Broccoli and turnip soup

Though I have not posted anything for a while, I keep cooking and taking photos when I try new recipes. I am now working (it’s been already a year and a half!) and I don’t have much time for innovation but now and then I cook new stuff.

This winter, I started to cook soups. This is so quick to do and so warming! And with good vegetables and spices it is very tasty. Soup doesn’t have to be boring!
Here is my recipe for broccoli soup.

Broccoli soup

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: large saucepan, hand blender

Ingredients:
– 1 broccoli (300-400g)
– 1 turnip (150g)
– 1 carrot
– 1 potato
– 1/4 to 1/2 onion
– 600 mL water (or vegetable or meet broth)
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp fresh cream (optinal)
– salt, pepper
– turmeric (optional, “Curcuma” in French)

Heat the saucepan with olive oil. Peel and chop onion and turnip and add them in the pan. Let cook for 5 minutes.
Add carrots and potatoes (peeled and chopped), stir.
Add the water/broth. Add salt. Bring to boil. Then lower heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, wash the broccoli, chop (remove woody parts). Add in the pot and let cook for 5-8 minutes.
When cooked – all vegetables must be tender (check with a knife)- leave to cool down for a few minutes, add pepper and spices and mix with a hand blender.

Add fresh cream and serve immediately.
Or keep it in the fridge or freezer in a glass jar (without cream is better).

You can add bread or pieces of vegetable you saved before mixing in your bowl for a nicer presentation.
Enjoy!

Notes:
Be careful with the onion, it can have a strong taste if there is too much and hide the taste of other vegetables.
Also turmeric gives a wonderful taste but don’t forget to add pepper (otherwise you don’t get all the benefits of curcumin because it is not well absorbed)

When in Italy

Last week, I was in Italy, that is why I have not been very active. But I ate loads of good food and came back with ideas for good recipes! I give in this article two pasta recipes that we made.

Rome, eternal city

Rome, eternal city

But you do not only eat pasta and pizza in Italy (even though you still eat some!). I was first in Rome where I tried some nice meat dishes and antipasti: grilled vegetables, meatballs, carpaccio, prosciutto, etc. I also had a lot of ice cream!

The second part of the journey was in the south in Basilicata, where I tried a selection of nice antipasti: grilled vegetables, cheese, sausage, dried stuffed pepper, omelets, potatoes and fish stew, etc. They also have delicious meat.

And of course, a lot of wine to get along with all this yummy food, and then some liquors: Amaro or Limoncello.

 

Pasta and Zucchini

This one we made one evening and we all loved it! It is super simple.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Super easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: pots

Ingredients:
– 2 courgettes
– 1 shallot
– 400 g pasta
– olive oil
– Ricotta
(we used ricotta dura and grated it, but it is certaily good with soft ricotta or parmesan)

Peel and chop the shallot. Fry in an oiled pot.
Peel and cut the courgette and add it in the pot. Cover and let cook at low heat for 15 min. (you can add a bit of water to avoid burning)

In an other pot, bring salted water to the boil and cook the pasta. Drain and put back in the pot. Add the courgettes, olive oil and the cheese. Stir and serve immediately!

Pasta and Tomato sauce

This one was made one evening by one of my friends who is Italian

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Super easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: pots

Ingredients:
– 1 can of peeled tomatoes
– 3 shallots
– 400 g pasta
– olive oil
– white wine (about 10 cL)

Peel and chop the shallot. Fry 3 minutes in an oiled pot.
Then add white wine and tomatoes and a glass of water. Put at medium heat and let reduce (for about 15-20 minutes).

In an other pot, bring salted water to the boil and cook the pasta. Drain and put back in the pot. Add the sauce. Season with salt, pepper. Stir and serve immediately! You can add grated cheese on top!

Express pasta with homemade tomato sauce

Usually I do not buy tomato sauce. The reason is that once you open it, you have to finish it within a week and I love pasta and tomato sauce but I don’t want to eat that everyday! And I discovered it was so simple to make your own fresh and delicious tomato sauce that I definitely adopted it. The only thing I need to keep in my fridge is tomato puree, but that you can keep for months once the tube is open.

So to make this recipe you just need a tomato, tomato puree, and pasta! It takes 10 minutes and you’ll see than once you’ve tried you’ll get back to it very often!

Pasta-tomato

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Super easy
Cost: Super cheap

Equipment: saucepan, drainer, bowl

Ingredients:
– pasta (wholewheat penne on the photo)
– 1 fresh tomato
– tomato puree
– a tbsp of olive oil
– herbs: basilic, oregano, thyme, etc, dry or fresh

In a saucepan, bring salted water to the boil and cook the pasta.
In the meantime, boil some water, pour in a bowl and plunge the tomato 30 seconds.
Then peel the tomato, remove the seeds and chop. Keep in the bowl.
When pasta is cooked, drain and leave in the drainer.
In the same saucepan (remember I have only one, and I have no dishwasher, so I optimize!) put a table spoon of olive oil and the tomatoes. Cook 1 minute at medium heat. Then add a teaspoon of tomato puree and a bit of water. Stir.
Add the pasta, herbs, pepper, salt, stir and serve!

You can add fresh herbs on top if you have some and/or parmesan. On the photo, it is rocket salad. I like the peppery taste with the pasta.

Variations: This is really basic (and already delicious!) but you can do more sophisticated stuff by adding onions, olives, …

Tofu and oat veg burger

Today in my fridge was this leftover of tofu that I needed to finish. And instead of my usual stuff, I wanted to try something new. So here is the (very experimental) recipe of the veg burgers/pancakes (call that as you wish!) that I made.

galette-tofu1

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap

Equipment: bowl, pan

Ingredients:
– 40 g soft tofu
– 2 tbsp oat
– 1/2 carrot, peeled and grated
– a tbsp flour + an other to roll the burgers in before frying
– grated parmesan
– a teaspoon balsamic vinegar
– mixed herbs, parsley
– salt, pepper
– oil for the pan

Put the oat flakes in a bowl. Boil water and pour on the oat to soften it. Let the oat absorb the water (better to do this step 20 minutes before). In must not become liquid, but remain quite compact.
Then add the tofu, herbs, carrots, parmesan, salt, pepper, vinegar and a tablespoon of flour (I used complete flour). Mix well until it is homogeneous.

galette-tofu3      galette-tofu2

Then form burgers, roll them in flour and fry them in an oiled pan. Cook on both sides.

Serve with a salad or grilled vegetables.

Remarks and tips:
– you can add chopped onion or any vegetable you like ( leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, etc)
– you can replace parmesan and balsamic vinegar by soy sauce
– the quantities indicated are a bit random so better trust the texture you obtain than my quantities

Sources: http://www.markal.fr/detail-recette-456.html#.U42QjCipYV8
http://recettes-vegetariennes.over-blog.com/article-galettes-de-tofu-au-parmesan-59773904.html

Asparagus and soy sauce chicken/tofu

May is really the good month for green asparagus and they are really good for you. Here is an amazing dish I made with chicken and asparagus. As a variation for vegetarian, chicken can be replaced by tofu.

Asparagus-and-soy-sauce-chicken

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Easy
Equipment: pan, pot

Ingredients:
– 100g Asparagus
– 120g chicken (or tofu)
– 1/4 onion
– soy sauce
– pepper
– basmati rice

Chop the onion and dice the chicken. Let them marinate in a bowl with soy sauce and pepper.
Cook the asparagus in boiling water until tender (cook them vertical, head out of the water). Drain.
Cook the rice in boiling water.
In an oiled pan, cook the chicken and onions (do not add all the soy sauce that was in the bowl immediately, reserve for the end of the cooking). When chicken cooked, cut the asparagus and add them in the pan. Lower the heat, add the remain of soy sauce.
Serve on the rice and enjoy!

Variation: Chicken and asparagus couscous with lemon
With the rest of asparagus (yes there was an offer and I bought a lot!) I simply made them with chicken and semola and added a pinch of lemon juice and pepper. Cooking time: 3 minutes. Taste: ++++

Homemade Guacamole

Perfect for summer aperitives, and so easy to make! I made it yesterday for a dinner with friends and it had a great success!

guacamole

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: none!
Servings: 1 bowl
Level: Easy
Equipment: bowl, fork, mixer (optional)

Ingredients:
– 2 avocados (mature)
– 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
– 1/2 onion chopped
– lemon juice
– spices (chili, cumin, coriander, …)

Mash the avocados with a fork, add chopped tomatoes and onion (the smaller the dices, the better, you can use a mixer if you have one). Then add lemon juice to avoid oxidation of avocados. Add spices. Mix well.
Serve immediately!

Express Couscous

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3
Level: Easy
Equipment: pancouscous

Ingredients:
– 1 carotte, peeled and chopped
– 1 courgette, peeled and chopped
– 1 pepper, chopped, seeds removed
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
– 2 tomatoes (peel and remove seeds) or tomato coulis
– a can of chickpeas (optional)
– semola (~1 glass of dry semola for 2 persons)
– cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, pepper

Fry the onion in a pan with olive oil.
Then add tomato puree, diced fresh tomato (or tomato juice), carrot, 100 mL of water, spices. Let cook 3 minutes.
Add the chopped pepper. Let cook 5 minutes.
Add courgette and chickpeas. Let cook 10 minutes.
Adjust spices. Serve with semola.

It can be a main or side dish, with lamb or chicken.

Source: Elle