Would you judge me if I told you that I ate half a stuffed crust pizza, a tube of Smarties and three Percy Pigs for breakfast? Perhaps let’s not go there then, but suffice to say, I feel disgusting – diet starts tomorrow.
So in a bid to absolve myself, I made this hearty vegetable stock that I could drink to cleanse my junk-food-laden soul – or simply to make a delicious soup that I will share with you next week. I’m sure you’re on tenterhooks.
Homemade vegetable stock Makes 1 litres / Hands on time 15 / Total time 1 hr 30 mins /V VnGfDf❄ You’ll need: A large pot with a lid
1 tbs rapeseed oil
3 garlic cloves, bashed
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
5 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
1 large leek, roughly chopped
4 sprigs rosemary
1 small bunch of thyme
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 litres boiling water
Tip: Bear in mind that you will be left with half the amount of stock than water you put in. If you wish to make more than one litre consider doubling the recipe.
1. Peel and roughly chop the carrots, onions, celery and leek. Using the flat part of a knife, apply pressure to the garlic cloves until they split open (no need to chop them). Add a tbs of rapeseed oil to a large pot with a lid and set over a medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables along with the salt before giving a stir and covering with the lid. Leave to sweat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Once softened, add 2 litres of boiling water straight from a kettle, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and bayleaf. Simmer away for one hour.
3. Carefully strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl and use immediately or allow to cool and freeze to use another day.
If you’ve had a go at making my vegetable stock or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
V– Vegetarian Vn– Vegan Gf– Gluten free Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.
“Make my own laksa paste? Pah! Why would I do that when I can buy a lovely little jars of the stuff?”
“Because those lovely little jars are now growing intelligent life inside them?”
“What? In my fridge? How many jars have I got?”
“Yes nine and they’re nearly all half full.”
“Or half empty, depending on how you look at it.”
“Don’t be cute”
“Sorry… So what do you suggest?”
“Make your own?”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!… Oh okay.”
… And so I did, after having a bit of a word with myself (see above).
Don’t get me wrong, I like to make meals from scratch but like most people, I have a full time job and simply can’t be arsed. Make laksa paste? From scratch? On a Monday night? Pull the other one. That was, until I realised how easy and economical it was.
Firstly, I already had most of the ingredients in my cupboards and secondly, it took minimal chopping as it all goes straight in a blender anyway, brilliant!
So now I can use the free space in my fridge for more important things, such as Penguin’s and Mini Babybel’s.
Vegetable and tofu laksa Serves 2 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 35 mins / V Vn Df 🌶 1 tsp sunflower oil
1 can coconut milk
250ml vegetable stock, I use Knorr
1 block of firm tofu , cubed (I use Cauldron)
200g sugar snap peas
100g rice noodles
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Mint leaves to serve (optional) Paste
1/2 red chilli (seeds included)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Knob of Ginger, roughly sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 4 (outer layer removed)
4 lime leaves
1 Tbs peanut butter
28g bunch of fresh coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
TIP: If you’re short of time, swap the paste for 3 tablespoons of pre-bought laksa paste and follow the recipe from step 2.
1. Prepare the paste ingredients by peeling the garlic and roughly chop the ginger (no need to peel it). Half the chilli (seeds and all) and remove the hard outer layer of the lemon grass and chop into 4 pieces. Add to a food processor along with a tablespoon of peanut butter, half a teaspoon of turmeric, 4 limes leaves and 2 tablespoons of water. Chop the bunch of coriander (including the storks) into three parts. Add the bottom part (the storks) and the middle part to the food processor and put the top part to one side. Sprinkle generously with salt and blend for 1-2 minutes or until you have a smooth paste (should look a bit like pesto).
2. Heat 1 tsp of sunflower oil in a large cooking pot on a medium to high heat. Once hot, add the paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continually. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, dark soy sauce and the cubed tofu and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sugar snaps peas and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.
3. Drain the noodles before dividing into two large bowls. Spoon over the laksa and top each bowl with the remaining coriander, a few mint leaves and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy. FYI: Eating laksa can be a messy business so if you’re wearing a white shirt then I suggest you either take it off or make yourself a bib. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
If you’ve had a go at making my laksa or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com
Why I thought it was a good idea to roast vegetables on the hottest day of the year, in my tiny 2 bedroom flat is beyond me but I’ve never claimed to be the smartest tool in the box… Hang on that doesn’t sound right. Why would a tool need to be smart? Let’s check Google…
Right so it’s the ‘sharpest’ tool in the box. Think I’ve just proved my point.
Anyway, my mum used to make a Delia Smith recipe similar to this one, she even managed to dig the book out for me to look at but the recipe was so long I got bored and walked off. I mean it’s hardly rocket science is it? Make some couscous, roast some veg, top with cheese, BOOM! Come on Delia sort it out, I don’t have 9 hours to make my dinner. Actually I should be nice to Delia, she launched Sainsbury’s Magazine back in 1993 who currently employ me, so I should stop talking now. Love you Delia, you da best!
Roasted vegetable couscous with goats cheese & harissa Serves 4 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 1 hour 10 mins / V 250g couscous 350ml vegetable stock, I use Knorr ½ red onion, peeled and roughly sliced 1 medium aubergine, cut into chunks 5 baby leeks or 1 regular roughly chopped Handful cherry tomatoes, roughly 10 200g butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into chunks (I buy it already peeled and chopped) 1 red pepper, sliced 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed 1 tbs olive oil
150g vegetarian firm goats cheese Handful fresh basil, chopped Harrissa dressing Juice of a lemon 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp honey 2 tsp harrissa paste
Method 1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7. Measure out your couscous and pour into a large bowl. Pour over the vegetable stock, making sure all the couscous is covered. Cover the bowl with cling film and put to one side. 2. Roughly chop the aubergine, red onion, red pepper and butternut squash and put into a large roasting tray. Scatter with a handful of cherry tomatoes, whole baby leeks and the peeled and bashed garlic cloves. Add the olive oil and give it a good mix until the vegetables are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, make your dressing by combining the juice of a lemon, harrissa paste, honey, extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put to one side. 4. By now your couscous should be nice and soft. Uncover the bowl and using a fork, scrape across the top to start loosening it. Keep the pressure light and keep scraping until you get to the bottom of the bowl and your couscous looks light and fluffy. Put to one side. 5. After half an hour, carefully remove your veg from the oven, give it a bit of a shake and pop back in for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop a handful of basil leaves and cut your goats cheese into chunks and put to one side.
6. Once your veg is roasted, remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Carefully scoop out the veg and pop it onto a plate. Then in the same baking tray, spread out the couscous and top evenly with the roasted vegetables. Scatter with goats cheese and put back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. Serve topped with fresh basil and good drizzle of Harissa dressing.
If you’ve had a go at making my couscous or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Whoah there people. I know it’s almost April but it’s still bloody freezing, so pop a jumper on over that vest top and slip on a pair of long johns because it still ain’t warm enough to walk around topless. You hear that men of London? It’s not and never has been, acceptable to walk around town with your shirt off, I don’t want to see your nipples on the tube thank you. Oh and whilst we’re at it ladies, you might want to consider burning that crop-top you bought last year from H&M, especially if you’re over 25 and don’t have the abs of a teenage boy.
Anyway where was I? Oh yeah, I’m freeeeeezing! So I decided to make this vegetable broth with goats cheese dumplings to warm my chronically cold body. Sometimes I’m so cold, I think I might actually be dead. Meh.
Vegetable pot roast with dumplings
Serves 4 / Hands on time 50 mins / Total time 2 hours / V❄ 1 tsp rapeseed oil
5 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
300g Chantenay carrots (trimmed but left whole)
1 tbs plain flour
1 tbs tomato puree
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pot
150ml vegetarian cider
2 medium parsnips, chopped into chunks
1 leek, roughly chopped
250g new potatoes halved
250g swede, peeled and cut into chunks
2 handfuls of frozen peas
2 sprigs of fresh thyme For the dumplings 175g self-raising flour
25g vegetarian suet
80g soft goats cheese
50g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*, grated
Handful of chopped parsley, or any fresh herbs you have
Fresh bread and a drizzle of Pomora extra virgin olive oil
Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Peel and roughly chop the shallots and put them in a large, oven-proof casserole pot with a lid. Cook in the oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes or until they start to soften (add a dash of water to help them steam). Add the celery and the carrots and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, before stirring in a tbs of flour. Cook for 2 minutes (add another dash of water to stop the flour from sticking to the bottom).
2. Stir in the tomato puree along with the vegetable stock and the cider. Bring to the boil before adding the potatoes, swede, leek, parsnips and a couple of sprigs of thyme. Season well with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and pop in the oven and roast for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, make the dumplings (these are really easy to make so don’t be daunted). In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, vegetarian suet, grated parmesan, goats cheese, freshly chopped parsley/herbs and a good season of salt and pepper (if the goats cheese you use is quite smooth and creamy, add it in bits so it’s evenly distributed). Give it a good mix with a wooden spoon and add 6 tbs of water. Give it another stir, before adding 2 more tbs of water (if needed), until you have a firm, bread-like dough. Knead in the bowl with your hands until the dough comes together (should be a little sticky). Using clean hands, pick up a small handful of dough and roll it in-between your palms to make a dumpling. Repeat this process until you have 8 evenly sized dumplings. Put to one side.
4. Once the stew is cooked, carefully remove from the oven and take off the lid. Discard the sprigs of thyme, before carefully inserting your dumplings into the stew using a spoon to lower them in. Make sure the dumplings are evenly spread out. Cover with the lid if you like soft dumplings or leave uncovered for crusty ones. Pop back in the oven for a further 20 minutes.
5. Remove the pot roast from the oven and scatter 2 handfuls of peas on top. Replace the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes. Finally remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before ladling into bowls, allowing 2 dumplings per person. Enjoy topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good hunk of bread.
If you’ve had a go at making my vegetable pot roast or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.
❄– Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months
Fridge soup has prevented me from starving to death before pay day for several years now. It’s literally made up of left over bits and bobs in my veg drawer which may not sound appetising but trust me, it’s delicious. All you need is an onion, a couple of stock pots and a load of old veg that needs using up, simples.
It’s never a thick blended soup though, it’s more of a broth inspired by many a skiing holiday. You may or may not know, that being vegetarian in Europe is shit. Made worse by the fact that my dad was a very fussy vegetarian. This meant the only thing we could really eat was cheese because well, there wasn’t much else. Getting the cheese sweats up a mountain became the norm for me and dad, that’s what two fondues a day will do to you.
However, sometimes, rarely but sometimes, we’d be lucky enough to get a vegetable broth. Probably wasn’t even vegetarian but we never asked, we didn’t wanna know. It was always the same, a beautifully clear stock with small elegantly chopped vegetables floating in it and served with a white baguette. Mmmm.
So anyway, back to the soup. Mine isn’t quite so delicate but it’s certainly tasty. Sometimes I dig around my cupboards and chuck in a can of pulses along with anything else that needs using up. You can put whatever you want in it really but here’s the formula I tend to use:
Half an onion +2 garlic cloves + 1.5 litre of stock + half filled pot of veg
+ 1 can of pulses (optional)
Fridge Soup Serves 4 / Takes 25 – 30 minutes Make it vegan: Don’t top with cheese Ingredients:
Half a large onion finely chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
Half a green pepper finely chopped
1 leek roughly chopped
1 large carrot finely chopped
Half an aubergine roughly chopped
2 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls spinach
3 ribs of celery plus inner leaves roughly chopped
2 vegetable stock pots 1.5 litres
Small handful of fresh coriander finely chopped with some storks
Salt and pepper
1 tbs olive oil and sprinkle of Parmesan to serve (For a more rich broth, try adding a teaspoon or two of Marmite)
1. Fry the onion and crushed garlic in a big pot with fry light and little water to steam and soften. Add the chopped carrots, green pepper, leek and sweat on a medium heat for 5 minutes. The kale, fresh coriander and spinach I’ll add later as that doesn’t take long to cook. If I was adding a can of beans I would also add these later as they only really need heating through.
2. Add the stock, a good pinch of salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Finally add the kale, coriander, spinach (beans if using) and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Serve up with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a tbs of olive oil.
Fridge vegetable broth vs2
Half an onion, 1 large garlic clove, 1 courgette, 2 medium carrots, 1 leek, 2 handfuls of kale, small baking potato, half can of sweetcorn, small handful parsley, half a bottle of passata, 1.5 litre veg stock
Fridge vegetable broth vs3
Half an onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 can of chickpeas, 1 red pepper, 1 courgette, 1 baking potato, half a bag of spinach, 3 small carrots, 8 cherry tomatoes, 1.5 litre veg stock, finely chopped parsley.
If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org