Beetroot & Tomato 🍅 Soup 🥣

I will say right off the bat that I’m not a huge fan of beetroot, but I’m trying to make different things, and experiment. This creates a glossy and zingy soup that you don’t want to spill on anything white.

Initial shoving stuff in the slow cooker stage.

Shit you’ll need:

  • Passata (mine was a 680g bottle from Ocado).
  • 250ML boiling water.
  • 175g of sliced beetroot.
  • A chopped onion.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1dstspn cracked black pepper.
  • 1tblspn Worcester sauce.
  • 1tsp flaked chilli.
  • 1tblspn olive oil.
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes.
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper.
  • 1tsp paprika.
  • 1tsp garlic powder or equivalent.
  • A can of coconut milk, 400g.

I’m not keen on lumps in my cooked tomato, hence why I use passata. Lumpy warm tomato is fucking horrid . 🤮

There is enough fluid in the passata to reduce the amount of water you need for this soup. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, aside from the coconut milk. After you’ve made sure everything has melted, turn it to auto for an hour.

After an hour, add the coconut milk and leave on low for another hour. The soup will turn a beautiful incarnadine colour that you DEFINITELY don’t want to get on yer best light clothes. I realise I mentioned that already further up. Tough shit. You can’t say you weren’t warned. 😛

GLOSSY VELVET INCARNADINE.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to eat this one with yet.

Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup 🥣 🍠

This will take a while to get to soup consistency because butternut squash is a hardass bastard when it wants to be.

Hacking sweet potatoes and butternut squash to bits can be a strain on your hands if you have hands like mine, but knock yourself out if you want to. I got pre chopped stuff this time because I am being a complete clusterfuck and dropping things more than usual this week.

Shit you’ll need:

  • 2 bags of chopped butternut squash & sweet potato (mine were Ocado brand 350g each).
  • 500ML boiling water.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1tsp ginger.
  • 1tsp cinnamon.
  • 1dstspn cracked black pepper.
  • 1dstspn flaked chilli.
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes.
  • 1tblspn of olive oil.
  • A can of coconut milk 400g.
ORANGEY GOODNESS BUT NO ACTUAL ORANGES

Dump the butternut and sweet potato into your slow cooker. Add the seasoning and oil to the boiling water, and stir until melted. Pour into the slow cooker, and leave the contents to cook its bright orange arses off for a couple of hours, on auto.

After a couple of hours, stab a fork into the cubes to see if it’s soft enough to mash up. If it is, you can either do this with a masher, or if you want to be a flash bastard – use a hand blender. Once you’ve mashed it to buggery, add your can of coconut milk, and allow to heat through on low for another forty-five minutes.

Yes I am aware it’s a terrible flash photo.

Serve with whatever the hell you’d like, I’d probably go for garlic and coriander naan bread.

Spiced Almond and Prune Soup 🥣

This is another one I’ve never done before. I had half a bag of prunes in the fridge and decided to experiment.

Shit you’ll need:

  • 250g pitted prunes.
  • 1 cup of ground almonds.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1dstspn cracked black pepper.
  • 1tsp turmeric.
  • 1dstspn dried crushed chilli.
  • 1tsp basil.
  • 1tsp oregano.
  • 1tsp rosemary.
  • 1tsp cayenne.
  • 1tsp paprika.
  • 1dstspn garlic powder.
  • 1tblspn olive oil.
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 1 400ML can of coconut milk.
  • 500ML hot water.

This recipe produces quite a thick soup, which could also double as a sauce for cooking chicken or the like, to serve with rice. I kept some in tubs to store in my freezer for exactly that purpose, although it’s more likely to be quorn, or paneer in my case.

I fucking love almonds. I haven’t used them in soup before, but I felt–fuck it– now is as good a time as any. Adding almonds along with prunes is what will thicken this soup up, so you will need lots of liquid, depending on how thick you like it. It’s worth noting that it would work very well to store as condensed soup like Campbell’s, so you can add water or milk after to get it to the desired consistency.

Cut your prunes up so they look like this

THEY ARE NOT DEAD BEETLES

Then chuck em in your slow cooker. Sprinkle all the dry ingredients on top, and mash together appropriately. Pour over the coconut milk, mix some more, and then add half the hot water, setting aside the rest. Stir a bit, and set your slow cooker to auto for an hour.

After an hour, check the consistency and add the rest of the water. If you want to use this as sauce, or keep it as concentrated soup to freeze, you might want to leave it as it is. You can also add more coconut milk (or equivalent) instead of the water for a creamier texture. I love using oat milk a lot.

I added more liquid and set it to cook on low for another hour and a half. It is bloody lovely, and tastes even better with naan bread dipped in it.

Zingy Black Bean & Garlic Casserole/Soup 🥣

Not unlike my mushroom and chickpea soup, this does not start out as a soup. I make a large amount of this in bean casserole form, and then I pulverise half of it in me food processor.

Finally uploaded the photo!

Shit you’ll need parte the firste:

  • One cup of black beans.
  • One cup of black eyed beans.
  • A slow cooker.

Add both cups of beans to a bowl, full and cover with cold water to soak overnight. If you don’t have time for this part, can’t be arsed, or simply don’t want to fuck about pre soaking beans, you can cheat and use canned beans.

Either way, when your beans have finished soaking their arses off, or when you have opened the cans, drain and rinse them thoroughly in cold water, and dump them in your slow cooker.

Shit you’ll need parte the seconde:

  • 500ML hot water.
  • Two vegetable stock cubes.
  • One tsp dried basil.
  • One tsp dried rosemary.
  • One tsp dried oregano.
  • One tsp salt.
  • One dstspn of cracked black pepper.
  • One large chopped onion.
  • One tblspn of garlic powder, or equivalent.
  • One dstspn of Chilli flakes.
  • Two tblspns of nutritional yeast.
  • 150g of coconut milk powder or equivalent.
  • One tblspn of Worcester sauce.
  • One tblspn of lime or lemon juice.
  • One tblspn of sesame oil.

Yes I realise that’s a peculiar list of ingredients, BUT IT WILL BE BURSTING WITH BLOODY FLAVOUR TRUST ME.

Dump alllllll the dry ingredients on top of the beans, and combine until it looks a bit of a mess. Add the wet ingredients and water, and stir until stuff has melted in. Set your slow cooker to auto for an hour, and leave it alone to go and watch something terrible on telly like Jeremy Kyle. I personally favour Judge Rinder. It’s not terrible, IT’S BRILLIANT.

After the hour is up, go and prod the mixture, and do a taste test which will leave yer gob all tingly in the right way. Leave it to simmer for another hour on a low setting.

In casserole form, I serve it with rice, or I hack a crusty bread loaf to bits to dip in it.

To make it into soup, all you have to do is blend the fuck out of it in a food processor, and transfer back into the slow cooker to reheat. This soup is wonderfully tasty, and will keep you lovely and warm. I tend to eat an absurd amount of bread with it, to the point where I am a bloated bread monster with fuck all shame about it.

Spicy black bean nachos

  • Lightly salted tortilla chips.
  • One can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • One can of sweet corn.
  • One jar of tomato passata (mine was 680g).
  • One cup of chopped onions.
  • Crushed chilli to taste.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 250g grated cheese of your choice.
  • Sour cream to finish.

It is currently too fucking hot in the United Kingdom. We are SHIT at summer. Our infrastructure cannot cope – it is actively melting in parts of the country, train lines warping in the heat with signal failures causing massive train delays, especially in London where I hear the underground is like walking into a furnace. One poor bastard got his LEG STUCK IN TARMAC, amongst various grass fires dotted about the country, along with a veritable smorgasbord of stupid sunburnt racist gammons who are currently over celebrating the World Cup. 🙄

We Britons traditionally only get about three days of summer at a time, over several periods during June to September. We may get three or four of these periods, before we miss autumn entirely, and descend straight into the dark and wonderful winters I am currently missing so fucking much because I fucking hate summer. I am photosensitive, and my relationship with bright lights and hot weather is not one of love. This makes summer even more shit for me, and since we have been experiencing an ACTUAL SUMMER, the entire country has collectively shit itself because we do not know what to do with it.

I currently have a visitor with me – who like me loathes the burny thing in the sky. Prior to her visit, we had expected this warm period to have finished by now BUT NO. It bloody isn’t. It’s still going. These nachos were the closest I was getting to cooking because I was in no way going to stand in front of a hot stove and sweat my body weight off in half an hour. Thank fuck for my slow cooker!

I chucked the passata, onions, salt, pepper, crushed chilli, sweet corn, and black beans into the pot, stirred it up to fuck and left it to cook itself into oblivion slowly for about an hour. Like I said, fuck standing in front of a hot stove when my slow cooker can do the work for me. I dumped the bag of tortilla chips in a deep Pyrex dish, sprinkling some of the cheese through them. Once the slow cooker had worked it’s magic, I poured the contents over the chips, and covered the top with the remaining cheese, shoved it in the oven, and let it bake its arse off for twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes, I put two generous portions on top of mixed bagged salad that you bet I absolutely cheated with because I have sod all energy, and finished off with a healthy blob of sour cream. I amazingly managed to scoff my portion WITHOUT dropping any down my front, so I was quite proud of myself on all counts really.

Spiced tomato bean soup 🥣

Inspired by Miguel Barclay’s recipe, I made this earlier using my slow cooker:

I threw this together after I’d been out for the best part of the day doing boring but entirely necessary things. Using my slow cooker meant I could sit the fuck down for a while and give my knees and hips a rest since they are currently really, really fucking mad at me.

Ingredients:

  • A jar of passata.
  • A tin of black beans.
  • A tin of sweetcorn.
  • Half an onion, chopped. I use frozen onions because I fucking hate chopping onions, and they’re cheap.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1tsp garlic powder or equivalent.
  • 1tsp oregano.
  • 1tsp basil.
  • 1tsp crushed chilli flakes.
  • 1tsp paprika.
  • 1tsp cayenne.
  • 1tblsp olive oil.

I bunged all of that in my slow cooker, making sure it was properly combined, and then set it to auto for an hour. I checked it and gave it a stir, and then left it on low for another hour.

I didn’t have any, crème fraîche so I dumped a blob of cream cheese in it, but if you want to keep it vegan, you don’t have to, OR add a vegan equivalent. It has yielded enough soup for several meals, and it’s got a little kick to it that suits my tastes. You can add hotter spices as your tastes desire, I just don’t have a cast iron gob.

This would also work really nicely as a sauce for pouring over pasta.

Butterbeans & rice

Hello yes I am still alive. Sort of. I’ve been seriously lacking in the cooking department, and I really needed some comfort food today. Once again I took inspiration from Jack Monroe, and made my own version of their risotto, but again it’s not vegan. I love my dairy dammit.

Before I cooked them obviously..

I started off with my slow cooker, and whilst I would normally use dry ingredients, I resorted to canned butterbeans and a pouch of microwave rice because I needed to do this with minimum faffing. Of course if you want to use dry stuff you can, just make sure you’ve cooked them properly before you do this.

Shite I put in there:

(Sorry I’m having a really bad month).
  • A 420g tin of butterbeans.
  • A pouch of microwave brown rice.
  • 1dstspn of coarse black pepper.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1tsp cumin seeds.
  • 3tsp turmeric.
  • 1tsp crushed chillis.
  • 1tsp garlic granules.
  • Half a chopped onion.
  • 100ml maple syrup.
  • 150g butter, or equivalent.
  • 500ml milk, or equivalent.
  • 200ml cream, or equivalent.

I threw the onions, salt, pepper, chilli, turmeric, garlic, cumin seeds, in the slow cooker first, added the butter and let it heat up to melt and combine. You’ll want to add your rice and butterbeans on top of this, and stir it all up.

Add the milk, cream, and maple syrup, making sure it’s all properly mingled or whatever word you want to use. I left it on the ‘auto’ mode of my slow cooker for an hour and a half, and my kitchen smelled absolutely fantastic. I really needed something warm and soft, and this really was it. You could easily make this in a pan on your stove top, but using a slow cooker means you can leave it on its own rather than standing with it. You could probably get away with doing it in a covered casserole dish in the oven too, if you don’t want to stand over it, but don’t have a slow cooker.

Right before I shoved it in me gob.

This was my finished product. I dunno what prompted me to add the maple syrup, but I’m glad I did. Everything worked so well, and to make it vegan all you’d have to do is substitute the dairy. I would probably use almond or oat milk & coconut cream, and you could use oils instead of butter.