Winter Warmers to get you going

FOOD

Delicious Leek and Potato soup is lovely this time of year

Delicious Leek and Potato soup is lovely this time of year

Winter has arrived, there’s a chill in the air, the stoves and fires are lit at night and we all like something warm to eat and drink. Today I want to share a few winter recipes that are easy to make and are guaranteed to warmup the family dinner table.

Leek and potato soup

This is a classic dish that everyone knows and loves and is a great one to make at home.

Ingredients

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 onion, sliced

225g/8oz potatoes, cubed

2 medium leeks, sliced

1.2 litres/2 pints vegetable stock

150ml double cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, potatoes and leeks. Cook for three to four minutes until starting to soften. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season well and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Reheat in a clean pan, stir in the cream, heat through and serve with crispy bread rolls or homemade brown bread and butter. Simple as that!

Irish beef stew

stew

Another classic Winter dish that will have you and your family happy with a big smile on their faces when you step up from the kitchen table.

Ingredients

1kg/2 ½ lb. stewing beef, cut into cubes

175g/6oz streaky bacon

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 onions, peeled

18 button mushrooms, left whole

3 carrots cut into quarters

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp. Tomato puree

1 tbsp. chopped thyme

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Good splash of red wine

425ml beef stock

4 big potatoes, peeled and chopped roughly

Method

Firstly, coat the diced beef in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. This will help thicken the stew. Brown the floured beef and bacon in the oil in a hot casserole or heavy saucepan. Remove the meat and toss in the onions, mushrooms and carrots.

Place the meats back in the casserole, along with the herbs, tomato puree and garlic. Cover with red wine and stock and simmer for one hour. Add the potatoes and simmer until the meat and vegetables are cooked. Taste for seasoning, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve piping hot in bowls with crusty bread and butter. This is delicious on a cold day, cheap and simple to cook.

Winter vegetable crumble

veg crum

I got an email earlier this week from Teresa who was looking for a Vegetable crumble recipe, so this is for you Teresa.

Ingredients

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

3 large tomatoes, cut into ½ inch dice

1 small bundle fresh thyme

1 red pepper, cut into ½ inch dice

1 green pepper, cut into ½ inch dice

1 medium aubergine, cut into ½ inch dice

1 large courgette, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 vegetable stock cube

6 fresh basil leaves

Salt and black pepper

For the topping

200g plain or wholemeal flour

100g butter, softened

50g grated cheese

20g of porridge oats

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional )

Method

Coat a large saucepan with olive oil and heat gently. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, courgette and aubergine and cook on a medium heat, until the vegetables soften, about seven to eight minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another five minutes. Taste and check the seasoning then transfer the vegetables into a casserole dish.

To make the crumble mix, rub the flour and butter together, until it all mixes to a consistency of fine breadcrumbs, add the porridge oats, the cheese and the seeds if using. Put the crumble on top of the vegetables and bake @ 170c for about 25 minutes, or until the topping is nice and brown, and that’s it, a lovely winter vegetable crumble to warm you up.

Please feel free to contact me on my e-ail [email protected] if you would like a recipe for anything at all.

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