Soup weather is officially back and I’m not complaining! Soups are a fantastic way to get a whole lot of goodness into one simple meal. Probably at least once a week we have a soup and cheese toastie night. The simplest way to make a soup… whilst juggling the housework, homework, giving the dog a walk, firing off a few last emails etc… is to grab a tray, roughly chop up a good combination of veg, oil and season it well, and whack it in the oven. Then your surfaces are clear, all you have to do when it’s done is tip it into a big pot and blend it with some stock.
The carrots and fennel coming out of the farm at the moment are just stunning! So fresh and so full of flavour. And so often, what grows together, goes together! So here’s one of our seasonal favourites right now, a simple but super-tasty, carrot and fennel soup! Enjoy!
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 bulbs of fennel
6 cloves of garlic
1 leek (or 1 onion)
3 sticks of celery
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 litre of water (in the kettle, ready to boil)
cheese sandwiches to serve (I like to butter the outside and grill them when the soup is ready)
Turn your oven on to 200C and find a deep roasting dish.
Wash the vegetables, roughly chop them and place them in the roasting dish.
Peel the garlic cloves and pop them into the dish whole.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with a good couple of pinches of salt and a grind of black pepper. Mix well and then get the dish into the oven to roast. It should take about 30 minutes but keep an eye on it as ovens vary.
Crumble two veg stock cubes into a large jug and then add a litre of freshly boiled water. Stir to combine. Test the roasted veg for ‘done-ness’ with a knife. They should be soft and starting to take on some colour.
Scrape the roasted veg to a large pot, pour over the veg stock and blend until smooth with your stick blender. You may wish to add a splash more water to thin the soup out to your liking. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary with more salt or pepper.
Then grill the cheese sandwiches and reheat the soup on the hob. Serve and enjoy!
This pasta dish has fresh spring/summer vibes. It’s one of our favourites and a great way to use up all the gorgeous greens coming out of the farm at the moment. We stock a large range of organic pastas, I like tagliatelle for this one, but of course any pasta shape will work well.
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter
2 leeks, sliced and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or sub with grated/crumbled cheese of your choice)
a splash of white wine
oat milk – enough to cook out the flour and make a creamy sauce
This watermelon recipe may seem a bit ‘out there’, but trust me, it’s both easy and delicious! Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish eaten with a soy sauce dressing, this alternative, plant based version recreates the meaty texture of fish with baked and reduced watermelon. The flavour is an irresistible sweet and salty combination and we love this simple showstopper with rice, noodles or dumplings, steamed veg and a seaweed salad.
Our mini watermelons are best for this recipe, they are smaller and more intense in flavour, and have smaller pips than the big ones. Then all you need is a sachet of umami paste (or make your own marinade by mixing miso with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli) and some toasted sesame seeds. Read on to see how easy this dish can be, and let us know in the comments if you give it a try.
Preheat your oven to 190C and line a baking dish with baking parchment.
Using a large, sharp knife, peel the watermelon. Cut both ends of first to create a flat, stable surface.
Place the peeled watermelon in the baking dish and bake in the oven for at least 2 hours.
Every half hour, take the watermelon out of the oven and turn it over so that it cooks evenly on all sides.
Once the watermelon is reduced and blackened all over it is ready for its marinade.
Liberally brush the umami paste all over the watermelon. Get as much of it on as you can. At least half of the sachet which is about 75g.
Return the watermelon to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Then carefully move the hot watermelon to a board or plate to cool slightly before thinly slicing.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and eat hot or cold.
10. I served ours with a seaweed salad, pot sticker dumplings (which I will share in another blog post) and steamed aubergines with a simple dipping sauce of orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, grated garlic and ginger and extra toasted sesame seeds. It was delicious!