Back in the kitchen

So far the 2011 resolution to get back in the kitchen has done me quite well. I borrowed the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook from the library and loved it so much I’ve asked for a copy for my birthday. I’ve tried two recipes – banana cupcakes and chocolate hazelnut cupcakes – and both were utterly gorgeous (though I did find the frosting a bit too sweet so I’m going to have tinker with the recipe a bit I think).

Seriously though, some of the best baking results I’ve ever had. I’ve also tried out a new soup recipe. I wouldn’t usually (knowingly anyway) copy a recipe from a book but I’m going to today. It is from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food and in the introduction Jamie actively urges readers to pass on the recipes. So, here I am – passing it on!

LENTIL AND SPINACH SOUP

Serves 6-8

2 carrots / 2 sticks of celery / 2 medium onions / 2 cloves of garlic / olive oil / a thumb sized piece of ginger / 1/2 to 1 fresh red chili / 10 cherry tomatoes / 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes / 300g red lentils / 200g spinach / salt and pepper / 200g natural yoghurt

Peel and roughly slice the carrots / Slice the celery / peel and roughly chop the onions / peel and slice the garlic / put a large pan on a medium heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil / add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon / cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots are softened but are still holding their shape and the onion is lightly golden / meanwhile peel and finely slice the ginger / deseed and slice the chilli / remove the stalks from the cherry tomatoes and slice the tomatoes in half / put the stock cubes into a a jug or pan and pour in 1.8 litres of boiling water from the kettle / stir until the stock cubes are dissolved and then add to the pan with the lentils, ginger, chili and tomatoes / give the soup a good stir and bring to the boil / reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on or until the lentils are cooked / add the spinach and continue to cook for 30 seconds

To serve, season well with salt and pepper. You can leave it as it is or using a hand blender or liquidizer, pulse until smooth. Delicious topped with a ddollop of natural yoghurt.

I really love this recipe book. It boasts ‘Anyone Can Learn To Cook In 24 Hours’ on the cover. This is probably true. The instructions are very, very clear so that even the most inexperienced cook should be able to make something. I got a copy last year when inspiration was a bit thin on the ground and have found lots of very easy and quick recipes to play with, hich is just hat I as looking for. I’ll be trying out some more soon.

Although the month isn’t over yet (so I may well try out another new recipe or two) I can safely say I’ve met my goal of trying out to new recipes in January!

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Categories: Frugal food | Leave a comment

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