Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup is full of goodness, blending cauliflower, carrots, celery, and onions. Perfect for a cold winter’s day. Just serve with some crusty bread and a slice of your favourite cheese.

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

6 –8 servings
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)
  • 1.2 litres (40 fl oz) good chicken stock (5 cups)
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) natural yogurt (½ cup)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Serve with some crusty bread and a slice of favourite cheese.

  • Method
  • Peel and finely chop the carrots and onions, chop the celery sticks and break the cauliflower into small florets.

  • Now melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the vegetables and stir to coat with the butter. Cook the vegetables over a medium–low heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 10 minutes.

  • Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

  • Strain the vegetables, reserving the liquid. Then purée and return to a clean saucepan. Add the reserved cooking liquid and then stir in the yogurt. Reheat gently but do not let it boil.
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Updated: March 26, 2019

Angie’s Potato Salad

Angie's Potato Salad

I have been making this potato salad for many years and it has now become a great family favourite. Cubed cooked potatoes and quartered boiled eggs are added to a seasoned mayonnaise which also incorporates diced celery, sliced green onions, and chopped parsley. It is a great addition to any salad or as an accompaniment to cold meats.

Angie's Potato Salad

6 –8 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 900 g (2 lb) waxy potatoes (about 6 medium)
  • 3 eggs
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) mayonnaise (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 3 spring/green onions, thinly sliced (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf/Italian parsley, chopped


  • You will also need a large serving bowl.

  • Method
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into even-sized chunks. Simmer in a pan of boiled, salted water for 20 minutes until just tender.

  • The eggs need to be hard boiled, so add them to the pan with the potatoes after they have been cooking for 10 minutes and that way a second pan can be avoided being used.

  • Once the potatoes and eggs are cooked, lift the eggs from the pan and pop them in a bowl of cold water to keep the yolks golden.

  • Drain the potatoes, leave to steam dry and become cool.

  • Meanwhile, in the serving bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, mustard, celery seed, salt, diced celery, sliced onions, and the chopped parsley.

  • Now cut the potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes and add to the bowl. Gently stir them into the mayonnaise mixture so they are well coated.

  • Finally remove the shells from the eggs and cut each one into four. Carefully add half of them to the potato salad and then decorate the top with the remaining quarters.

  • Refrigerate until needed.
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Country Vegetable Soup

Country Vegetable Soup

This is a lovely smooth, thick vegetable soup. It’s quick to make and great for a winter’s day accompanied with soda bread.

Country Vegetable Soup

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 large potato, chopped
  • 600 ml (20 fl oz) good beef stock (2½ cups)
  • 398 ml (14 fl oz) tin/can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato purée/paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • Chopped chives or celery leaves to garnish

  • Method
  • Melt the butter in a large pan, add the vegetables and toss to coat with the butter. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Stir in the stock, and then add the tomatoes and tomato purée/paste. Season to taste. Now bring to the boil, cover the pan, and simmer for 30 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly and then purée in a blender.

  • Pour into a clean saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until piping hot.

  • Check seasoning and serve garnished with chives or celery leaves.
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Updated: October 1, 2018

Chicken Marengo

Chicken Marengo

Chicken Marengo is a traditional French dish, apparently a favourite of Napoleon. My version cooks the chicken on a bed of vegetables in a rich sauce.

Chicken Marengo

4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken joints, skinned
  • 3–4 tbsp oil
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 55 g (2 oz) streaky bacon/side bacon (2 rashers), chopped
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) good chicken stock (1¼ cups)
  • 1 x 400g tin or ½ x 28 fl oz can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • bouquet garni *
  • 115 g (4 oz) mushrooms, sliced (1½ cups)
  • chopped parsley to garnish


  • You will also need a casserole with lid.


  • * 3 sprigs of fresh parsley, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf, tied together. Or the leaves only in dried form enclosed in a square of cheesecloth and tied. In the U.K. these are already prepared in a small sachet.

  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  • Heat half the oil in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté on both sides for about 5 minutes until they are golden brown. Transfer to the casserole.

  • Add the remaining oil to the pan, tip in the vegetables and bacon. Stir to coat in the oil and then sauté for about 5 minutes.

  • Reduce the heat and stir in the flour and cook for 2–3 minutes. Then gradually add the stock, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.

  • Remove from the heat and add the tomatoes and sherry. Season and give it a good stir.

  • Finally, add the bouquet garni and sliced mushrooms to the casserole and then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour.

  • Garnish with parsley.
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Updated: April 4, 2018

Quick Minestrone

Quick Minestrone

This quick minestrone is made up of a selection of vegetables cooked with cannelloni beans and small pieces of spaghetti. It makes for a satisfying lunch accompanied with crusty rolls.

Quick Minestrone

8 –10 servings
  • Preparation time: 20–25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 small carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 x 400g tin (½ x 796 ml/28 fl oz can) chopped tomatoes/diced tomatoes
  • 1.8 litres (3 pints) good chicken stock (7½ cups) 
  • 85 g (3 oz) spaghetti
  • 400 g tin (540 ml/19 fl oz) can cannellini beans/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 140 g (5 oz) frozen peas (1 cup)
  • fresh basil to garnish

  • Method
  • Peel the vegetables and dice into small pieces, about 0.5 cm (¼ inch). Heat the oil in a large pan, add the vegetables and stir to coat with the oil. Cook, uncovered, over a medium–low heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Then stir in the tomatoes and stock, and bring up to a simmer. Break the spaghetti into small pieces and add to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Finally, add the beans and peas, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

  • Serve garnished with basil leaves and accompany with crusty bread or rolls.
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Updated May 21, 2017

Beef and Bacon Bolognese

Beef and Bacon Bolognese

This bolognese is loaded with wholesome ingredients. The beef and bacon are cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, chopped onions, diced carrots and celery, garlic, herbs and red wine.

Beef and Bacon Bolognese

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30–35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes hob

  • Ingredients
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 115 g (4 oz) smoked bacon rashers, chopped (about 4 rashers)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) beef stock (⅔ cup)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) red wine (⅔ cup)
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs (basil, marjoram and oregano)
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 340 g (12 oz) lean mince beef/ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 115 g (4 oz) mushrooms, rinsed and sliced (6 button mushrooms)

To serve

  • serve with fettuccine


  • You will also need a large frying pan/skillet and a deep sided frying pan or sauté pan.

  • Method
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, bacon and garlic. Stir to coat in the oil and then sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Now stir in the tomatoes, stock, wine, tomato purée/tomato paste, bay leaf, herbs and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a deep frying pan or sauté pan, over a medium heat and, when hot, add the beef and red pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes to brown the meat.

  • Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.

  • Then stir in the sauce, bring everything to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  • Serve with fettuccini.
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Updated March 29, 2017