Newsletter: it’s all about the tatties today!

tatties

First up, soup of tatties. It’s simple and Scottish, it’s delicious and it’s a new recipe on site. Also told, is the frugal story of the plate of food above. See it here.

Composting Fun and Tatties

Admittedly this is only partly about tatties. We have a new article here on making compost to reduce waste and save money. There’s also a section on growing no-dig potatoes.

Great recipes for October

Blended Soups
Roast Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta
Chick Pea Curry
Mushroom Gravy
Banana Raisin Flapjacks

Popular Pages and Posts
Healthy Eating and Exercising on a Budget
Books on Frugal Living
Frugal Christmas

As the world opens up again
House sitting and/or pet sitting can be cheap ways to holiday. TrustedHousesitters have owners registered in over 130 countries, from townhouses in London to renovated farmhouses in Tuscany. For all our advice on holidays, days out, railcards, motorway secrets and more go here!

In case you missed it last time:
Use code FREE10 for £10 off at Flava Buy Now Pay Later Supermarket. Not a discount store but they do always have some offers for pennies and there’s no credit checks or interest.

Stay warm and well fed as the season gets colder…

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

Tattie Soup, Potato Soup, Cheap Soup

Tattie Soup, potato soup, cheap soup

This tattie soup is so basic it hardly constitutes a ‘recipe’! Simple and traditional Scottish fare – children love it.

A Frugal Story

The full frugal story of the plate above: we lucked out with one of the £1.50 cheap veg boxes in Lidl. It contained about 10 onions, a burst bag of baby plum tomatoes, 3 lettuces, a pack of leeks, 5 oranges, 3 lemons, 3 apples and a wee box of chilli peppers. It was so impressive we wish we’d taken a picture of it, but it was unpacked and torn into the compost too quickly!

We used one of the leeks in the soup and those are the tomatoes. The hummus was one of a set of flavoured pots reduced to 20p, also in Lidl, and that’s homemade sourdough bread. Carrots, potatoes, parsnips and herbs were from the garden. If it weren’t for the olives (yellow stickered in Asda but still the most expensive item pictured) the plate would have qualified as a 25p meal.

Tattie Soup Ingredients

  • A little sunflower oil
  • Onions or leeks (1 or 2), chopped
  • Potatoes (2 lb/1 kilo/6 cups), cut into chunks
  • Carrots (about 1 lb/450g/3 cups), cut into chunks
  • Turnip or parsnips (8oz/200g/1 cup) – optional
  • Kale (or other greens) chopped
  • Garlic to taste, chopped
  • Herbs of your choice, fresh or dried. We used lovage (grow once, harvest for years) and parsley in the soup pictured above.
  • Sea salt to taste

Tattie Soup Method

Fry the onion in the sunflower oil for a few minutes to seal the flavour, then place all the other ingredients except the kale in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are cooked (15 – 20 minutes). Add the green vegetables 5 minutes before cooking is finished to prevent them being over-done. Mash.

The quantities given make quite a large pan of soup – we eat half one day and store the rest in the fridge until the next day – you may wish to change the quantities to suit your needs. It also freezes well.

If you liked this tattie soup, why not check out our other frugal recipes?

Carrot and Butterbean Soup, frugal food

carrot and butterbean soup

This carrot and butterbean soup is thick and nutrifying, just perfect for a cold day!

These quantities make about 6 bowls, adjust as needed.

Carrot and Butterbean Soup Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • about 8 large to medium carrots, scraped and cut up into chunks
  • 1 tin of cooked butter beans (large limas), about 400g
  • 2 pints/4 cups/1200ml of water approx
  • a little salt as desired

Method

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes and then add the carrot and stir well. Add water and bring to the boil – turn down to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the carrot is cooked through. Add the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until they are properly heated through. Season and blend. Was nice left a little rough but you might prefer to keep going until smooth.

If you liked this carrot and butterbean soup, check out all our other frugal recipes here.

New offers on the site this week:

£10 off with code FREE10 when shopping with Flava Buy Now Pay Later Supermarket (not a discount store but they do always have some short dated items for pennies). Offer valid from 27/09/2021 until further notice.

And The Secret Gardening Club always have great offers of overstock from nurseries:

Root Vegetable Soup, frugal cooking

This is a sweet and flavoursome root vegetable soup, perfectly fortifying for those colder days.

Ingredients for a large pot to serve four people

root vegetable soup
  • half a cup of red split lentils
  • 5 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 5 medium carrots, scraped and chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, diced but with skins left on
  • a couple of red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large sticks of celery, chopped
  • several sprigs of fresh rosemary (dried can be substituted), finely chopped or scissored into the pan
  • water to cover
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place the lentils in a large pan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer while you prepare the other vegetables. Add the chopped veg and rosemary and cover well with more water (cooking time is reduced if you boil the water in a kettle first). Once the vegetables are tender, mash thoroughly and add salt and pepper. Nice garnished with fresh parsley or finely chopped spring onions as in the picture above.

If you liked this root vegetable soup, try our other frugal recipes here.

radish top soup, a no waste recipe

Radish top soup, a no waste recipe

This no waste recipe uses up the leaves of radish which are one of the most nutritious greens on the planet. Please don’t throw them away!

Radishes are one of the easiest things to grow in your garden. A pack of seeds are ready in a few weeks making lovely crimson additions to salads. We were delighted when Julia Barr sent us this great no waste recipe using their tops (leaves), the part which is usually thrown away. No exact quantities are given so adjust to how many tops you have!

Ingredients

radish top soup

vegetable oil or soya margarine
diced onion
diced potatoes
chopped radish tops
vegetable stock or water
soya milk
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cook the onion in oil or margarine until soft, add the potato and radish tops, stir until coated in oil/margarine. Add the stock and bring to the boil, simmer until the potato is soft, whiz in a blender until creamy, add soya milk to loosen, add salt and pepper to taste.

A real treat, creamy and yummy and an extra revelation: fresh tarragon is an excellent inclusion! And some cashews, soaked, cooked and blended into the recipe make it a ‘cream of’ style soup.

If you liked this no waste recipe, try our other frugal recipes here!

minty noodle soup, summer lunch

Although this minty noodle soup is a hot dish it is nice for summer days as the mint is refreshing. This does make a large pot – it worked out well for a family of four to have over two lunches, storing it in the fridge overnight.

minty noodle soup

Ingredients

  • 250g/6oz (half a standard pack) of spaghetti (value spag – 19p approx)
  • approx 9 or 10 cups of water/about 4 pints
  • 4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 sticks of celery, diced quite small
  • a good handful of fresh mint (or 3 teaspoons of dried – most frugal if from your own garden obviously – seeds here)
  • seasalt to taste

Method

Break the spaghetti up into small pieces (about 6 cm./2 inches long) into a large saucepan. Cover with the water and turn up the heat to full. Bring to the boil while you prepare and add the other ingredients with the exception of the mint. Once boiling turn down to simmer for about 15 minutes until everything is cooked. Add the mint and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes and serve sprinkled with generous amounts of chopped fresh parsley.

If you liked this minty noodle soup, try our other frugal recipes here.

vegetable barley soup, hearty cheap food

vegetable barley soup

This vegetable barley soup recipe makes a chunky meal of a soup, while being healthy and cheap too.

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 leeks cut into round slices
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 5 celery sticks, cut onto chunks
  • 1 cup of dried pearl barley
  • a few leaves of dark green cabbage, kale or other greens, chopped
  • enough water to cover
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Very simple to prepare this one! Place all your vegetables except the chard in a large pan with the barley. Cover well with water, boil and simmer until everything is cooked. Add the greens and salt and cook for another 5 minutes.

You can also enrich with Vecon Stock

If you liked this vegetable barley soup, try our other frugal recipes here!

yellow split pea soup, frugal food

frugal recipes: split pea soupp

A simple warming, filling yellow split pea soup for winter days.

yellow split pea soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of dried yellow split peas, washed and soaked in water overnight
  • 5 or 6 cups of water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped small
  • 1 small turnip cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place the split peas in a large saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour or until the peas are soft and starting to go a bit mushy. Add the onion, carrots and neep and cook for a further 20 minutes until everything is tender. Season and enjoy with wholemeal bread… or homemade herb and garlic bread

If you liked this yellow split pea soup you might also like: lentil soup

The Mermaid and the Bear Cover

Ailish Sinclair‘s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out Autumn 2019. On Amazon and Waterstones or see Author website for more details.

basic blended soup, versatile frugal food

basic blended soup
Semi blended green…

This basic blended soup recipe is a wonderful, very cheap but nutritious, recipe using what veggies you have in the fridge/bits from the garden/whats on offer in the shops/local from the farm shop or market.

Soup and some bread has long been a staple, cheap meal… and you know what? It’s delicious and good for you 🙂

Ingredients

Fully blended tomato with pasta
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable margarine or oil
  • 1 onion or leek, chopped
  • couple of cloves of garlic, chopped (optional)
  • 1 large potato or two smaller ones, peeled and chopped – don’t use too many here. One or two gives thickness to the soup, more makes it gloopy and reminiscent of wallpaper paste… not what you want!
  • a mixture of veg of your choice. The top pictured soup had (leek, potato, garlic), 3 carrots, several broccoli florets form the garden, quite a few perpetual spinach leaves (leaf beet) from garden, dark green cabbage leaves also garden sourced 🙂 It also included small bunches of sage and parsley. Obviously this led to a very green soup. A focus on say parsnips and red peppers would give a nice pinky red one – a tin of tomatoes could be added too. Don’t forget wild foods – nettles make a nice inclusion to soup.
  • salt to taste
  • water to cover

Method

basic blended soup
Tomato and carrot.

Fry the onion/leek and garlic in the oil or marg. for a few minutes then add the potato and any other non-green leafy veg such as carrots/parsnips/peppers/courgettes etc. Cover with water and cook gently until the potato is soft. Then add any greens that are going in and cook for a few minutes. Alternatively at this juncture you can add the greens and turn off the heat, make sure the lid is properly on and leave it for a little while to slow cook without power (10 minutes onward). Blend it all up and enjoy, maybe with some herb bread?

If you liked this basic blended soup, be sure to try some of our other frugal recipes here.

forest garden book

Creating a Forest Garden: a great book on this novel way of growing edible crops – with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops growing in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Buy UK

Lentil Soup, frugal cooking at its best

lentil soup

This Lentil Soup recipe can be adjusted to make either a nice broth with bread or a filling chunky variety. This soup is simple to make, nutritious and cheap, cheap, cheap! Quantities below makes a pan to feed four people.

Lentil Soup Ingredients

  • red lentils – half a cup to one cup depending how thick you want it
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • water to cover well
  • stock of choice (we like a spoon of Vecon Stock with extra vits for winter!)
  • salt if needed, depending on stock used

Method

Place lentils and water in pan and bring to the boil while preparing the other vegetables. Add them and stock, cook until tender. Mash or partially blend if you wish. Ta-da!

Top with lots of parsley! Grow it all year round, even in a pot on a windowsill…

Variants

  • Add other veg such as diced potatoes and celery or chopped greens near the end of cooking.
  • Add a tin of tomatoes and/or tomato puree with a handful of pasta to cook along with the lentils for a much thicker hearty soup.

If you liked this lentil soup recipe, try our other frugal fare!


the mermaid and the bear

“The first time the sea killed me, my brother brought me back to life.”

So begins THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. Set in a castle, this historical novel features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic and a love story.