20 June 2014

Veg, Veg and more Veg

Wednesday, early evening there was a knock on the door. I went to answer and was met by a lovely smiley lady (a complete stranger) asking if Andy, my husband lived here.......obviously seeing the look of confusion and slight worry on my face....she swiftly said that she had been at cub camp with him the previous weekend and had a thank you gift in the boot of her car from the committee .......this was it......

a HUGE box of veg and I mean HUGE!

Inside the box was 2 packets of baby courgette, 5kg of carrots, 20 courgettes, 4 leeks, 1 pointy cabbage, 1 white cabbage, 1 red cabbage, 3 aubergines, 2 cauliflowers, 2 bunches of beets, 1 marrow, 3 corn on the cob and 4 bulbs of broccoli

Now we love eating veg, but on top of the veg already in the house, the challenge was on as to what to do with all of this so that none went to waste.

First off, a phonecall to mum who had some courgettes, carrots and the pointy cabbage.  Then out came my favourite cooks books..........

First in my trusty cast iron pan was a mixed veg soup, a family favourite.  I threw in some carrots, courgettes and leeks from the box and added celery and parsnips from the fridge.  It has loads of cumin added so has the most wonderful smell.  Served with grated cheese and crusty bread, delish!  (6 portions of this are now in the freezer)

Next in the pan, I adapted the recipe for 'Courgette, Pea and Spinach Soup' from 'The New Covent Garden Food Co - A Soup for Everyday'  my version had broad beans from the freezer instead of spinach and I also added a generous amount of mint.  I have to say the end result looked a little but like green gloop, but my chief taster Jamie, said it was lovely. (6 portions now frozen)

Next in the pan, 'Broccoli and Stilton Soup', again from the 'A Soup for Everyday'.  Andy and I had this for lunch today and considering that he doesn't like broccoli or stilton cheese it was an amazing success.....work that one out!  (another 6 portions of this frozen)

... yet another Covent Garden soup in the making.....can you tell we like soup!!  This one was 'Mediterranean Vegetable and Tomato'.......it had smoked paprika and balsamic vinegar added before the stock and smelt divine as it was cooking.
For all the recipes, I've been doubling the quantities, which mean't adding two litres of liquid.  I felt this was too much so I reduced it to 1 1/2 litres, but even this made a runny soup.....not a good thing when children are eating as it generally ends up down there tops!  Tasted great, but this is definitely a serve in a mug soup.  (8 portions for the freezer)
Now on to last nights supper...and a glass of wine... I set to prepping some aubergine. I always think they look very appetizing, but I have to confess they're a veg that I never normally buy.  I turned to Nigel Slater for inspiration and he well and truly came up trumps with 'Baked Aubergine with Sheep's Cheese and Mint'.......(from the Kitchen Diaries)
You simply sliced then drizzled them with a little olive oil, seasoned with black pepper, garlic and dried oregano and popped them in the oven for 20mins or so.  Once cooked, you scraped out the middle and crumbled on feta cheese and fresh mint (we used dried mint).  We followed his recommendation and ate them along side minted lamb burgers, some lightly spiced potato wedges and I made my favourite Greek yogurt dip where you simply stir in chopped chives and lemon juice.  Hooray for aubergines, this was a massive hit!

This evening we're eating the marrow filled with bolognese sauce (we batch cook both bolognese and chilli con carne and then portion it off for the freezer) Over the weekend I'll be braising and freezing down the red cabbage from Delia Smiths 'The Complete Cookery Course'.  I bought my copy of this brilliant book when I was 19 and just about to leave home, this is the book I'll buying my children when they leave home. Tomorrow I'll be cooking up another batch of 'Med Veg and Tomato Soup' for lunch and the corn on the cob will be going into a tuna pasta bake for supper.  We'll be having the white cabbage and some more carrots with roast chicken on Sunday.

The cauliflower has been chopped into florets and frozen whilst raw, which leaves me with beetroot.....I'm thinking that I'll roast some, possibly pickle some, but let me know if you have any tasty suggestions.

On a slightly smaller scale, we picked our first raspberries from the garden....you really can't beat them!

We're off to collect a new (well new to us) family car tomorrow, our old one was indeed that...old!!! We're all very excited.  Jamie has been asking me lots of technical questions, he's a massive fan of Top Gear and gave me that look, you know the one, when I couldn't tell him how quickly it did 0 to 60..... ho hum.  


  1. Wow, that really is a lot of veg! It looks as though you could have fed the whole cub camp with that lot. You are set for frozen veggies and soups though and they will be great because they are all homemade and the product of a great present! I hope that you like the new car and that it does really well for you for a long time! xx

  2. What a wonderful healthy gift and didn't you cook up a storm! Great soups and other tasty fare to be enjoyed for some time! Roasted beetroot with fetta and a few salad leaves plus perhaps a few cherry tomatoes and olives make a delicious and healthy salad Sarah. All the best with your new car, I hope it works out to be a beauty! xoJoy

  3. That is such a wonderful thank you gift and it sure kept you busy Sarah! How nice it will be in the weeks to come with the lovingly prepared soupy goodness waiting in the freezer :-) We have started picking raspberries too ...Oh so yummy! Enjoy your new car.
    Tracey xxx

  4. Oh my gosh!! You've been a busy little chef with all these veggies ... so glad they came to the right family :) Everything sounds just so amazing, and I think maybe you need to open a little restaurant alongside your sewing shop! Enjoy your new car ... my son is a huge fan of Top Gear and is buying up DVDs of the show. He's a natural when it comes to retaining auto facts ... not so much maths & science ;) Enjoy your week. Wendy x


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo