Especially for Shaz from Our Front Plot…
Nettles - 2nd May 2011
Ingredients: 2 onions, chopped. 1 potato, peeled and diced. A bunch of freshly picked nettle tips, washed and roughly chopped. 1 vegetable stock cube, onion and celery seed, mixed herbs and a little butter and oil.
Method: Fry the onions on a low heat in the oil a long with the onion and celery seed and mixed herbs. When the onions are soft and just starting to brown add the nettles and enough butter to stop them sticking to the pan and cook until soft and well mixed. Add the potato and cook whilst stirring to stop the potato sticking to the pan. Add water and a stock cube and bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Whiz in a blender and serve.
I noticed that one of my Boston squash had started to get little patches of mould on it and so was time to think up ways of using it all up before what I consider to be last years biggest, in all senses of the word, success of last year went to waste.
I don’t think I properly recorded how big the last one we eat was but this one weighted 8.7kg once cut up, to fit on the kitchen scales, and all the seeds removed.
Some of it was made into roast squash which is one of our favourites and Boston squash seem to have an ideal taste for it, not too sweet and a little nutty. Similar to Butternut squash I would say but much easier to grow going by last years results. Some more was made into ‘Cheesey Squash Wraps’ and some more made into ‘Creamy Squash Soup’ and even more made into ‘Creamy Squash and Garlic Soup’.
The Cheesey Squash wraps were based on some spicey cheese wraps that I have made a few times lately and have gone down a storm, these however got mixed reactions but I thought they were delicious and so did Rhys so shall be made again I am sure. I made them by mixing the leftover roast squash with some that had been softened up and mashed, as there wasn’t enough roast squash left to go round, with some grated mature cheddar and some mozzarella cheese and put into tortilla wraps and served with salad including carrot, apple, beetroot, cherry tomatoes and leaves with a homemade raspberry, honey and mustard dressing.
The Creamy Squash Soup was made by softening onions with black paper and mixed herbs then adding the chopped up squash and allowing it all to ‘mush up’ together, then add water, vegetable stock, marmite and soy sauce all to taste. The first time I made this soup I also added cream but this made it far too creamy for most of us so I left it out this time. To make the Squash and Garlic Soup I added two bulbs of chopped up garlic to the softened onion and cooking for a few minutes before adding the squash and I did add a pot of cream to this one at the end as the garlic completely changes the taste.
No photos of any of it as I was too busy eating it all but hopefully this year I will get good at taking photos of the food I make.
Although I love food I can be a very picky eater. I don’t like dry food very much, but I do like fattie greasy food or sauces on everything. And I have ‘favourite foods’ which I will quite happily eat at every meal for weeks until my next ‘favourite food’ comes along, at the moment this is crispy roast potatoes with homemade gravy, it can’t be any gravy either. Homemade gravy only, where we make it from scratch, if not it just isn’t right… Needless to say living with so many other people I don’t get to eat this every night but I would be more than happy too.Some foods I am more picky about than others; soup is one of these. If it isn’t homemade, I won’t eat it. It doesn’t matter whose home, or even if it is in a home, but I don’t like tinned, dried, or packaged in any way soup… Tinned tomato being the exception to this rule.
Pan of soup, eight people have already had their dinner from this - 21st January 2010
Leek and potato soup is one of my favourites, it is just so warming and filling and a comfort food I guess. It is also easy to make in large amounts too.
Ingredients (for making a big pan full): 3 – 4 onions, peeled and chopped, 6 – 8 leeks, washed and cropped, 10 – 12 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped, butter, vegetable stock, black pepper, marmite and/or soy sauce all to taste. Cream or milk optional.Method: Added the onions, leeks and butter along with black pepper to a large pan and cook until onions and leeks are soft. Add the potatoes, either part boiled first or I don’t normally bother, and add just enough water to cover what is in the pan. Bring to the boil and add vegetable stock, marmite and/or soy sauce to taste. Cook until everything is soft and mushy and the potato is starting to break up. Blend and place this mixture back in the pan on a low heat. This should be a thick mixture, be very careful of it bubbling as it gets very hot and really hurts of you get burnt by it, so add water to thin it down to how you would like it. Add cream or milk if you are going to and heat through. Done!
I tried out a new recipe that I found for nettle soup last night, Rhys and mother both like it but I’m not so sure, I think I will like it with a little tweaking.
Pick half a small bucket of nettles, wash them and pick out any bits of grass or hay that have come along for the ride and any leaves that don’t look so nice. Chop large onion and fry in some butter with black pepper until soft(-ish), add the nettles and cook until wilted down. Add vegetable stock and bring to the boil then put through a wizzer.
The recipe said to add cream, which I didn’t as we didn’t have any, and I think next time I’m going to try adding a load of garlic with the onion and see if I like it better that way.