Monthly Archives: October 2014

Recipe – Cream of Mushroom Soup -Pan and Soup Maker methods- And Garlic Croutons!

I bought some mushrooms last time I went to the Asian market, with the intention of using them to make a bolognese sauce, which didn’t get made as I froze the mince by accident, DOH! Anyway, I had these 2 punnets of mushrooms sitting there, so thought  “Mushroom soup! ~ Always a winner, and I can use my fab Soup Maker”.
I only actually used 1 punnet for the recipe, but ended up making a 2nd batch of soup in the end as we finished the first lot off  in one day! In my defense, it is rather more-ish and we had it for lunch and dinner.

I’ve made this before in a pan, so have posted both versions of the recipe; my original pan method and the Soup Maker method.  (pics are for the machine method) You get about 1 litre of soup doing it in the machine, but it is slightly thinner in consistency than making it in the pan.

MsoupIngredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 Punnet (250g) mushrooms chopped
  • 2 shallots/1 med white onion chopped
  • 4″ approx of a large leek, chopped
  • 2 tblsp butter or ghee
  • 400ml chicken stock
    (or 2 cubes made up with 400ml hot water)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ can coconut milk (100ml)
  • good pinch nutmeg
  • (approx 200ml hot water- machine)

Instructions: In a Pan

  1. On a medium heat melt the butter in a large pan and sauté onions and leek for about 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes, until the onion is soft and clear.
  2. Reduce heat slightly and stir in the coconut flour slowly, so a roux forms that is thick and bubbly. (NB it will look more grainy than using regular flour)
  3. Make up the chicken stock as per it’s instructions (usually about 1 cube per 180 – 200mls hot water). Gradually add in the chicken stock, stirring and simmering for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the nutmeg and mix in, season with salt and pepper to taste – NB: if you’re using a salty stock you might want to omit extra salt!
  5. Lastly stir in the coconut milk and cook through for a couple of minutes.
  6. Eat!

——————————————————- OR ———————————————————————–

In a Soup Maker Machine (chunky soup setting using the filter)

Chop the veg into small pieces

MsoupChopped

Dry mix the onion, leek and coconut flour together, then spoon into the filter. Put the mushrooms outside the filter.

MsoupLoadIngr

Make up the stock with 400mls hot water and melt the butter in it,

MsoupPrepStock

then pour into the machine -make sure to pour into filter as well as around outside!

MsoupPouring

Add another 200mls hot water (or fill up to SOUP MAX line).

MsoupInMachine

Put machine on CHUNKY mode – will cook and blend for approx 30 minutes.

When finished remove the filter and add the nutmeg and coconut milk, then blend a few times to mix in.

-NB: as this is quite a thin soup, make sure you use BLEND at the end – as I found out, PULSE starts off on full pelt, and can shoot soup out of the spout of the jug !! Talk about a “hot mess” LOL

(sorry I actually forgot to take a pic of the end result, but it was yummy! )

Croutons??

I don’t eat bread but, if you like croutons, this is a great way to use up any stale bread you might have:

(makes ample for 2 people, uses 2 slices (of any) bread)

Mix 1tsp garlic purée with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or melted butter),
Use a pastry brush to paint on both sides of your bread, don’t forget to do the crusts as well!
Grill for a few minutes each side on a foil lined baking sheet until bread is a light golden brown.
Use a sharp knife to cut into 1cm squares, and toss in any remaining garlic/oil mix.
Return to the baking sheet and toast for another 2 mins until crispy.

You can freeze these for future use; use from frozen, the heat of your hot soup will defrost them within seconds 😉

Top Tip: Gourmet Garden herb and spice tubes

If you saw my recipe yesterday (cream of tomato and red pepper soup) you will have seen my pic showing the ingredients, and 2 little gems I found in Tesco – namely my Gourmet Garden crushed garlic paste and chopped basil paste tubes.

I don’t know how long these have been going, but I only came across them recently in my local village Tesco Metro, and they’ve been a quick and easy “no mess, no fuss” helper when cooking. One tsp is the equivalent of about 1 clove of garlic, or tsp of herbs, and they’re so easy to use. Best of all is no stained chopping board or stinky garlic fingers!

They were £1.69 a tube at my local Tesco, and not all branches stock all varieties (my little Tesco only has the garlic, basil and ginger, but they also have the Thai Spice Seasoning, Coriander Paste and Chilli Paste at the bigger Tesco up in Farnworth).

Apparenty they do make more pastes in the herbs and spices and in the seasoning mixes, if you visit their website: http://www.gourmetgarden.com/en-gb  you’ll see there’s quite a few, and there’s also info on what goes into them and how they’re made. They also have a handy “store locator” to show you who stocks them. It would seem that Ocado have the best range, but I don’t know if they deliver here. It would be easier if you could just buy them direct I suppose from their website. Maybe I’ll suggest that on their Facebook page!

Anyway, that’s my tip for today, off down to Tesco to buy more garlic paste!

Recipe: Cream of Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

I’ve had my lovely Andrew James soup maker for a few months now, (bargain at under £50!) and have used it’s various attachments (grinder, steamer) but not gotten around to using it for soups yet. So, this was a recipe test and road test in one. The machine worked brilliantly and the resulting soup was a big hit.
Here’s what I did…

image

Ingredients:
2 large vine tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium sweet potato
1 small white onion
1/2 can coconut milk
1 tsp vegetable boullion (dry powder)
3 tsp garlic puree
3 tsp basil puree
Drizzle of olive oil
500ml cold water

★ As per the machines instructions, chop all the veg into small cubes. (About 1-2cm)
★ Add the veg to the blender jug, taking care to no go over the “max soup” line.
★ Next add in the drizzle of oil, the vegetable boullion, and the garlic and basil puree, then pour the water in over the top. Easy-peasy!
★ Place the jug onto the base, press  the on/off button, and press the “Soup Smooth” button.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH.. (drumroll please…)

image

Ta-da!
The machine makes a few beeps at you, then starts the cooking cycle.
It cooks first, then pulses and blends to give you a nice smooth soup.

image

★  After the cycle has finished, the machine beeps several times to let you know it’s done. This is where you add the coconut milk. Just pop off the lid, pour it in (or spoon if it’s a good quality thick one like I use) then press the “Blend” button to mix it in.
And you’re done!
Serve up while it’s hot with a sprinkle of grated parmesan on top.

image

Overall result?
Took about 40 minutes from getting everything out of the fridge to serving up.
I did have few little niggles with the machine: it’s a little fiddly to locate the jug correctly onto the base (however it helps if you actually read the instructions fully, as it tells you specifically how to attach it) but once I’d sussed it out its easy enough; and the beeper is a bit strident in my opinion, but other than that it was really easy to use.
I do like that fact that it is self-washing; makes cleaning it really easy and you’re not risking the ends of your fingers on those blades!
Also the “Re-heat” function is a great idea. I made this soup mid morning, but we have our lunch late most days, so I can just leave it in the jug and warm it up as required.
Would I Recommend It To A Friend?
Already have. And I’m thinking of getting one for someone for Christmas too. (Shhhh! )