Winter recipes

Winter recipes

Winter is such a great time to stay in and create some of those recipes that fill your home with mouth watering smells so I have put together a few ideas for you.

Winter Meat Recipes

Stews and bredies are must do meals for winter and the lasagna is another of those proper comfort foods that hits the mark every time. These are just a few of my favourites, so be sure to browse around in the Beef recipes, Lamb recipes or the Meat recipes as a whole, you may just find exactly what you feel like tonight.

Meat Lasagna

Easy Lamb Casserole

Tomato Bredie recipe

Lamb cottage pie

Winter Chicken recipes

I can never get enough of a good chicken curry in the winter and if you have not tried the chicken broccoli bake yet, you must give it a go. Take a look at the rest of the chicken recipes as well, there are a few real winners in there.

Chicken Curry

Chicken potato Cakes

Chicken Broccoli Bake

Quick Ginger Ale Chicken

Soup Recipes

Here are a few of my favourite soup recipes. As the weather cools off there is always a pot of soup on the stove, makes for healthy tasty, warming any time meals and of course it’s a perfect way to get your daily veggie intake. There a quite a few other great soup recipes, so take a peek.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Butternut and Sweet potato soup

Minestrone soup

Hearty Vegetable soup

Hearty Vegetable soup

vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

The best part of winter is that we get to eat soup and for me the time to get my fill of vegetables to ward off the colds and flu that so many people suffer with in winter. It is so important to eat loads of vegetables in winter and this soup will go a long way to keeping your immune system on top of things in winter so have a bowl a day to keep the doc at bay! (makes 8 servings) There are loads of ingredients so print this one and head off to your fruit and veg store, recipe in hand.

What you need

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots diced
2 medium onions chopped
4 celery stalks sliced
3 L chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 leeks finely sliced
1 Handfull of green beans chopped (about 12 or so)
1 large clove garlic chopped
1 small cauliflower broken up into small pieces
4 baby marrows sliced
3 medium tomatoes skinned, seeds removed and chopped up (optional but very nice)
palm of chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 tin haricot beans or butter beans

Parmesan cheese

The process

Add the oil to a large pot on a medium to high heat and add the carrots, onions and celery, cook for a few minutes until the onions are beginning to soften. This should take about 3 or 4 minutes.

Now add the stock and the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Toss in the leeks, garlic and green beans, simmer with the lid on for about 5 or 10 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and then toss in the cauliflower, baby marrows and tinned beans.

Reduce the heat, add the tomatoes and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes on a slow simmer. Stir in the parsley and serve with a grate of parmesan over the top.

I like to take 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the soup and pop it in the blender, blitz it and then stir back into the soup to thicken it up but not necessary.

You can also add a cup of cooked rice, 2 medium chopped potatoes or a handfull of pasta shells after adding the stock to change it a bit and make it a meal in a bowl. You can also add some shredded cooked chicken or diced ham to the recipe but whatever you do be sure to have it every day.

Seriously folks, if you have a bowl of this soup every day from now until the end of winter you will go a long way to avoiding the winter colds and flu and it is so very tasty you may just want to keep it up throughout the year!

It is very similar to the minestrone soup that is a classic Italian recipe

Winter is the perfect time to slim down and I came across this excellent challenge being offered by www.slenderchallenge.co.za where 20 people will be selected and will compete to see who can lose the most weight over a 12 week period. The program has been designed to effectively help people lose as much as 350g of  fat a day, yes folks, every day. If the program is strictly adhered to, you could be 10 to 12 kilo’s lighter after the first month.

Are you ready for the slender challenge? There is a R25000 value prize for the winner, so head on over to www.slenderchallenge.co.za to read about the research behind the program and to put your name forward as a participant. You can also follow the competitors progress on a daily basis through their daily blogs on the site, so even if you are a little skeptical about dieting and the claims they make, here you can follow the real time progress of each person.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

onion soup

French onion soup

There is something very special about a good French onion soup and what I like best about it is the soaked toasted bread that floats to the top with it’s melted strong cheese and crisp edges on the bread. This is a classic French style soup that is great to have a small portion of before a meal. (makes 6 servings) You need soup bowls that can go in the oven.

What you need

2 tablespoons butter
1 kg yellow onions thinly sliced
4 1/2 cups veal stock
Salt and pepper

1 French loaf
Grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

The process

In a pot on a medium to low heat melt the butter and add the onions. Cook them slowly stirring every now and then until they are beautifully soft and beginning to colour. Now continue to cook them stirring frequently until they are a nice golden brown colour, this should take about 20 minutes.

Add the stock, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or so. Taste it now and add any additional seasoning.

Slice up the French loaf into rounds that are about 1 1/2cm thick and toast them on both sides by placing them under the grill in the oven.

Now place 2 or 3 slices of the toast into the bottom of each bowl and pour soup over the bread. The bread will float to the top and now you want to cover it with a generous amount of cheese, pop them under the frill and grill the cheese until bubbling and brown.

Serve immediately by placing the bowls on a side plate.

Hint: when covering with cheese try not to get any on the sides of the bowl, it will look like a bit of a mess when the cheese browns.

It’s wintery now so there are a whole host of soup recipes on the way.

Easy pumpkin soup

Easy pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkins have been dramatically reduced at Fruit and veg city so I thought I’d try a really good pumpkin soup recipe. It’s really simple, thick and so good for you. You can also use butternut in this recipe but there is a fabulous butternut soup recipe from Nigella. The cooler weather will be closing in on shortly so get your winter soup recipes ready.

What you need
1 medium onion chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups cubed pumpkin
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt and pepper
3 cups chicken/vegetable stock
1/2 cup fresh cream (optional)

The process

Sauté the onions in the butter on a medium heat, add the stock and pumpkin cubes and simmer until the pumpkin is soft.

Add the pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper and let simmer for another minute or so.

Wizz the whole lot with a hand blender or place into a food processor and wizz until smooth. ( sometimes its great to leave a few larger pieces)

Serve it with a swirl of fresh cream or just as it is with some warm crusty bread.

Variation

For a different and more intense flavor you can roast the pumpkin with some olive oil and blend together with 1 tablespoon of sugar added to the chicken stock.

Nigellas butternut and sweet potato soup

Nigellas butternut and sweet potato soup

Butternut & sweet potato soup

Butternut & sweet potato soup

After you have spent hours in the kitchen creating the perfect Christmas feast, have drunk too much and really just want to sit back, relax and enjoy your family on boxing day, Nigellas butternut and sweet potato soup is just what you need. Your friends and family all feel the same but of course Christmas is a time to feast so get out the leftovers and make this ultra simple and so tasty soup to have with all of those leftovers. You leave the skins on the butternut and sweet potatoes which makes it so very simple. You do need a blender for this one. (4 to 6 people)

What you need

1 large onion roughly chopped
1 large butternut seeded and roughly chopped
1 large sweet potato roughly chopped
1 liter vegetable stock
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Olive oil
Sour cream

The process

Heat an oven to 200 Celsius and spread the chopped vegetables over a baking tray.

Drizzle over some olive oil, getting a little on each piece of vegetable, then give a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon, about 1 teaspoon of each and bake for 1 hour.

The vegetables should have little brown bits on the edges and be soft.

In 3 or 4 lots blend the vegetables with about ½ a cup of hot vegetable stock. You want a nice thick consistency which you will thin down later.

Once you have blended all of the veg and transferred to a bowl, add vegetable stock to get the consistency you like. It should still be thick and wholesome.

Serve with a generous amount of sour cream, warm crusty bread and some of the leftovers from Christmas day for a fabulous quick meal.

As a hangover remedy, spice it up with some Tabasco sauce. Try the Mango and avocado salsa recipe for your leftover gammon.

Chinese chicken and corn soup

Chinese chicken and corn soup

chicken-corn-soup

Chicken corn soup

If you have never had chicken and corn soup at a Chinese restaurant or takeout you are really missing something. What I really like about it is hat I can add toppings to it like crisp bacon pieces and chopped spring onions to make it a complete meal. It is great as a starter before one of the quick and easy Chinese recipes. The part I found took a little practice was getting the consistency of the egg right but it’s not the end of the world. (this is for 6 people)

What you need

6 cups chicken stock
400g tin creamed sweet corn
2 cups cooked chicken in small cubes or shredded
2 tablespoon maizena
4 tablespoons Cold water
2 Egg whites beaten till loose, not frothy

The process

In a large pot, add the stock and sweet corn, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer.

Add the chicken cubes, stir and then mix together the maizena and water, pour into the soup and allow to simmer for about 4 or 5minutes with the lid off.

Beat the eggs well and then with a spoon swirl the mixture and pour in the egg slowly. This will create the long strings of egg you want.

That’s it, glossy Chinese Chicken and corn soup.

Cream of mushroom soup

Cream of mushroom soup

cream-of-mushroom-soup

Cream of mushroom soup

Cream of mushroom soup from a tin just does not do it for me and this recipe is easy, quick and tastes so good it’s worth printing and keeping in your collection. It’s a thick creamy mushroom soup that will warm up your winters around the table. (4 people)

What you need

1 large onion grated
3 heaped tablespoons butter about 50g
500g mushrooms (2/3 chopped and 1/3 sliced)
80ml flour
1 liter hot water
2 vegetable stock cubes
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
salt black pepper
125ml cream

The process

In a pot on a medium heat melt the butter and gently cook the onions until they are soft.

Add about 2/3 of the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes until softened.

Sprinkle the flour over the onion and mushrooms and stir unril mixed together uniformly.

Dissolve the stock cubes in the water and add to the mixture along with the rest of the mushroom and the lemon juice and simmer, stirring constantly until the mushroom slices are soft.

Now add the cream, stir to combine, taste and season to your liking then remove from the heat. Stir for another 30 seconds and serve.

Have it as a starter with the buttefly lamb or the chicken schnitzels.

Roast tomato soup

Roast tomato soup

roast-tomato-soupWhen you roast tomatoes, they become soft and sweet and are just delicious in this soup. It’s a bit like a winter version of a Gazpacho and leaves you with a really fresh and satisfied feeling. It’s a great starter in the winter, rustic and chunky. (4 to 6 people)

What you need

12 – 14 ripe tomatoes halved
1 whole head garlic
2 medium onions
1 liter water
2 vegetable stock cubes
Palm of chopped fresh basil
Palm of chopped fresh mint
Salt and black pepper

The process

On a baking tray, place the tomatoes, garlic head and onions, drizzle over a little olive oil and roast at 160 Celsius for about 45 minutes until the garlic and onions are light brown.

Peel the onions and chop them roughly. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins. Chop up the tomatoes, half roughly and half as finely as you can.

In a large pot, add the vegetable stock, garlic, tomatoes and onions and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. If you have a hand blender and want it a little less chunky, just give it a few short bursts in the pot.

Add the basil and mint and season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve with warm garlic bread.

Fantastic and well worth the effort.

Chicken and vegetable soup

Chicken and vegetable soup

chicken-vegetable-soupWith the warning of heavy rains and 2 cold fronts approaching Cape Town this weekend I decided to make a pot of this fantastic chicken and vegetable soup that takes 20 minutes tops to make and a large French loaf and a good book prepared for a weekend indoors. (4 large servings)

What you need

1 large potato diced
2 large carrots sliced
2 leeks sliced finely
2 celery sticks chopped (leaves included)
1 onion halved and sliced finely
2 large skinless boneless chicken breast sliced finely
handfull of flatleaf parsley chopped
2 chicken stock cubes crumbled
About 1 liter water
Olive oil
Pepper

The process

first off, be sure that you wash the vegetables thoroughly, especially the leeks, they have a tendency to have sand hiding in between the layers. Chop and slice away.

Heat a pot on a meadium heat with some olive oil and add the vegetables. Stir them around to sweat them a little and begin to soften.

Add the water and crumble in the 2 stock cubes, bring it to the boil and then add the chicken slices.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so with the lid on and lastly toss in the parsley, season with pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Thats it, you are done.

Serve with warm crusty French loaf.

Tip: When adding the water, ensure that the vegetables are covered completely and don’t worry about the little bit of oil on the surface, it’s perfectly good if you used olive oil
and adds extra flavor.

Double up if need be and leave it on the stove to reheat whenever you feel the need.

Minestrone soup

Minestrone soup

minestrone

Minestrone

This is a very old real Italian minestrone recipe that is full of flavor and is a meal on it’s own. It serves 4 with some left over for a late night snack. It may sound like a lot of work when you read the ingredients list, but really, it’s just chopping and really well worth it. It’s traditional and a perfect winter soup. In fact you should always have a nice veg soup of some kind in the winter, helps keep the pesky flu away.

What you need

2 onions finely chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 sticks celery chopped
2 large potatoes chopped into squares
100g green beans chopped
250g cabbage shredded
125ml olive oil
3 tablespoons butter(45g)
1 ¼ litres water
3 cubes beef stock
2 tins peeled chopped tomatoes
1 tin cannelini beans
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot, add onions and cook till the edges start turning brown. Add the carrots and potatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, cabbage, water and tomatoes, then break up the stock cubes and crumble them into the pot. Bring it to the boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for covered for 1-1 ½ hours.

The soup should be fairly thick at this point, if it is not leave the lid off and simmer for a further 15 minutes, now add the beans, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 15 minutes.

We like to serve it with garlic bread and a little parmesan.