Posted in cooking, Food, Herbs, Hints & Tips, vegetables, winter

Leek and Potato Soup

It’s definitely soup weather! I just made some Leek and potato soup and although I’m quite an accomplished soup maker, I like to do a bit of searching in the internet for new ideas and ways of doing things and also to be inspired about using odd bits and bobs that are in the fridge.

In here are two leeks and a quarter of a fennel bulb that had been tucked up in cling film waiting to be finished off. I added a little chopped (tender) rosemary and two bay leaves from the garden, also six pepper corns. Oh yes and a small clove of garlic, finely chopped.

Leek & potato soup 1
I just added half an organic stock cube with the amount of liquid I wanted (stock cubes do tend to be salty).
Leek & potato soup 3

When its cooked, season to taste and whiz up in a blender!

Leek & potato soup 4
Homemade soup and bread, can’t beat that! 🙂

Posted in Autumn, Food, Fruit, Herbs, Hints & Tips, Organic Gardening, Self reliance, vegetables

Homemade Tomato soup

Just a little tip on how easy it is to make your own tomato soup.

I still have tomatoes in the fridge from late ripening so I decided to make some soup.  You can make this out of shop bought tomatoes, especially if you manage to get them at reduced price.

Slice them all in half and lay on an oiled baking sheet with some herbs and perhaps garlic. I used rosemary and oregano. put in the oven on 180C  for about 30mins. Quantity of tomatos is up to you as left over can be eaten the next day or frozen.

Tomato soup 1

When they are nice and crinkley, whiz them up in a food processor….Tomato soup 2
Put into a pan with some chicken or veg. stock. The amount is up to you again as to how thick you like your soup.Tomato soup 3
Season to taste and serve! 🙂
Tomato soup 4

Posted in cooking, Food, Fruit, gardening, Herbs, Hints & Tips, home, Jams & Jellys, Organic Gardening, Preserving, Self reliance

Gooseberry and Bay leaf Jam

I am beginning to think that I need to do something with the fruit I have in the freezer, to make room for this years potential fruit harvest. I know it seems a long way off but it’s good to be prepared.

I have quite a lot of jam recipes but I do like to have a look at the internet to see if there are any new Ideas. This is where I found gooseberry and bay leaf jam

My crop, as you may have see when I harvested them last summer are dessert gooseberries, which are purple rather than green and are a teeny bit sweeter.

Gooseberries 3
In the recipe it says to top and tail them before making the jam, which I did, but I wonder if that is really neccessary.Gooseberries 1
The sugar is added with the gooseberries and bay leaves, melted and bought to the boil.Gooseberries 2
Here’s my finished jam.

Gooseberries 3
It is honestly delicious, so I’ll be making more  🙂

Posted in challenges, cooking, Food, Herbs, Hints & Tips, home, leftovers, vegetables

More using leftovers

Having ideas how to use left overs is great, less waste! So here is another creation of mine.

Having little bits of chicken left on chicken wings is not much to produce a meal, but I urge you to not waste it. This is a recipe that came about with exactly that problem.

In this dish is the chicken, three left over chipolatas from the freezer (defrosted slowly in the microwave),  slices overripe fresh tomatoes, over ripe mushrooms, salt, pepper and spices. I used a bay leaf, some paprika and cayenne pepper, but the whole point of this is to use what you bits and pieces you have and spices or herbs you have in the cupboard. Experiment! I added half a can of tomatoes, a small can of beans and some hot water (thicken with cornflour it you wish).

Casserol 1

Put in the oven and cover with the lid or foil and put in a preheated oven on Gas 5 or 190C for 30 – 45 mins and voila, in my case a tasty meal for two.

Casserol 2

Posted in challenges, Food, gardening, Herbs, Organic Gardening, Permaculture, plants, vegetables


Finally, I’ve planted my onion sets. I know it’s late but nothing seems to be growing much in the weather we’re having, so I’m sure they’ll catch up.

First it was getting the bed ready which required some digging…

onions 1

….Keith helped me with this. Then I added some homemade compost.

onions 2

So here are my little onion sets snuggled in the ground at last! (If you look closely you can see them)

onions 5

On the subject of onions, here’s a row of salad onions (struggling with the lack of sunshine)

onions 3

The garlic chives seeds I sprinkled in here have germinated.

onions 4

And these lovely chives come up every year in all sorts of places, including the patio!

onions 6

I know some people find stray seeds frustrating but I quite enjoy free plants popping up in odd places 🙂