The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Lettuce soup recipe. How to turn your party leftovers into treats

Posted in Leftovers, Starters and Soups, Vegetarian | 4 comments

Lettuce soup recipe. How to turn your party leftovers into treats

This recipe is for a light, fresh tasting summery soup that is delicious either served hot on a chilly day or chilled on a warm summer’s night. This is the first in a series of recipes that are designed to use up the food that’s left over after a party. Of course if you are faced with a glut of lettuces this would be a perfect recipe for those too. If you think about lettuces for a moment it’s surprising that a vegetable with such a large range of varieties, textures and flavours is generally just served as a salad or bunged into...

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Recipe for Fiona’s fabulous watercress soup

Posted in Starters and Soups, Vegetarian | 3 comments

Recipe for Fiona’s fabulous watercress soup

Watercress is packed with vitamins (A, C and K). It is a great source of iron, calcium and is full of beneficial chemicals such as glucosinates. It’s also quite pricey to buy, so when I saw a couple of packs reduced to 20p on the Tesco *CFC, I grabbed them with a chortle. Most summers we grow our own watercress in pots in a shady area of the garden but our plants are still babies at the moment. If you like watercress it’s well worth growing your own. You can see how to grow watercress at home and an update here. The secret to the deeply...

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Recipe for Celia’s potato pancakes: canapés, starters, light lunch

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Leftovers, Starters and Soups, Vegetables and Sides | 4 comments

Recipe for Celia’s potato pancakes: canapés, starters, light lunch

We don’t tend to have a starter on Christmas day as I prefer to serve canapés if people are feeling peckish. Traditionally these are smoked salmon on thinly sliced brown bread. Danny is a bit picky about the sort of salmon that he likes, ideally the salmon should be wild and not farmed. But as we were having a budget Christmas this year I secreted a pack of farmed smoked salmon trimmings in the fridge and planned a different sort of canapé. Initially I considered making blinis and asked on Twitter for a good recipe. Celia – of Purple...

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Recipe for Spanish style squid and tomato soup

Posted in Fish and Seafood, Starters and Soups | 8 comments

Recipe for Spanish style squid and tomato soup

I picked up a whole squid a couple of days ago. I had not come across this wonder before – just those lovely white open ended envelopes that regurgitate a baby squid when pressed. This half priced one had skin and an eye! Maybe two, I couldn’t/didn’t want to work out the physiology. But I did venture onto the Internet to learn squid preparation skills. I was so pleased that I did as I was tempted to just slice it up, skin and all. I didn’t know about the stomach, quill or the beak. Yes a squid has a beak! Generally I think of squid as...

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Eggy bread and cheese toasties recipe

Posted in Snacks Breakfast Lunch, Starters and Soups, Vegetarian | 11 comments

Eggy bread and cheese toasties recipe

Reading a review of a biography of Eva Braun at the weekend, I discovered that I have something in common with Hitler. He rarely got up before midday. Since developing CFS a couple of years ago, I tend to spend my mornings in bed. Propped up with my laptop and the Min Pins I do a bit of reading, writing and planning. The latter is generally not plotting world domination but rather what I’m going to prepare for brunch. This morning it was going to be toasted chicken club sandwiches until D confessed that he had picked the carcass...

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Recipe for leftovers: broccoli, cauliflower and Stilton soup

Posted in Save Money, Starters and Soups, Vegetarian | 14 comments

Recipe for leftovers: broccoli, cauliflower and Stilton soup

A few years ago I woke up one night. I could hear a loud crunching coming from the bottom of my giant 100 year old bed. What on earth could it be? I hastily groped for the light switch and discovered that Inca, our youngest Min Pin, was gnawing a head of broccoli. She had stolen the head from the kitchen and dragged it upstairs. Inca loves vegetables and often thieves from the pig bin but this was the first time that she had stolen from the vegetable basket. I was too tired to take it from her. In the morning I was surprised to find that she...

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Slow Cooker Chef: Warming Winter Mushroom Soup Recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 8 comments

Slow Cooker Chef: Warming Winter Mushroom Soup Recipe

  Everyone always says that good soup needs a really great stock. Sometimes I simmer bones for stock in the slow cooker and years ago Fred Fitzpatrick used to give me beef bones which I roasted and then bubbled gently for hours to get a good dark tasty stock. But recently I’ve gone back to using stock cubes out of laziness. This week I decided to experiment with leftovers. We had two meals from the game casserole and were left with a ladle of gravy (about 6 tablespoons) with a few bits of meat and veg. Danny had picked up a large box of...

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Cauliflower soup with blue cheese and orange zest recipe

Posted in Leftovers, Save Money, Starters and Soups | 6 comments

Cauliflower soup with blue cheese and orange zest recipe

  This is another in our skinflint soup series. This delicious soup was run up with leftovers that could easily have just been thrown away. They made an elegant soup. The two key ingredients are mushroom ketchup and the zest of the orange which transformed this soup from good to sublime. Danny chickened out on the orange zest front. Refused even to taste it.  He missed out on a real treat. I got the idea of combining orange and vegetables from a video from dehydrate2store where Tammy mixes dried ground orange peel with dried beetroot and...

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