Monthly Archives: April 2012

Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Dumplings

This is going to be a love it or hate it recipe! Cauliflower and parmesan are both strong flavours on their own but bring them together and you get a deep roasted richness with a kick from the black pepper. I have never made cauliflower soup before, but I have eaten the vegetable many times in my mother’s Indian food and my father’s Italian food. Back in December I was inspired by the Hairy Bikers to bring the British cauliflower back into fashion. You may have seen my Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry recipe, but at the time I also vowed to try and make my own soup with the beautiful, cheap and underrated vegetable.

Like most of my recipes, this totally reflects my cooking style. This is a cheap, nutritious and easy recipe which can be made in advance. You can also easily adapt this recipe if you don’t like certain ingredients. For example, feel free to use much less black pepper if you’re not a fan. Use pecorino or gruyère for the dumplings if you don’t like parmesan. *If you prefer a softer dumpling, use white bread; personally I prefer brown.

This makes a delicious starter or light meal.

Cauliflower Soup with Parmesan Dumplings

Serves: 4-6 as a starter
Takes: 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients:

1 Cauliflower (medium-large), washed and cut up into florets
Leaves of 1 cauliflower, sliced
1 white onion, peeled and diced
1leek, washed and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
700 ml vegetable stock (or boiling water and 1 stock cube)
3 tbsps creme fraiche
Pinch of salt
Knob of butter
Olive oil

For the dumplings:
2 slices brown bread*
25g grated parmesan
1/2 the cauliflower leaves, sliced
1 tbsp dried parsley (or small bunch fresh)
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 150′. Place the cauliflower florets, garlic and whole black peppercorns on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the middle of the oven for a total of 45 minutes.

2. I recommend that you prepare everything else after you put the cauliflower in the oven. This shortens the cooking time. So – prepare the other ingredients.

3. In a large saucepan, warm up 2 tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter. When it is warm and clear, add the diced onion. Softly cook for about 5 minutes, then add the leek.

4. When the onion and leek have both softened, add the vegetable stock and half the cauliflower leaves. Stir the pot, and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Put your slices of bread in the toaster or oven to dry out. Then, place them in your food processor with the other half of the cauliflower leaves, parmesan, parsley, and egg. Whizz it all up!

6. By now the cauliflower should have roasted for about 45 minutes. Check that it is cooked and softened. If not, leave it in the oven for 10 more minutes. If it is, you can now take it out the oven and add the cauliflower and garlic to the soup pot. Stir the soup and put the lid on. Save the peppercorns.

7. Grind the roasted peppercorns with your mortar and pestle and add a pinch to the soup and a pinch to the dumpling mixture.

8. Roll the dumpling mixture into little balls. You should be able to make 10-12. Lightly grease a tray and then cook the dumplings in the oven for 15 minutes.

9. Mash down, or whizz up your soup! Whatever machine you have to smooth it out will be fine! Stir in 3 dollops of creme fraiche and a pinch of salt to taste!

10. Serve hot with a swirl of creme fraiche and 2-3 dumplings per person.

Enjoy! I would love to hear your feedback if you try it!

Tip: If you like it spicy, add a pinch of smoked paprika to the soup. 

You may also like these recipes:

Sweet Potato Skin Crisps

This is literally one of the most delicious homemade snacks I have ever made. They took me over an hour to make and were devoured within 3 minutes! But so worth it.

This recipe saves on wastage, saves money, and ensures that you know exactly what ingredients are in your crisps. No msg, additives, or preservatives. Also, as I’m running on a Passover theme, this is a great way to make sure your crisps are kosher for passover!

I was making sweet potato mash and saw a great opportunity to use the tasty crispy skins as a snack.  But there are two ways to make these; you could also keep your peelings from sweet or normal potatoes and roast them separately.

Method 1:

1. Roast skin on sweet potatoes for 1 hr on 220 degrees with a drizzle of olive oil. Turn several times during roasting.
2. Remove the skins and mash the soft part of the potato with salt and pepper.  Put the skins back on the oven tray. There should still be enough oil on the tray but if it is very dry add another drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and put back in the oven on 250 for 15 minutes.

Method 2:

1. Wash and peel potatoes or sweet potatoes. Mix with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and place on an oven tray in the middle of a hot oven.
2. Cook for about 45 minutes at 250 degrees or until the skins are cooked and crispy.
3. Cook the insides of the potatoes however you want. Boil, roast, or use in soups, stews, pies…see my recipes below.

These crisps are delicious with tzatziki dip or just on their own!

Enjoy!

Tip: Try using garlic or chilli oil instead of olive oil

You may also like these recipes:

Baked Chicken with Thyme and Shallots and Sweet Potato Mash (Kosher for Passover)

There’s still two full days left of Passover. Are you wondering what to have for Friday night dinner? Are you bored of boiled and roast potatoes? Don’t even get me started on matzah!

Here’s a delicious recipe; it’s sweet, spicy and actually quite easy! Once you’ve prepared the chicken and sweet potatoes, they go in the oven, leaving you with an hour to wash up, set the table, make a salad or put your feet up!

This recipe is a perfect lunch or dinner during Passover or any other time. I used chicken thighs, but you could use legs or drumsticks instead.

Baked Chicken with Thyme and Shallots

Serves: 3
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, skinless
8 shallots, peeled and halved
Handful of black olives, pitted and halved
1 lemon
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Fresh thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Sweet Potato Mash

3 large sweet potatoes, skin on
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Get your pestle and mortar out! Pour about 4 tbsp olive oil in, with the sliced garlic and chilli. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Grind it into a paste and then marinate the chicken pieces. Place them in an oven tray, ready to bake. Make sure every part of the chicken is covered.

3. Put the shallots and olives in the mortar to pick up any remaining marinade and then add to the tray with the fresh thyme and mix it all together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the hot oven for 1 hour.

4. Cut up the sweet potatoes to small roasties size. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the hot oven for 1 hour.

5. During the hour that everything is cooking, check the food twice and turn both the chicken and the sweet potatoes. This helps keep the chicken juicy and stop the potato going crispy.

6. You can make your salad or vegetables in this time.

7. After the cooking hour, stick a fork in the chicken and check that the juice is running clear. If not, put back in the oven for another 15 minutes and check again. Make sure you turn the chicken pieces so that they stay juicy.

8. Take the sweet potato out the oven. Gently peel the skins off and put the soft part of the potato in a bowl. Keep the skins as we’ll use those for something else! Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mash the soft sweet potato.

9. Take the chicken out the oven and check again. When it is cooked through and running clear, add the other half of the lemon juice.

Everything should now be ready to serve with your favourite veg or salad. (Or if you are making this for Shabbat, you can place it on your hot plate now!)

It really is quite delicious and I hope you agree!

Enjoy!

Try making homemade crisps with the sweet potato skins.

You may also like these recipes:

Fish Bites (Recipe and Good News!)

Great news readers! As well as my regular recipes and photographs here on my blog, I will now be posting kosher recipes over on CartoonKippah! They will be recipes inspired by my mixed Jewish background and will feature my own photography. Nothing will change on my own blog, I will just be cooking lots more!

My first post is a Kosher for Passover recipe for Fish Bites. It’s a healthy, cheap and low-fat recipe suitable for pescatarians, dieters, and those keeping Passover. Perfect for lunch or a starter. I hope you will check it out, enjoy!

Passover Recipe: Fish Bites

Blog Awards

Thank you so much to all my followers and readers for continuously supporting me! I have been given various awards recently and I haven’t had a chance to respond to each one separately, but I want to say thank you for the awards and pass on to some of my favourite blogs. Apologies for my late and shortened response!

And please don’t feel obliged to pass on awards or even mention them. It is completely up to you if you want to post about it or pass it on.

Firstly, thank you so much to Loseweightandgainhealth and A Foodies Voyage for both giving me the Liebster Blog Award!

“The Liebster Blog Award is given to up coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
The Meaning; Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The rules for the Liebster Blog Award are:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog
4. Reveal your 5 blog picks.
5. Let them know you choose them by leaving a comment on their blog.”

So my 5 blog picks are:
http://pastaprincessandmore.wordpress.com/

http://tashainthekitchen.wordpress.com/

http://aforkineachhand.com/

http://adashofcinema.com/

http://foodismylife.wordpress.com

A big thank you to Nocturnefirefay for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award and continuous support and blog friendship!

The rules for the award are:
1) Thank the person who nominated me and link back to them in my post.
2) Share 7 things about myself
3) Pass the award on to 15 more bloggers that I enjoy
4) Contact the bloggers I have chosen to let them know that they have been selected!

So, 7 things about myself. You will always find these 7 things in my shopping basket:
Tomatoes, Onions, Courgettes, Avocados, Cheese, Bananas, Houmous.

Here are some blogs I feel deserve this award:

http://curatorialcuriosities.wordpress.com/

http://loseweightandgainhealth.com/

http://grazinginthecity.com/

http://threecleversisters.com/

http://thepescetarianandthepig.com/

http://afoodiesvoyage.wordpress.com/

http://pennysfoodblog.wordpress.com/

http://sweetandcrumby.com/

http://thegarumfactory.net/

http://frugalfeeding.wordpress.com/

http://realfunfood.com/

And thank you again to Nocturnefirefay for giving me the 7×7 Link Award!

Here are the rules.

1) Reveal seven things about myself that you don’t already know
2) place up 7 of my favorite links from my own blog
3) Pass the award on to 7 more bloggers.

So 7 more things about me!
These are my 7 favourite drinks: Water, English Tea, Peppermint Tea, Green Tea, Cider, Wine (red or white), Mojito

and some blogs that I love:

http://inquiringchef.com/

http://alidoesit.wordpress.com/

http://littlelondonobservationist.wordpress.com/

http://titabuds.com/

http://twospoons.wordpress.com/

http://sugaredpecan.wordpress.com/

http://theeverydaykitchen.wordpress.com/

And lastly, thank you very much to The Sugared Pecan  for giving me the Kreativ Blogger Award!!

And the rules are:

1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to them.
2. List seven things about yourself your readers may find interesting.
3. Nominate seven other bloggers, provide links and let them know.
4. Copy and paste the logo and place it on your blog.

I’ve already said so many things about me, think I will skip this bit!

http://chillininja.wordpress.com/

http://nocturnefirefay.wordpress.com/

http://foodimentary.com/

http://caitsplate.me/

http://cartoonkippah.com/

http://delgrossofoodblog.com/

http://girlonthecontrary.com/

THANK YOU!

So, thank you for all these awards! And please check out my suggested blogs, they are all brilliant in their own ways. And also, a little shout out to my sister and successful food blogger and baker, Danya. She’s my partner in crime when it comes to cooking and eating! So check out her delightful blog here.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to my readers. xx