My Gazpacho

gazpacho

gazpacho

I love this soup! It’s like a lazy salad in a cup! It’s amazing and so good for you. You can also change/ alter the ingredients to taste and even add chillies if you want.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 4 ripe good quality tomatoes ( I use vine  tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2-3 slices stale bread like sourdough or ciabatta
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • a sprinkle of dry oregano
  • a small bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water

Preparation:

  1. Chop everything roughly as if you are making a salad, into a large bowl. Add the bread in chunks, dress with salt and pepper, oil and vinegar and mix well.
  2. Cover with cold water about 1-2 inches above the veg. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  3. Blitz the soup with a blender, adjust the seasoning if needed and serve cold.

Tips:

  • It’s great as a starter or on its own.
  • On hot days you might want to use some ice cubes with the water.
  • For a lighter version don’t put the bread in.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

carrot and coriander soupThis is a great, packed with vitamins and full of flavour soup. It’s so easy to make too. Please read below for my version of the classic.😉

Ingredients for 4 to 6 people:

  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small parsnips
  • 5-6 bigger carrots
  • small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • water

Cooking Method:

  1. Prepare all vegetables apart from the fresh coriander by peeling and roughly chopping them.
  2. Put all prepared veg in a large pan, add the olive oil and a bit of water, cover and gently sautee them for up to 5 minutes.
  3. Season, add the spices, cover with boiling water about 1-2 inches above the veg (depends how thick you want the soup) and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat so it’s just simmering gently, cover and cook for 30 minuted or until the carrots feel soft.
  5. Chop the fresh coriander, add to the soup, take off the heat and check the seasoning. Let the soup cool and blend until smooth. You can do it up to 12 hours in advance and store in the fridge or sere it straight way.
  6. To serve: warm the soup through and optionally serve with warm crusty bread. You can swirl a spoon of creme fraiche in each bowl if you want a bit of creaminess but I like it as it is.

Thai Style Chicken Noodle Soup

thai spicesI love this soup, it’s so easy to make and full of good flavours. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover chicken. You can do it with prawns or beef instead and the soup can also be as hot or fresh as you want it, just add extra chillies!😉

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (or leftover chicken from a roast)
  • 1 handful each of frozen sweetcorn, green beans and any other veggies you fancy
  • 2 red birds eye chillies (use less and deseed them if don’t like heat) finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 inch peace of ginger finely chopped
  • 2 small shallots finely chopped
  • 1handfull of fresh spinach
  • small bunch of coriander chopped
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 liter of chicken stock  (or more if you like a lot of liquid)
  • 1 tsp Thai 7 spice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 dry kafir-lime leaves
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 nests of dry rice noodles prepared acosding to package instructions(or any other noodles you fancy enough for four people)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients appart from a handful of  the chopped coriander and the spring onions in a large pan and bring up to boil.
  2. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Take off the heat and serve in bowls topped with fresh coriander and the spring onions.

Ale Crusty Bread

I have been experimenting with breads for a few months now and am really enjoying it, especially when it works!

This recipe is based on a recipe from Paul Hollywood’s Book “How to bake” but I have changed everything apart from the basic ingredients. I also use a bread maker for the kneading to make it easier, but if you haven’t got one just do it manually.WP_000166

Ingredients for 1 loaf:

  • 400g strong white flour
  • 100g strong wholemeal flour
  • 10g yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 30g butter
  • 300ml ale
  • a splash of olive oil
  • Optionally- seeds and oats

Cooking Method:

  1. If you have a bread-maker put all the wet ingredients in the bottom of the bread pan, followed by the dry ingredients  apart from the seeds and oats if you are using any, and set on the dough setting.
  2. Once the cycle is done and the dough has risen at least twice the size take it out the pan onto a floured surface and knock it back. At this point I added some seeds and incorporated them into the dough. Shape the dough into a loaf, put it in a baking tin and optionally sprinkle with oats on top for an extra crunch.
  3. Cover the bread with a cloth/ carrier bag/ bowl ( anything that has room to expand, and set aside to rise for the second time. It needs to at least double in size again, this will take 1-2 hours depending on the air temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 230C.
  5. Once the bread has risen again slash it across with a sharp knife, Brush it with cold water and it’s ready to bake.
  6. Now, to set the steamy oven for the crust- sprinkle/spray the oven walls and bottom  with water and quickly shut the door, do this again until you create steam.
  7. Put the bread in the preheated steamy oven and bake for 40 minutes or until ready. Try not to open the oven whilst baking, but keep an eye through the glass and if you think the bread is burning reduce the heat.
  8. Take the bread out and leave it to completely cool before serving.

Green Fish Curry

I’ve never had an Indian style fish curry before and always wanted to try it, so yesterday after strolling through a few recipes for fish curries I made this one up and it was amazing. It’s hard to assign it to a particular curry category, but I’d say South Indian, Goan style meets Thai Green Curry. The sauce is really fresh and fragrant and compliments the fish really well. It’s very quick and easy to do as well, only takes about 30 minutes. I served it with a salad and boiled basmati rice. I hope you enjoy it😉

green fish curry Continue reading

Quick and Easy Chicken Jalfrezi

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

pineapple upside-down cake

I made this cake last night and really wanted to share it here as it is truly amazing! It’s light, sweet, fruity and most of all super easy and quick!😉 Continue reading

Chicken and Peas Casserole

chicken and peas casserole

This is a classic Bulgarian recipe, and one of my childhood favourites. I really hope you enjoy it!😉 Continue reading

Quick Soda Bread

soda bread

This is a really quick and easy bread recipe, that doesn’t require proofing or much kneading. This is not the classic recipe- I used baking powder instead of baking soda and yoghurt instead of buttermilk and the result was great. The bread is heavy, with a tasty thick crust- a great side for a warm soup or stew. Continue reading

Winter Pork and Sauerkraut Stew

This is a very traditional Bulgarian winter dish. Sauerkraut or pickled cabbage is very popular in Bulgaria. It’s made by soaking white cabbage in water and high content of salt. You can buy Sauerkraut in the UK in most supermarkets in the shredded form, or you can buy whole leaves from specialist international food stores. You can also make this dish with fresh shredded white cabbage, but somehow it’s not quite the same.

This dish is also very popular during the long cold Bulgarian winters and a family favourite. The meat just falls apart and the cabbage gives it a distinct winter warming flavour. I hope you enjoy it😉

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