Winter Vegetable and Bacon soup

16 11 2010

With the weather getting colder and the nights drawing in sometimes I just want to eat something warm and filling.

This winter vegetable and bacon soup ticks both of these boxes and like all soups is cheap and easy to make.

If you make more than you need immediately you can portion it into ziplock bags and it will happily keep in the freezer until you need it.

You will need:

1 large potato

250g swede/turnip

1/2 tbsp thyme

bunch of parsley

4 carrots

4 parsnips

2 sticks of celery

2 leeks

2/3 bay leaves

1 large onion

2 cloves of garlic

200g pancetta

1/2 litre chicken or vegetable stock

salt and pepper to season

olive oil or butter

Chop the onions, garlic and celery and sweat with a little olive oil or butter for approximately 15 minutes until they have softened.

At this point add in the remainder of the vegetables having first peeled, cleaned and chopped them into manageable pieces, continue to cook for another 7-10 minutes

Now add in the chicken or vegetable stock along with the thyme, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the parsley which needs to just be roughly chopped and the bay leaves.

Turn down the heat and simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and pour everything else into a food processor and blend until you have a nice smooth puree.

Pour the puree back into the pan and thin with a little more stock if it seems too thick, add more seasoning to taste and warm through.

Fry your pancetta until crisp and drain of any excess oil, add to the soup and serve immediately in warm bowls.

If you wish to make a vegetarian version omit the bacon and ensure that you use vegetable stock.





My favourite sandwich ever…

9 11 2010

Sandwiches, most of us eat them every day and they can end up being pretty dull for the most part.

Bit of bread, bit of meat, maybe some cheese, so far so boring.

So I thought I would share with you my absolute favourite sandwich ever:

Bacon, Stilton and Pesto with rocket.

This is a full on sandwich  that is bursting with epic taste; the bacon is salty and crisp the Stilton is wonderfully sharp and gooey and the pesto just kicks everything up to another level whilst the fresh rocket leaves add some peppery freshness…. mmm I am salivating just thinking about it

To sate your own lunch time cravings you will need the following:

6″ crusty white baguette

2 or 3 rashers of good smokey bacon

about 50/60g of good quality stilton

a handful of fresh rocket leaves (mustard cress would also work well)

pesto to drizzle over the top (click here to see how to make your own delicious pesto)

a little unsalted butter

Split your baguette length-ways and spread a little of the unsalted butter on both halves of the roll.

Place your rocket leaves onto the roll

Cook your bacon until it is slightly crisp, pat off any excess fat and place onto the bed of rocket.

Crumble your stilton over the top of the bacon

Drizzle over a good amount of the pesto and enjoy.

If you want your stilton to be more melted then you can crumble some of it directly onto the bacon during the last 20/30 seconds or so of cooking.





So little time so much to do!

22 03 2010

Well I really should slam the breaks on and take a break from this for a while but I am on a roll so don’t want to break  the momentum!

In a moment of grandiose self importance I have decided to open a Twitter account, this probably makes me a fool but at least I’m a self aware fool, besides who knows there might be a time when a well placed tweet could save my life!

If you are completely starved of any stimulus whatsoever you might want to hear what I had for lunch and such like, if this sounds like your sort of fun click  here .

On an unrelated note, Lonely Planet are running a fun little competition where you can upload your favourite pictures and possibly win a round the world trip for two, they explain it far more eloquently than I so check it out!








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