pumpkin apple muffins

Pumpkin and Apple Muffins

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with a pumpkin then why not have a go at these spiced pumpkin and apple muffins?   They’re easy to make and a great way to use up seasonal autumn produce too.
pumpkin apple muffins

Every year I go and pick at least one pumpkin.   Last year I made a pumpkin and chickpea stew and the year before, a pumpkin spinach and feta quiche,  but this year, inspired by many of the international blogs that I read, I’m focusing more on sweeter recipes like these pumpkin and apple muffins and some oaty pumpkin bars that I hope to blog about soon too.

Even though these are muffins, they are not the type of overly sugar loaded ones you buy in the shops.   I’ve used enough sugar to make them sweet but not enough to give you a sugar rush!   If you have a very sweet tooth, feel free to add a little more to the mixture.   Some muffin recipes have more sugar than flour in them!  At least these ones contain apple and pumpkin too so there are some healthy ingredients in there!

I made my own pumpkin puree by roasting slices of pumpkin in the oven.   After it had cooled I cut the skin off and blended the flesh to a puree in the food processor.   I made a big batch and used some for this recipe and kept the rest to use another day.   It will keep for a few days in the fridge or you can freeze it to use later.   Alternatively you can now buy pumpkin puree in some supermarkets including Tesco.

Last year I remember sadly throwing away half my pumpkin as I didn’t manage to use it all before it started going mouldy.   This year I am determined not to let that happen and will be making pumpkin everything over the next couple of week and most probably freezing some too!

Do let me know in the comments how you like to use up any excess pumpkin.  I’ve still got a quarter left and plan to pick another one soon too!

pumpkin apple muffins

Pumpkin and Apple Muffins

Yield: Makes 18

Spiced apple and pumpkin muffins perfect for making with seasonal autumn produce


  • 210g plain white flour
  • 90g plain wholemeal flour
  • 160g soft brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g pumpkin puree
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 3 apples, (weighed 240g after being peeled, cored and chopped)


  1. Put all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices) in a large bowl. Stir together.
  2. In another bowl lightly beat the eggs then add the pumpkin puree and oil.
  3. Add the pumpkin mixture to the bowl with the flour and stir until just combined.
  4. Stir in the pieces of apple.
  5. Divide into 18 muffin cases.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer and if it come out clean they are ready.
  7. Sprinkle a little icing sugar over the top to serve if desired


For an alternative topping you could mix some cinnamon and brown sugar together and sprinkle over the top of the muffins before baking.

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I am linking these to Treat Petite hosted by The Baking Explorer and on alternate months by Cakeyboi. I am also linking to Tea Time Treats at Jo’s Kitchen, Lavender and Lovage and Travels for Taste.  They are also my #BakeoftheWeek for Casa Costello and I’m linking to Cook Blog Share at Easy Peasy Foodie, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Pumpkin and apple muffins
Spiced Turkey Mince Pittas #CookOnceEatTwice

Cook Once Eat Twice July 2016 and June Round up

Welcome to this month’s #CookOnceEatTwice and the June round up.  Once again there were some lovely entries and I really am tempted by quite a few this month!

The first entry was this beautiful No-Knead Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia by Angela at Only Crumbs Remain.   I love how this method seems to produce perfect bread but with much less hands on time than traditional breadmaking.

No Knead Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia #CookOnceEatTwice

Then Elaine at Foodbod made this delicious Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad that evolved into slightly different salads each day and finally ended up as a dip.  Wonderful!

foodbod - everything becomes a dip

Next was Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen with this vibrant Pointed Red Ramiro Pepper and Black Bean Chilli Bowl.  I will definitely have to look out for some ramiro peppers soon!

ramiro chilli

Then Kate at The Veg Space contributed this tasty Broad Bean, Fennel and Baby Carrot Pilaf.  It’s one of those unplanned meals that turned out to be so tasty it needed to be remembered!

broad bean fennel baby carrot pilaf

I find there’s something incredibly morish about little pastries and these Welsh Rarebit Pastries by Martin at The Why Chef would definitely go down well at a party.


My own Chocolate Chia Seed Muffins were next.  They’re really easy to make and homemade muffins are so much healthier than bought ones.

chocolate chip and chia seed muffins

Then there was another sweet entry.  Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie made this delicious Gluten Free Peach and Cherry Crumble.  I am a big fan of crumble and I know this would be really popular with my children too!

Gluten free peach and cherry crumble

I love Middle Eastern flavours and Shaheen at Allotment 2 Kitchen then made this tasty Middle Eastern Sweet Potato Kibbeh.  Kibbeh is new to me but I love falafels and this sounds like a really tempting alternative!


You can never have enough comforting stew recipes and this Apricot and Pumpkin Tagine by Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe would be really warming on a cool winter’s or summers day.

pumpkin and apricot tangine (6)

Our final entry was a beautiful homemade Orange Curd by Angela at Only Crumbs Remain.  I would love some on a warm buttery scone right now!

orange curd

Last month there were so many entries that I couldn’t pick just one to make.  Yes, that’s right, I’ve made two of last month’s entries.   The first one was these gorgeous Spiced Turkey Mince Pittas by Martin, The Why Chef.   They were amazing and definitely a recipe to make again!

Spiced Turkey Mince Pittas #CookOnceEatTwice

I was also so tempted that I also made the Baked Aubergine and Pepper Pasta Sauce made by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes.   It has a lovely smoked paprika flavour and I can only apologise that my picture looks nowhere near as beautiful as Monika’s original one.  I can promise you that it tastes great though.

smoked paprika aubergine pasta

Thank you to everyone who joined in.   Please come back soon and link up your recipes for July and also to see which of this month’s entries I’ve recreated.

Cook Once Eat Twice

Here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky.
  • Tweet @Corinthecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet all that I see.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.  I also stumble and yum the entries.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • Please take the time to visit some of the other links that catch your eye.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup will be posted soon afterwards.
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hungarian beef goulash #CookOnceEatTwice

Cook Once Eat Twice June 2016 and May Round Up

Welcome to June’s #CookOnceEatTwice and to the May round up.

Thank you to everyone who joined in with #CookOnceEatTwice in May.   We’ve had 19 fantastic entries so hopefully you’ll find lots of inspiration if you’re hoping to save time in the kitchen by preparing enough for more than one meal at a time.   At the end of this post you’ll also find out which recipe I’ve made from last month’s entries as well as the linky for June.

The first entry was these gorgeous homemade Porcini and Polenta Sausages by The Veg Space. They look like a great comfort meal!

porcini and polenta sausages

Next was Easy Peasy Foodie with a delightful Slow Cooked Chilli Beef dish.  I love the use of stewing steak rather than mince and my mince-hating husband would definitely like it!


I love making soups and especially veggie packed ones like this Roasted Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup by From Plate to Pen.


Then our first sweet entry was this beautiful strawberry No-bake Cheesecake by Hijacked with Twins.  Cheesecake is always a crowd-pleaser and this one is perfect for summer!

no bake cheesecake

Next were these perfectly cooked Chorizo Scotch Eggs from the Why Chef.  They have all the flavours of chorizo in them and beautifully runny yolks.


Then Food Bod made a gorgeous spice mix which she turned into a Chickpea and Kale Curry.   It was perfect to eat for three days and the leftovers also made 2 further meals as well!  How fantastic is that!

food bod

Next up were these Caribbean Spiced Turkey Mince Pittas from The Why Chef.  Packed with vegetables and lean turkey mince, they make a really healthy meal option.


The next entry was this tasty White Bean Hummus with Homemade Pesto by Maison Cupcake – a great way of using dried beans and it keeps so much better than shop-bought hummus.


Then Fix Me a Little Lunch contributed this delicious Chicken, Asparagus and Roasted Garlic Pizza.  I just love roasted garlic and this looks so morish!


Then Feeding Boys shared this lovely Caramelised Onion and Rosemary Malted Loaf. Homemade bread is always such a treat and it’s definitely made me want to get my breadmaker out again!


My own entry was next.   This harissa-marinated lamb salad is full of flavour and you can prepare it in advance too!

Lamb Salad

Then The Why Chef was back with these yummy Haddock Fish Bites.  I love fish and these sound beautiful.


I was so tempted by the next entry – these gorgeous Croque Madame Muffins with Asparagus by Only Crumbs Remain.  So delightfully cheesy looking but with the lovely salad alongside to balance the richness out!

2 Croque Madame w asparagus

Next was Roast Chicken and A Country Walk with some Potato and Goats Cheese Patties.  You can make them with leftover mashed potato but I think they’d be worth just making the mashed potato for!

Goats cheese and potato patties

I can never resist a good curry and love the flavours in this Feel-Good Fish Curry by Family Friends Food.

feel good fish curry

Then Only Crumbs Remain shared the only other sweet entry this month: this beautiful Homemade Lemon Curd.  I’m sure it wouldn’t last long and is so much nicer than bought lemon curd.

lemon curd

Allotment 2 Kitchen shared this lovely Miso Minestrone Soup.  I have never had miso in this type of chunky vegetable soup but it sounds like a wonderful combination of flavours.


I almost always make enough pasta to last for two meals and this beautiful Baked Aubergine and Pepper Pasta Sauce with Smoked Paprika from Everyday Healthy Recipes would even please those who don’t like aubergines.  I love aubergines and the addition of the smoked paprika must give this a  a lovely almost Spanish flavour.

aubergine pasta

Finally The Gluten Free Alchemist shared this glorious Goose Egg Frittata with Spiralized Roasted Veg.  I really would love to get my hands on some goose eggs soon to have a go at it!

goose egg frittata

Now, as usual I also picked one of my favourite recipes from last month to make for my family. This time I picked Easy Peasy Foodie’s Hungarian Beef Goulash.  It was just as delicious as it sounded and even my pickiest eater, Little Miss Spice was happy to eat the pieces of beef from it without me having to take the sauce off!   That is definitely a success.

hungarian beef goulash #CookOnceEatTwice

If you haven’t discovered Eb’s blog then please take a look as it is full of amazing family friendly recipes and I honestly don’t think I’ve seen anything I wouldn’t want to eat!

Cook Once Eat Twice

Please come and link up your recipes for June and here’s a reminder of the rules:

  • Include a link in your post to Searching for Spice and include the badge.  Add your link to the linky.
  • Tweet @Corinthecook using the hashtag #CookOnceEatTwice and I will retweet all that I see.
  • Include the source of any recipe if applicable and use your own photos.
  • I will pin all entries onto the Cook Once Eat Twice Pinterest board.  I also stumble and yum the entries.
  • It’s acceptable to link up old posts but please update them with the link and the badge so they fit the rules of the challenge.
  • Feel free to link up to other blogging events as well, as long as it is within their rules.
  • Please take the time to visit some of the other links that catch your eye.
  • The closing date is the 28th of the month and the roundup will be posted soon afterwards.
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I am linking this to Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup with Curried Chickpea Croutons

Potato and Roasted Garlic Soup

Topped with crunchy curried chickpeas this potato and roasted garlic soup is creamy and comforting but still with a hint of spice.   And it has a secret ingredient…

Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup with Curried Chickpea Croutons

In a recent post I tempted everyone with a delicious pea and homemade ricotta tart.  I suspect that not a lot of people will end up making their own ricotta, which of course is a shame, but it’s even more of a shame as it means they won’t be able to make this whey soup either.   Yes, the secret ingredient is the whey that was leftover after making the ricotta.

I had about 800ml of leftover whey and it seemed a shame to just pour it down the sink.   After a short browse online I discovered there are a lot of  uses for leftover whey.   Add it to soups and stews in place of stock or in baked goods such as bread, pastries and biscuits.  Apparently it’s good for your skin too so you could even add it to the bath, although that’s not on my list of things to do with whey!

The leftover whey may look a funny greenish colour but it’s full of vitamins, minerals and protein as well as being low in fat.  It’s perfect for roasted vegetable soups as it helps give the soup that creamy texture without you actually needing to add any cream.   I kept this potato and roasted garlic soup very simple.   It’s mainly potatoes and garlic, which of course go well together.  To make it a bit more interesting I roasted some chickpeas with some curry spices to make crunchy chickpea croutons.   These were the ideal topping and complemented the creamy potato and garlic soup perfectly.  Of course, you could just make roasted chickpeas for a tasty snack or even salad topping.

If you’re thinking that making homemade cheese is complicated and time consuming then think again.   Nothing could be easier than making a soft cheese like ricotta.

Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup with Curried Chickpea Croutons

Before anyone argues, I will say that I am not a cheesemaking expert.  I’ve only just discovered how to make ricotta at home and if you’re a purist then you may argue that what I’ve made is not actually ricotta.  The meaning of ricotta is ‘twice cooked’ because ricotta is traditionally made from the whey that is leftover after making another cheese.   This ricotta is made from whole milk and it’s not twice cooked.  Even so, it tastes like ricotta and that’s good enough for me.

My cheesemaking kit (The Big Cheese Making Kit) called it ricotta too.  To make the ricotta you need milk, citric acid, salt, a saucepan, a cheesecloth and a sieve.   I used citric acid as it came in the kit but you could use white wine vinegar or lemon juice as an alternative.  Basically you heat the milk with the citric acid and salt then leave it to stand.   At this point the curds and whey will separate and then you strain the curds off.  I may go into this in more detail one day soon, but in the meantime, if you fancy having a go at home then take a look at this easy ricotta recipe from The Kitchn.

You can leave the ricotta plain or flavour it with herbs, spices or even peas as I did in the tart I mentioned above.  Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to do some more experimenting and I promise I’ll be making some more recipes using homemade soft cheese, as well as some equally delicious recipes using the whey that’s leftover.

Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup with Curried Chickpea Croutons

Potato and Roasted Garlic Soup with Curried Chickpea Croutons

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Medium- sized potatoes (approx 400g), cubed
  • 800ml whey
  • Black pepper
  • For the Garnish
  • 50g chickpeas
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • A few sprays of oil


  1. Mix the chickpeas, curry powder and oil together.
  2. Cut the garlic bulb in half and coat in a little oil.
  3. Put the chickpeas and the garlic on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes until the garlic is soft and the chickpeas are crispy.
  4. Cook the onion gently in a saucepan in a little oil until it is soft but not browned.
  5. Add the potatoes and the whey and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Blend the soup either using a stick blender or transfer it to a blender, in batches if necessary.
  7. Season the soup with the black pepper and serve it topped with the croutons.
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I am linking this to the No Waste Food Challenge at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary and Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by From Plate to Pen and organised by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All .  I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share hosted this week by Snap Happy Bakes and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

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potato and kale soup

Potato and Kale Soup

This creamy potato and kale soup is the perfect easy recipe for using up one of those big bags of supermarket kale.   You know the ones, you buy them full of enthusiasm and eager to feed your family the tastiest healthiest meals ever and then, well,  there’s often a more tempting meal option.   Despite kale being so in vogue right now, and despite everyone knowing how healthy it is, it somehow loses out to a more tempting dinner prospect.

Potato and Kale soup

Or maybe that’s just me.   I’m not saying I don’t like kale.  What I am saying is that however much I like it, it struggles to compete with sweeter vegetables such as peas, peppers and tomatoes.   Although on a side note, it is delicious with those vegetables in a stew.

Anyway, getting back to this soup,  this creamy potato and kale soup has absolutely no cream in it at all, it’s just the potato that breaks down and gives it that lovely smooth texture.  It’s a gently spiced soup, flavoured with turmeric and black pepper.

Recently turmeric has been hailed as a superfood as it contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and great for digestive health.   Even so, it is often thought of as little more than the yellow food colour often used in Indian food or as a cheaper alternative to saffron in Spanish paellas. It’s true that the flavour is subtle but it does give this soup a gentle warmth and because it’s not masked by other spices, it is discernible – in taste and colour.  It gives this kale and potato soup a lovely warm yellow tinge that dyes the wooden spoon as you’re preparing it, and any clothes that get too close too!

I normally go for soups packed with herbs and spices and strong flavours all the way.   As I said, this potato and kale soup is more subtly flavoured but that’s no reason not to add a spoonful or two of curry powder or a little cumin and coriander along with the turmeric if you prefer a punchier soup.

For more recipe ideas using turmeric, take a look at The Kitchn’s 19 Delicious Turmeric Recipes to Spice Up Your Life as well as these turmeric recipes from BBC Food.

Potato and kale soup


Potato and Kale Soup

Yield: Serves 4

A creamy potato and kale soup flavoured with turmeric and black pepper.


  • 2 small onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 900ml stock (I used Turkey stock)
  • Approx 100g kale
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt


  1. Sweat the onions in a little oil.
  2. When the onions are soft after about ten minutes add the crushed garlic. Stir in and then stir in the turmeric. Cook for about a minute.
  3. Add the diced potatoes and stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the kale and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the kale is cooked.
  5. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Return to the saucepan and season generously with black pepper and a little salt.
  7. When serving put a tablespoon of yoghurt into the centre of each bowl and swirl it around a little


For extra flavour, add a little curry power along with the turmeric.

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I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum and Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins.  I am also linking to Fiesta Friday hosted by Simply Vegetarian 777 and ten.times.tea.

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Black quinoa and chicken salad with green beans and green peppers

Black Quinoa and Chicken Salad

This black quinoa and chicken salad is full of healthy green vegetables, herbs and a fresh lemon dressing that makes it just what you need for a quick and easy meal.  As a bonus it keeps well in the fridge and so is perfect for giving you leftovers for lunch the next day too

Black quinoa and Chicken salad with green beans and green peppers

I created this quinoa and chicken salad for this month’s Recipe Redux.   The theme was easy recipes with 7 or fewer ingredients.   The type of meal you can make when you really don’t want to try out anything complicated or do too much thinking.   Except to make sure there are no more than 7 ingredients!

The Recipe Redux is a group of bloggers(many of them dietitians) who complete a healthy recipe challenge each month.  I love taking part as it keeps me on track and encourages me to focus on  healthy recipes and try new things.

It was actually just in January this year for my Recipe Redux challenge that I tried black quinoa for the first time when I made kabocha squash stuffed with black quinoa and discovered how much I like the taste and crunchy texture of black quinoa.  I was keen to use it again here as I think it goes really well with the green vegetables and chicken.

I kept the dressing simple – just lemon juice, fresh parsley and black pepper.  I love lemon juice on a salad and because of the fresh herbs there was enough flavour to make the salad zesty and light.

We ate this as a warm salad when it was first made and then kept it overnight in the fridge and it was just as nice slightly chilled when I ate it the next day for lunch, which of course means that it’s perfect for my #CookOnceEatTwice challenge as well.

Black Quinoa and Chicken Salad with green beans and green peppers

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I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share, hosted this week by Snap Happy Bakes, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Saucy Saturdays hosted by Dini, Jennifer, Swayam and Christine.

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Spinach and Ricotta Aubergine Stacks

Spinach and Ricotta Aubergine Stacks

Spinach and Ricotta Aubergine Stacks

I love the combination of spinach and ricotta.   I also love my new slow cooker.  I’m really enjoying experimenting with it and making things a little different from the stews and bbq pork recipes I’ve been slow cooking for the last few years.  These slow cooked spinach and ricotta aubergine stacks are my most recent invention.

Sometimes it takes a new piece of equipment to make you push yourself out of your comfort zone and that is exactly what has happened here.  In the past I would have just put some vegetables in the slow cooker with the herbs or spices I wanted rather than taking the risk of being a bit more adventurous.   Well, here’s my first ever stack of slow cooked vegetables!

I was worried that the layers wouldn’t cook properly as there wasn’t a lot of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker but they were fine.   The aubergine was soft and the ricotta and spinach layer was just right.

I’m afraid I didn’t think a lot about presentation when I was making these.   I was just experimenting and not necessarily thinking of posting the result.  For a slightly more elegant look you could top these aubergine stacks with a few fresh basil leaves and a little grated parmesan.  Enjoy!

Spinach and Ricotta Aubergine Stacks in the Slow Cooker

Spinach and Ricotta Aubergine Stacks

Yield: Serves 2


  • 1 aubergine, cut into slices
  • 200g ricotta
  • 200g frozen spinach, defrosted and the water squeezed out
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano


  1. Mix the ricotta and spinach together with the nutmeg and a little salt and black pepper.
  2. Put a slice of aubergine on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with some of the spinach and ricotta. Put another slice of aubergine on top. Repeat with another layer of spinach and ricotta then another slice of aubergine.
  3. Make another stack.
  4. Mix the herbs, garlic and a little more salt and pepper into the passata. Pour over the aubergine stacks.
  5. Cook in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours
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I am linking this to the Slow Cooked Challenge hosted by Baking Queen and Farmersgirl Kitchen, to Tasty Tuesdays hosted by Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share hosted by Hijacked by Twins and Recipe of the Week, hosted by A Mummy Too.

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Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup: Ciorba de Perisoare

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Welcome to this month’s Secret Recipe Club post.  This month I was lucky enough to be assigned to Culinary Adventures with Camilla.   As Camilla is group B’s lovely host I knew I would have lots of lovely recipes to choose from and I really wasn’t disappointed.  I love cooking from scratch, discovering new flavours and trying dishes from different cultures and so does Camilla. Her blog is filled with delicious and creative recipes and there really is something for everyone

I soon chose to make ciorba de perisoare which is a Romanian sour turkey meatball soup.   I had never made a sour soup before but as soon as I read it, it reminded me of the sour soups I had eaten in Poland years ago.   Now, this sour soup sounded completely different from the Polish soup I remembered but the idea of making a sour soup had got to me.   I really wanted to make a sour soup.  I knew it might not look pretty but I was confident it was going to taste great.

I was right.  A sour meatball soup was definitely something new for us to eat at home and I really enjoyed it.  I was frugal with the vinegar, adding only 2 tbsp rather than 4 but it was still enough to give that sour soup taste.   If I’d just been cooking for myself I would have been a little more generous with it.

I made this in January and it was a perfect meal to make when you want something tasty but that makes you feel healthy as well.   This soup is perfect for that.  It’s packed with vegetables and minced turkey is a very healthy meat too.   I used minced thigh rather than breast as thigh meat generally makes moister tastier meatballs or burgers.

I’d never put uncooked rice in a meatball before and I was a little worried that the grains would not cook through or that the meatballs would fall apart but i was worrying for nothing.   There were a few grains of rice in the soup but the meaballs held together perfectly.

So all that remains now is for me to investigate a few more sour soups.  And a of course  a few more of Camilla’s recipes.  I love the sound of the recently published Carrot Pate Canapes and the Za’atar Roasted Rock Cod is an ideal easy fish dish for days when you don’t want to spend too long preparing dinner.

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Yield: Serves 4


    For the Meatballs
  • 400g minced turkey (I used thigh meat)
  • 1/2 small onions, diced
  • 3 tbsp basmati rice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • For the Soup
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ltr chicken or turkey stock
  • Large handful of kale
  • Handul of parsley, chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)


  1. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and mix together with your hands before forming into meatballs.
  2. Heat a little oil in a large pan. Cook the onion, celery and carrot gently until softened.
  3. Stir in the paprika and add the chicken stock.
  4. Bring to the boil, stir in the kale and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer for 40 minutes.
  6. Stir in most of the parsley and the vinegar to taste then serve topped with the remaining parsley.
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I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share, hosted by Snap Happy Bakes and Hijacked by Twins and Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too.

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lemon and courgette spaghetti

Lemon and Courgette Spaghetti

Lemon and Courgette Spaghetti

One thing I am aiming to do this year is eat more fruit and vegetables.  With that in mind I decided to get my Spiralizer out of the cupboard again.  I’ve had it for a couple of months and this lemon and courgette spaghetti was one of the first things I used the spiralizer for.  The spiralizer cuts the courgette into long thin ribbons which are perfect with spaghetti or in salads and stir fries.

I’ve seen some recipes which replace the spaghetti entirely with courgette but I know that wouldn’t fill me up.  I’d be looking for snacks in a couple of hours.  I still wanted to eat pasta, just a pasta dish filled with vegetables too.

This spaghetti fits the bill perfectly.   It was light and fresh from the courgette, herbs and lemon but the little creme fraiche I added gave it that comfort food factor too.   It was quick to prepare and cook and although I used my spiralizer for the courgettes,  you could still make it if you didn’t have one just by slicing the courgettes thinly.

Lemon and courgette spaghetti

Lemon and Courgette Spaghetti

Yield: Serves 2


  • 150g spaghetti
  • 2 medium-sized courgette, thinly sliced or spiralized
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Good grinding of black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • A little grated parmesan


  1. Cook the spaghetti
  2. When the spaghetti is almost ready add the courgette and continue to cook for another minute.
  3. Drain the pasta and courgette and return to the pan.
  4. Add the garlic, creme fraiche, half of the lemon juice, salt, black pepper and most of the parsley. Stir in. Taste and add the rest of the lemon juice if you think it needs it.
  5. Serve with a little parmesan cheese and the rest of the chopped parsley.
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lemon and courgette spaghetti

I am linking this to Spiralizer Saturday hosted by Caroline Makes, Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Cook Blog Share at Hijacked by Twins and Meat Free Mondays at Tinned Tomatoes.

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Sweet potato parsnip and potato soup 3

Leftover Roast Vegetable Soup

Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Potato Soup

At this time of year we eat a lot of roast dinners, with the biggest of course being Christmas dinner, and it’s a shame to see the leftovers go to waste. Roasted vegetables are at their best when they are freshly made but that’s no excuse not to use them up later.   In fact now that I’ve discovered how well leftover roasted potatoes blend up to make a creamy soup, I’ll now plan to have leftovers more often.   Just so I can make this leftover roast vegetable soup.   It may be traditional to eat leftover turkey after Christmas but why not make this soup too?

Often when cooking it can be tempting to add lots of ingredients, especially herbs and spices to make something taste great.   Of course there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s what I do all the time but with this soup, it really has been pared back to the basics of roasted root vegetables and stock.  Good stock.

essential turkey stockIf you want you can make your own stock and I do admire people who do but for everyday home cooking I prefer the ease of powdered stock as it means I can quickly mix up exactly the amount I need.  For this soup I wanted a Christmas flavour and used Essential Cuisine Turkey Stock and was really pleased with the depth of flavour it added: Rich and tasty but not salty.   As I’m cooking for a family it’s good to know that award-winning Essential Cuisine Stocks contain no e-numbers or added MSG as well as being gluten-free.

Finally I should mention the bacon.  I find root vegetables can be a little sweet in a soup if you don’t balance them out with something salty or bitter.   That’s why the bacon pieces on the top of the soup are so much more than just a garnish. The salty smokiness really adds to the flavour of the soup, even if you only use a little.   If you have leftover sausages wrapped in bacon from your Christmas dinner, they’d also make a great garnish.

Soups are the perfect meal for colder weather:  easy to make, comforting and healthy too.  I like to make enough to last for the next day too which means this is the perfect #CookOnceEatTwice meal for my own Cook Once Eat Twice blogging challenge.

Sweet Potato Parsnip and Potato Soup

Roast Vegetable Soup

Yield: Serves 2 - 4, depending on serving size

Serve with crusty bread as a main meal for 2 or as a starter for 4.


  • Leftover roasted vegetables (I had approximately 2 roasted parsnips, 2 roasted sweet potatoes and 3 roasted potatoes)
  • 500ml Essential Turkey Stock
  • 2 pieces of smoked bacon


  1. Roughly chop the roasted vegetables.
  2. Put the vegetables and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and chop up.
  4. Put the soup in a blender and blend until smooth or use a stick blender.
  5. Serve the soup topped with the bacon pieces.
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I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Cook, Blog, Share, hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.

Cook Once Eat TwiceTasty TuesdaysCook Blog ShareRecipe of the week

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