Christmas Soup

So called as it’s a taste of Christmas in a bowl 🙂 A very quick and easy dish to throw together in seconds but tastes like you’ve spent ages making it!

For one hungry person you need
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped plus the leaves of some, finely chopped for decoration
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp veggie stilton
1 tsp Gourmet Garden crushed garlic
400ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil

Begin by sauteeing the celery, carrots and onion in a pan with the oil for 8-10 mins until tender. Add everything else, apart from the celery leaves and stilton, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins until the veggies are all cooked then add the cheese and blitz until the soup is lovely and smooth. Reheat, season and serve decorated with the celery leaves. Perfect December fare.

Pasta with Tomatoes and Pesto (v)

I finally got round to watching some of the many, many episodes of Three Good Things I’ve had stacked up on my tivo box for the last few weeks, and in one of the episodes The Huge Furry Whipping Tool (as he is known in our house, Hugh FWS to everyone else…) made pasta with tomatoes and blue cheese. My boyfriend does *not* like blue cheese so I ditched that aspect and instead made some yummy pesto as my third thing. It perfectly used up some rapidly-going-past-their-best baby plum tomatoes that had been hanging round the kitchen for tooooooo long, and also allowed me to try out the Gourmet Garden, Fresh Made Easy basil and garlic combo in a fresh pesto. The verdict was deeeeeeeeeeelicious. Excellent.
For two people you need
2 tsp Gourmet Garden crushed garlic
1 whole tube Gourmet Garden chopped basil
2 tbsp pine nuts
salt and pepper
1/2 pack ripe baby plum tomatoes (or whatever tomatoes you have to hand)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
175g cooked pasta (I used shells to capture the sauce)
1 large handful fresh basil
Begin by marinating the tomatoes. Quarter them and chop into eighths if large, and place in  a bowl. Add 1 tsp Gourmet Garden crushed garlic, the balsamic vinegar, some salt and pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil. Mix gently and leave to one side.
Meanwhile heat a pan and gently toast the pine nuts till golden brown. Place 2/3 into a mini food processor bowl along with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp Gourmet Garden crushed garlic and the fresh basil leaves. Pulse for a few seconds till roughly combined. Add the tube of Gourmet Garden chopped basil and the remaining pine nuts and season to taste.
Cook the pasta and drain. Add the tomatoes and pesto and scoff down. Yum yum yum.

Thai Yellow Curry (v)

This was a very quick, throw it all together a la Jamie, creation earlier in the week where I *really* didn’t feel like cooking at all. It also made the most of the delicious Gourmet Garden, Fresh Made Easy herbs and spices I am trying out for a blogging competition. Double win.

For one hungry person you need
1 small can coconut cream and same quantity of water (fill the can to measure and rinse it out)
Handful sugar snap peas
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
3-4 mushrooms, thickly sliced
Handful spinach
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp each of gourmet garden crushed ginger; crushed chilli; crushed Thai spices; crushed garlic and chopped coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp vegetable oil
Rice to serve

Begin by heating the oil in a pan and sauteeing the onion for a few minutes. Add the Gourmet Garden ginger, garlic, chilli and Thai spices and the turmeric powder and fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the carrots, coconut cream and water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-4 mins then add everything else and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Serve steaming hot over rice and enjoy the taste of paradise on an otherwise bleak, wet and cold British December evening.