Comfort Food · Food for a Fiver · Soup

West Indian Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin soup, I must admit, is not exactly one of them dishes that are especially photogenique. But if you are looking for a warming, comfort food type, meal with a lovely velvety texture and a rich taste with a little retrospective sting to it, you’ve got to try this.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 scotch bonnet (use pepper sauce or other chillies if you can’t find scotch bonnets)
  • 1 calabaza or butternut squash
  • 2 large baking potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 a cup cilantro or parsley
  • 4 bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 tspn dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • chicken or chicken feet (optional)

Directions:

  1. Chop up all the vegetables in large cubes
  2. Finely chop the scotch bonnet and the herbs (but not the bay leaves and the thyme sprigs)
  3. Heat the oil in a Dutch pot or a big soup pot.
  4. Add the onions, garlic and scotch bonnet and stir until the onion is soft
  5. Add the rest of the vegetables, the herbs, the bay leaves and thyme sprigs together with the chicken stock.
  6. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  7. Allow to simmer for about half an hour until all vegetables are soft.
  8. Remove bay leaves and thyme twigs
  9. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. (I like the hand held ones you can use in the pot as it saves you doing a lot of extra washing up…)
  10. Serve with fresh bread and enjoy! =)

Personally, I like to have chicken in this soup, whereas the Man wants chicken feet in it. None of them is necessary, but add to the taste. When you make the broth, or stock if you like, (because let’s face it – the cubed versions are nowhere near as nice as the home made stuff) you can use a boiler hen and add chicken feet at the end (last half hour or so) of the boiling process and save the meat and the feet to add to the soup after it has been pureed.

I would also like to add that I like to add some maggi seasoning and a bit of guinness to my soup, but again both are optional. Some people also like to add some cream or to put a dollop of sour cream on top of the soup.

The soup can be kept in the freezer, but you will need to add some extra water when you heat it. It won’t have the same velvety texture, but it will still have the same lovely taste.

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Desserts & Puddings · Food for a Fiver · Fruit & Berries · Vegetarian

Fruity, Fresh Summer Granita

Granita is a simpler form of sorbet from Italy. Lovely for dessert or just as a snackĀ  on a hot summer’s day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of watery fruits (eg. melon, currants, citus fruits etc)
  • 200-300 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml water

Directions:

  1. clean and peel the fruit, put into a blender and mix into a smooth paste
  2. pour the sugar and water into a pan on medium heat and stir until the sugar crystals have dissolved
  3. mix the cooled sugar syrup with the fruit paste and put into the freezer
  4. take out every 15 minutes and give it a good stir – repeat for about 2 hours until it’s got a crystalline texture
  5. Garnish with some fresh fruit or berries
Comfort Food · Food for a Fiver · Pasta

Sticky Pea Soup

Sticky pea soup is not a soup, but a quick and cheap delicious pasta dish for the whole family. An old family recipe that I’ve altered a bit just to add a bit more umph to it. The kids called it kladdpasta (sticky pasta) when they were babies, and with the added Scandiribbean touch this dish is now aptly re-named sticky pea soup.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g wholemeal pasta
  • 5 dl double cream
  • 100g butter
  • 1 pkt smoked bacon or pancetta
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 dl frozen green peas
  • 2 eggs
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • chilli pepper or pepper sauce to taste
  • parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. start the pasta water and don’t forget to add salt
  2. put a knob of butter in a frying pan and turn up to mark 5
  3. grate (or finely chop) the onion and garlic and add to the pan
  4. slice the bacon or pancetta and add to the pan
  5. season with black pepper, chilli powder (or pepper sauce) and salt to taste
  6. toss the pasta into the now boiling water and give it a god stir
  7. when the onion and garlic looks translucent you add half of the cream and turn down the heat to mark 3
  8. mix the rest of the cream with the eggs and as much grated cheese as you like/can afford
  9. strain the pasta, but save a ladle of pasta water wich will help thickening the sauce (because of the starch from the pasta)
  10. mix it all together: first you need to mix in the egg cream and the saved pasta water in the sauce – give it a good stir and pour over the pasta
Breakfast · Comfort Food · Eggs · Food for a Fiver · Vegetarian

Lush, Fluffy Pancakes

Pancakes are perfect comfort food and they are really simple and cheap (!) to make. These are the American style thicker pancakes and they’re yummie-scrummie-licious!

Ingredients:

  • 5dl flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 0,5 dl caster sugar
  • 2,5 dl yoghurt (flavour optional)
  • 1,5 dl milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp melted butter

Directions:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Separate the yolk from the whites and mix the yolks with yoghurt, milk and butter
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients
  4. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks
  5. Gently fold in half of the egg whites first (to make it easier for yourself) and then fold in the rest
  6. Turn on the cooker on medium high heat (mark 4) and add some butter to the skillet (make sure the pan is hot before you start frying your pancakes)
  7. Fry the pancakes for about 1 min on each side
  8. Top them with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, fresh berries, ice cream, jam or whatever tickles your tastebuds.
Comfort Food · Food for a Fiver · Meat

John’s Corned Beef

When I met John I had never even tasted corned beef as I was convinced it was cat food… =) My man, however, is of the opinion that unless you’ve tasted it you’re not allowed to diss it, so he made me this dish one day and I loved it!

It is simple and cheap and can be eaten as it is with a bit of bread, or together with pasta, rice or veggies. You can also substitute the corned beef for tinned fish if you’re not in a beefy mood.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin corned beef
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tomatoes
  • some (fresh) thyme
  • 1 tbsp oil (not olive!)
  • Maggi liquid seasoning
  • hotĀ  pepper sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop the onions, tomatoes and thyme
  2. Put oil in a skillet and saute the veggies
  3. Add corned beef and allow to boil with sauteed veggies
  4. Add liquid seasoning, pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste
  5. Allow to simmer for 5-10 mins so that the flavours get a chance to mix and mingle
  6. Enjoy!

This is simple to make and so cheap you can feed the whole family for less than a fiver even if you have to make a double. For a single person this is food for 2-3 meals, so works a treat for the budget. Personally I count it as comfort food and I always have a couple of tins of corned beef in the cupboard these days.