tomato rice soup

A tasty way to use up leftover rice. Particularly cheap if you have your own herbs on hand in the garden or a pot. We used rosemary which is very easy to grow – most cuttings grow just from being stuck in the ground without any additives, so ask your green fingered friends or snip some bits in parks/public gardens 🙂 Of course you could just buy some. It’s a very hardy perrenial too, so good for the British winters staying green and edible throughout (see snow in pic).

Ingredients:
a little olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tin of tomatoes
water (fill tin and rinse out tomato juice with it)
cooked rice (we used about 2 cups of brown rice here but the quantity is variable – add more/less water if needed)
a good handful of fresh herbs (or a teaspoon of dried)
a squirt of tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes then add tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer. Add your rice and herbs (fresh herbs are easiest cut in with a scissors) then the tomato puree. Cook for 10 minutes or so longer, stirring occasionally taste to check that the veg and herbs are cooked, season and enjoy!



basic versatile soup

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

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. Beware the supermarkets latest credit crunch cashing in “frugal” scam: selling apparently very cheap packs of things, which are actually just much smaller than usual amounts and not any different in price per kilo. Look to grow some of your own, even herbs on a windowsill, find out if there is a farm shop or farmers market near you – produce from these is usually cheaper and fresher.

Ingredients:
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 pictured blender jug and very green 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

blended soup

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/cougettes 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 onwards). Blend it all up and enjoy, maybe with some herb bread?



yellow split pea soup, frugal food

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

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

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vegetable barley soup

A chunky meal of a soup, healthy and cheap.

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

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. The pictured version above was enriched with Vecon Stock


leek and potato soup

A chunky, filling winter soup. These quantities make a large pan of soup – they can easily be reduced by half if desired.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
2 medium leeks, sliced widthways into thin round slices
2 or 3 cloves of garlic (optional)
6-8 large potatoes, cut into chunks (about 2 or 3 cm.)
2 tablespoons of white flour
1 cup of frozen peas (an optinal extra)
5 or 6 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the leeks and garlic, if using, in the sunflower oil for a few minutes then stir in the flour. Add one cup of water and stir well to blend. Add the potatoes and the rest of the water (you may need to adjust the quantity slightly – make sure all the vegetables are well covered). Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, and then turn down to simmer until the potatoes are just about cooked. Finally, if using, add the peas and cook for a further few minutes until tender. Season to taste.


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