Scottish Lentil Soup

Cheap, nutritious and easily vegan. My camera isn’t working at the moment so no pictures this time. This should make about three portions but mess with the proportions all you like as I measured by eye.

  • One onion
  • Two carrots
  • One rib of celery or celery leaves
  • Red lentils
  • Veg stock or ham hock
  • Frozen peas (optional but added because more veg is good)
  • Mixed herbs or thyme and parsley to taste

If you want to make it more delicious then fry the aromatics after you’ve chopped them before boiling it all up. If you’re looking for healthier just dump them all in the pot, it’ll still taste good. Make sure you boil the lentils for ten minutes to denature the enzymes. It also freezes well and if you don’t have celery to hand it’s still good without it.

 

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Winter Prep

Before it gets really cold I like to stock pile a series of ginger based cold and flu cures.

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This is literally just chopped ginger put in honey. I let it soak in like this in the fridge and use a teaspoon full in hot water to make a really throat soothing, sinus clearing tea. The juice flows out of the ginger, thinning the honey and making a sort of syrup.

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This is my Ginger Soup, loosely based on Hot and Sour soup and something I’ve been inflicting on sick friends since undergrad. Of course as its my secret remedy there’s no one to make it for me when I’m the one whose sick so I like to keep two tubs of it in my freezer (that’s all I have room for).

You will need;

  • One large thumb of ginger
  • Four spring onions or one white onion
  • Six cloves of garlic
  • Two chilis (less if you like spice less)
  • Oil of your choice
  • Rice vinegar (I’m using Chianking)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Stock of your choice

This is really easy to make and I like to use it as the base for a lot of soups. All you have to do is dice the vegetables and brown then in the oil, then add everything else and cook until the flavours are dispersed.

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Migraine Curry, the Real Adult version

As mentioned in yesterday’s post the Migraine Curry could easily be rounded out with various vegetables to produce something that is also healthy as well as delicious. So because today I do not have a migraine and I still want curry I’ve gone ahead and made it. (You could even nix the chicken and have a decent veg curry)

Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Methi Seed
  • Chili
  • Oil (I used sesame)
  • Two stock cubes of your choice
  • Rice

Additions:

  • Carrots (you can use frozen here but I find frozen carrots to be little sponges of evil so I use fresh)
  • Frozen Spinach
  • Frozen Peas
  • Dried red lentils

Dice the onions, garlic, ginger and carrots. Fry the dried spices with the onions, ginger and garlic until browned. Use as little oil as possible and pick a healthy oil like sesame or coconut.

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Add the chicken and brown it, then add the rest of the ingredients barring the rice. Cook on high for ten minutes to ensure that the enzymes in the lentils are denatured and then just allow to simmer until the sauce has reached a flavour and consistency you like and the chicken is cooked through. The rice can be cooked separately or in the sauce itself if you want to save time.

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Again, this is in no way authentic but it does taste pretty nice and is moderately healthy.

Disaster Pasta Salad

So in an attempt to plan ahead I made about three days worth of pasta, intended to coat it in pesto and have it for lunch at work. Then I discovered my pesto was off. And I had a pot with three days worth of cold pasta in it.

What I did have in my fridge was goats cheese, tomatoes and broccoli and so Disaster Pasta Salad was born.

Ingredients

  • Shell Pasta
  • Head of Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Plum Tomatoes
  • Goat Cheese
  • Sesame or Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Dice the broccoli and four or five garlic cloves (less if you like), coat in the oil and roast for twenty five minutes. Slice the plum tomatoes, crumble the goats cheese and mix everything together. I have the variety of goats cheese that can’t decide if it wants to be creamy or crumbly so it coats the pasta a little when stirred around.

Also I ate some already and its pretty good.

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Black Bean and Spinach Soup

I made this today and its delicious, cheap and vegan. Should feed two to three people

Ingredients:

Olive oil
3 Spring onions
2 Onions
6 cloves of garlic
Can of black beans
Bag of spinach or equivalent frozen
Cumin
Cayenne Pepper
Thyme
Fresh Coriander
Two stock cubes (can be substituted with bacon but then obviously not vegan)

Dice the onions, garlic and spring onions (and bacon if you’re using it) and fry them in the olive oil until the onions start to go translucent. Then add the can of beans, the spices and the stock and let it cook until the beans have softened. Add the spinach and take the pan off the heat and let the spinach cook in the residual heat.

Italian-Chinese fusion white bean soup

This should serve two, more if you pad it out with more pasta and extra vegetables. I think broccoli and finely diced carrots would make a good addition to this, as would chicken if you want it to add meat.

 

Two measures of vegetable stock

One large piece of ginger

Six garlic cloves

Four spring onions 

One spoon salt chilis (optional)

About 15g of coriander leaf

One whole red pepper or half a sweet red pointed pepper

One can of white beans

Olive oil

Soy Sauce 

Pasta (I chose spaghetti)

 

Dice the spring onion, garlic, ginger and the red pepper and fry them in olive oil at a medium heat with the salt chilies (you can substitute any chili you like if you don’t have them, or leave them out if you prefer milder flavours) until they start to caramalise. Then add two fully diluted measures of vegetable stock and bring to the boil before adding the coriander leaf, can of white beans and soy sauce to taste. Let the beans simmer for ten minutes or longer if you feel the broth needs longer to infuse and then add the pasta, I chose spaghetti which gives the broth a further twelve minutes to infuse. Its a wonderful, gingery, coriander based broth that I think would make a great cold cure. 

 

Hot and Sour Soup

This is a great cold cure because it works to alleviate the systems and boost the immune system at once. Its also really delicious.

 

For the Broth:

 

Two measures stock (I prefer vegetable, chicken is traditional)

Six spring onions

Two inches of ginger

Six cloves of garlic

Two tablespoons of soy sauce

Two tablespoons of rice vinegar

Chili, black pepper and white pepper to taste

One stalk of lemongrass (optional)

One tea spoon five spice or two whole star anise (optional)

 

For the Body:

Chicken, pork, eggs, bamboo shoots, shitaki mushrooms, white mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage, rice noodles,

 

Dice the garlic and spring onions small and cut the ginger into strips before adding them to the stock, then add the other seasonings and simmer until the flavours have melded. While adding the chili and peppers to taste remember that this is supposed to be a spicy soup so add as much as you can tolerate. This is delicious as a broth to be eaten alongside a meal or if you can’t stomach solid food when ill but if you want a more hearty meal from it you can add any of the ingredients listed under for the body. Slice the meat and vegetables into fine strips and beat the egg as you add it to the soup to get fine ribbons all through it.