Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Two Soups for the Price of One

Been making a lot of soups at the moment, messing around with tried and tested recipes and finding new ones.  Below are two of my current favourites.  They may look very similar, but they do taste rather different.

Spicy Parsnip Soup
Taken from Weight Watchers and altered slightly
Serves 4 WW Pro Points 4 each

500g parsnips
1 tbls olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 ltr stock, from cube
Fresh chives, sniped for garnish

Peel the parsnips and cut into chunks, put them on a baking tray and cover with oil and cumin. Place in oven at 180oc for 20mins.

Put the roasted parsnips into a stock pot with the onion, pepper and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and using a hand blender, blend as much as you wish.

Toss in chives and serve. (Pic served with 1/2 fat creme fraiche - not pointed)

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 4 Est. Pro Points 4 each (5 if using creme fraiche)

2 mediun sweet potatoes
6 cloves garlic
1 tbls olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp dried sage
1 orange
1 tbls honey
1 ltr stock, from cube
2 tbls half fat creme fraiche - optional

Pre heat oven to 180oc.  half the BNS and scoop out seeds, place this and the sweet potatoes on the baking tray and bake for 1 hour.  Remove and cool slightly.

Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, saute till translucent.  Add chopped garlic, sage, coriander and chili flakes.  Remove the skins from the BNS and sweet potatoes, roughly chop and add to the pan.  Pour oven the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the zest and juice from the orange and honey, season as required. Use hand blender to puree as much as wanted.  Serve with a little creme fraiche on top.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Slow Cooker Forelegs of Lamb

Mooching around the meat counter I came across something I had not seen before, foreleg shanks of lamb. Slimmer and less meaty than a hind shank but also a fraction on the cost - 5 for £5.  So home I went and dragged out the slow cooker for a take on this recipe

Slow Cooker Forelegs of Lamb in Red Wine & Chorizo

5 forelegs of lamb
1 onion chunky chopped
1 glass of rioja
200ml beef stock
20ml balsamic vinegar
1 can of chopped tomatoes
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, peeled & halved
2 cooking chorizo, sliced
handful frozen peas

Chuck everything, except peas, into the slow cooker and mix about and whack on high for 7 hours.

Remove the shanks and place on a baking tray in the oven for 10mins at 180oc, to crisp up slightly.
Pour the sauce into a pan and reduce, whilst skimming off the fat.  Toss in the peas and season to taste, possibly add a drizzle of honey to sweeten if required.

Lay the lamb on a bed of mashed potato and liberally pour over the sauce.  Yum.

The meat was so tender it fell off the bone and in general was more satisfying than having cooked it in the oven.