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

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

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


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

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

Updated: March 26, 2019

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

  • Ingredients
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 large potato, chopped
  • 600ml (20 fl oz) good beef stock (2½ cups)
  • 398ml (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


  1. Method
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

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

  6. Check seasoning and serve garnished with chives or celery leaves.

Updated: October 1, 2018

Pork and Noodle Stir Fry

Pork and Noodle Stir Fry

 

Just 10 minutes to cook this tasty stir fry. Pork fillet cut into rounds, julienne carrots and green beans all in a sweet orange teriyaki sauce. This is so easy to prepare.

 

Pork and Noodle Stir Fry
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or ginger purée
  • 340g (12 oz) carrots (about 5 medium)
  • 225g (8 oz) frozen French beans/whole beans (1¼ cups)
  • 2 sheets medium egg noodles,140g (5 oz) (1¾ cups)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) orange juice (1¼ cups, or juice of 3 medium oranges)
  • 2 tbsp runny/liquid honey
  • 3 spring/green onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

  • You will also need a large frying pan/skillet or wok.


  1. Method
  2. Prepare everything first as this dish does not take long to cook.

  3. Slice the pork thinly into medallions. Peel and crush the garlic clove. Peel, wash, and cut the carrots into batons, 5cm (2 inch) lengths and 1.25cm (½ inch) thick. Cut the beans so they are about 5cm (2 inches) in length. Trim and thinly slice the onions.

  4. Now everything is prepared, you are ready to start cooking.

  5. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the packet and then drain.

  6. Meanwhile heat the oil in the pan over a moderate heat, then add the pork and fry on both sides for about 2 minutes until they start to brown.

  7. Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, and beans to the pan and fry for a further 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. While the vegetables are cooking, mix together the cornflour/cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Stir in the soy sauce, orange juice and honey.

  9. Once the vegetables have finished cooking, pour the sauce into the pan and stir until it starts to thicken, 1–2 minutes.

  10. Stir through the drained noodles and spring/green onions. Then sprinkle the coriander over the top and serve.

Updated: August 12, 2018

Chicken Cacciatore

I have two recipes for chicken cacciatore. One I have already posted (see Chicken Hunter’s Style) and this one is called Chicken Cacciatore. We like both recipes although they are slightly different. As cacciatore means hunter in Italian, it seemed an appropriate way to be able to identify the two.

 

Chicken Cacciatore

 

Chicken is sautéed and then cooked with chopped onions, sliced mushrooms and chopped tomatoes in a seasoned sauce. Rocket/arugula is then stirred through before serving.

 

Chicken Cacciatore
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp, or ¼ stick)
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 225g (8 oz) mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins or 1 x 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 140ml (5 fl oz) chicken stock (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tbsp oregano, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • large handful rocket/arugula

  • To serve
  • crusty bread

  • You will also need a deep-sided sauté pan for this recipe.


  1. Method
  2. Heat half the oil and half the butter in the pan, and when the butter starts to foam, add the chicken. Over a medium heat brown the chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes, then remove and put to one side.

  3. Next add the remaining oil and butter to the pan, and once the butter starts to foam, add the onions and mushrooms to the pan. Reduce the heat and gently cook for about 8 minutes, until the onions begin to soften and the mushrooms turn a golden colour. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  4. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock, then add the oregano and bay leaf. Now return the chicken to the pan. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.

  5. Remove the bay leaf, then season well and stir through the rocket/arugula.

  6. Serve with the crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Updated: July 7, 2018

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 55 minutes

  • Ingredient
  • 675g (1½ lb) stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch cubes)
  • 3 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée/paste
  • nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 55g (2 oz) flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 600ml (20 fl oz) beef stock (2½ cups)
  • 2 large tomatoes, skinned and quartered
  • bouquet garni*
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) beer (⅔ cup)

  • *In Canada these little bags of bouquet garni aren’t available so I make my own. A simple bouquet garni consists of a sprig each of parsley and thyme, a bay leaf, 2 cloves, and a few peppercorns, tied together in muslin to form a sack.

  • To serve
  • egg noodles

  • You will also need a deep sided large sauté pan. A stove-top to oven pan is ideal, otherwise you will also need a large casserole dish.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Tip 3 tablespoons flour into a plastic storage bag and season. Shake bag to mix. Add the meat to the bag and shake again to coat the meat with the flour. Set aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan over a medium-low heat and gently cook the onions and pepper for 5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm.

  5. Add the remaining oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium. Add the beef cubes and lightly brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

  6. Reduce the heat to low and stir through the paprika. Cook for a further minute.

  7. Stir in the tomato purée/paste, seasoning, flour, and a little grated nutmeg. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

  8. Gradually add the stock, stirring until well blended. Increase the heat to medium and cook the sauce until it is smooth and thick.

  9. Remove from the heat. Return the onions and peppers to the pan. Then stir through the tomatoes and add the bouquet garni.

  10. Cover and cook the goulash in the oven for 1¾ hours.

  11. Stir in the beer and return the pan to the oven, covered, and cook for a further 10 minutes.

  12. Serve over egg noodles.

Updated: April 14, 2018

Pork and Cheese Crumble

Pork and Cheese Crumble

 

Tasty pork, baked on a bed of tomatoes and onions, and topped with a crispy, cheesy crumble. This is a quick dish to prepare. Just serve with seasonal vegetables.

 

Pork and Cheese Crumble
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 4 pork chops OR
  • 450g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins or 1 x 28 fl oz can whole tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 55g (2 oz) cheese, grated (½ cup)
  • 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

  • You will also need an ovenproof dish with lid.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  3. Remove any bone and excess fat from chops. If using fillet/tenderloin, cut into four equal pieces by dividing into two, then slicing each piece in half horizontally to give four thinner pieces.

  4. Melt the butter in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat, add the pork, and sauté for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.

  5. Meanwhile, spread the onions over the bottom of the ovenproof dish. Cover with the tomatoes, season, and sprinkle over the sugar. Place the pork on top of the tomatoes.

  6. Toss the breadcrumbs and cheese together, then sprinkle over the meat.

  7. Cover and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes to brown the top.

  8. Serve with seasonal vegetables.

Updated: April 4, 2018

One-Dish Beef Casserole

One-dish Beef Casserole

 

This easy beef casserole is made from chunks of steak, braised slowly with carrots, onions and potatoes in a tomato-based beef stock. Once prepared and in the oven there is nothing more to do!

 

One-Dish Beef Casserole
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: about 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2½ hours

  • Ingredients
  • 700g (1½ lb) stewing steak
  • 28g (1 oz) flour (3 tbsp)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 450g (1 lb) carrots, sliced (6 medium)
  • 700g (1½ lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced (4½ medium)
  • ground nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 400g tin whole tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can)
  • good beef stock
  • 225g (8 oz) peas (optional) (1½ cups)

  • You will need a lidded casserole dish for this recipe


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Place the flour in a medium plastic food storage bag and add salt and pepper. Shake the bag to mix. Cut the steak into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and add to the bag. Shake again so the flour coats the steak. Remove the steak from the bag but reserve any remaining flour.

  4. Layer steak, onions, carrots and potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkling each layer with a pinch of nutmeg and some seasoning as you go.

  5. Sprinkle the remaining flour from the bag over the meat and vegetables and then add the tomatoes.

  6. Finally pour over enough stock to come just over halfway up the ingredients.

  7. Cover and cook for 2½ hours.

  8. Peas can be added 15 minutes before the end of cooking.

Updated: March 14, 2018

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

  • Ingredients
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 115g (4 oz) smoked bacon rashers, chopped (about 4 rashers)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) beef stock (⅔ cup)
  • 150ml (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 pepper
  • 340g (12 oz) lean mince beef/ground beef
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 115g (4 oz) mushrooms, rinsed and sliced (6 button mushrooms)

  • To serve
  • serve with fettuccine

  • Equipment
  • Large frying pan/skillet
  • A deep sided frying pan or sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. 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 cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. 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.

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

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

  6. Stir in the sauce, bring everything to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

  7. Serve with fettuccini.

Updated March 29, 2017

Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean Chicken

 

There is just so much flavour in this chicken dish which is served with fettuccine.

Peppers are cooked first to bring out their flavour and sweetness, then added with the chicken to a garlic and basil tomato sauce with courgette/zucchini slices and onions.

 

Mediterranean Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 red pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • 1 yellow pepper, quartered and deseeded
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into half-moons shapes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 courgette/zucchini, halved lengthways then cut into 1cm/½ inch slices
  • 2 × 400g/28 fl oz can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 20g fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • salt and pepper

  • To serve
  • fettuccine

  • Equipment
  • a large sauté pan


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the grill/broiler for 10 minutes.

  3. Place the peppers on a baking tray, skin side up, then grill/broil until the skin has blackened and blistered. Remove from the heat and place in a plastic food storage bag using tongs. Seal the bag and leave to become cool. (The steam that is released helps to lift the skin away from the flesh.)

  4. Meanwhile, season the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the chicken and, over a medium heat, brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

  5. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan, reduce the heat to low, add the onions and cook until softened and coloured around the edges, 10 minutes.

  6. Next, add the garlic and courgette slices, cover the pan and cook for a further 4–5 minutes, until the courgettes have started to soften.

  7. While the vegetables are cooking, peel off the skins of the peppers and cut the flesh into thin strips.

  8. Finally, add the tomatoes, half the basil, sugar and peppers to the pan and season. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then return the chicken breasts to the pan, pushing them down into the pan. Cook, uncovered, over a gentle heat, for 20 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.

  9. Serve with fettuccine and the remaining basil scattered on top.

 

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee

 

A chicken fricassee where pieces of chicken are cooked in a creamy sauce with sliced carrots, chopped onions and sliced mushrooms, served garnished with bacon rolls and parsley.

 

Chicken Fricassee
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely sliced
  • 110g/4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • bouquet garni*
  • salt and pepper
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz flour
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon/side bacon, rinded and rolled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp double cream/whipping cream
  • juice of ½ lemon (1½ tablespoons)
  • chopped fresh parsley to garnish

  • *In Canada these little bags of bouquet garni aren’t available so I make my own. Traditionally, thyme, parsley stalks and bay leaf are wrapped in a small piece of muslin and tied to make a sack.

  • To serve
  • Seasonal green vegetables


  1. Method
  2. Place the chicken, onion, carrots, mushrooms, bouquet garni and seasoning in a pan and cover with water. Bring slowly to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat, strain off the stock and reserve.

  4. Cut the chicken into cubes and set to one side.

  5. Preheat the grill/broiler to high.

  6. Over a medium heat melt the butter in a separate pan. Reduce the heat and add the flour, stirring to form a paste (a roux). Cook for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Measure off 600ml/20 fl oz/1 pint of the reserved stock and gradually stir it into the roux until smooth. Bring to the boil and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

  7. Reduce the heat, add the chicken and vegetables and heat through, about 2 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, grill/broil the bacon rolls until crisp on the outside.

  9. In a small bowl, blend the egg yolk and cream together. Stir a little of the sauce into the mixture and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to the sauce and stir through, being careful not to let the sauce boil. Then stir in the lemon juice.

  10. Serve the fricassee garnished with the bacon rolls and chopped parsley.