Lonely Veg Soup

I bought leeks for another dish and had some leftover, I planned on making a leek and potato soup, but sometimes I find it a bit heavy/stodgy so instead I just kind of made this up with the veg that was looking a bit lonely in the fridge….

Unlike most of the soups I ‘just kind of make up’ using the contents of my fridge, this one was actually quite tasty.  Maybe I’m getting better at it….

The chorizo and chilli gave it a nice flavour!

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1/2 chilli chopped
  • 1 medium potato
  • chorizo (6-7 thin slices of pre-sliced)
  • Bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • 2 Chicken Stock (or Veg if you prefer) cubes
  • 1.5 litre water
  • salt & pepper
  • Handful of split peas
  1. Chop the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, leek and chilli and gently saute for a few minutes in the oil and butter
  2. Peel and chop the potato and add to the veg along with the chorizo and add to the veg stirring and allow to cook on medium heat for another 2-3 minutes
  3. Add the water and stock cubes, along with the bay leaf and a couple of thyme sprigs, bring to the boil and allow to simmer until veg is tender.
  4. Blitz with hand blender adding salt and pepper to taste.
  5. At this point I found the soup to still be quite thin so I added in a handful of split peas and simmered for about another 10-15 minutes.
  6. You should probably add these along with the potatoes at the earlier point or instead add only 1 litre of water.  Though I like the flavour the split peas bring!
  7. Blitz again and enjoy!

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4th October: An update on the Lonely Veg Soup…..

I made a second batch, but had no celery or potatoes left so used a 1/4 of celeriac instead – worked a treat

I was out of chilli too so put in some chilli flakes/pepper mixture and about 2 teaspoons of harrisa paste – give it bit more of a kick.

Add the last of the split peas which was slightly more than a handful – so this batch was thicker, next time I’ll keep to the handful but it’s all a matter of taste!

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Paprika Cod with Chorizo and Puy lentils

Come Dine with me, by Jane and Gill

Well – we tried. We tried to have our own Come Dine with Me experience.

Unfortunately, we were the only episode if I recall correctly.

But the food was good – if I do say so myself.  It was my first real experience of lentils and I’ve made that part of the dish several times since on it’s own as it was so easy and tasty!

We also served it with mashed potatoes.  There was an almost disaster there which involved using a hand held blender and finishing the cooking in the microwave – lesson is: Always make sure you have enough time to fully steam your spuds!

For the Puy Lentils

  • 200g Puy Lentils
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 3tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 small (or 1 large) spicy chorizo sausage, thickly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black papper
  • dash red wine vinegar

For the cucumber garnish

  • 1 large cucumber, skin removed, flesh cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, seeds disgarded
  • salt

For the cod

  • 1kg cod fillet, skin on
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2tsp paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • knob of butter

For the dressing

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  1. For the Puy lentils, preheat the girll to its highest setting
  2. Place the lentils into a measuring jug and note thier volume.  Place them into a pan.  Ad the chicken stock to the measuring jug and top up with enough water to bring the volume of liquid to double that of the lentils.  Add the liquid to the pan with the lentils.
  3. Bring the lentils to the boil and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and chorizo and fry until the onions have softened and the chorizo is golden brown.  SEason, to taste, with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  5. Drain the lentils, return them to the pan and stir through the cooked onion, garlic and chorizo, as well as the red wine vinegar.
  6. For the cucumber garnish, place the cucumber ribbons in a sieve or colander to drain, sprinkle generously with salt and cover with kitchen paper and a plate.  Set aside for 20 minutes.
  7. For the cod, make slashes in the skin of the cod using a sharp knife.  Mix the olive oil, paprika and seasoning together in a small bowl.
  8. Melt the butter in an ovenproof frying pan and add the cod, flesh-side down.  Fry for exactly two minutes.
  9. While the cod is cooking, pour over the oil and paprika mixture, then season the skin of teh cod with the salt.
  10. Transfer the cod to the grill and cook for 6 minutes (or less, depending on the thickness of the cod fillet), until the cod is just cooked through and the skin is crisp.
  11. For the dressing, mix together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined.
  12. Just before serving, place the cucumber ribbons into a bowl.  Pour the dressing onto the drained cucumber ribbons and mix to coat thoroughly.