Three soups and a banana loaf cake

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all”. Harriet Van Horne

It seems that sharing some recipes on here might be a help to you – so here’s the first batch (if you’ll excuse the pun!)

These are all recipes that we have found easy to make out here – and believe me they have to be easy for me to be able to manage them!

Where possible I’ve explained any ‘Portuguese equivalents’ or what we have used as an ingredient if it’s not obvious… or if we can’t find something in the local shops what we have substituted …

And I’ve kept the instructions very simple and easy to follow. You won’t find any recipes here that take hours to cook, or require every utensil and gadget in your kitchen – because that just means more washing up and mess!

And please – feel free to email me (a3art @ live.co.uk) or add a comment at the bottom if you have a favourite recipe you can share with us all.

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Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4 

Small glug of olive oil

1 onion – finely chopped

1 butternut squash

1 tsp cumin seeds or cumin powder

3 tbsp curry powder – we use Caril powder (Margão packet or jar)

1 litre vegetable stock

200ml cream – we use the cheap carton of UHT cream from Lidl’s – “Nata para cocinar” (Milbona)

juice of 1/2 a lemon (optional)

salt and pepper

Method

  1. Cut the butternut squash in half, then cut off the skin and scoop out the seeds, and chop the flesh into small 1″ cubes.
  2. Heat the oil in a big pan, then cook the onion and butternut squash for about 5 mins until they begin to turn golden coloured.
  3. Add the cumin and curry powder and cook for another minute. Keep stirring it.
  4. Pour in the hot stock, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 30 mins.
  5. Liquidise – use a machine if you can or hand blender or even push the mixture through a sieve.
  6. Return soup to the pan, stir in the cream and heat through gently. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper as required.

It’s lovely with fresh bread – if there are only two of you then after step 5 split the soup in half and put half aside – wait for it to cool then bung in the fridge – it will keep for 1-2 days… or would probably freeze (but I have not tried this yet)

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Carrot, Lentil and Ginger Soup

Serves 4

Small glug of olive oil

2 small onions – finely chopped

8 large carrots – peeled and chopped into 1″ chunks

12g root ginger – (or more – I like a big chunk about 2 ” square)

100g of red lentils – rinsed and drained (use the small ones that don’t need pre-soaking – we buy them at Inter-Marche or Iceland)

1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock

salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a big pan, then cook the onion, carrot and ginger for about 5 mins until they begin to turn golden coloured.
  2. Pour in the hot stock and lentils, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 35 mins.
  3. Liquidise – use a machine if you can or hand blender or even push the mixture through a sieve.
  4. Season with salt and pepper as required and serve.

If you cannot find the red lentils, you can make this soup without them – it will still taste lovely, just not as creamy.

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Chunky Bean and Cabbage Soup

Serves 4

Small glug of olive oil

1 onion – finely chopped

2 carrots – peeled and chopped into 1″ chunks

1 or 2 cloves garlic – diced (depends how much you like garlic!)

2 courgettes – chopped into 1″ chunks

1 small green cabbage – chopped roughly into medium sized strips

800 ml vegetable stock

200g smoked back bacon – diced – we use the bacon bits in a packet from Lidl’s

400g can of chopped tomatoes

400g jar of white beans or borlotti beans – we use the ones from Lidl’s – “Feijão Branco” (Campo Largo glass jar)

salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a big pan, then cook the onion and bacon for about 5 mins until they begin to turn golden coloured.
  2. Add the carrots, garlic and courgettes, then stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and beans, then pour in the hot stock, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 10 mins.
  4. Add the cabbage, return to the boil, then cover and simmer for another 5-10 mins, until the cabbage is soft.
  5. Season with salt and pepper as required and serve.
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Banana Loaf Cake

250g plain flour

100g butter

200g sugar (light brown sugar is best)

2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb of soda

1 tsp salt

9″ loaf tin and greaseproof paper and 2 mixing bowls

This is a great recipe for using up the really ripe bananas – the ones that are almost going black skinned and that really smell of banana!

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; 175 degrees C. (bit less for a fan oven – about 150 degrees C)
  2. Line and grease the loaf tin.
  3. Sieve flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt into one bowl.
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar in the other bowl.
  5. Stir the eggs and mashed bananas into the butter and sugar mixture, until well blended.
  6. Stir the banana mixture into the flour – stir gently until mixed together.
  7. Pour batter into loaf tin.
  8. Cook in the oven for 60-65 minutes, – insert a toothpick (or similar) into the centre of the loaf – it should come out cleanly.
  9. Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool.

This tastes amazing when still warm and spread with some butter on top – I know – lots of calories – but so yummy! Keeps well in a tin or wrapped in tinfoil for 2-3 days (if it lasts that long!)

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More recipes soon – and don’t forget to e-mail me or add a comment if you have any recipes you would like to share – it would be great to find out what you all enjoy cooking and eating!

PS I have no idea where most of the original versions of these recipes are from – they are just ones we have had kicking around in the kitchen for a long while – and usually adapted over time – but if anyone thinks they have a legit claim to a Copyright © mention – please let me know and we will credit you fully!


 


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6 Responses to Three soups and a banana loaf cake

  1. restlessjo says:

    Hi Alyson! These recipes sound great. I always pass by squash thinking “good healthy stuff but I’m not sure what to do with it”. Now I know. I’m not keen on carrots unless they’re raw or in carrot n coriandor soup, so there’s another hit.
    Sorry I haven’t contributed yet. It’s been a crazy busy week or so and I was up at a superb light show in Durham at the weekend, tripped and am now sporting a black eye. Makes a good blog though!

    • ferragudofan says:

      Hi Jo, glad you like the recipes – there’s one thing you should know…. I HATE Coriander!! (with a passion!) – so there’ll never be any recipes on here with it in!!!! 😉
      Hope your eye heals up soon – I’ll have to find a recipe with steak in and send to you?? But I am sure the photos from Durham will be worth it – look forward to seeing them soon.
      A

  2. JonathanN says:

    My mouth is watering now just looking at it! Super recipes!

  3. I am going to try your banana loaf!

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