30 June 2009

and the Winner of No Croutons Required is...











Yasmeen from Healthy Nut, who served us up a healthy bowl of Kale Barley Soup which she spiced up with garlic, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder. So we all obviously like to be healthy, especially when there is an extra helping of spice. A worthy winner with a strong 21 votes.

Congratualtions Yasmeen and thank you to everyone else for serving up such delicious dishes.

Head over to Lisa's blog tomorrow to get the heads up tomorrow.

ps normal service will resume in July, hopefully

21 June 2009

No Croutons Required - June Roundup

This month we went all leafy for No Croutons Required.

We were looking for a soup or salad that featured leaves. Spinach, watercress, kale, swiss chard, salad leaves, herbs ... If it was leafy, then we wanted you to add it and you did with some very impressive results.


The first entry comes from Fleur over at Flowers at Home. Fleur has made us a Spinach, Veggie and Hummus Salad. This is a hearty salad filled with grilled peppers, courgettes and aubergine with tomatoes, hummus and spinach. Mmmmmm!

(Gloucestershire, UK)



Next up we have another salad from our good friend Val over at More Than Burnt Toast. Val has made us a Bulgur & Chickpea Salad with Feta and Pomegranate Dressing. Val used quick cook bulgar wheat, but instead of cooking it, she left it to soak in the dressing overnight, which had the same effect, but without having to go near the cooker on such a hot day. Nice tip Val and such a gorgeous combination of flavours.

(British Columbia, Canada)



We have a soup next, courtesy of Miri over at Peppermill. Miri has made up a lovely spicy Lentil Coriander Soup. I just love it! Miri has pumped up the flavour with ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander and coconut milk. How delicious does that sound?

(Delhi, India)



We have another tasty soup next up. Spinach Soup with Fried Garlic. A treat for the eyes and the stomach from Soma over at eCurry. We have Soma's mum to thank for this comforting bowl of soup. Garlic, potatoes, turmeric, cumin and tomato are some of the lovely ingredients in this soup, which compliment the spinach perfectly.

(Texas, USA)



Pooja from My Experience with Cooking has made us our third soup of the challenge, an Italian classic Minestrone Soup. Pooja made her soup nice and leafy for us by adding spinach, bay leaves, parsley and basil. It does sound really, really good! Thanks Pooja :)

(Illinois, USA)



We are back to salads next with a Leafy Green Salad with Persimmon from Lucy over at Nourish Me. Flat leafed parsley, walnuts, persimmons, avocado and rocket in a lovely lemony dressing. Now that is a salad to be proud of! It puts my average salad to shame. I have never tried persimmon before, but now I am intrigued.

(Melbourne, Australia)



The next soup ticked all the right boxes for me. Potatoes, mushrooms and cheese, what more could a girl want? And who is the smart cookie that ticked all those boxes? Johanna over at Cheesy Potato and Mushroom Soup with Greens. Johanna often knows just what I want to eat and she has got it spot on this time too. I have a sneaky feeling that Lisa will love this one too!

(Melbourne, Australia)



My entry is up next. I just had a look in my fridge for inspiration for this soup. I had mushrooms, but hey, that is not much of a surprise is it, beetroot and a selection of salad leaves. I added onion, garlic and herbs to the mix and ended up with an Earthy Mushroom and Baby Leaf Soup. I was impressed with the intensity of flavour in this soup.

(Dundee, Scotland)
(not in vote)



We have another ladleful of soup next, this time the soup is imaginatively topped with ravioli - Pumpkin Soup with Beetroot Ravioli and Baby Spinach. Frances from Crunchy Green Things had a eureka moment when serving her pumpkin soup for the second time. First of all she served it with sage, but the second time around she placed a generous handful of baby spinach at the bottom of each bowl before she ladled over the soup, then topped it with freshly cooked beetroot ravioli, a dollop of creme fraiche and crispy sage leaves. Wonderful!

(Australia)



Spinach, strawberries and peaches. I have your attention now, don't I? The next salad is a real taste of summer. Muskaan over at A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine has combined these gorgeous flavours, along with almonds, walnuts and sesame seeds in this delicious Spinach, Strawberry and Peach Salad, which is drizzled with a slightly spicy dressing.

(USA)



I covet the bowl this next soup is served in. I would be very happy to have it with the soup in it, very happy indeed, as long as I didn't have to hand the bowl back afterwards! The owner of this delicious soup and nifty bowl is Yasmeen over at Health Nut. Yasmeen has made us a Kale-Barley Soup. Garlic, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder spice up this healthy soup. Yum!

(Cleveland, USA)



My best buddy and co-host is up next, Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen, with an extremely tempting bowl of Potato Leek Soup with Watercress, Green Lentils and Fresh Goat Cheese. Lisa loaded her lentil soup with potatoes, carrots, leeks and chilies, finished with a splosh of cream and a grinding of black pepper and topped with that delicious creamy goats cheese. How can you fail to be impressed?

(London, Canada)
(not in vote)



We have a simple, but perfect summer salad next. It comes from Graziana over at Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with herbs). Graziana combined corn salad leaves, thai basil, with it's lemony fragrance, lemon balm leaves and mozzarella. Seasoned with salt and drizzled with olive oil. Sometimes it is best to keep things clean and simple, so you can enjoy the flavours, this salad embodies that philosophy perfectly.

(Italy)



We are visiting India for our next soup. Watermelon and Mint Soup from Deepika over at Less Sugar Please. Deepika had a surplice of watermelon sitting in her fridge when she came up with this novel soup. Deepika served her soup hot, but suggests that is would also be great served chilled and what could be better on a hot summer's day?

(India)



Now over to Paris for a Mushroom, Spinach N Tomato Soup from Priyasuresh over at Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes. Priya combined mushrooms, spinach and tomato in this tasty soup, along with garlic, nutmeg, pepper, ginger and cream. I love the way the mushrooms bob around in this soup, it was such a good idea to leave these whole.

(Paris, France)



If you are likely to turn green at the sight of some really professional photography on a blog, then look away now! Meeta over at What's For Lunch Honey has made us this beautiful Leafy Green Salad with Brie and Honey Mustard Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette. Goodness, it sounds even better that it looks, hard is that is to believe! Absolutely divine!

(Weimar, Germany)



We are going green with this next soup. Manali over at Cravings has made us a very green Spinach Soup. Popeye would just love this soup as I am sure you all will too! A bowl full of nutrients and such a pretty colour to boot.

(New Jersey, US)



We are visiting India for a taste of Morocco with the next soup. Sweatha over at Tasty Curry Leaf has made us a Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Spinach Soup. Chickpeas and spinach flavoured with onion, garlic, chilli powder, cinnamon, tomato paste, dried apricots and lemon. Wow, that soup packs a punch of flavour! That Sweatha definitely has a good palate.

(Bangalore, India)



Another soup next. This time a Very Orange Carrot and Basil Soup from Lysy over at Munchkin Mail. Lysy's mum gave her a pot of basil, which inspired this soup. Lysy roasted carrots, sweet potato and red pepper, along with some garlic cloves. She then blended the veg and some hot stock to make this delicious orange soup, then topped it with her basil. Neither Lysy or I can think of what this type of basil is called, so please let us know if you do.

(Warwickshire, UK)



We are visitng the allotment for our last soup and our last entry. To quote Mangocheeks they "were supposed to be purple top Milan turnips, but each and everyone of them had gone to seed", they were going to end up on the compost heap, but mangocheeks wanted to see if she could use them for some soup. After a bit of research she found out they were indeed edible and so his soup came about. Simple Lentil and Turnip Leaf Soup. Simple and delicious, straight from the allotment to the bowl. This girl makes me feel like I have a lot to live up to, I am full of admiration. You can check out Mangocheeks tales from her allotment over at Allotment 2 Kitchen.

(West of Scotland, UK)



Here ends this month's roundup of No Croutons Required. Thanks to everyone for a pretty spectacular line-up of dishes.

Now go vote!

05 June 2009

Earthy Mushroom & Baby Leaf Soup




Earthy Mushroom & Baby Leaf Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
10 large field/portabello mushrooms, chopped
1 beetroot, shredded
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 handful red chard
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp dried chives
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion has softened and is translucent. Next add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, before adding the beetroot. Now through in the leaves and stir in. They will begin to wilt immediately. Pour in the stock and add the herbs. Leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes before seasoning with the salt and pepper.

I used raw beetroot, but the soup would be equally good with cooked beetroot and you could change the leaves and herbs about a bit too.

This is my entry for this month's No Croutons Required. If you would like to join, then submit your own soup or salad containing leaves before the 20th June 2009. You will find the guidelines here.

Now that's done, I think I am going to go and chew on some salad leaves before turning in to bed. My insomnia is just awful just now. You may have noticed I haven't been around much, but I digress, lettuce is supposed to induce sleep. So here goes!

01 June 2009

No Croutons Required - June

We are going all leafy for this month's No Croutons Required.

We are looking for a soup or salad that features leaves. Think spinach, watercress, kale, swiss chard, salad leaves, herbs ... Go crazy! If it's leafy, then add it!

Post your recipe and email me(nocroutonsrequired@googlemail.com) a link, a photo, your name, your blog and location by the 20th June 2009 for the chance to win a rather splendid little badge for your blog. You can read the full rules here.

Get cooking everyone!

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