26 April 2017

Hearty Spiced Cauliflower and Carrot Soup

A simple but hearty soup rich with vegetables and lightly spiced for a warming bowl of deliciousness that will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied at lunch or dinner. Cauliflower and carrots are the star of the show in this vegan and dairy free soup.

It's the end of April and I'd love to say we're enjoying some warm weather and lots of sunshine here in Scotland, but it's blooming freezing! The weather is up and down and all over the place. You don't know where you are or what to wear from day to day. We even had snow yesterday! It's definitely still soup weather, so today I bring you this hearty spiced cauliflower and carrot soup.

Doesn't it look good?

I was just going to make a carrot soup, but there was a head of cauliflower staring at me mournfully from the fridge so I had little choice and as we really enjoyed it, I thought I should share it with you. Hence hastily photographed shots of said hearty spiced cauliflower and carrot soup!

A simple but hearty soup rich with vegetables and lightly spiced for a warming bowl of deliciousness that will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied at lunch or dinner. Cauliflower and carrots are the star of the show in this vegan and dairy free soup.

I spiced this simple soup with turmeric, ginger and cumin. These have to be the most used spices in my kitchen. I always know they will give a pleasing warmth and depth to a dish.

Do you have a favourite set of spices you return to again and again?

You'll notice this soup is quite chunky. My family prefer a hearty soup with lots of texture rather than a smooth soup. If you prefer a smooth soup do feel free to blend this when it's cooked and ready to serve. As a rule of thumb, I use a stick blender and whizz my soups little for a thick finish, still leaving lots of vegetables.

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Hearty Spiced Cauliflower and Carrot Soup
Hearty Spiced Cauliflower and Carrot Soup
A simple but hearty soup rich with vegetables and lightly spiced for a warming bowl of deliciousness that will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied at lunch or dinner. Cauliflower and carrots are the star of the show in this vegan and dairy free soup.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 6 medium to large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or fresh ginger finely grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ litre vegetable stock (3 stock cubes), more if you need it
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
1. In a large pot saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. 2. Add the carrots and cauliflower and cook gently for a few minutes.3. Add the spices then pour in the stock. 4. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 30 minutes.5. Season and blend a little like I do, leaving plenty of large bits of veg or blend until smooth. 6. Serve with crusty bread.
7. Enjoy!
Total prep time:
Nutrition facts per 8 servings:
64 calories
2 grams fat

Yield: Serves 6-8

If you like my hearty spiced cauliflower and carrot soup you'll probably like my fridge vegetable soup too.

For more soup inspiration, check out my soup recipe page and follow my Pinterest board Soups for Slurping.

24 April 2017

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (24 April 2017)

Happy Monday my friends.

How has the last week treated you? 

I don't have much to share with you this week. I've still been suffering from a chest infection, although it's definitely clearing now. Cooper has been busy at school and Graham at work. No exciting meals or days out, just work, work work. Sigh.

Now I've thoroughly depressed myself thinking back on such a boring week I'll share with you the latest veggie recipes for this week's Meat Free Mondays. They are anything but boring and hopefully they'll cheer us all up and inspire you to eat meat free at least one day this week, if you don't do so already.


Alison's Allspice


Fix Me A Little Lunch


Tinned Tomatoes


Everyday Healthy Recipes


Mummy Mishaps


Foodie Quine


Food to Glow

Bonus Recipes

Join in!

Thanks to everyone who created a recipe for us this week.

If you're a blogger and would like to be featured next time. Link your veggie or vegan (main course) recipe to this post mentioning you are submitting your recipe with a link back and add your post to the linky below (one per blog).

If you're a reader, tune in next Monday for another 7 awesome veggie recipes.

21 April 2017

Pa Amb Tomaquet - Traditional Catalan Tomato Tapa Recipe

My beautiful Spanish friend Populo has made us this simple pa amb tomaquet tapa a few times and we've always been wowed by how good it is.

What is Pa Amb Tomaquet?

Pa amb tomaquet is a traditional Catalan tapa dish. It's a bit like a Catalan bruschetta. The Spanish call it pan con tomate, but this is definitely Catalan rather than Spanish. You'll soon be offered this tapa if you spend any time in Barcelona and they are rightly proud of it.

Pa amb tomaquet is a really simple dish where the flavour of the fresh tomatoes sing. All you need is really nice bread and I'm talking a good sourdough, if you can get it, some ripe flavourful tomatoes, a clove of garlic, a good quality olive oil and salt and pepper. Populo also adds a sprinkle of oregano, so I shall too.

The olive oil and herbs do perk the tomatoes up, but if you use the best tomatoes you can, the flavour is always going to be better.

Keeping tomatoes on the counter top

My other tip is to keep tomatoes on the counter top. They'll continue to ripen and have more flavour. Pop them in the fridge and the flavour is gone. Now I'm only talking about large tomatoes like salad or beef tomatoes. They're happy sitting out in a bowl. You'll see them darken in colour and you'll taste the difference, but small tomatoes like cherry tomatoes have to be kept in the fridge unfortunately as they just don't last long at room temperature.

Scotty Brand - Scottish Tomatoes

I used Scotty Brand tomatoes in my tapa recipe and I was really impressed with them. I've bought Scotty Brand before, as I do like to buy local and they are always good quality, but I hadn't tried their tomatoes before.

So many tomatoes are picked before they are ripe and consequently they have little or no flavour, but Scotty Brand tomatoes are left to ripen on the vine and picked by hand when they are ripe and at their best. You can really tell the difference. I took a wee photo to show you the difference visually too.

A Simple Recipe

You may look at this recipe and think it is so simple and can tomatoes really taste that good on what it ultimately just toast. Why not just slice them and be done with it? Seriously you have to make this and then you will know. I made this a few nights ago and I have craved it every night since. It is that good. I urge you to make this tapa recipe. You will thank me for it. Oh and feel free to leave a comment to let me know if you do try it. I know you will love it!

243 calories per large slice.

It seems like a lot of people have discovered and love this recipe already. Here are a few comments I've had on social media about this recipe.

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Pa Amb Tomaquet
Pa Amb Tomaquet
A simple tapa from Barcelona. A traditional Catalan dish that celebrates the flavour of fresh tomatoes. It's quick to put together if you are serving tapas or just as a snack. Use the best tomatoes, olive oil and bread you can.
  • 6 ripe salad tomatoes
  • a glug of good quality of olive oil
  • a sprinkle of dried oregano
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of good quality bread, like sourdough or a bloomer (you can also use baguette)
  • a clove of garlic, cut in half
1. Cut the tomatoes in half, then score a cross into the cut side with a knife, not cutting all the way through. This will give the grater purchase on the tomatoes. 2. Grate the tomatoes and discard the skins.3. In a bowl add a glug of olive oil to the tomato pulp, then season with salt, pepper and oregano and set aside until your toast is ready. 4. Toast thick slices of good quality bread and rub each slice with the cut garlic. not too much or it will be super garlicky. 5. Top the toasted garlicky bread with the tomatoes and serve immediately.6. Bite into the deliciousness and groan out loud.7. Thank me later!
Total prep time:
Nutrition facts per large slice (4 slice serving):
156 calories
5 grams fat

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 tapas (depending on size of bread)

Have I put you in the mood for Barcelona? 

Check out my Veggie Guide to Barcelona for more ideas.

Disclosure; I was paid to create this recipe for Scotty Brand. They did not expect a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

17 April 2017

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (17 April 2017)

Happy Easter my friends. I hope you had a fun and chocolate filled Easter Sunday.

I'm sorry to say my Sunday was spent indoors. I've been suffering from a chest infection this week and because I have asthma, I've been rather poorly, although I haven't given up and gone to bed. 

I've actually spent a lot of time cooking this week and today I made a big pot of chilli (Cooper's favourite) and a trifle. Did I tell you that Hartley's glitter jelly is veggie? It's really good and makes a firm jelly.

Cooper was at his grandparent;s house this weekend, where no doubt he was spoiled rotten and Graham has been a star, helping me with some housework, shopping and walking the dogs.

Now Monday is here, Cooper is back at school, I'm at work and lucky Graham is off today and hopefully doing some more housework for me, but as it's Monday I have another seven sensational veggie dishes for you to try (and a few bonus recipes) in honour of Meat Free Monday.

14 April 2017

A Beginners Guide to Juicing and the new Juisir

There's a lot of information out there about juicing, Some good and some bad, but as a lover of juices and smoothies I wanted to share a beginners guide to juicing. As I only use the Froothie Optimum juicers, which I think are rather fab, I will only talk about my experiences with them. I've had cheaper machines in the past and they were useless to use and useless to clean. 

I'll also be introducing you to a revolution in juicing called the Juisir, which is a new machine arriving on these shores soon which is a no-clean machine. I know, right! There's a lot of hype about the Juisir just now. It's a bit of a sensation. You can read what's being said about the Juisir on Forbes or Yahoo Finance.

12 April 2017

Deep Lemon Curd and Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake

Deep Lemon Curd and Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake


Deep Lemon Curd and Raspberry No-Bake Cheesecake! Booyah!

Don't you love a good no-bake cheesecake? They're easy to make, luxurious and utterly stunning when finished. Of course they taste great too. 

I think I can safely say I've mastered them now and I make them rather a lot, especially for my baking club meetings. I even developed a recipe for a vegan cheesecake that tastes just as good.

Why not make one this Easter Sunday for your family or friends?