Carrot broth with basil and tiny onions

Some time ago I excitedly bought a 5 kg sack of pickling onions extremely cheaply from a greengrocers in Fleetwood.

Over the course of two afternoons, I painstakingly peeled the lot of them, blanching them first to loosen the skins.

My fingernails ended up orange!

I did pickle some of them, and very nice they were too. But the real benefit from this exercise was the bags of tiny onions I froze, they’re wonderful in stews throughout the winter months.

I thought I’d finished them all ages ago, but when I was clearing out the freezer, lo and behold there was a small bag left! Rather than a stew, I thought this time I’d use them in another of my oven soups. A light, comforting broth with carrots as the main ingredient. The sweet tiny onions are poached whole, and there’s fresh basil and parsley added at the end for freshness. And delicious it is too!

You could certainly use normal onion, but it won’t be as pretty!

Carrot broth with basil and tiny onions

Carrot broth with basil and tiny onions

Continue reading


A sort of chowder, with yellow split peas and vegetables

I’d been thinking along the lines of a chowder for my latest soup, but I wanted to make something a little more nutritious than the usual potato and cream base (and of course vegan!).

So I’ve used yellow split peas as the main ingredient as they really do break down beautifully and make a lovely textured soup.

With plenty of vegetables (including sweetcorn!) and a little chilli and soy yoghurt added at the end, it makes a gorgeous satisfying soup which tastes rich but really isn’t, if you see what I mean..!

A sort of chowder...

A sort of chowder…

Continue reading


Celeriac, carrot and leek soup with chilli herb swirl

A simple vegetable soup is a beautiful thing, particularly if it includes celeriac (or cauliflower) which will, when blended, give the soup a gorgeous soft velvety texture.

This time though, I thought I’d try a sauce to swirl through at the end to add a burst of flavour and colour.

I used mint, dill and oregano for the herbs, with pickled jalapeno for heat and acidity. It went so well with the soothing soup!

Celeriac, carrot and leek soup with chilli herb swirl

Celeriac, carrot and leek soup with chilli herb swirl

serves 2 to 4

350g celeriac, chopped (about a third of a large one)

250 g carrots, chopped

1 leek, sliced

1 large onion, chopped

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

750 ml vegetable stock, hot

for the chilli herb swirl (per serving)

1 tbsp fresh herbs, (2 or 3 types of soft herb)

4 slices pickled jalapeno

1/2 tsp oil

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c.

Put all of the soup ingredients into an ovenproof casserole dish, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. The vegetables should be lovely and soft. Remove the bay leaf and the thyme sprig, and blend the soup until velvety and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the chilli herb swirl, bash all of the ingredients together with some salt and pepper using a pestle and mortar (or chop the herbs and chilli very finely and stir the oil in).

Serve the soup with the chilli herb swirl… swirled on top!

By E.


Pepper and bean soup with chilli and coriander

Yep, this is another of my oven soup recipes… I just find it such an easy method of making soup, and the bonus is that there is no oil involved at all!

This version is actually based on a dip recipe that I first made years ago. It’s evolved over time to become a tasty, filling soup with gentle chilli heat from the jalapenos and a fresh herbal note from the coriander stirred through at the end. The flavour and colour of the soup will be best if you use red or orange peppers.

It also works very well with butterbeans or cannellini beans, but not well at all with chickpeas…

Pepper and bean soup with chilli and coriander

Pepper and bean soup with chilli and coriander

makes 3 to 4 servings

2 onions, chopped (the soup will be blended so the vegetables can be chopped roughly)

2 peppers, chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stick celery, chopped

150 g tomatoes, chopped

7 slices pickled jalapeno

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp smoked paprika

750 ml vegetable stock, hot

1 400 g tin of kidney beans, drained

3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c.

Put the peppers, onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, jalapeno, oregano, smoked paprika and vegetable stock in an oven proof casserole with a lid.

Cover and pop into the oven for 1 hour.

Add the kidney beans and put back in the oven for another half an hour. Blend the soup (I use an immersion blender), and add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir the coriander through just before serving.

By E.


Greens soup with molasses and chilli

I have a lot of greens to use up this weekend, and I think one of the nicest ways to to eat them is collard greens style, slowly braised until tender with molasses and aromatics. This time though I thought I’d see how this translates into a soup, and it seemed perfectly suited to my oven soup method.

The broth is gorgeous, and it’s such an easy soup to make, as well as being super healthy and nourishing with all the delicious greens.

With hindsight though, I really should’ve made some cornbread to go with it!

Greens soup with smoky molasses chilli broth

Greens soup with molasses and chilli

makes 3 to 4 servings

1 onion, sliced

150 g spring greens, chopped

100 g kale, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp molasses

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried marjoram

1 litre vegetable stock, hot

1 – 2 tbsp vinegar to taste

Preheat the oven to 160 c.

This is so ridiculously simple it seems silly to write down a method… put all the ingredients apart from the vinegar in an oven proof casserole dish, pop the lid on and put it in the oven for an hour and a half. Stir through the vinegar at the end. That’s it!

The pan was very full before the hot stock went in and wilted the greens a bit!

The pan was very full before the hot stock went in and wilted the greens a bit!

By E.


Onion and yellow split pea oven soup

It’s being a tiring few days here at veganbungalow, so I needed to make something easy and nutritious that can be quickly heated up and will do for a few meals. Something that is also tasty and tempting enough to stop me living off cup a soups and sandwiches…

An oven soup seemed perfect, as I can just put everything in the pot and leave it be for a while. I’ve used onions as the main vegetable, as they make such a savoury, comforting soup when braised for a long time until they’re soft and silky. Also, they’re particularly comforting when paired with herbs, here I’ve used bay, thyme and rosemary.

Then there’s carrot and celery for a deeper flavour, and yellow split peas for protein and all the other good things they’re full of.

Onion and yellow split pea oven soup

Onion and yellow split pea oven soup

makes 3 to 4 servings

500 g onions, thinly sliced (I used 5 smallish ones)

1 carrot, finely diced

1 stick celery, finely diced

150 g yellow split peas

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1 litre light vegetable stock (hot)

15 g parsley, chopped (optional)

1/2 tsp celery salt

black pepper

Preheat the oven to fan 140 c.

Put the vegetables, split peas, thyme, bay leaf and rosemary into a large oven proof casserole dish. Add the stock, give it all a good stir and pop the lid on.

The huge amounts of onions are under there somewhere...

The huge amounts of onions are under there somewhere…

Place in the oven and cook for for 2 hours, until the split peas are very soft. Check the liquid levels after 1 hour, you may need to add a little water.

Stir through the parsley and celery salt, and season with black pepper to taste.

By E.


Courgette, leek and onion soup

Continuing my few days of Using Things Up, this evening I made soup. Rather than simmering soup on the hob, my preferred method is to cook it in the oven. That way I can leave the vegetables be, to braise and impart their flavour to the stock while I get on with other things. Also, it means no oil is needed! This time I started the leeks and onions off in the microwave, as in my leek and celery broth recipe, so it only took 25 minutes in the oven to finish off. It turned out to be a soothing, satisfying soup, and I served it with pitta bread and vegan cheese warmed in the oven for a couple minutes after the soup came out.

Courgette, leek and onion soup

Courgette, leek and onion soup

makes 3 – 4 portions

1 and a half courgettes, diced

2 sticks of celery, chopped

1 leek, sliced

2 onions, sliced

(There was also a rogue mushroom in there, but I’m not really counting it in the recipe…)

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp roasted ground fennel seed

700 ml light vegetable stock, hot

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to fan 150 c.

Microwave steam the leeks and onions for 4 minutes, stirring half way through.

Add the vegetables, herbs and stock to an oven proof pot with a lid. I use a 20 cm cast iron casserole.

Cover, and cook for 25 minutes until the vegetable are soft. Blend until fairly smooth, then season to taste. I used white pepper for a little heat, and did find that this soup needed salt, to bring out the sweetness of the leeks and onions.

By E.


Carrot and butterbean soup

When soup is so easy to make, it does seem a little silly to go for the tinned variety. However sometimes I just want an easy, comforting meal and tinned soup does that for me. I am though, extremely fussy about which ones pass muster. Currently Heinz onion soup, and Baxters carrot and butterbean are the favoured flavours. As with a lot of preprepared foods, tinned soup can be quite expensive, and idly reading the ingredients list on the label one day I thought I would see how close I could get to the bought version of the Baxters, making it from scratch. It took three attempts before I was happy with it, but I think this recipe is just as good. I’ve added a couple more ingredients, as my version contains no oil so needed a little boost for richness. DSC_0673 1 large onion, around 180g prepared

5 medium carrots, around 350g prepared

2 sticks celery, around 150g prepared

1 litre hot light veg stock, I use marigold made to half strength

1/4 tsp fennel powder, I toast fennel seed in a dry pan and then grind it in a pestle and mortar

1/2 tsp celery salt

1 tbsp tomato puree

Pinch of white pepper

1 400g tin butterbeans

1 tsp potato starch, slaked with a little water

Preheat the oven to 150 c, fan 130 c

Chop all the vegetables fairly finely, and put all the ingredients except the butter beans in a large oven proof pot with a lid (I use a 20 cm cast iron casserole). Place in the oven, covered, for 1 hour and 45 minutes, adding the butterbeans after 1 hour.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop around 2/3 of the vegetables out of the stock, trying to get as many of the butterbeans as possible, and reserve. Stir the potato starch into the remaining stock and vegetables, and blend (I use an immersion blender rather than a jug blender here).

Add the reserved vegetables and beans back into the soup and check for seasoning. I find that this soup doesn’t require any extra salt as the stock and celery salt season it nicely.

Makes 4 servings.

By E.