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Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Ham and Tomato Twists

CAULIFLOWER CHEESE SOUP WITH HAM AND TOMATO TWISTS

This can all be made in advance and kept in the fridge, or even frozen, providing you with a wholesome quick lunch or a ready-made supper after work.

Serves 6

For the soup:

50g butter

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets (you need about 800g florets)

1 baking potato, peeled and chopped

500ml milk

700–900ml vegetable stock

1 tsp English mustard

200g extra mature Cheddar cheese, grated

For the Ham and Tomato Twists:

150g ready rolled puff pastry

2 tbsp sundried tomato paste

50g wafer thin ham

1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk (egg wash)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until it is softened but not coloured. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, cauliflower and potato. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure the vegetables don’t brown and if they are sticking, then add a splash of water to the pan.

Remove the lid and pour in the milk and 700ml of the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower and potato are tender and beginning to break up.

While the soup is cooking, you can prepare the Ham and Tomato Twists. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan ovens/gas 5.

Spread the tomato paste on top of the pastry then lay the ham, in a single layer on top.

Cut the pastry into approximately 24 x 1cm thick strips. Gently twist each strip and lay onto a couple of non-stick baking sheets, keeping them just slightly apart. Brush with beaten egg wash and scatter over a little sea salt and a twist of black pepper.

Place in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until they are light golden brown.

Remove the soup from the heat and take out the bay leaf. Cool slightly, and then blitz in a food processor or blender until totally smooth. You’ll probably have to do this in two batches. Return the soup to the pan and stir in the mustard and Cheddar until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. The remaining 200ml of stock can be added if the soup seems particularly thick.

Serve the soup hot with the Ham and Tomato Twists on the side.

PS…

The Ham and Tomato twists can easily be prepared ahead, frozen and cooked when needed.

Ideal Home Show – Kids’ Recipes

After a fun day doing cookery demos at the London Ideal Home Show 2011, I thought I would post the recipes I did. They all went really well – with minimal hiccups (okay so the Ham and Sweetcorn Pancakes were a little too ‘golden’ but still tasted great!). The theme was ‘yummy Mummy’ so for anyone cooking for the kids and family, you’ll love these. In addition to the recipes below, I also did Italian Baked Meatballs http://jopratt.co.uk/archives/243

RAISIN AND ORANGE MUFFINS

These are great for a ‘food on the move’ snack when you’re in the car or out and about, as they shouldn’t crumble into a million pieces. The kids (and you) will love the juicy raisins and zesty orange flavour and you can feel happy knowing that they are tucking into a treat that isn’t totally unhealthy. This is also a brilliant recipe for the children to get involved in making.

makes 20 muffins

200g wholemeal self-raising flour (or 100g white and 100g wholemeal self-raising flour)
2 tsp baking powder
100g soft brown sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
125g raisins
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large eggs
250ml natural yoghurt
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/fan 170ºC/gas 5.

Place 20 fairy cake cases in a patty tin.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, soft brown sugar, orange zest and raisins. Add the oil, eggs and yoghurt and mix until just combined. Try not to over mix otherwise the muffins won’t rise as well when cooking. Spoon into the cake cases and scatter demerara sugar over each one.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins have risen and are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before eating warm, or to eat later, leave the muffins until cool and store in an airtight container for a couple of days. You can also freeze the muffins, and defrost at room temperature before eating.

CREAMY PEA SOUP WITH HAM AND SWEETCORN PANCAKES

This soup is a really simple and very quick recipe that’s ideal  for when you’re short of supplies but still want to serve a healthy homemade meal to the family. To accompany the soup the children will love the pancakes, especially if they help make them.

serves 2 adults and about 8 children’s portions

for the soup:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
800ml chicken or vegetable stock
500g frozen peas
100g cream cheese or mascarpone
handful of basil leaves (optional)

for the pancakes:

200g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs, beaten
100ml milk
300g tin of sweetcorn, drained
2-3 slices of ham, finely chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
olive oil

To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until it’s softened but not coloured. Add the stock, increase the heat and as soon as it is boiling, stir in the peas. Return to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese or mascarpone and season with a little salt and pepper if you wish. Stir in the basil leaves, if using.

Blitz the soup in a food processor, blender or using a hand blender until smooth.

To make the pancakes, beat together the flour, baking powder, eggs and milk until you have a smooth batter. Stir in the sweetcorn, ham, spring onion, and some seasoning.

Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan or pancake pan. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the pan and cook as many as will fit comfortably, for a couple of minutes until bubbles rise to the surface and the bases are golden. Carefully turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes, again until the bases are golden.

Keep warm while you continue with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as you go.

Serve the pancakes with the warm soup either in bowls or mugs.

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  Packed full of festive spices, stem ginger and ginger wine this rich and fruity Christmas cake is a real treat. This recipe was originally featured in a feature I did for Waitrose Food magazine November 2015.  Makes 1 X 25cm round cake   700g mixed currants, raisins and sultanas 200g soft dried apricots, quartered […]

The Gorgeous Kitchen

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