“Pick-Your-Own Minestrone” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

Maureen: Well, we have a number of problems with this recipe, right out of the gate.

Andrew (12): Like what?

Maureen: Well, Hugh wants us to go into our garden and pick our own vegetables for this.

Nicholas (8): But we don’t have a garden!

Andrew: And it’s winter! Even if we had a garden, we wouldn’t be able to go out and pick any of them.

Maureen: Precisely. However, I visited the boys at The Creaky Shed and picked out the vegetables from there. Do you think that counts?

Nicholas: No.

Maureen: Hugh also advises that we should make the vegetable prep a family event. He wants us to gather around our picnic table and each of us prepare a vegetable.

Andrew: Well, that would be a problem, since it’s winter. As already discussed.

Maureen: It’s a nice idea, but I couldn’t see it happening, even in the summer. I think I could find more fun family events than cutting up vegetables.

Continue reading ““Pick-Your-Own Minestrone” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook””

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“Pick-Your-Own Minestrone” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

“Summer Vegetable Broth with Pesto” from “Good Things to Eat”

Nicholas (8): I’ve got one thing to say. In the event of an earthquake, if you had these vegetables, it would be the only thing that survived.

Maureen: I don’t understand what you’re talking about. It’s delicious. I love it.

Andrew (11): It seems to be missing something. I’ve got another comment about the Jamie Oliver prunes dessert.

Maureen: But we’re talking about the soup!

Andrew (undeterred): The prunes were good for only one thing and that was to clean out the sewers.

Maureen: Back to the soup. This is really nice. There’s nothing weird in it. It’s not spicy. It’s just yummy vegetables made into a soup. I’m not asking you to love it. I’m asking you to eat it. (The boys begin to eat it) Is it growing on you?

Andrew: Yes, actually.

Continue reading ““Summer Vegetable Broth with Pesto” from “Good Things to Eat””

“Summer Vegetable Broth with Pesto” from “Good Things to Eat”

“Potatoes Leon-aise,” “Fred’s Asparagus,” and “Roast Carrots & Fennel” from “Leon 2”

Maureen: Since it’s Dad’s birthday, we’re having beef wellington, since that’s what he wanted. But we’re also having potatoes, asparagus and carrots from the Leon 2 cookbook. What do you think?

Nicholas (7): I loved the asparagus! I even had seconds. But everything else is “in the middle.”

Andrew (11): I liked the asparagus, too, but not as much as Nicholas. The potatoes were OK. I didn’t like the carrots.

Tim (aka Birthday Boy): How did the potatoes get so much liquid?

Maureen: That’s the chicken stock that you cook it in. What do you think?

Tim: I’m in the middle too. I like my roast potatoes more crispy and these are way more soupy than I prefer.

Maureen: They’re very healthy, though. There’s no butter, and very little olive oil.

Continue reading ““Potatoes Leon-aise,” “Fred’s Asparagus,” and “Roast Carrots & Fennel” from “Leon 2””

“Potatoes Leon-aise,” “Fred’s Asparagus,” and “Roast Carrots & Fennel” from “Leon 2”

“Tomato Soup, Chunky Croutons, Crunchy Veg & Guacamole, Sticky Prune Sponge Puddings” from “Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals”

Time Taken: 40′ 11″

If you’d like to see if you can beat my time, a copy of the recipe is on the Daily Mail site. Click here.

Maureen: Tonight’s menu is chosen by Andrew! What do you think?

Andrew: It’s good.

Maureen: What do you like about it?

Andrew: The fact that it’s basic.

Maureen: It’s not that basic. It took 40 minutes.

Tim: Look at that. The cucumbers, which required no cooking at all, were the first to go.

Continue reading ““Tomato Soup, Chunky Croutons, Crunchy Veg & Guacamole, Sticky Prune Sponge Puddings” from “Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals””

“Tomato Soup, Chunky Croutons, Crunchy Veg & Guacamole, Sticky Prune Sponge Puddings” from “Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals”