Carrot & Coriander Fritters

Chickpea flour (aka gram flour) is such a useful store-cupboard ingredient. Have you tried it yet? In Indian cuisine it is used to make savoury pancakes called dosas and to the make the batter for deep fried onion bhajis. At home we love to use it to make nutritious, delicious, protein-rich fritters all year round. Fritters are a great lunch option with a simple salad and a dip, or you can use them as sandwich fillers or burger alternatives. You can really make them your own with different vegetables and herbs/spices. Here’s one of our favourites, carrot and coriander.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 espresso mug of chickpea flour (around 8 tbsp)
  • 1 espresso mug of water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 grated carrots
  • a handful of fresh coriander
  • around 2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
  • natural yogurt, lime wedges and salad leaves to serve

Method

  1. Start with the batter. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, seasoning and water into a smooth batter.
  2. Grate the carrots and add them to the batter along with the coriander leaves. Stir well to coat the veggies in the batter.
  3. Heat a frying pan to medium with the vegetable oil. Make sure your pan is not too hot, chickpea flour batter can taste a little bitter if it is not cooked through so you want to cook it slowly so it’s not burned on the outside and raw in the middle.
  4. Dollop the batter into the pan in four even scoops. Fry the fritters for 5 minutes or so on each side or until they are golden brown on the outside and firmed up and hot inside.
  5. Then serve with salad, natural yoghurt and a good squeeze of lime.

Rainbow Chickpea Balls

This nutritious, protein-rich, falafel-like mixture is so handy for making things like burgers and meatballs and of course it makes delicious fillings for wraps. You can flavour it with whatever herbs or spices take your fancy and colour it (and add sneaky veg) with any vegetables you like too. I felt like making some multicoloured balls as Easter ’eggs’ to have for a pastel coloured Easter lunch this week. Nestled in a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus and drizzled with a spring pea salsa. You could serve it with roast potatoes, gravy and trimmings for a Sunday roast too.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 3 tins of chickpeas
  • 3 onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 tbsp porridge oats
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp ground coriander (or any spice you prefer)
  • 2 cooked beetroots
  • 3 cooked carrots
  • 6 large kale leaves, chopped, cooked and squeezed to remove water
  • a couple of handfuls of parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra olive oil for brushing and baking

Method

  1. Drain the chickpeas and tumble into 3 bowls. Add 4 tbsp of porridge oats to each bowl.
  2. Finely dice the onion and garlic and sauté until soft and golden with the olive oil. Divide amongst the three bowls.
  3. To each bowl, add a tsp of salt and grind black pepper to taste. Add a tsp of ground coriander to each bowl too if you like, or another spice or herb of your choice.
  4. Put the cooked carrot in one bowl (along with a tsp of ground turmeric for bright yellow colour), the cooked beetroot in one bowl and the kale and parsley in the last bowl. Now you are ready to blend the mixtures.
  5. In a food processor, first blend the yellow carrot mixture. Tip in the contents of the bowl with the carrots and pulse the mixture together until you reach a rough, sticky mixture. Scrape it out, back into the bowl, then repeat with the green kale mixture then the pink beetroot mixture. If any of the mixes seems a little wet, add an extra tbsp or so of oats and blend again. If it is too dry, add some olive oil or lemon juice to the mix or some extra vegetables.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and line a large baking try with baking parchment. Then squish and roll the mixture into small, colourful balls – or make layered balls like I did with the yellow mix in the middle, then carefully wrap a layer of pink beetroot mix and finish off with the green outer layer. TOP TIP: use wet hands to avoid frustrating stickiness. just keep a bowl of warm water on the work bench and wet your hands when they start to get a bit sticky.
  7. Brush the balls with olive oil and put them in the oven to bake until hot through and golden and crispy on the outside. Timings will depend on the size of your balls so just keep an eye on them.
  8. Serve however you like but they definitely need a sauce or gravy. This time I served them with creamy mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and a pea salsa (I just blended a mug of peas with about 4 tbsp of capers and a splosh of the caper vinegar, a handful of chopped dill and a generous drizzle of olive oil).

Cauliflower Noodle Soup

This is THE soup to make when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s a plant based take on that classic chicken noodle soup which brings so much comfort. It’s brothy and light, bursting with vitamins, but at the same time hearty and satisfying. I used bay leaves, lemon and thyme to flavour the broth with lots of garlic and a little turmeric for it’s sunny colour and medicinal properties. You’ll feel like a whole new human after a bowl of this. Happy slurping!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 4 sticks of celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 100g quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, diced
  • 120g noodles (I prefer quick cooking ramen or Thai rice noodles here but you can also use Italian style pasta in any shape you like. Just adjust the cooking times as explained below.)
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Method

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the leek, garlic, carrots and celery with the olive oil. After 5 minutes the vegetables should be starting to soften.
  2. Then add the bay leaves, thyme, turmeric and quinoa. Top up with a couple of litres of water, season with the salt and pepper then simmer. After 10 minutes, the vegetables should be soft and the quinoa just starting to release it’s tails.
  3. Add the cauliflower and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the broth for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  4. Then add the noodles* and give the soup a stir to ensure they’re not clumping together. If they are the quick cooking type, turn the heat off, put the lid on and let them cook and soften in the residual heat. If they are Italian style pasta noodles and need longer cooking then you should add them with the cauliflower during step 3.
  5. Brighten the soup with the lemon juice and serve in large bowls. Enjoy!

TOP TIP – *only add the noodles/pasta if you’ll be eating this soup immediately. If you are making this in advance, add the noodles when you reheat it, otherwise they’ll get too soggy. You can even cook the noodles/pasta separately and put them into bowls, then ladle the soup over each portion.

Ribollita

This classic Tuscan soup is just gorgeous. A hearty combination of white beans, tomatoey broth and seasonal vegetables, most notably kale. What makes this soup extra delicious for me is the combination of garlic, lemon zest, really good olive oil and fragrant rosemary and sage. This is one of those stew-like soups that is better the next day. Once you’ve done all the chopping, it’s really simple to make. Leave it brothy if you like or thicken the soup with torn chunks of stale bread or blend a portion of the beans before adding them. I prefer to leave it brothy then serve the soup over torn bread. Let us know your favourite way of eating ribollita.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
  • the zest of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins white beans, drained
  • 8 kale leaves, stems finely chopped, leaves torn
  • the juice of a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • stale bread to serve, optional

Method

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the onion with the olive oil on a medium-high heat until soft and starting to colour. This should take at least 5 minutes.
  2. Then add the diced carrot and celery and the thinly sliced kale stems, season with salt and pepper and stir for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Stir for another minute or two, your kitchen should smell really really good now.
  4. Crumble in the stock cubes and tip in the tin of chopped tomatoes. Fill the tin with water 4 times and pour that water into the pot.
  5. Add the drained beans then bring the soup up to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Then add the torn kale leaves and the lemon juice to the pot, pop the lid back on and let the leaves wilt for just 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more water if you’d like a brothier soup, blend some of the soup if you’d like it thicker.
  7. Serve in generous bowls, as it is or with torn pieces of stale bread.

Sunshine Soup

Sometimes in November a bowl of sunshine is just what is needed! Put our stunning root veg to use with this simple soup (or use up your Halloween pumpkins instead). We stock organic red lentils (in a compostable bag🙌) which gives this soup the most beautiful texture and provides protein, iron, potassium, folate, vitamin B1 and prebiotic fibre. Turmeric and black pepper are a delicious anti-inflammatory addition, and we have tins of organic coconut milk for a rich, creamy finish to the soup.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 750g diced veg (I used carrot and swede this time but any root veg or pumpkins work well here)
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 300g rinsed red lentils
  • 1500ml water (approx)
  • 1 tin coconut milk

Method

  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion with the oil until it softens and starts to turn golden brown.
  2. Add the garlic and diced vegetables, season well with salt, pepper and turmeric.
  3. Tip in the rinsed red lentils and cover generously with water. Stir then put the lid on the pot. Bring to a boil then immediately turn the heat down and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft (around 15-20 minutes). You should take the lid off and stir every 5 minutes to ensure there is no sticking or burning on the bottom of the pot. You may wish to add more water if the soup is looking a bit thick.
  4. Scrape in the coconut milk then blend until smooth with a hand held stick blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Then enjoy!

Chilli Non-Carne

You’ll find countless iterations of this recipe on repeat in our house this time of year. Always hearty and wholesome, stuffed full of gorgeous autumnal vegetables and various pulses and grains. A pot of chilli is so versatile. Stick it in a bowl with rice or roasted potato wedges, scoop up with nachos, serve in wraps burrito style or make a batch for a messy-fun taco night. How do you serve your chilli non-carne?

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
  • 750g diced root veg (I used swede, carrot and beetroot this time)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp each, ground cumin and coriander
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 100g each, dried lentils and quinoa
  • 2 tins of black/kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml water or veg stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *optional extra few tbsps of a ‘flavour bomb’ eg: soy sauce/coffee/cocoa

Method

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until soft and starting to colour.
  2. Then add the root vegetables and spices. Stir for a few minutes to release the flavours.
  3. Add the lentils, quinoa, tin of tomatoes and water/stock. Season well with salt and pepper then simmer until the lentils are soft. This should take around 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure nothing is sticking and burning on the base of the pot.
  4. Then add the beans, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. I usually add about 3 tbsp of soy sauce or a tbsp or two of cocoa powder to enrich the chilli.
  5. Serve with rice or wedges, in tacos or burritos or however you like! It’s even better the next day so make a big batch and get some in the freezer for a rainy day?

Lentil Ragu

This lentil ragu is a firm family favourite. It’s quick and easy to make, full of flavour and nutrition (lentils are a powerhouse of fibre, protein, potassium, iron and folate) and it can be frozen in portions to use on busy days. I use this as a ‘base’ recipe but often add or switch the vegetables with the seasons. For example, the carrots can be swapped with swede, beetroot or squash, the mushrooms could be replaced with aubergine or crumbled walnuts. We usually stir it through pasta or layer it up in a lasagne but it also makes a great cottage pie when topped with mash and baked.

You can also tweak the seasoning and turn this Italian-style ragu into a Tex-Mex-style chilli non-carne! Just use chilli, cumin, coriander, bay, oregano and smoked paprika in place of the herbs, and add a drained tin of kidney beans and peppers to the mix too. This adaptable lentil ragu recipe is just thing to add to your repertoire for hearty family meals.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced
  • approx 10 chestnut mushrooms, diced
  • 1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1x 400g tin of green lentils, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp each: fennel seeds, thyme and oregano
  • optional splash of red wine…
  • salt and pepper to taste (roughly a tsp of each)
  • pasta to serve (100g dried weight per person) we stock a range of organic wheat, wholegrain and gluten free varieties

Method

  1. Gather and prepare your ingredients and find a large pan to cook your ragu in. Get a big pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
  2. Sauté the onion with the olive oil for roughly 6 minutes over a medium-high heat until softening and starting to take on some colour.
  3. Then add the salt, pepper, fennel, oregano, thyme and garlic and stir for a minute to release and wake up the flavours.

4. Add the diced vegetables and sauté for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften and cook in their own juices. Then add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves.

5. Swirl the juices out of the tin into the pan by filling the tin with water. Then add the drained lentils and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is rich and delicious. You may need to add a splash of water (or red wine) to loosen the sauce if it is starting to look a bit dry. (This is a good time to get your pasta into the now-boiling water).

6. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper. Then stir through the cooked and drained pasta and enjoy! Serve with fresh basil leaves and an extra drizzle of good olive oil.

Roasted Carrot & Fennel Soup with Cheese Toasties

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!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 bulbs of fennel
  • 6 carrots
  • 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)

Method

  1. Turn your oven on to 200C and find a deep roasting dish.
  2. Wash the vegetables, roughly chop them and place them in the roasting dish.
  3. Peel the garlic cloves and pop them into the dish whole.
  4. 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.
  5. Meanwhile make cheese sandwiches to grill (we have a lovely range of organic cheeses including a new Irish organic Mossfield cheese and vegan cheeses) and get a big pot and your stick blender ready.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Then grill the cheese sandwiches and reheat the soup on the hob. Serve and enjoy!

Russian-Style Potato Salad

If you like a classic potato salad with mayonnaise, you’ll love this one. The added extras like tangy sauerkraut and pickles and earthy-sweet carrots and beetroot make it a step up from the norm. What’s a barbecue or buffet without a bowl of potato salad? Try this one with our fresh-from-the-fields new potatoes, carrots and beetroots. You could even make your own vegan mayo, fermented cucumbers and sauerkraut using our farm produce and groceries too if you like! Otherwise we stock mayonnaise, pickles and sauerkraut in our grocery section.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 12 new potatoes
  • 1 beetroot
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 tbsp aioli/mayonaise
  • 2 tbsp sauerkraut
  • 4 tbsp chopped fermented/pickled cucumbers 
  • large handful of dill/fennel fronds (or chopped chives)

Method

  1. Halve the new potatoes and dice the carrots, then boil together until tender. Drain them and allow to cool.
  2. Boil the beetroot in its skin in a separate pan until tender. This takes around 30 minutes. Then run the beetroot under cold water and rub the skin off and dice into 1 cm pieces.
  3. Dice the fermented/pickled cucumbers.
  4. Chop the dill or fennel fronds.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  6. Gently stir the ingredients together then taste and add salt or pepper if needed.

Nettle Soup

Stinging nettles are easy to identify and one of the most nutritious wild foods out there. Spring is the perfect time to forage for these tender and tasty greens. Studies suggest that eating nettles may reduce inflammation, hay fever symptoms, blood pressure and blood sugar levels — among other benefits. And they are so delicious! Why not grab some gloves and a colander and head out to gather some free food for your lunch? Just pick lots of the tender top 4-6 leaves, the tips of the nettles, like in the photo above. Then when you’ve filled your colander, take it home and give the nettle tips a good rinse. Always pick nettles away from polluted roads sides and avoid places that may have been sprayed.

Here’s my simple nettle soup recipe but you can do so much more with nettles. Pesto, salsa verde, add them to quiches, pies, stews… use it like spinach basically. I love nettles in a spanakopita type filo pastry pie. Share your favourite nettle recipe with use below in the comments? Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 or 3 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 stock cube
  • 4 large handfuls of nettle tips
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Dice and sauté the onions, garlic and carrots in the oil until just softening and starting to take on some colour.

Then dice and add the potatoes to the pot and generously cover the vegetables with water. Crumble in a stock cube and simmer with the lid on until the potatoes are soft.

Add the rinsed nettle tips to the pot.

Stir the nettle tip into the soup and simmer for just 2 or 3 minutes. Then add the lemon juice and blend the soup with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.