Minestrone soup

Minestrone soup is absolutely one of my favourite soups. The most important ingredient for my recipe, is the Hatcho Miso which replaces beef stock to provide an outstanding depth of flavour.

You can use any veg you prefer, but today I used; chives, leeks, spring onions/scallions, red cabbage and carrots. Use any pasta you like, but I prefer to use broken spaghetti and add it at the start of cooking so that I know when the soup is ready, because the spaghetti is cooked.

My measurements are approximate as I don’t measure anything. The only mistake you can make when cooking is to add too much salt, sugar, spice or sourness. If you are using a stock cube, ensure its dissolved before adding any additional salt.

Minestrone soup ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • Half cup chopped spring onions/scallions
  • 1 handful chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 veggie stock cube
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Black and white pepper
  • Half teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Hatcha Miso paste
  • Half cup broken spaghetti
  • Extra sea salt if needed.

Place pan on medium heat and add olive oil to the pan. Add all ingredients and cover with boiling water. Simmer until pasta is cooked. The soup will thicken slightly from the flour in the pasta. Taste before adding extra salt. If I am making a big pan I will add two stock cubes.

Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day!

Veg fritters with tahini and fresh lime sauce

I make these veg fritters often when I want to use up fresh veg. It’s a simple batter of chickpea flour (gram flour) salt, pepper and mixed seeds. Use whatever veg you have on hand, and season it how you like it.

If you can’t easily buy chickpea flour, you can either grind your own flour using a high-speed blender, or use a different flour. Lentil flour is a good option, but don’t use coconut flour as it won’t hold together.

Veg fritters ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon mixed seeds
  • Pinch salt
  • Black and white pepper (as much as you like)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Enough water to make a sticky paste
  • Cooking oil for frying – coconut oil is a good choice.

Veg of choice, finely chopped – whatever you like, you could also use apple and pear.

Chop all of the veg into small pieces roughly the same size, you want it all to cook at the same time. In the video I am using spring onions/scallions, chives, carrots, red cabbage and leeks.

In a small bowl, mix the chickpea flour with the other dry ingredients with a little bit of water, until you make a good paste.

Stir in the veggies.

Place spoonful of mixture into frying pan containing a small amount of hot oil. Flip over when browned. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess cooking oil.

Tahini paste recipe.

The tahini paste is very simple. Use a tablespoon of pure tahini paste straight out of the jar and slowly mix in the juice of 2 limes or lemons. Don’t panic, keep stirring until the juice blends into the paste. Add a little sea salt. You can also add chopped fresh herbs or some spices like cumin, but I like to keep it simple.

The flavour combinations are endless!

Thai green curry with tumeric rice

Thai green curry is one of our absolute favourite meals when the days start to become a little cooler. I first tried Thai green curry in Bangkok over 22 years ago and was completely smitten. I always say, it would be my last meal on earth, if I had a choice in the matter.

I live in Portugal, so it’s quite hard to get my hands on all the authentic ingredients like Thai basil and lemongrass. When I lived in the UK I could find everything I needed in most supermarkets. Now I have to take a hour’s drive west to pick up supplies.

Today I have replaced coriander and Thai basil with parsley and chives. A little disappointing for me, but I used what I had available. My husband isn’t too keen on coriander, so another reason to leave it out.

I served it with turmeric rice. I simply added 1 teaspoon of turmeric to the basmati rice at the start of cooking. The colour is incredible!

Thai green curry Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups of mushrooms
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 6 Lime leaves, with the centre vein removed then chopped
  • Half cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut palm sugar (brown sugar will do)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or vegan equivalent)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 3 spring onions/scallions
  • 1 handfull green beans
  • 1 handful of chives and parsley, but I would use coriander and Thai basil instead.

Prep all veg. Heat coconut oil and add garlic and ginger. Add mushrooms and brown a little. Add curry paste and coconut and stir. Add all other ingredients except the veg. Ensure everything is hot and blended well, then add fresh veg until tender then sprinkle with herbs just before serving.

This recipe uses a lot of ingredients, but I keep everything I need in my store cupboard for other recipes. I use lots of coconut milk in many recipes, so stock up next time you go to the grocerty store.

I’m going to post some very simple recipes too, so stay tuned for quick and easy lunch and supper ideas.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day!

Autumn soup

Another way to use all the scrumptious pumpkins – abundant this time of year, is a very simple autumn soup. We buy pumpkins every week, as it’s one of our dog’s favourite veggies.

Top tip: This can also be used as a a sauce for pasta or gnocchi, maybe add some vegan cream or a little bit of spice.

In this recipe, I used half a small pumpkin, simmered the flesh in a pan, then drained. For recipe purposes, use 2 cups of cooked pumpkin. You could roast this in an air fryer if you prefer, I would cook on 175C for 20 minutes.

In a terracotta bowl, I roasted (in the air fryer) red onions, crushed garlic cloves, red bell pepper, rosemary, cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. I like the depth of flavour achieved by roasting, but you could fry the ingredients instead. It’s important to brown the onions and soften the garlic for amazing flavour.

Autumn soup ingredients

2 cups cooked pumpkin
2 cups of coconut milk
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 pinch sea salt flakes
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
1 sprig rosemary
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1 handful chopped chives
1 handful chopped parsley
1tsp sweet smoked paprika
Half tsp turmeric
Half tsp white pepper
Half teaspoon black pepper
1 vegetable stock cube

I then blitzed all ingredients in the blender to my preferred consistency. The key for me is to hide as many veg as I can from my husband, who thinks vegetables are the work of the devil.

All my quantities are approximate as I don’t measure anything. The only time precise measurements are important, is when baking. The only way you could mess up this recipe is by adding too much salt. I added a sprinkle of sea salt flakes to the roasting veg, then I added a veggie stock cube (which also contains salt) to the blender. It didn’t need any more seasoning.

Add whatever herbs you prefer. Cooking should be fun and not stressful, it’s very difficult to mess up a bowl of soup. Maybe make it spicy by adding some chilli powder!

I ate this for lunch with a homemade turmeric and pumpkin seed scone. I will make a video about scones soon but the basic recipe is:

  • 1 cup of self raising flour
  • half teaspoon baking powder
  • Quarter cup of vegan butter
  • Quarter cup of vegan milk (or enough milk to make a soft dough)
  • Half teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds.

Makes 3 medium sized scones. I served with vegan butter and a sprinkle of toasted nuts and seeds on top.

I will now fast until 8am tomorrow morning. Don’t be fooled by how small this meal of autumn soup and a scone is. It’s full of plant fibre and will keep my belly happy until tomorrow morning.

Thanks for stopping by, check back weekly for new recipes.

Gail x

Ice spiced pumpkin latte and scones

I needed a spiced pumpkin latte today, and the only way I was going to get one, is if I made it myself! There’s an abundance of pumpkins at the local market, so today I thought I’d make some pumpkin purée to freeze in ice cube trays, for when I fancy a spiced pumpkin milkshake or latte.

I roasted half of a small pumpkin in the airfryer for 20 minutes on 170°C. I then covered it and let it cool, so I could easily remove the skin.

In a blender I added the skinned pumpkin, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Off camera (pressed the wrong button with my sticky fingers) I added a tablespoon of peanut butter, quarter cup of plant milk and quarter cup of Veganbloc butter.

*You may wish to add more syrup. I don’t like mine too sweet.

For the scones I used;

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • Quarter cup of Veganbloc butter
  • Half teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • Half teaspoon baking powder
  • Enough plant milk to make into soft dough.

Baked in airfryer for 13 minutes on 170°C turned them over for another 3 minutes.

Lots of noise going on in the background with the washing machine and airfryer whirring away next to me. I only have a tiny kitchen in this rental property. I look forward to having a proper kitchen again one day.

I hope you like this recipe – I’m so happy to have a supply of spiced pumpkin purée on standby.

Gail x