Slimming World friendly Broccoli & Cheese Soup

Pre-Slimming World I used to make a mean broccoli and cheese soup.  It started with a roux (lets face it, most of the best recipes do), and consisted of simmering broccoli and leek in a creamy milky base, then throwing in a decent amount of strong cheddar, a bag of spinach and blitzing until smooth.  Delicious, but definitely not on plan.

Not surprisingly this is my six year old’s favourite soup, and I love that she gets so much goodness from it, but the way I was making it was very rich and calorific.  So, since starting Slimming World I’ve been tweaking my old recipes so we can be on plan, but still eating the food we love.

Today I made a huge batch using one massive leek, two onions, three heads of broccoli and the stalks, and two bags of baby spinach – it really is crammed full of goodness and it couldn’t be simpler.

Simmer all the ingredients apart from the spinach in good quality stock of your choice (my go to is  the Essential Cuisine range which just happen to be gluten free to – they are the absolute best ready made stocks I have come across) for 20-30 minutes until they’re all soft.  Season with salt and pepper, and throw in the baby spinach.  Leave to cool for a while before blitzing.  I always use my Nutribullet for this as it gives such amazingly smooth results and a natural creaminess which my stick blender just doesn’t compare to.

Now to give the cheesy element of this I portioned out the soup into six large separate portions then added 37.5g of Primula Light to each portion.  75g of Primula Light counts as a healthy extra A choice (hexA) so each portion of soup is syn free if you use the primula as half of your hexA for the day. If you like you can reserve a bit of the cheese to do a swirl on top like I have, but obviously this is optional and purely done for aesthetic purposes in my case. I always top with some (fat removed) crispy smoked bacon which just elevates it to another level.

So there you have it, absolutely delicious, flavour packed, on plan soup which is pretty enough to to serve up at a dinner party, but comforting enough to enjoy midweek in front of the telly having had a hard day in the office. Enjoy!

Follow me over on IG and Facebook

Kubbah Hammute

image

A lot of my childhood memories involve food. My mum’s curry, lobster and mackerel caught by Dad, Saturday morning pancakes, cheese fondue as a treat now and then, the good old Sunday roast, I could go on. These little beauts however, categorically remind me of my Granny. I remember being mesmerised watching her tiny hands make these spiced Assyrian dumplings poached in a fragrant spiced soup, while she explained in pigeon English how to do it.

Granny never wrote recipes down though, so it fell to my mum to work out actual quantities. I entered this dish in a cooking competition a couple of years ago, and although I didn’t win, the recipe was printed in a cook book to accompany the TV series. You can see it on one of my earlier blog posts here or you can buy it online here. For whatever reason the recipe was changed slightly by the book writers, but here’s the original, and best… Not that I’m biased! Here’s what you’ll need:

Stuffing
250g lean minced beef
1 large onion very finely diced
Large handful chopped curly parsley
1 rounded dessert spoon of hot curry powder
1 rounded dessert spoon of garam massala
Salt and black pepper

Dough
500g lean minced beef
500g ground rice
Salt and black pepper
1/4 pint water.

For the stuffing, fry the meat in a little oil, add the onion and dry ingredients. Once cooked add the parsley. Set aside to cool.

For the dough mix all the ingredients by hand (or the kitchen aid with the dough hook attachment works well too) adding the water a little at a time until it feels like soft bead dough. If it’s too wet add a little more ground rice otherwise the Kubbah will disintegrate while cooking. Leave to stand for half an hour.

image

You’re now ready to roll. Take a golf ball amount of dough and roll into a ball.

image

Use your thumb to make a hole and pinch gently round to form a small bowl shape.

image

Stuff the hole with as much of the stuffing as you can squeeze in without it splitting.

image

Pinch the edges together and gently toll back into a ball shape. If the dough starts to split dip your finger in a little water and smooth over the surface. Now slap the Kubbah between your hands to form into a disk shape.

image

These freeze brilliantly, so once you’ve rolled them all you could put them in the freezer for a later date, or you can go ahead and make the soup to poach them in straight away.

image

Soup
1 finely chopped onion
1 dessert spoon of paprika
1 chicken stock cube
1 swede cubed
1 tin tomatoes
2 dessert spoons of tomato puree
Juice of 2 lemons
Handful fresh mint leaves
Salt
Pepper
3 pints of boiling water.

In a large pan fry the onion until softened then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil and add the Kubbah a few at a time.  The soup needs to stay at a rolling boil to stop the Kubbah disintegrating. 

image

The Kubbah will float to the top when they are cooked.

image

Check the swede is tender (usually about 20 minutes). Serve in soup bowls and enjoy.

image

image

Chowder bowls

It has been freezing here in the UK for the last few days. We’ve had snow, hail and lots of wind. It’s the type of weather which makes me want to snuggle up in front of a fire, with a patchwork quilt and a mug of hot chocolate. Perfect weather for this hearty, warming smoked haddock chowder served in rustic bread bowls.

image

First of all make the bread. For convenience I used premixed ciabatta flour that I just had to add warm water to and knead. 

image

I split the dough into quarters, shaped into balls and left to prove in the airing cupboard for about half an hour.

image

Bake at about 200oC for 25 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped on the underside.

image

Leave to cool before slicing the tops off and scooping out the middle. Retain all the innards for dipping in the chowder later.

image

Once scooped out, brush the insides with a little olive oil and put back in the oven on a low temperature for about 20 minutes to crisp up.

Now on to the chowder. Pour about a pint and a half of skimmed milk into a saucepan.  Add four fillets of undyed smoked haddock, a halved onion, a sprig of fresh dill, a bay leaf and some thyme and bring to a gentle simmer for about eight minutes.

image

In the meantime saute a leek, some celery and a peeled potato diced pretty small in some butter and olive oil. Stir regularly. After the haddock has simmered for a few minutes, add a tablespoon of plain flour to the leek mixture and cook it out for a minute or so.

Drain the haddock over the pan with the leeks in stiring continually to avoid any lumps.

image

Let the sauce come to a gentle simmer. Once the sauce has thickened and the potato cubes are tender remove the skin from the haddock and flake into the sauce along with a couple of handfuls of sweetcorn kernels and some fresh spinach.

Ladel into the bread bowls and serve with the tops and innards for dunking. Sprinkle with a bit if fresh dill and enjoy!
image