carrot and red onion. I find organic carrots are a lot more tasty and sweet if you have them. Allow the vegetables to fry gently for about five minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cumin. Stir and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water and simmer for ten minutes or so until the carrot has softened. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.

Enjoy in a mug with warmed sourdough bread while curled up watching your favourite box set.
Note: I adapted this recipe from one I found on Abel & Cole's website as I didn't quite have the right ingredients - click here to see the original recipe.


Recipe - Date & Honey Tea Loaf

Autumn makes me want to bake. I fancied making a tea loaf and realised I had a bag of dates that needed to be eaten up so squirreled around until I found a recipe from the fabulous Nadiya Hussain online. It's such a simple recipe and all you do is soak 350g of chopped dates in 150ml of cold, strong tea overnight, then stir in 50g honey, 50g brown sugar, 1 large egg and 225g self raising flour and bake for 35 - 40 mins at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 in a lined loaf tin. 

I fancied adding some spices too so popped in 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. The loaf filled my flat with the scent of spices as it baked and I enjoyed a warm slice with a cup of black coffee. Lovely.

Full credit of course to Nadiya Hussain for the recipe : )


Recipe - Ribollita

The weather really chilled down again this week and it made me crave cosy food. I've been meaning to try making ribollita for a while having seen it in a few magazines. As is my habit I mashed together a few recipes and ended up with a warm bowl of loveliness that lasted me a few days. Ribollita means reboiled and this really does taste better and better the more you simmer and reheat it.

Ingredients (serves 3 - 4)
1 white onion
2 large cloves of garlic
1 leek (many recipes suggest using celery but I prefer leek)
2 carrots, chopped into small pieces
2 small potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1 tin of butter beans (many recipes suggest using cannellini beans, use whatever you have)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
500ml vegetable stock
2 large handfuls of chopped spring greens (you can use kale but I prefer spring greens)
a generous pinch or two of dried thyme
crusty italian bread to serve

Sauté the onion and leek in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients except for the spring greens, stir and leave the ribollita to simmer for about 40 minutes. Add the spring greens and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Cut the bread into large cubes. You can add this to the pan and stir it in if you are serving all the soup at once. I like to add it to each individual bowl so that when I reheat the remaining soup the next day I can add fresh bread rather than let it completely breakdown.

Serve and enjoy slowly while reading your favourite magazine or book.

Made Up Rice Pudding Ramekins

Out of the blue I fancied rice pudding. I quite like to make up recipes as I go along so I ended up combining a few different recipes. I also made the measurements up a bit so please only use the below as a guide : )

Full-fat milk
Vanilla essence

Pudding rice
Brown sugar

Your favourite jam

Warm approximately 400ml of full-fat milk in a saucepan with one teaspoon of vanilla essence. Take four ramekins and fill each one about a third full with pudding rice. Add 1 - 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and a small knob of butter to each ramekin. Divide the warm milk between the ramekins ensuring that you only fill to about two thirds full as the rice will expand when you cook it. The sugar and butter will separate and float a little but don't worry as cooking will ensure the ingredients mix. Sprinkle the top of each with a little nutmeg.

Bake the puddings in the oven at about 160 degrees for approximately an hour. Keep an eye on them and add a little more milk if you need to.

Enjoy warm from the oven with a teaspoon of jam.