The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


The slow cooker chef: Broccoli and watercress soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups, Vegetables and Sides, Vegetarian | 9 comments

The slow cooker chef: Broccoli and watercress soup recipe

  “I bet we’re the first in the world to be having broccoli soup and flash fried squid for breakfast.” Danny dunked a chunk of crusty bread in his soup. With me still at home we tend to have a late brunch these days but yesterday was the first day that we’d gone wild and had soup and seafood. I’d bought the broccoli in the market. Two giant heads for a pound. As the vegetables don’t have a long shelf life we ate broccoli with the skirt of beef stew and the rest was chopped and popped into the slow cooker to make soup. I’d also...

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Pamela’s perfect pumpkin soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 23 comments

Pamela’s perfect pumpkin soup recipe

  “Don’t you just love the look of abject fear that appears on the faces of shop girls or fellow shoppers, when they ask if you are making a lantern for Hallow’een and you reply that you are, in fact, going to eat it!”  Wrote my friend Pamela. “I made soup with half of mine and will be making more with the other half this evening.  Using what I had in – i.e. what was reduced for a quick sale or from the Somerfield basics range – I used spring onions, chilli, garlic, a green pepper, celery salt (which I love in a cheese butty)...

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Easy, chic and cheap recipes: delicate cauliflower leaf and pecorino soup

Posted in Starters and Soups | 23 comments

Easy, chic and cheap recipes: delicate cauliflower leaf and pecorino soup

For years it has hurt me to throw away the green outer leaves of the cauliflower. I have simmered them for the chickens in the past but mainly they are added to our kitchen compost bin. Having had the tip from John Coe – that all the leaves on the sprouting broccoli plant are edible – I decided to experiment with the cauli leaves this week. I chopped up the main stalk and tore the leaves away from the fibrous stems. Then I simmered them for about twenty minutes in vegetable stock. They looked really unappetising when I lifted the lid....

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Creamy Enoki and white mushroom recipe. Great, easy starter or side dish.

Posted in Starters and Soups, Vegetarian | 9 comments

Creamy Enoki and white mushroom recipe. Great, easy starter or side dish.

I had a doctor’s appointment late afternoon so I changed out of my ragged decorating garb into vaguely normal human clothes and left work early. As I was working in Newmarket, I could walk to the surgery without the stress of checking that I had the right coins for the car park or worrying about the extra time that I would need to negotiate the massive road works in the High Street. Walking along the street, I was struck by the smell of petrol, diesel and dust for the first time in years. In an instant I was back in Soho (London). Our...

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Superb field mushroom soup recipe. Created by S

Posted in Starters and Soups | 14 comments

Superb field mushroom soup recipe. Created by S

It’s suddenly got a very Autumnal. A mist was rising just above the paddock grass when I slipped in to deliver The Chicken Lady’s smoked bacon this evening. S welcomed me in, wearing an apron. “The paddocks are full of field mushrooms. So I’m making mushroom soup.” I dallied, watching him wash and scrape the skins. Large flat opened gilled specimens picked just hours before. Happy horses, paddocks and mushrooms go together. I’ve read about this bounty. Around here every field and paddock is owned by someone....

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The ten minute soup challenge: Low fat spicy tomato and courgette soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 5 comments

The ten minute soup challenge: Low fat spicy tomato and courgette soup recipe

“What do you think galengal tastes like?” My mum shrugged. “I would leave it if I was you.” I was examining the spices to add to our ten minute soup. So I put back the galengal and grabbed a small jar of Massaman Thai curry paste. This includes a lot of the ingredients that I use for our soup all in one jar – chilli, lemon grass, tamarind, corrriander and a few others such as shrimp and cumin. Galengal has a small walk on part too. We don’t eat soup every day for lunch. Sometimes we still eat a...

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The ten minute soup challenge: Quick Asparagus and Coriander soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 8 comments

The ten minute soup challenge: Quick Asparagus and Coriander soup recipe

Danny reached for the ladle. “How can you run up a soup like this in just ten minutes? I can’t believe that it’s low fat. It’s delicious.” He didn’t mention the soup disaster that had been poured into the dogs the day before. Unbeknown to Danny I had researched soup based simply on a good stock, a few herbs and spices, a handful of fresh vegetables and some noodles. Many Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Indian soups use this principle of combining a stock that has simmered for hours with fresh vegetables,...

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The ten minute soup challenge: Quick hot and sour vegetable soup recipe

Posted in Starters and Soups | 5 comments

The ten minute soup challenge: Quick hot and sour vegetable soup recipe

My night time dreams have been rich and startling recently. I dreamt that my pond was full of tropical fish, molluscs and crustaceans. Bright pink and yellow scallops hung on the sides as I watched small electric blue fish swim between my toes. I woke in the morning exhausted from this adventure and longing for seafood. But we’re back on the soup for weekday lunch regime and I needed to make some while I rustled up breakfast. In the winter I’m happy to cook large batches at the weekend, freeze them and pull out a carton each night....

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