Slow-cooked Root Vegetable Soup

Something happens to vegetables when they’re cooked very slowly for a long time: their flavour becomes mellow but at the same time more intense, and your kitchen is filled with aromas of goodness. This soup is also completely fat-free.

Serves 6

Ingredients

Vegetable quantities are prepared weights

8 oz (225 g) peeled carrots, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) lengths
8 oz (225 g) peeled celeriac, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces
8 oz (225 g) trimmed and washed leeks, halved and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) lengths
8 oz (225 g) peeled swede, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2½ pints (1.5 litres) stock made with Marigold Swiss Bouillon vegetable powder
3 bay leaves
salt and freshly milled black pepper

To serve:

6 teaspoons fat-free Greek yoghurt
a few fresh chives, snipped

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).

Zafrani Curry

This is an adaptation of Madhur Jaffrey’s Rasedar Jhinga (Prawns in Dark Sauce) recipe inspired by the ‘Zafrani Balti’ dish served by the Balti King restaurant in Sheffield.

Ingredients

  • Onion (one medium peeled and chopped)
  • Garlic (5 cloves peeled and chopped)
  • Ginger (2-3cm peeled and chopped)
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Cinnamon (2-3cm stick)
  • Cardamom (six pods)
  • Bay Leaves (two leaves)
  • Ground Cumin (2 teaspoons)
  • Ground Coriander (two teaspoons)
  • Chopped Tomatoes (one tin)
  • Plain Yoghurt (5 tablespoons)
  • Ground Turmeric (half teaspoon)
  • Cayenne or Chilli Powder (quarter to half teaspoon)
  • Chick Peas (one tin)
  • Spinach Leaves (250g chopped)
  • Mushrooms (200g)
  • Frozen cooked peeled prawns (250g)
  • Garam Masala (quarter teaspoon)
  • Fresh Coriander (one handfull)

Method

Using a blender, make a paste from the onion, garlic, ginger and three tablespoons of water.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil till hot and add the cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves, stirring for just a few seconds. Add the paste and fry for 5 minutes or until light brown. Add the cumin and ground coriander and fry gently for a further 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and bring back to the boil and then add the yoghurt one tablespoon at a time. Add the tumeric and cayenne.

Add up to half a pint of water, chick peas, mushrooms and spinach and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add prawns and bring back to the boil.

Add garam masala and fresh coriander, season to taste and serve with basmati rice.

Mexican Turkey and Beans

This is a quick recipe that serves about 8 people. Pork can be used instead of Turkey if preferred.

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • Onions (2 medium sized peeled and chopped)
  • Carrots (2 medium sized peeled and chopped)
  • Fresh Red and Green Chillis (one of each chopped with seeds)
  • Red or Green Pepper (one chopped)
  • Garlic (4 large cloves peeled and chopped)
  • Dried Chilli (4 small crushed)
  • Turkey fillet (1 kg cut into small pieces, breast and/or leg meat)
  • Beans (2 tins Borlotti, Haricot or similar)
  • Chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • Tomatoes (2 tins)
  • Tomato Puree (half a small tin)

Method

In a large saucepan or casserole dish gently fry with a small amount of olive oil the onions, carrots, fresh chillis, red or green pepper, garlic and dried chilli. While this is cooking fry the meat in two batches in a Wok or frying pan with a small amount of olive oil. Add the meat to the other ingredients. Add the beans, the stock cube made with about half a pint of boiling water, the tinned tomatoes and the tomato puree. Cook gently on top of the cooker or in oven at 180 degrees C for about one hour.

Serve with mashed or baked potatoes, green vegetables and a cheap bottle of red wine.