Tag Archives: Winter Warmer

Hearty Casserole

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Since I started to eat meat again 2 years ago I have always felt gratitude towards the animal and wanted to honour them for their gift to me by making full use of the meat, bones and fat that I have bought.  It begins to feel almost sacred when preparing heart.  I feel enriched and very privileged when I eat this casserole.

Ingredients

2 lambs’ hearts

juice of 1-2 lemons

3 cups lamb stock

1 onion

3-4 tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

about 1 tbsp tomato puree

sea salt to taste

fresh basil

Method

Cube hearts and remove any tough tubes.  Drench in lemon juice and leave to marinate in fridge overnight.  In the morning drain and rinse.  Brown in pan on stove top.  Add all ingredients to a lidded ovenproof dish.  Cook long and slow – usually I cook for 8 hours at 120°C/250°F/Gas mark 1/2.  But if you haven’t got that much time, it is still very tasty when cooked for 4 hours at 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2.

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More soup to warm you…

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I tried this yesterday.  It was quick and easy to make.  We ate (drank?) it on our way home from the theatre and my daughter kept coming back for more.  It had a delicate flavour, and felt very satisfying.

Leek and Fennel Soup

Ingredients

3 leeks

1 fennel bulb

garlic (my usual 3 cloves)

6 cups chicken stock (homemade)

Sea salt – be generous

Pepper

Coconut oil

Method

Roughly slice the leek and fennel.  Fry for a few minutes to seal.  Add stock, salt and garlic, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Blitz with a hand blender.  Adjust the seasoning.  Hey presto, it’s ready!

Special Drink

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As so many of my friends are unwell with various winter ailments, I thought I’d post this lovely warming, soothing and healing drink that my daughters call Special Drink!

Ingredients

Rather unusually for me these are in imperial measures, but that’s how I was given the recipe many years ago by a friend in Bristol.

1 pint water

1 tsp coriander seeds

1″ piece of cinnamon stick

1″ piece of root ginger, sliced

4 cloves

about 1/4 a lemon

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins.

When it’s cooled to your ideal drinking temperature, add honey to taste.

When we have this I usually increase the quantities (mostly triple) and keep what’s not needed immediately in a flask.

And for those of you who are as fit as a fiddle, don’t worry, you can still enjoy this as it’s a great winter warmer after being out in the cold, or a comfort drink for those moments when that’s just what you need!

Pumpkin Soup

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It’s getting a bit late in the season for this, but I felt inspired the other day to share my pumpkin soup recipe – which is usually made with squash actually, but squash soup doesn’t have the same ring to it!

Ingredients

squash or pumpkin – obviously! My favourites  for this recipe are Crown Prince and Butternut.

1 onion

garlic – I use 3 cloves

coconut oil – for frying the onion, best for this purpose imo

3-6 cups stock – homemade chicken or veg stock preferably

salt

Optional ingredients (choose one, some or all)

about a teaspoon of:

fennel

ginger

cumin and coriander

Half a pack of creamed coconut

1 cup red lentils (these should be pre-soaked for at least 7 hours in 3 cups of warm acidulated water – use whey, cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice, or live natural yogurt)

Method

Slice the pumpkin or squash in half, remove the seeds with a spoon, place on a roasting dish and roast at 180°C/Gas Mark 4/350°F.  This can be done hours or the day before you make the rest of the soup.  But if you’re in a hurry, peel and cube the pumpkin and add to the pan after the next stage.

Fry the roughly chopped onion for a few minutes.  Add the raw pumpkin now if following the quick version.

If using fennel/ginger/cumin and coriander, add now.

Add the stock – more for thin soup or if adding lentils, less for thicker soup, salt and crushed garlic.

Now add the roasted pumpkin or squash and creamed coconut.  If adding lentils, drain and rinse them first.

Bring to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or 20 if the pumpkin was raw when added.

Remove from the heat and whizz with a hand blender.