Cheesy Brussels & Potato Soup

Mmm, soup. It’s that time of year here where, sure, sometimes it’s lovely and sunny…but a lot of the time, it’s raining and grey and just miserable. Soup is the best cure for a miserable day! Serve it with some nice bread and it warms you up and comforts you. This soup is made from brussels sprouts and potatoes – perhaps a combination more suited to Christmas leftovers than April showers, but if you cook brussels right rather than boiling them into oblivion, they taste delicious and you’ll want to eat them all year round!

I don’t often post recipes using vegan cheese as a main ingredient, because I know how hard it is to come by, but here in the UK it’s become a lot easier! In a lot of supermarkets – Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, and some Sainsbury’s, Violife cheese is now available. Made from a coconut oil mix, it melts really well, especially in “wet” things like soups, in toasties, mixed through pasta.

I only use a small amount here – 50g in the soup, plus extra shavings on top, but I find a little goes a long way. This cheese is the one to use if you want to feed vegan cheese to non-vegans!

I also roasted the brussels first, giving them a slightly nutty, caramelised taste which really adds to the soup – and makes brussels taste so much better than just plain boiled ones!

Cheesy Brussels & Potato Soup


Ingredients

  • 500g Brussels sprouts, halved (or quartered if large) – I used frozen, defrosted
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 50g vegan cheese, grated – plus extra to top
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon, or use a stock cube
  • salt + pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Chop the Brussels in to halves or quarters, depending on the size (you want them to end up bitesize), and toss in a roasting dish with the chopped garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until starting to turn golden and crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, fry the onion in the remaining olive oil until softened.
  4. Add the diced potato and vegetable stock powder, and pour over water to cover.
  5. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Once the potatoes and Brussels are cooked, add three quarters of the Brussels to the potato pot along with the cheese, and extra water if needed so the vegetables are just covered.
  7. Either using an immersion blender or a regular blender, whizz the soup until smooth.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning, and then stir through most of the remaining Brussels.
  9. Serve in bowls, topped with a few roasted Brussels and extra grated cheese. For extra creaminess, stir through a spoonful of vegan cream too!
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A trip to North Norfolk!

At the beginning of last month, we went on a trip to Norfolk for a long weekend away. I’m afraid I’m only just getting round to sorting out the photos as I’ve been pretty busy with uni (just two more months to go though!). We were incredibly lucky to have lovely weather that enabled us to go on some great walks in the Norfolk countryside.

The first walk we went on was a round walk through Castle Acre and towards West AcreΒ (click for walk map). We started at Castle Acre Castle (a weird sandwich of a name), which is an old motte-and-bailey castle, originally built not long after the Norman invasion in 1066!

Next we walked past the Priory, another nearly millennia old building, originally founded by order of Burgundy. We didn’t go in the Priory itself, but it’s owned by English Heritage now and you can pay to access the building.

The walk leaves the roads and takes you through fields, where we sat down and had lunch!

The sun lasted most of the walk, which was great, allowing us to get some lovely photos of the scenery.

And then finally, a walk along the river Nar, which was ever so slightly flooded, and we got a bit muddy. By now the clouds were closing in a little and we were ready for the walk to be done! But it was a lovely walk in a great area of Norfolk.

The next day, we went on a Woodland and Coastal Walk at Sheringham Park. As the name suggests, the walk began in the woodlands in Sheringham Park before heading towards Weybourne Station and the coast.

Once again, we were blessed with beautiful weather leading to great views, like the above of Weybourne village!

We walked past Weybourne Station, part of the North Norfolk Railway, which unfortunately was closed so we were unable to go in and have a look, but from the bridge overlooking it it certainly seemed a lovely quaint little place.

We also came across this marvellous sign (click the picture to enlarge) showcasing some fine Norfolk language!

Soon, the walk headed along the coast, which although providing lovely views, was extremely windy! This part of the walk was particularly difficult as it became very cold and gusty and the coastal path seemed to go on forever!

We did eventually turn off and head back towards the park itself, where the weather, once the wind had died down, proved to be lovely and warm.

And finally back in the park itself before we headed back to the car. I can highly recommend the coastal walk at Sheringham (follow the link above for the instructions) as it was really fun and had some great views of the area.