About us

We are two friends, one living in town and one in the country, who love to cook and entertain at home. We share a passion for our gardens and for the easy-going lifestyle of sub-tropical eastern Australia. And, yes, we both have garden ponds teaming with frogs.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Soups - broccoli and lentil (but not together!)

Even in sub-tropical eastern Australia, August is a cold time of year so Country Frog has gone into hibernation for a few weeks and is doing some writing, last I heard.  Luckily she left some winter warmer recipes which are easy peasy but still feed my whole family. 

A very, very easy winter warmer that can be made in a few minutes and served as a complete meal. Low fat, nutritious and delicious!

Time: 5 minutes preparation; 10 minutes to cook.
Serves 4 as a meal; 6+ as a starter
You will need: Chopping board and knife; medium saucepan; food processor or stick-mixer.

1 large head of broccoli, chopped (including stems and stalk)
1 tsp mild wholegrain (seeded) mustard
1 medium washed potato per person, skin on and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup milk (full cream, low fat or rice bran – but not soy as the taste is too strong)
1 cup water or chicken stock
Salt to taste (start with ¼ teaspoon as mustard is salty)

1. Put all ingredients into saucepan (pan should be large enough so that milk will not boil over); simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the onion is cooked.
2. Take a spoonful of vegetable from the pot and set aside to use as garnish; puree the remaining. If the mix is too thick, add more milk, stock or water and bring soup back to the boil again before serving. Taste for salt and add sparingly.
3. For a complete meal, serve with crusty bread and a slab of crumbly mature cheese. For a starter or light meal, serve with pappadams or toasted flatbread.

Wholesome and hearty, quick and easy – this is a meal in one pot to feed the whole family on a blustery wintry day.

Serves 6 – 8
Time: 10 minutes chopping; 30 minutes cooking.
You will need: Chopping board and sharp knife; large saucepan with lid.

1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 large washed potato, diced
≈ 4 cups other mixed fresh vegetables, diced (or frozen mixed veg)
2/3 cup brown or green lentils
water ( ≈1.5 litres)
½ - 1 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp mild brown curry paste or dry garam masala spice
1 tbs olive or other cooking oil
Great veggies: pumpkin, green capsicum, eggplant.....
1. Heat saucepan over medium heat; add oil and diced onion; cook until becoming translucent.
2. Add curry/spice and cook 30 seconds.
3. Add all vegetables and lentils, plus salt, and enough water to just cover.
4. Bring to boil; put the lid on; turn to low heat and simmer 30 minutes until lentils are soft.
5. Serve with crusty bread.

Veggies with orange and rosemary
Country Frog soup tips:
  • Adding a good amount of diced potato improves the texture of the soup. The potato starch breaks down with boiling and acts as a thickening/binding agent. ½ cup of short grain or Arborio rice works well, also.
  • Soup is the ideal way to use up end-of-week vegetables that have become a little tired-looking. Unless a vegetable is terribly wilted and rundown, it is still a storehouse of vitamins and minerals. Don’t waste food when you can make soup!
  • Add any bits and piece of two or three-day old leftovers to the soup pot. Just be sure the pot comes to a good boil again, and for a few minutes, after adding. (Adding left-overs to a warm pot without re-boiling is not good kitchen practice. Bad bugs breed in warm damp places.)

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