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!

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!

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.