Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sunday soup morning, sticky parkin and bonfire toffee

I can't bare to waste food and try and throw as little away as possible, so when I found a bag of sweet potatoes that I had bought at least a couple of weeks ago and were getting past their best, making soup was really the only option to use them up. I do have plenty of soup recipes but turned to 'Pinterest' to see what was on there. I found this recipe which although titled 'Sweet potato soup' had coconut milk in. Unfortunately I don't have my camera at the moment so will do some cutting and pasting of photographs.

 It was very straight forward, here is what you need

8 oz (1/2 lb or about 6 strips) bacon, diced (I didn't have any bacon)
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large stick of celery ( NOT a whole head), diced
2 lbs (3 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves - (I used a sprig of fresh thyme)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk (I used a whole tin which did make it very creamy)
2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
2 Tbsp parsley to garnish, optional

Fry the bacon in it's own fat
Sweet Potato Soup Recipe-3

then fry the onion and celery adding the garlic a couple of minutes later

Sweet Potato Soup Recipe-11

Add the diced sweet potato and stock and simmer till the potato is soft

Sweet Potato Soup Recipe-12

Blend and add the coconut milk - serve hot with the bacon sprinkled on the top - I did adjust the seasoning as it needed a bit of 'umph' but the end result was rather nice.

My second soup this morning was carrot and ginger 

Carrot & ginger soup

a Good Food recipe found here

I didn't do any topping so this is what I used

 again very straight forward to make

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion,ginger and garlic, and fry for 5 mins until starting to soften. Stir in the nutmeg and cook for 1 min more.
  2. Pour in the stock, add the carrots, beans and their liquid, then cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the carrots are tender.
  3. Scoop a third of the mixture into a bowl and blitz the remainder with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Return everything to the pan and heat until bubbling. 

I liked the ginger in this and have to admit to putting more than the recipe said!  So that's my lunches sorted out for the week with plenty left to put in the freezer.

I was baking yesterday having been reminded by a text message asking how to make  bonfire toffee (which I'll include at the end) that I hadn't made any parkin (there is a connection there) so dug out my favourite recipe by Bella Ivins, which has crushed cardamons in giving it an interesting twist and flavour.

Here is the recipe

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 15 minutes
Makes 24 pieces


  • 110g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 110g black treacle
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 110g molasses sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 110g medium oatmeal
1 medium egg, beaten
  • 100ml whole milk


1. Heat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan oven) gas mark. Grease and line a 30cm x 21cm traybake tin with baking parchment.
2. Put the butter, treacle, golden syrup and sugar into a large pan and melt over a low heat. Leave to one side to cool slightly.

3. Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir together to combine well. Gradually mix in the melted butter mixture, followed by the egg and milk until it makes a thick batter.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1-1¼ hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin set on a wire rack. Mark the sticky parkin into squares and store in an airtight tin for at least five days before eating.


and finally the bonfire toffee

You'll need 
4oz golden syrup
4oz black treacle
4oz butter 
8oz granulated sugar

Melt carefully, then boil till it reaches the setting point - test by dropping drips into  a cup of cold water, if it 'brittles' when it's in the water it's done and can be poured into a very well greased tin and left to cool.

 Well I hope you find some of the above useful, sorry about the different fonts, I have no idea how to get them all the same. I am now off upstairs to carry on making advent stockings ready to take down to Cornwall in a couple of weeks. So till the next time xx

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Thank you for reading my post. I look forward to reading your comments and will do my best to reply to you all. Anne