Thursday, 21 March 2013

Vegetarian Week Day 5

Breakfast: Pear and Cheese
Lunch: Moroccan Potatoes, Brown Bread Roll
Dinner Roasted Carrot, Leek and Goat's Cheese Pasty, Salad

Yesterday was a bit more successful. I think I had more carbs and therefore was definitely less hungry. I have to say that I did go to a leaving do in the afternoon and had cake and I had no way of checking if the cake was vegetarian or not and ate it anyway, most of it was homemade so I would assume that it was all fine.

For lunch I had a delicious Moroccan Potato Bake from Tinned Tomatoes. She made it as part of the 5:2 diet and although I am not following that diet, it would also be good for WeightWatchers. I had it with a bread roll, but actually really didn't need to as I was overly full having eaten only half the bread roll.

Moroccan Style Potato Bake (from Tinned Tomatoes)
(Serves 4)

400g potatoes cut in half or quarters, depending on the size
1l hot vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
250g drained roasted peppers, sliced
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
80g feta cheese, crumbled
Put the potatoes and vegetable stock in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until tender
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C  and heat the olive oil in a large, deep-sided, ovenproof frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and fry gently for 3–4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 3–4 minutes until softened and lightly coloured.
Stir into the onion mix the preserved lemon, roasted peppers, the spices, tomato purée, vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Cook gently for 2 minutes.
Drain the cooked potatoes, reserving 400 ml of the liquid, then add the potatoes and reserved stock to the pan. Bring up to the boil, then put the pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, sprinkle with the crumbled up feta cheese.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Veg Week Day 4

Breakfast: Lemon Yoghurt
Snack: Banana, Digestive Biscuit
Lunch: Spaghetti Squash Bake, Salad with Vinaigrette
Snack: Cookies and Cream KitKat
Dinner: M&S Egg Salad Sandwich, Pop Chips, Coke Zero, Banana and KitKat Chunky Hazelnut

Yesterday I was hungry, especially after lunch, which was pretty much just vegetables, and by the time it got to 6pm and I'd done an hour of Zumba I was ridiculously hungry. I was supposed to go home and cook but I ended up grabbing a sandwich from M&S as it was an hour home and I needed to eat before then. The only choices left seemed to be Cheese Ploughman's or Egg, so I went with the egg. There's not been a whole lot of protein so far, but I guess if I was doing this all the time and my tummy didn't feel so uncomfortable I'd be having chickpeas and more lentils.

Today for lunch Emma tried Boots first but there were no veggie sandwiches left and then went to M&S and the choice was Cheese and Onion or Egg and Cress and she had Egg and Cress. For dinner she went to Wagamamas and had Yasai Katsu Curry but said that she often has this anyway so it wasn't that different from usual.

Spaghetti Squash Bake
(Serves 4)

1 large spaghetti squash

1 tsp chopped parsley
125ml sour cream
125g cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prick the spaghetti squash with a fork all over and then roast in the oven for 40 mins-1 hour or until tender. Leave to cool for a bit and then cut in half and scrap out the seeds.

Using a fork, scrape the insides of the squash and transfer to a small bowl. Combine the squash with the parsley, sour cream and half the cheese and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown on top.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Vegetarian Week

There has been a bit of a hiatus of blogging because it didn't seem to work very well last week due to some issues with the computers at work and also I am having some pretty rough side effects from a new medication I'm trying and the thought of cooking and eating made me feel very nauseous. I also can't stand the thought of chickpeas/lentils/brown rice etc, so I'm a bit limited. I'm also not very well prepared. I go on holiday next Sunday so I'm using up the food in the house rather than buying new stuff. I do have rather a lot of veg that needs using though!

Nonetheless I am still carrying on with Vegetarian Week. I actually started on Saturday morning, so this is Day 4 and it's fine, I didn't think it would be that much of a struggle but I don't think I would go vegetarian all the time. I like my meat and fish too much and the variety that that brings to my diet. So on with what I have had so far, this is going be an all writing post as I have pretty much forgotten to take any photos!

Breakfast: Kiwi Fruit and Cheese
Lunch: Sainsbury's Macaroni Cheese, Salad with Vinagrette
Dinner: Paneer Wrap from Indigo, Westfield Stratford

Breakfast: Poached Egg on Toast, Lemon Yoghurt
Lunch: Avocado with Marie Rose Sauce, Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake, Salad with Vinagrette
Dinner: Takeaway and Sainsbury's Curry - Vegetable Korai, Saag Aloo, Rice, Naan and Onion Bhaji

Breakfast: Kiwi Fruit and Cheese
Lunch: Hummus and Lettuce Pitta, Crisps, Grapes
Dinner: Curry at Sagar

What I have found so far is that it's actually not that easy to find something I fancy. We struggled on Saturday in Westfield to find something  that I wanted to eat. Many of the places to eat did not serve any vegetarian food or I was limited to tofu which I can't stand. The paneer wrap was a hasty compromise. However Indian food does seem more equipped for vegetarians, hence why I have eaten it three times!! There will be less curry I promise for the rest of the week.

Sagar was pretty good. I shared the thali with a friend and as usual some of the side dishes were way hotter than the curry we had ordered but overall it was nice. My friend commented that the vegetables don't absorb the curry flavours as well as meat and I agree with her. I think a chicken curry is definitely much better flavour wise and the meat is tender. With vegetables most of what I have eaten seems to have had the life boiled out of it, although the food at Sagar was better.

My sister is also doing this with me although I think she is only doing 5 days rather than a whole week. She works away from home during the week staying in hotels and eating out in restaurants or having room service. She is cataloguing what her options are on the menu or in the shop and what she is eating. She started yesterday.

She went to Costa for lunch and her options were:
Cheese and Mushroom Toastie – which she had
Goat's Cheese and Mediterranean Veg Sandwich
Egg Sandwich
For dinner she had room service at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and her options were:
Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus - which she had
Pasta Arrabiata
Pizza Margharita
Veg Curry

Not a bad selection really. Although most of the dinners are fairly tomatoey and to be fair a bit dull!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Daring Cooks March 2013: Homemade Cheese

Sawsan from chef in disguise was our March 2013 Daring Cooks hostess! Sawsan challenged us to make our own homemade cheeses! She gave us a variety of cheeses to make, all of them easily accomplished and delicious!

I made cheese!!I have been wanting to make cheese for ages as it seemed a fairly easy process. I even had cheese cloths ready to go! I made the ricotta, but I would also like to make the yoghurt cheese at some point. I think if I make some again I would leave out the double cream, for me this made the cheese too rich but otherwise it was delicious! I served it over some very simple pasta with a tomato and chilli sauce.

Homemade Ricotta
(from The Bartolini Kitchens)
(makes 500g cheese)

8 cups (2 litres) whole milk (homogenized)
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon (7 ½ ml) (9 gm) table salt
5 tablespoons (75 ml) white distilled vinegar


1.Combine milk, cream, and salt in a large non-reactive pot and stir over medium heat as you bring the temperature up to 85°C (185°F) (about 15-20 minutes).
2. Add the vinegar all at once and stir for 15 seconds; heat for two more minutes before removing from heat.
3.Allow to rest undisturbed for 15 – 20 minutes.

4. Using a small sieve or slotted spoon, remove the floating curds and place them in a cheesecloth-lined colander to drain.

5.Place colander over a bowl in refrigerator and drain for at least a couple of hours or overnight (I found 2 hours was enough). The longer you allow it to drain, the more firm the results.

6.Remove the ricotta from the colander, place in airtight containers, and refrigerate.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Chipotle Meatballs

As you can see from the picture below these are not meatballs!! They started off as meatballs but they all fell apart in the pan so we had chipotle mince instead. It was still pretty tasty although the chipotle paste wasn't very hot and I definitely could have added more.

Chipotle Meatballs (adapted from Good Food Magazine January 2012)
(Serves 4)

500g pork mince
2 large handfuls fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium red onions, ¼ finely chopped, the rest sliced
small bunch coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
2 peppers, cut into chunks
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp chipotle paste
salad or rice to serve

In a small bowl, mix together the pork, breadcrumbs, egg, finely chopped onions and the chopped coriander leaves. Season, mix well and shape into small meatballs. Over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil to a large frying pan and brown the meatballs on all sides, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, sliced onion, garlic, coriander stems, peppers and some salt. Cook for 5 mins, then add the passata and chipotle paste. Pour in 100ml water and stir well, then simmer for 10 mins before adding the meatballs and cooking for a further 5 mins. Serve with rice and lettuce and scatter with the extra coriander leaves.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Meal Planning Monday

This week's meal plan is subject to change. We had quite a lot of stuff leftover from Mother's Day cooking which needs finishing up so although this is the main plan things will most probably be swapped in and out.

In normal life, the inspection is over so work will hopefully have calmed down some. We finished painting the bedroom this weekend, so the carpet is going in this morning and we are off to IKEA this evening to buy a chest of drawers so that is slowly all coming together, I will be back to some kind of normality in the next few weeks on that front too. It will be so nice not living in a huge mess!

There are a lot of meals out or out of my control this week. My Mum is staying tonight and she brought delicious Thai fishcakes to have for supper tonight from her local farmers market. I have a friend staying on Wednesday night as her husband is in India for the week and she is cooking and then I am out two nights, once at the theatre and once for Mexican, it's all go this week and somewhere into all this I have to fit in some Zumba!

Mushroom Soup with a Cheese Sandwich
Thai Fish Cakes, Noodles and Stir Fry Veg

Miso Prawn Skewers with Veggie Rice Salad
Moroccan Style Potatoes

Honey Mustard Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
A friend is staying so she is making dinner


Out at the theatre with my Father

Cauliflower, Cumin and Chickpea Broth with a Naan Bread
Out for Mexican

Check out Mrs M's Blog for more meal planniing fun.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals: Linguine with Smoked Trout, Asparagus and Peas

This is the second recipe I've tried from this cookbook and it was less successful than the first. I didn't make the salad as I didn't have the right ingredients, and the pasta was ok, not wonderful just ok. I also found myself having to be in several different places at once, whereas I like a more measured approach to cooking. This one was probably more like 15-20 mins though which is closer to the 15 minute mark!

Linguine with Smoked Trout, Asparagus and Peas (adapted from Jamies 15 Minute Meals)
(Serves 4)

1 tbsp oil
1 small bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
300g asparagus (small bunch), trimmed and chopped leaving the stalks whole
300g frozen peas
1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
500ml milk
300g dried linguine
250g hot-smoked trout
juice 1/2 lemon

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Heat a saucepan and the oil. Add the spring onions, asparagus and peas and cook for a couple of minutes, add the mint. Then sift in the flour, pour in the milk and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 mins.

Using a hand blender, puree the asparagus sauce until fairly smooth, turn the heat down to low and flake in the smoked trout. Add the asparagus tips and simmer for a few more minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season.

Drain the pasta reserving a cupful of the pasta water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of the cooking water if needed. Grate some Parmesan over the top and then serve.

Frankfurter Pasta Salad

Really simple pasta salad along the same lines as many I have made before with crème fraîche and pesto as the sauce.

Frankfurter Pasta Salad
(Serves 1)

50g small pasta shapes
2 frankfurters, chopped
mixture green vegetables, such as peas, beans, edamame, broccoli, asparagus spears
1 tbsp half fat crème fraîche
1 tsp reduced fat green pesto

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Adding the veg for the last 3-4 mins, drain and rinse under cold water. Tumble the vegetables and pasta into a bowl and add the frankfurters. 

Mix together the pesto and crème fraîche and spoon over the salad. Toss gently together and pack into a lunchbox.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Sausages with Warm Red Cabbage

I'm never really sure what to do with red cabbage but for 16p I was sure I could find something. In the end it sat in my fridge for so long that I gave half to my next door neighbour who enjoyed it with roast, I had a quarter steamed with something and with the other quarter I made this. It is basically the red cabbage I remember from Christmas but with sausages and bread! It was actually lovely and a little bit of mustard on the side really comlimented the flavours.

Sausages with Warm Red Cabbage (adapted from Good Food Magazine May 2012)
(Serves 4)

8 pork sausages
100ml balsamic vinegar
100g soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp cumin seeds
140g mixed dried vine fruit, such as currants, raisins and sultanas
1 red cabbage, about 800g, shredded
4 chunks of baguette or bread and mustard, to serve

Heat oven to 200C. Put the sausages on a baking tray and cook for 30-35 mins or until cooked through and golden.

Meanwhile, put the vinegar, sugar, cumin and dried fruit into a large pan and gently heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then bubble for 3 mins or until slightly reduced. Tip in the cabbage, stir well, then cook for 10 mins more.

Serve as hot dogs in a baguette with the warm slaw and a little mustard.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Miso Brown Rice and Chicken Salad

I still love anything Japanese, I just don't get around to making too much Japanese food any more. This was a revival of the miso and it was delicious, it's healthy with the brown rice and broccoli and very tasty too.

Miso Brown Rice and Chicken Salad (from Good Food Magazine August 2010)
(Serves 2)

120g brown basmati rice
2 skinless chicken breasts, cooked
140g sprouting broccoli
4 spring onions, cut into diagonal slices
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the dressing
2 tsp miso paste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp grated ginger

Cook the rice following the pack instructions, adding the broccoli for the last 3 mins, then drain and cool under running water.

For the dressing, mix the miso, rice vinegar, mirin and ginger together.

Divide the rice  and broccoli between two plates and scatter over the spring onions and sesame seeds. Slice the chicken breast and place the chicken slices on top. To finish, drizzle over the dressing.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Burmese Chicken Curry

Back in January my parents went on a trip to Burma, whilst they were there they watched a cookery demonstration and ate Burmese curry. They were given the recipes to take home with them and this is mine and my Mum's take on the recipe that she brought back from Burma, which was rather vague. This is for chicken curry, there is a fish one too which I'll have a go at in due course.

I made this over half term, so it was a collaboration between my Mum and I. It was incredibly tasty and had different flavours to those I've had before in a curry. I also love the colour contrast between the vivid orange of the squash and the green of the peas and beans. We put the squash in early as I wasn't sure it would cook properly added in last as the recipe suggested. It melted down to form this fabulous sauce but you could add it in at the end after par-boiling if you like.

Burmese Chicken Curry
(Serves 4)

2-3 onions, chopped
1/3 stick lemongrass, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
400g chicken, cut into cubes
1 small squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
handful sugar snap peas or mange tout, chopped
handful green beans, cut into 2 cm lengths
chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric
salt and pepper
400ml water

Place the chicken into a bowl and add the chilli powder, turmeric, salt and pepper, this is very much to taste, add as much or as little as you like. Coat the chicken well with the spices then marinade in the fridge for an hour.

Blanch the squash in boiling water for about 4 mins.

Heat a casserole dish and saute the onion and garlic in oil for 2-3 mins. Add the lemon grass, some ginger and 50ml of the water, continue to saute for 2-3 mins. Add the salt, some more chilli powder and some more turmeric if you wish.

Add the marinated chicken and squash and the rest of the water, cook for about 30 mins. Stirring the chicken every 5 mins. If it looks like it is starting to dry out and stick add a bit more water.

Add the peas and beans and continue cooking for 3-5 mins. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Mushroom Risoniotto

So continued the mushroom fest. I am not sure if I will get around to a vegetarian week before Easter. I go to the States in two and a half weeks, I am counting down, I cannot wait! I may well leave it and do it later, we shall see. This mushroom pasta recipe would have fitted perfectly into the veg week though and it was really tasty to boot, lovely served with a green salad.

Mushroom Risoniotto (from River Cottage Veg Everyday)
(Serves 2)

2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
A knob of butter
500g mixed mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and thickly sliced
150g orzo pasta
2 garlic cloves, chopped
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
75ml dry white wine
50ml crème fraîche
salt and pepper
flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
Put a large pan of well-salted water on to boil, so that you’re ready to cook the pasta while the sauce is coming together.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook briskly, stirring often, until all the liquid released has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to caramelise. Transfer to a dish and repeat with the rest of the oil, butter and mushrooms. (Cooking in two batches like this avoids overcrowding the pan and ensures the mushrooms do not stew.)

When the second batch of mushrooms are nearly cooked, add the pasta to the pan of boiling water and cook until al dente. Return the first lot of mushrooms to the frying pan. Add the garlic, thyme and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the wine and cook until there is almost no liquid left. Add the cream or crème fraîche, reduce the heat a little and stir until it is just about simmering. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta as soon as it is cooked, add to the mushroom mixture and toss well. Serve scattered with lots of chopped parsley.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

I had a whole load of mushrooms that needed using up so I had a bit of a mushroom fest; making mushroom soup and a mushroom pasta dish that will follow. This has lovely earthy flavours and also used up half my pot of crème fraîche too.

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup (from Good Food Magazine October 2007)
(Serves 4)

25g dried porcini
50g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced thyme sprigs
400g mixed wild mushrooms
850ml vegetable stock
200ml tub crème fraîche
chives and truffle oil, to serve

Bring a kettle to the boil, then pour the water over the dried porcini just to cover.

Heat half the butter in a saucepan, then gently sizzle the onion, garlic and thyme for 5 mins until softened and starting to brown.

Drain the porcini, reserving the juice, then add to the onion with the mixed wild mushrooms. Leave to cook for 5 mins until they go limp. Pour over the stock and the reserved juices, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 mins.

Stir in crème fraîche, then simmer for a few mins more. Blitz the soup with a hand blender, pass through a fine sieve, and put back in the pan, heat to warm through then serve.

Meal Planning Monday

I didn't really get around to meal planning last week, I did make a plan but it got mixed around so much and wasn't very exciting that I didn't bother to post it. This weeks isn't really very exciting either, but there are a few more recipes rather than grab out the freezer meals. I did go to my sister's for dinner last night and left with lots of goodies, so I have a quarter of a pavlova to eat up and some leftover ingredients to use too!

This week is busy again but hopefully not as busy as last week where I didn't get time to think let alone sit down. I spent the weekend painting, all that's left to do in my bedroom is the skirting board and then the carpet is going in next Monday, so I will be back in some sort of order sometime soon hopefully! This all started back in November and things have been chaotic since then, so I am very much looking forward to a wardrobe and a chest of drawers and putting my clothes back in their rightful places!!

Work should also calm down a bit after the inspection, so hopefully I'll have more time to plan more exciting meals and the time to actually have some fun!

Salmon and Wild Rice Salad
Venison Burger with Taco Casserole

Bacon and Pea Pasta Salad
Thai Salmon Noodle Soup

Super Green Mackerel Salad
Scallop and Tomato Angel Hair Pasta

Sausage Sandwich
Out with my Mum

Chicken and Mayonnaise Sandwich
Moroccan Style Potato Bake

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Scandanavian Chicken

A really simple and healthy recipe, lightened up by the use of low fat crème fraîche rather than cream. It has an added kick with the rosemary and juniper berries.

Scandanavian Chicken (from a Waitrose Recipe Card)
(Serves 4)

4 chicken breasts, scored
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
16 juniper berries, ground
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cornflour
200ml low fat crème fraîche
200ml hot vegetable or chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the chicken in a roasting tin and sprinkle with the rosemary and juniper berries. Season lightly, drizzle over the olive oil and cook for 20 minutes.

When the 20 minutes is almost up, mix together the cornflour and the crème fraîche then carefully stir in the hot stock. Pour the mixture over the chicken breasts then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Serve.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tuna and Olive Wrap with Pesto Mayonnaise

This comes from a french cook book I have bought in the summer and it has been fantastic at helping me to think of things for lunch, I also bought a couple of salads books and I need to remember to use those too. My french is just about good enough to stretch to interpreting recipes, which is handy and I do love a good wrap. I have been using the Warburtons squarish wraps as they don't go as soggy as a normal tortilla wrap between making them in the morning and eating at lunch time.

Tuna and Olive Wrap with Pesto Mayonnaise
(Serves 1)

1 tortilla wrap
1/2 can tuna chunks in spring water
1 tsp light mayonnaise
1 tsp pesto
salt and pepper
5 black olives, halved
small chunk of provlone, sliced
2 lettuce leaves

Heat the wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it.

Mix the tuna, mayonnaise and pesto and season.

Lay out the wrap plasing the lettuce leaves on top, spread the tuna on top and then the black olives. Add the cheese down the centre and then roll up.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Wild Mushroom, Bacon and Barley Broth

This is such a fantastic, winter warmer dish. I've been making a lot of casseroley stew type dishes recently because of the freezing cold weather and the addition of barley to this was fantastic. The first half I ate with spring greens and the second with the end of a piece of white cabbage, both worked by the spring greens gave a better colour! It would be nice with kale as an alternative too.

Wild Mushroom, Bacon and Barley Broth
(from Good Food Magazine Janurary 2010)
(Serves 6)

200g bacon lardons
2 onions
4 medium carrots
3 celery sticks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sprig rosemary and thyme
30g dried porcini or dried mixed wild mushrooms
1 glass white wine
1½l chicken stock
175g pearl barley, well rinsed
1 small head spring greens or chunk of Savoy cabbage
Parmesan or any strong hard cheese, grated, to serve

Put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the lardons for 10 mins until golden, stirring now and then. While they cook, chop the onions, carrots and celery into smallish pieces. When the bacon is ready, stir in the veg, garlic and herbs, cover and gently cook for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, put the mushrooms into a jug, then fill up to the 600ml mark with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 mins.

Lift the mushrooms out of their juice with a slotted spoon and roughly chop. Turn up the heat under the pan, add the mushrooms, fry for 1 min, then pour in the wine. Let it evaporate right down, then pour the liquid from the mushroom jug into the pan, avoiding the last drops, as they can be gritty.

Add the stock and barley. Simmer for 40 mins until the barley is tender. Lift out the thyme and rosemary stalks. This can be made up to 2 days ahead or frozen for up to 1 month. If you make ahead, the soup will need loosening with a little more stock as the barley will thicken it over time.

When ready to serve, finely shred the greens and simmer in the soup for 5 mins until tender. Season to taste, then serve with cheese for sprinkling over the top and crusty bread.