Minestrone-ish Soup

I made this soup today for my family actually because I wanted to use up some ingredients and it turned out so well that everybody had seconds! So I thought I’d share it here, with you:

Serves 6+

You will need:

1 onion, chopped (I use frozen, chopped onion)

200g red lentils, rinsed

splash of vegetable oil

2 carrots, finely chopped (use a food processor with slice attachment to chop if you’re a spoonie like me, or buy frozen chopped carrots)

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 tin reduced sugar baked beans

Generous handful of nutritional yeast

2 stock cubes

3 litres water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp dried mixed herbs

1 tsp garlic powder

30g spaghetti, broken into 1-2cm pieces

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add the onion.
  2. Heat gently until onion is waxy.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Bring to the boil and bubble vigorously for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

 

TOP TIPS

Use a slow cooker to cook this soup. Heat the onions for half an hour and then add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Get it going in the morning and by evening you will have a wonderful, tasty minestrone-type soup.

 

Sausage Pie (Vegan, Vegetarian)

I originally got this recipe from a cooking programme well over ten years ago and it has morphed over time into what you see here today. No photo because it was gone before I had a chance!

Serves 6-8

 

You will need:

10-12 sausages, cooked (to make this a vegan dish I used Linda McCartney sausages which I baked in the oven)

1kg potatoes, chopped into chunks

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin baked beans

150g frozen peas

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp dried basil or a handful of fresh basil, torn

1/2 tsp Herbamare or salt (optional)

Black pepper (optional)

1 tsp oil

100g cheese, grated (violife works well for a vegan version)

15-25g margarine or butter

1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

 

1. In a large saucepan, place the potatoes and enough water to cover.

2. Bring to the boil and boil for 20 minutes or until soft.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate pan and add the onions.

4. When the onions are soft, add the tomatoes, beans, peas and seasoning. Bring to a gentle bubble and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. While the potatoes and veggies are cooking, slice each cooked sausage in half lengthways and lay each slice in the bottom of a large, oven proof dish.

6. On top of the sausages pour the tomato mixture and spread evenly over the whole dish.

7. Drain and mash the potatoes. You will need a small amount of liquid to mash properly. Add margarine or butter and mix thoroughly. You may wish to add some salt or herbamare for extra flavour.

8. Layer the mashed potato over the sausage and tomato and spread to the edges.

9. Mix the grated cheese with the nutritional yeast (if using) and sprinkle over the potato.

10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the topping is golden.

11. Enjoy with a green salad or on its own. Our family likes to add ketchup, mayonnaise or BBQ sauce.

 

TOP TIPS

This can be prepared in advance up to step 9 and then stored in the fridge until needed. Very useful for those of us with limited energy and/or spoon-counters!

Try adding a stock cube to the tomato mixture. Omit the herbamare from the tomatoes but not the mash.

Try different herbs in place of the basil, e.g. oregano, parsley or rosemary.

Try using 2 or 3 teaspoons of your preferred herbs.