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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Cottage Pie – Vegan MoFo Day 9

I wasn’t too sure what to do as a “retro recipe” (today’s prompt) because, what classes as retro? Google brings up a lot of recipes that I don’t really fancy making – prawn cocktails, jello salads? No thank you. But apparently, cottage pie is also classed as a retro recipe – and since it’s super tasty, I decided to go with that!

There’s always some debate over what to call this, is it cottage pie, is it shepherd’s pie? When I was at school, in cookery class, the vegetarians made “shepherdess pie”, which I’m not so keen on, because why should a vegetarian pie be more feminine? I’m sure shepherds and shepherdesses alike would do quite well on this vegan version. Anyway, in the end I went with cottage pie, as it seems to be the oldest name for it.

I used a mixture of lentils and soya mince for the mincey filling, and also carrots and chopped tomatoes. My secret ingredient in all veggie “mince”? Marmite! Even if you don’t like marmite, it’s only a small amount and it really brings a savoury flavour to the dish.

Cottage Pie


Ingredients

    for the filling
  • 100g brown lentils
  • 1 tsp stock powder
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 200g frozen soya mince
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp marmite
  • for the potatoes

  • 3 medium potatoes, about 400g
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • splash milk
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

    (Preheat the oven to 200C/390F)
  1. In a saucepan, mix the lentils and the stock powder. Cover with boiling water and cook for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
  2. Chop the potatoes into medium pieces and boil until starting to fall apart. Drain, and put back in the saucepan.
  3. Add the butter, mustard, milk, and seasoning to the potatoes, mix, and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry the onion, garlic, and carrot, until the onions are soft.
  5. Add the herbs and marmite, soya mince, and chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  6. Drain the lentils and add to the filling mix. Add extra water if needed.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes on the stove top until the mince is cooked.
  8. Into an ovenproof dish, pour the filling mix. Leave enough space at the top of the dish for the potatoes.
  9. Smooth the potatoes over the filling and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until going golden on top.
  10. Serve with peas for a traditional feel!

Homemade Baked Beans with Potato Wedges

Baked beans and potatoes, such a classic British meal. I’ve (shock, horror) never been a fan of the canned stuff but homemade ones can be lovely. This recipe came from a really old copy of either BBC Good Food or BBC Vegetarian magazine, from a long time ago at least. I’ve adapted it quite a bit because the original recipe called for veggie bacon and all sorts that I never have on hand.

I make the potatoes spiced with a bit of paprika, cumin, and garam masala which may not be traditional but gives them a lovely taste! They come out crispy and with a hint of spice to them which is really nice.

I didn’t take many photos of this meal as it was getting dark and I couldn’t find anything pretty to take photos of! Our kitchen has a few lights that don’t work and it’s perpetually in a sort of dusk state…which isn’t that great when you’re looking to snap your food. But take my word for it, it is tasty.

Homemade Baked Beans & Potato Wedges


Ingredients

    For the Wedges
  • 350g potatoes, cut into wedges.
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • For the Beans

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 1 can white beans
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F)
  2. In your roasting tin, mix the potato spices and oil to form a paste.
  3. Add the potatoes into the tin, mixing with your hands to make sure they are well coated in the spice mix.
  4. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes, or until crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a pan until softened.
  6. Stir through the paprika, mixed herbs, sugar, cider vinegar, tomato puree, and seasoning.
  7. Mix in the can of tomatoes and vegetable stock, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the drained beans and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens and the potatoes in the oven are cooked.
  9. Serve the beans with the potatoes and enjoy!