Firstly, I am delighted to say that my kitchen is featured on Rhonda's wonderful Down to Earth blog today, as part of her series about You, Me and the Kitchen Sink. So if you are at all nosy to what my farmhouse kitchen looks like, take a peep . . .
I kept threatening to add these recipes, and as Sunday is a quiet day for blog-visiting, I can slip the post in now.
I meant to add this one at the beginning of January, which is when I made it, using some carrots I had languishing in the bottom of the fridge, and a large Parsnip, left over from Christmas.
SPICY CARROT SOUP
2 oz (50g) butter
1 lb (450g) onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tblspn plain flour
1 1/2 lb 9700g) carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 pints (1.7 litres) stock (I used a couple of veggie stock cubes and a tblspn Bouillon powder)
salt and pepper
2 tsps of curry powder
2 tblspns water
Cauliflower sprigs, blanched, for garnish (didn't bother!)
Croutons for garnish (ditto)
Heat the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Dust the onion rings with the flower and cook them gently in the butter, stirring well, until they are soft and golden after 10-15 mins.
Add the onions and stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer with the pan uncovered for about 30 mins, or until the carrots are soft.
Pass the sup through a sieve or food mill and return it to the pan. Mix the curry powder tto a smooth paste with the water. Stir it into the soup and simmer gently for 15 mins. Serve hot, garnished with cauliflower sprigs and croutons.
This was a lovely warming soup for a cold winter's day.
(Slight cheat on the picture, as these aren't Plum Muffins, but they ARE Muffins and I did make them . . . !!!)
275g/10 oz plain flour
1 tblspn baking powder
115g/4 oz caster sugar
225ml/8 fl oz milk
2 tspn vanilla essence
3 large eggs, beaten
115g/4 oz butter, melted
5 plums, stoned and cut into chunks
950g/2 oz sugar cubes crushed - I omit this as OH doesn't like sweet things)
Preheat oven to 200 deg. C/400 deg F/Gas mark 6. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper muffin cases. Sift the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a mixing bowl. In a jug, lightly beat together the milk, vanilla, eggs and melted butter until smooth and creamy. Pour the egg mixture onto the dry ingredients and lightly stir to make a thick batter, then carefully stir in the plums. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases (and sprinkle over the crushed sugar if using). Bake for 25 mins or until well-risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
CHEESE AND MUSTARD SCONES
225g/8 oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
50g/1 3/4 oz butter, cut into small pieces
125g/4 1/2 oz mature (sharp) cheese, grated
1 tsp mustard powder
150 ml/ 1/4 pint buttermilk
Lightly grease a baking tray. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheese, mustard and enough milk to form a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough very lightly, then flatten it out with the palm of your hand to a depth of about 2.5cm/1 inch.
Cut the dough into 8 wedges with a knife. Brush each one with a little milk and sprinkle with pepper to taste. Bake in a preheated oven, 220 deg. C/425 deg. F/Gas mark 7, for 10-15 minutes until scones are golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire raack and leave to cool slightly before serving.
Cook's tip: The scones should be eaten on the day they are made as they quickly go stale.