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♥ Souper easy, instant miso soup

I’m fed up of my soup container leaking.

It seemed like a good idea when I bought it, but fact is, everyday by the time I have walked or cycled to work, the carrier bag I have carefully wrapped the tub in is always full of liquid.

I tried looking into packet soups, but the choice for vegans is pretty rubbish, most contain milk in one form or another. And the problem with tinned soup? I can’t eat a whole tin but half a tin isn’t enough!

To overcome my terrible, souper-sized dilemma, I had to invent my “instant” miso soup. Leak-proof, mega-easy and mega-tasty!

Souper easy, instant miso soup

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 x tbsp. white miso
  • 2 x heaped tablespoons chopped nori sheets
  • 1 x heaped tablespoon of cubed firm silken tofu (roughly equals 15 x 1cm3 cubes)
  • 1 x tsp finely sliced spring onion
  • Optional – 1 x tbsp. chopped mushroom.
  • 350 ml boiling water.

Method:

  1. Into your container, add the miso, nori, tofu and spring onion. If adding mushroom, make sure it is chopped into small chunks as they will float!
  2. Next, gently stir the mixture whilst pouring the water on top (the easiest way is to use the kettle). You need to make sure the miso dissolves and mixes in without pulverizing the tofu into pulp.
  3. Leave for 5 minutes and tuck in.

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Low calorie, low fat and low in leakages, perfecto!

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♥ Spicy orange soup in a sweet potato bowl

So, I bought the world’s BIGGEST sweet potato…

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… I didn’t even want to buy sweet potatoes this shopping trip, but how could I resist?!

But what to do with it? Wedges? Chips? Mash? Maybe, but surely such a giant spud is worthy of better things?

Like an edible soup bowl! Filled with a lovely spicy orange soup, made with butternut squash, carrots, orange peppers and of course sweet potato flesh. And some black beans and pearl barley to give the soup some bite.

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The trickiest part of this recipe was hollowing out the potato. It reminded me of pumpkin carving at Halloween. In fact, this recipe would probably make quite a festive spooky dish since its orange.

If you don’t like spicy food, hold back the chilli. I thought it had a kick that hit the spot but the hubby struggled to eat his!

Recipe (easily serves two):

  • 1 x giant sweet potato*
  • 1 x cup finely chopped carrots
  • 3 x spring onions (sliced)
  • 1 x tsp dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ x tsp chopped fresh chilli
  • ¾ x tsp white pepper
  • 1 x tsp ground cumin
  • 1 x tsp paprika
  • 1 x tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 x tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 x medium onion (cut into quarters)
  • 2 x cups coarsely chopped squash
  • 1 x orange pepper x medium onion
  • ¼ x cup pearl barley1
  • ¾ x cup dried black beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 x veggie stock cube
  • 1.5 L x  water Veggie oil

* (or a couple of mini pumpkins would work as well)

Method:

  1. Put the squash, pepper and onion pieces onto a lightly greased baking tray and roast at 180oC for 20 minutes or until soft but golden round the edges.
  2. In a pan, boil the black beans and pearl barley until tender.
  3. In a large pan, sauté the carrots, spring onions, thyme and sweet potato in a pan and cook on a medium heat until everything begins to turn brown.
  4. Add the water, stock cube and spices and stir before bringing to the boil.
  5. Drop to a simmer and cook until all the veg is soft.
  6. Add the roast veg and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
  7. Take off the heat and using a hand blender, whiz until smooth.
  8. Add the cooked beans and pearly barley. Set to one side and re-heat when ready to serve.
  9. Slice the sweet potato in half and scoop out the middles to create a bowl shape. This requires a bit of muscle!ps6 20140802_160355_zpsiheyr6su ps5 20140802_162342_zpsnlpr7tuv
  10. The potato will take around 45 minutes to cook at 180oC depending on size. For the first 25 mins I left a scrunched up piece of foil in the centres to make sure the middle stayed soft. (If you’re feeling confident you could make the soup whilst the bowls cook).ps4 20140802_183402_zpsbaxkxwga
  11. Serve by ladling soup into each sweet potato bowl and garnish with soya cream and rocket if you want to be fancy.

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♥ Hot and Sour soup

So, regular visitors may have noticed that my blog has completely changed! GoDaddy decided not to support their blogging software anymore so our computer genius of a best man sorted me out on Word Press.

Overall I’m happy, my posts look a lot better and it gave me the kick up the arse that I needed to getting round to creating a logo. However I’m sad that I’ve lost all my previous comments and rankings on Google (I was the 3rd hit on Google when searching for a “vegan pork pie”!). Never mind, we can rebuild it, WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY!

It was quite funny re-visiting all my old posts though, back before I made the jump towards veganism and when I thought I was going to make regular posts about my crochet projects…!

Also humbling to think my blog hadn’t long been on the go when my Dad had a stroke. I’m happy to report that he is doing fantastically! He has gone back to work 3 days a week and has been given the all-clear to drive again. Also since his stroke was caused by a bleed and not a clot, he has had brain scans which have shown that his risk of a repeat attack are negligible 🙂 Hoorah!

So, to celebrate, here’s my veganized recipe for Hot and Sour soup!

I think it tastes quite authentic to the restaurant version. Also the hubby managed to find some prawn-less crackers in a Chinese supermarket we visited in York, so I fried up a batch and served on the side. Yum!

Hot and Sour soup recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 x heaped cup oyster mushrooms
  • ¾ x tsp white pepper
  • 5 x tbsps. rice vinegar
  • ¼ x tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 x tbsps. soy sauce
  • ¼ x fresh red chilli
  • ¼ x cup corn starch
  • ¼ x leek (sliced)
  • 1 x tbsp. white miso paste
  • 1 x tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 1 x vegetable stock cube
  • 1 x clove garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 x small onion (diced)
  • 1 x tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ x tsp black pepper
  • 1 x tbsp. sugar   water

Method

  1. Put the mushrooms into a bowl and add 2 x cups of boiling water.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, corn starch and miso.
  3. In a large pan, add ¼ x pint of water and a stock cube. Bring to the boil. Add the onions, dried chilli, fresh chilli, leek, garlic and the water from the mushrooms.
  4. Boil until the onions become translucent and tender.
  5. Whisk in the soy sauce mixture and heat until the soup has thickened to the right consistency. If the soup becomes too thick, add more water.
  6. Stir in the mushrooms and heat for just a couple of minutes longer.
  7. Serve and enjoy 🙂

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