Homemade vegetable stock

Homemade vegetable stock
Homemade vegetable stock
Homemade vegetable stock

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 Vn Gf Df  
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.

Homemade vegetable stock
Homemade vegetable stock

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian   Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.

Roasted vegetable couscous with goats cheese & harissa

Vegetable Couscous with Goats Cheese
Vegetable Couscous with Goats Cheese & Harissa

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

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.


Vegetable Couscous with Goats Cheese & Harissa

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian

Vegetable pot roast with dumplings

Vegetable Pot Roast with Dumplings
Vegetable Pot Roast with Dumplings

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 1 hr / Total time 2 hrs /

Knob of unsalted butter
5 shallots or 1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
300g Chantenay carrots (stalks trimmed if necessary)
1 tbs plain flour
1 tbs tomato puree
1,200ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pot
150ml vegetarian cider
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
250g new potatoes, halved
250g swede, peeled and cut into chunks
2 woody sprigs of fresh thyme (woody stalks are more robust & will be easier to remove)
2 handfuls of frozen peas
For the dumplings
175g self-raising flour
25g vegetarian suet
80g soft goats cheese, divided into bits or crumbled
50g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*, grated
Handful of freshly chopped parsley
Fresh bread and extra virgin olive oil to serve (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Peel and roughly chop the onions and put them in a large, oven-proof casserole pot with a lid. Cook in the butter on a medium heat for 5 mins with the lid on – add a dash of water to help them steam. Add the celery and the whole carrots and continue to cook for a further 5 mins with the lid on. Stir in the flour, add a dash of water and continue to cook and stir for 2 mins.
2. Add 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 woody sprigs of thyme. Season well with salt and pepper, replace the lid but leaving it a jar and roast for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, make the dumplings (these are really easy to make so don’t be daunted). In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the flour, vegetarian suet, grated parmesan, goats cheese, parsely and a good season of salt and pepper. Add 6 tablespoons of water and give it a good mix with a wooden spoon. Once the dough has come together, use your hands to knead the dough in the bowl until it has come together. Using your 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 has 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, making 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 mins.
5. Remove the pot roast from the oven and scatter over the peas. Replace the lid and leave to rest for 5 mins. ladle into bowls (allowing 2 dumplings per person) and enjoy topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good chunk of fresh bread.

Vegetable Pot Roast with Dumplings

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian
*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

Fridge Soup
Fridge Soup

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 cubes and a load of old veg that needs using up.
It’s never a thick blended soup though, 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 we’d be lucky enough to order a vegetable broth. Probably wasn’t vegetarian but we never asked, we didn’t want 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…

½ onion + 2 garlic cloves + 1.5 litre stock + half filled pot of veg + 1 can of pulses (optional)

Fridge soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time xx / Takes 25 – 30 minutes / V Vn Gf Df
1 tsp rapeseed oil
½  onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ green pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
½ an aubergine, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls spinach
3 ribs of celery plus inner leaves, roughly chopped
1.5 litres vegetable stock, I use 2 Knorr stock pots
Small handful fresh coriander finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Grated vegetarian cheese to serve (optional)

TIP: If using green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, courgettes, leafy greens etc, add these 5 mins before the end as they won’t need much cooking – they will keep their vibrant colour and crunch. 

1. Fry the onion and garlic in a large heavy bottomed pot in a tsp of oil over a medium heat. Sweat with the lid on for 5 mins before removing and adding a dash of water to help the onions steam and soften. Add the carrots, green pepper, leek and continue cook for 5 mins.
2. Add the stock, season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Finally add the kale, coriander, spinach and cook for a further 5 mins along with any canned pulses you may fancy (optional). Serve the broth drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese (optional).

Other variation examples…
Fridge vegetable broth vs2

½ an onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 courgette, 2 medium carrots, 1 leek, 2 handfuls of kale, small baking potato, ½ can of sweetcorn, small handful parsley, half a bottle of passata, 1.5 litre veg stock

Fridge vegetable broth vs3 
½ 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.

Fridge Soup
Fridge Soup

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free
Gf– I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be. Always check the label.
❄ The soup is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.