This is a really easy, filling and healthy family meal. You could skip the risoni if you prefer, or add some cooked rice instead to make it gluten free. Not the prettiest dish, but really tasty. Serves 4.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large ripe tomato, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 large potato, cut into small cubes
1 medium carrot, diced
Handful of green beans, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 large zucchini, cut in half lengthways then thickly sliced
1 cup French green lentils
1 cup risoni
1/3 cup chopped continental parsley
Salt for seasoning
Grated parmesan, to serve (optional)
In a heavy based pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat, add the onion and a pinch of salt, and fry off until the onion softens. Add the diced tomato and continue to saute until the tomato begins to break down.
Add all the vegetables and another pinch of salt, combine with a wooden spoon then add about 1.5 litres of water. Add the lentils then bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the risoni and simmer gently till cooked. Check for seasoning. Stir through the parsley and serve, add parmesan if desired.
I love green vegetables, get cravings if I go too long without them. I think it must be genetic, as my boys are the same and actually ask for broccoli, beans and peas (and get excited about them!). This is an easy to make soup by Neil Perry, its a little naughty compared to the leek, pea and zucchini from the other week, as it does contain cream and butter. Serves 4 and super easy
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
4 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
1 large all purpose potato peeled and roughly chopped
800ml chicken stock
150ml pouring cream
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
1. Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy based pan. Add leek, salt and pepper and sweat on low heat until leek is soft. Add asparagus and potato and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes
2. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, then process using a stick blender (or food processor) until smooth
3. Add the cream and lemon juice and serve with crusty bread or croutons
I rarely buy cookbooks these days. There are so many great recipes available in newspapers, magazines, and online that I’m less inclined to. At one point my stash of cookbooks got unwieldy, so I went through them all and marked with post-its how many recipes in each book I would actually make. Anything with a handful or less went to charity.
SMH’s Good Food on Tuesdays (it is the only reason I buy the paper on Tuesdays) is always a good source of inspiration. When I saw this recipe from Pete Evans, I knew it would be the perfect winter warmer. I doubt he’d serve it with bread, given he’s gone all Paleo these days, but I couldn’t resist putting a few crunch toasted bits in it. He also used coconut oil, but I used my regular extra virgin olive oil. Speaking of which, I’m really loving Australian oil Cobram these days; I usually buy imported Italian or Spanish, but I’ve discovered the fragrant fruitiness of Cobram, though it does come with a higher price tag.
2 tbps extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
4 large zucchini, diced
200g fresh or frozen peas
1.3 litres chicken stock
4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1. Place the oil in a large saucepan and saute the leek over a medium heat for a few minutes.
2. Add the zucchini and cook for about five minutes. Add the peas and half the stock and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat, add the thyme, nutmeg, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another five minutes, or until fragrant, then add the remaining stock and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaves and blend until smooth.
Easy and delicious!