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.
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.
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.
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
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.
£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.
This is a sweet and flavoursome root vegetable soup, perfectly fortifying for those colder days.
Ingredients for a large pot to serve four people
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
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.
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!
vegetable oil or soya margarine diced onion diced potatoes chopped radish tops vegetable stock or water soya milk salt and pepper to taste
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.
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.
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
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.
This vegetable barley soup recipe makes a chunky meal of a soup, while being healthy and cheap too.
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
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.
A simple warming, filling yellow split pea soup for winter days.
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
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
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.
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 🙂
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
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?
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
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
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!