Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup - It's As Easy As Breathing

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup – It’s As Easy As Breathing

It’s soup time, I haven’t made a soup for a while so I thought I’d share this one with you. It’s as easy as breathing, oh wait… I don’t find that easy… scratch that (for me) it’s easier than breathing lol.

I’ve messed about with Butternut Squash several times before, I’ve had it and not got around to using it, or I’ve just roasted it for my mother but this is a really nice way of using it. It also meant I could use whole spices which as you know I don’t often do – I know I’m banging on about how easy it is but it really is, I didn’t even take a picture of the equipment because there was hardly any.

Some of the Ingredients for Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Some of the Ingredients for Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

You can add to the ingredient list, you can finish it with some cream or you can use other herbs but (bar some oil) this is all I used. I’ve based this recipe on a Nigella Lawsom recipe but, in true Wheelie Good Meals style I’ve simplified it.

The Butternut Squash after being chopped Ready for the Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

The Butternut Squash after being chopped Ready for the Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the flipping squash, I had difficulty with this so had to defer to my beloved mother for her help – don’t panic it wasn’t on mother’s day. Cut the Squash up first then along with the Garlic, Onions, Spices and a little oil place them all on a a foil lined roasting tray. It is easier to take the skin off after you’ve roasted them.

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup on a baking try with Onions, Garlic ,Chilli and Cumin

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup on a baking try with Onions, Garlic ,Chilli and Cumin

Toss all the ingredients through in the oil, spread them out as best you can. Cook in a preheated oven (1800C) for 20 – 30 minutes, Keep an eye as you may need to remove the garlic and onions to stop them burning. Once cooked set aside to cool down, you can then take the skin off the Squash fairly easily. Next is the fun bit, place all the ingredients in the blender, start to blend and add the stock slowly to get make sure you get the right consistency. Place in a sauce pan on a medium heat and bring to the boil stir thoroughly and season to taste.

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup served with Toasted Croutons

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup served with Toasted Croutons

I served mine with some toasted croutons, you can download a pdf step-by-step version of this recipe. For those of you who are ooober observant you’ll notice I messed up the numbering on my pdf recipe for my “Chicken, Pek, Leek and Sage Leftover Pie” you can now download the correct version here. I promise, promise, promise…. this weekend’s recipe will be the Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe I’ve been promising for a couple of weeks. If this soup recipe has gotten you in the mood for more soups try my Leek and Potato Soup or if you fancy something more exotic then try my Mediterranean Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup. Before you try them, give this soup a whirl honestly, it’s worth a try, and if you do let me know how you get off.

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Leftover Peperonata

Here’s a quick and simple little recipe, It’s not strictly my recipe it’s an adpation of a recipe I found on a great website called Simply Recipes. I love Raymond Blanc and I remember watching one of his shows where he cooked one his version of a Peperonata, that was repeated on Saturday Kitchen some time ago. I came across this recipe and it got me thinking, I always have left over peppers so this was the ideal way of using them up. It’s a bit more stew like than the recipe on the Simply Recipes website (hence it’s my recipe). My mother thoroughly enjoyed it, I think next time I’ll take the skins off so I can eat it… or buy new teeth either way! Click here to see the original recipe, remember this is quick and simple so you can make it on a busy week night.

Leftover Peperonata Ingredients

Leftover Peperonata Ingredients

You’ll see above that there really wasn’t many ingredients, there are a few peppers in the picture but I only used four, you can use as many or as few as you have. The Sainsbury’s pastes are available online they are excellent, my sister buys them for me from her local shop and I use them a lot, other stores will probably have equivalents.

Some of the Utensils and Equipment for the Leftover Peperonata

Some of the Utensils and Equipment for the Leftover Peperonata

You’ll notice, like Dean Edwards Thai Pork Meatball Curry I made last week the recipe didn’t need a great deal of utensils. I did use a few Tupperware containers and teaspoons that weren’t pictured above.

Preparing the Onions and Peppers for the Leftover Peperonata

Preparing the Onions and Peppers for the Leftover Peperonata

Chop the peppers and onions and set them aside, chop them as fine or as chunky as you like. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat, when the pan is hot add the onions and cook until they’re slightly soften but still have a bite, it is important that they just start to colour. Add the peppers and garlic and cook until the peppers start to soften, the website says they should have a bite… I prefer them soft, cook this to your liking.

Different Stages of Cooking the Leftover Peperonata

Different Stages of Cooking the Leftover Peperonata

Once the peppers and onions have started to soften add the dried herbs, if you are using fresh herbs put the Oregano in now but leave the Basil until the end. Stir thoroughly so that the herbs don’t catch on the side of the pan, cook for a few minutes. Next add the tomatoes and allow to cook,it is important for all the flavours to get to know each other. Stir regularly to bring all the tastes together.

Once you’ve cooked it for a while add the Chargrilled Red Pepper Paste and the Sun Dried Tomato paste and stir thoroughly. Cook for a further five minutes or until your happy with the taste. Squeeze the lemon juice over and season and serve. The original recipe does say to add sugar, I very rarely add sugar to tomatoes but if you do, or you think it’s needed then use a teaspoon or so.

Leftover Peperonata Served Up

Leftover Peperonata Served Up

I cooked this for my mother, it was really easy and quick to make and an ideal recipe to use up leftovers. While writing this recipe up I had the brain wave of adding balsamic vinegar, you could also add anchovies and capers as well – that wouldn’t be a Peperonato then though it would be something equally magical. As always you can download our step-by-step recipe from the link here.

Come back Saturday because everything will be changing and I will be revealing all. Until then I hope you have a wheelie good week. Remember if you make this show us your photos on any of our social networking sites.

See You Soon

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Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Happy New Year folks, how was your festive break, hope it went well. Here’s my first recipe of 2015 (are you still writing 2014 on stuff because I know I am).

Here’s the first recipe of the year and it’s a belter, it’s really comforting, it’s a cwtch in an oven proof dish (for those who are not welsh a cwtch is a hug with bells on, see a definition here). This idea came from a glut of leftover Broccoli and Cauliflower, I’ve added potatoes because I’m a potato freak and it bulked it out but that’s optional. As with all my recipes all the weights and measurements in this recipe are to taste, feel free to add or take away J

I love this recipe, it was really straight forward to make and tasted fantastic, I’ve made it a few times (one of the few recipes I’ve spent lots of time testing… because it’s so nice). I took this up to Stacey’s house recently, Stacey is someone who I am proud to think of as my daughter. She also did me the honour recently of asking me to be God Father to her two wonderful children… how could I not cook something special! You all know there’s no better way to please loved ones than to cook from the heart…. and that is what I did. We had a lovely cosy evening in with good wine, good food and great company what more could you ask for?

Some of the Ingredients for Stacey's Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Some of the Ingredients for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Equipment for Stacey's Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Equipment for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

The first thing you need to do is prepare everything, Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets then place in a large saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the almost tender, but still fairly firm.  Pour them into a colander, leave to drain then set aside for later. The important thing is to remember to not overcook them as you’re going to cook them again in the oven. Next on to all the chopping that needs doing, I used a food processor for it all and did it in two different batches, see below:

Food Processor Working Hard During Different Stages of Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Food Processor Working Hard During Different Stages of Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

In the above photo you can see my little food processor doing all the work for me. I firstly blitzed up the breadcrumbs and the dried parsley (set aside for later) for the topping, then I whizzed up the cheese and the spring onions for the actual sauce. You can grate the cheese and the bread and chop the spring onions… but why bother when you’re little friend will do it for you.

The Cheese Sauce for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

The Cheese Sauce for Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium, heavy-based pan and stir in the flour, you’ll need to cook over a gentle heat for one minute. Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition. Return the pan to a medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for two minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the mustard, thyme, soft cheese and the blitzed hard cheese and spring onions. It is important to ensure that the cheese melts. You’ll see in the photograph above that the cheese hasn’t quite melted. I used Bousin Cheese and Cheddar but you can use any cheese you like as long as it melts well – I’m not a fan of stringy cheese.

The Different Steps to Assembling Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

The Different Steps to Assembling Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

Arrange the Broccoli, Cauliflower and left over potatoes (if your using them) in and ovenproof baking dish. As I’ve said before I used the potatoes to bulk it out because I wasn’t serving anything else with it, they are optional so if you’re healthy eating perhaps you’d better leave them out. Carefully pour over the sauce, ensuring everything is completely covered.   Scatter the breadcrumbs and parsley you blitzed earlier over the top. Finally, bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and bubbling. Serve as it is, with some bread or a side salad.

Stacey’s Brocliflower Cheese Bake

 

This is one of my personal favourites and a great way to open 2015, Stacey and I really enjoyed this one, it’s easy to make and gives you a real satisfying feeling when eating it…. proper comfort food! Don’t forget to download our step-by-step recipe from the link here.

I hope you had a great New Year and you’re all looking forward to a wonderful 2015, don’t forget to stop by on Monday for the first instalment in our #MicroMonday feature. This new item will incorporate our #ReadyMealMonday theme along with easy recipes for you to cook in the Microwave.

Remember you can always get in touch with ideas, questions etc, you can email enquiries@wheeliegoodmeals.co.uk or go to one of our Social Media pages.

Ta ta 😎

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Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup

Strictly Supper #4 – Pesto Double

More commonly known as Pesto & Cheese Tart with Sweet Chilli Jam

Strictly Suppers 4

Where do I start with this one, well it’s another loosely linked one but it’s a tasty and b quick and easy. The idea came was born a while ago after I had defrosted some ready rolled pastry and didn’t really know what to do with it. I’d made some pesto so lined the pastry with it and the sprinkled cheese on it…. yum….   My brother-in-law Graham will appreciate this, he’s a fully paid up member of the Wheelie Good Cheese Fan Club (ok that doesn’t exists but it was funny in my head). I make these sort of tarts all the time and I know he’s a fan (either that or a good liar 😉 )

The strictly bit for this recipe is that it’s based in the Paso Doble which is a Spanish name for a French dance routine and translates as double step. For more information on the particular routine click here. Pixie Lott scored a staggering 38 out of 40 (the highest this season) and Judy Murray scored a lowly 18.

As dodgy as the photos look this is a really good recipe and I really enjoy making it, as I’ve said in the downloadable copy I make this in different guises. The ingredients are simple I’ve used Tesco Pesto (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it 😀 ) along with jus rol pastry. You can use any hard cheese but I like Gruyere for taste and consistency. The equipment below, you can use a grated for the cheese, but to make it easier I used a food processor. I’ve also greased the tin ready to be used.

Some of the Ingredients for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Some of the Ingredients for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Some of the Equipment for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Some of the Equipment for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Firstly preheat your oven to 2000C, remember all the measurements, temperatures and times in this recipe are open for interpretation depending on your circumstances. In a food processor put the Gruyere Cheese and blitz until it’s grated finely, set aside for later.

Cubed Peppers for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Cubed Peppers for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Then finely chop the pepper, cut them into small dice for the sauce. Once chopped place the pepper, sugar, chilli flakes, water and white wine vinegar in a saucepan and place on the stove and bring to the boil. Be careful with the amount of chilli you use and also the amount of sugar, when I cooked it for the purposes of the blog I was a bit heavy handed with the chilli… that wasn’t fun 😳

Leave to simmer for 30 minutes until the water has turned pink. Remember that you should taste as you go along, make sure you have enough chilli and sugar to suit your tastes. Once the sauce has turned pink allow to cool by setting it aside for later.

The Chilli Jam after it was blended and thickened for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

The Chilli Jam after it was blended and thickened for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Once cool, place in a food processor and blitz until smooth, I sieved it and then put it back on the heat and cooked it’s so that it became sticky and jam like. This will keep for a few days in an air tight container, if you find it’s too spicy you can mix it with some mayonnaise to lessen the heat.

Different stages of the tart before cooking for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

Different stages of the tart before cooking for Strictly Suppers #4 Pesto Double

To make the tart place the puff pastry on a baking tray and score the edges, you’ll do this to get a border. Then prick the pastry with a fork to make lots of dots to stop the pastry rising. Place the red pesto on the one side of the tart and then the green on the other side. I left a border between the two and covered it with cheese. You could put caramelised onions on top of the pest, that would be nice but it’s lovely just as it is.

Egg wash the tart and place in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until it’s golden brown. As I’ve said all ovens vary so just be aware that you want it to go brown… keep watching it to make sure that the cheese doesn’t burn (or go quiet brown like mine did  😳)

Strictly Suppers #4 The Pesto Double Tart Before Being Cut

Strictly Suppers #4 The Pesto Double Tart Before Being Cut

Don’t be alarmed if the pastry looks like it’s becoming green or red it’s the oil in the pesto steeping out… honest O-) Serve with the chilli jam, it’s great warm or cold, you can see here I’ve served a slice of red and green pesto.  You can use any pesto for this recipe, I’ve used Tesco because well… that’s where I was shopping lol.

Strictly Suppers #4 The Pesto Double Tart With Sweet Chilli Jam

Strictly Suppers #4 The Pesto Double Tart With Sweet Chilli Jam

Don’t forget to download our step-by-step recipe from the link here. Feel free to get in touch with ideas, questions etc, you can email enquiries@wheeliegoodmeals.co.uk or go to one of our Social Media pages.

Ta ta 😎

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Casa Costello

Sticky Aubergine with Soy Dressing, Red Pepper, Onion and Sweet Potato Wedges

My mother wasn’t a fan of aubergines but had the hair brained idea of buying one to see if her opinions would change. This recipe was a quick and easy one (well I say quick, apart from the sweet potato crisps). I got my inspiration from Tony Tobin’s Sticky Aubergine with Soy Dressing (which you can find it here. The ingredients are below; the jar that is slightly obscured from the picture is Chilli Flakes:

Ingredients for Sticky Aubergine with Soy Dressing, Red Pepper, Onion and Sweet Potato Wedges

Ingredients for Sticky Aubergine with Soy Dressing, Red Pepper, Onion and Sweet Potato Wedges

This is a really nice recipe, the spice can be raised or toned down depending on your personal taste. I’m unsure of the garlic use of granules yet so I opted for 2 teaspoons. I used a wok in this recipe (in fact I tend to use a wok quite often as it distributes the heat a lot better than a frying pan):

Utensils and Equipment

Utensils and Equipment

As you know I like to place all my ingredients in small containers ready for cooking, it makes everything easy and speeds up the process, you can see this in the picture below along with the aubergine marinated in soy and honey.

Ingredients laid out ready to start cooking

Ingredients laid out ready to start cooking

I chopped the onions, yes, you got it, in half moons, I chopped the pepper fairly small but not too small so that it still gave a bit of texture. When frying them in the wok/frying pan make sure the temperature is fairly high.

Ingredients In The Wok Before The Aubergine Is Added

Ingredients In The Wok Before The Aubergine Is Added

In an effort to be chefy I sprinkled some chopped spring onions over the top of the finished dish. I haven’t chopped them very finely though, which isn’t a good thing… doesn’t say a lot about my knife skills 🙂

Not So Chefy Knife Skills

Not So Chefy Knife Skills

After the sprinkling of spring onions I served the aubergine with roasted sweet potato chips. My mother really enjoyed this, I’m not a massive aubergine fan but the dish was very tasty. You’re probably wondering where my meat recipes have gone – well they’ll be back next week with a recipe Saira Hamilton (Master Chef 2013 runner up) gave which is a Chicken Bhuna

Food Presented on the Plate

Food Presented on the Plate

Remember you can download our step-by-step recipe from the link here. Find our Social Networking pages on the left hand side of the page. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like to ask about please feel free to get in touch by emailing enquiries@wheeliegoodmeals.co.uk.  Come back again soon and, together, we’ll make more Wheelie Good Meals!

See You Soon 😀
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