All posts tagged: vegetable stock

Red Wine & Mushroom Risotto, 34p [A Girl Called Jack]

When I need easy but comforting food, I always turn to a large bowl of warm, flavourful rice – and using red wine as a base works beautifully. In the winter, serve this risotto in a deep bowl with a spoon, whilst snuggling under a thick blanket. Or it can make a special meal for two served with some lovely crusty bread, if you’re so inclined. My Mum used to serve us a version of this as children, served with kievs or sausages, so when I feel nostalgic I have mine with a couple of (veggie) sausages on the side. The quantities are easily doubled – or more – to feed more hungry bellies. This recipe first appeared in A Girl Called Jack. Serves 2 from 34p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of …

Greek Avgolemono Egg and Lemon Soup, 22p [A Girl Called Jack]

Avgolemono is the soup of my childhood – my first memory is of being at my Aunty Helen’s house in Plymouth in the summer holidays, tucking into bowls of this soup after the long drive there. My father made Avgolemono Soup at home, as did my mother, and we often had a pot of it sitting on the back of the stove. For years I asked for the recipe and they would always smile and tell me that it was a secret. They will read this and shake their heads, as this is probably not their recipe, but it is taken from a book given to me by my grandmother – The Cypriots at Table – and has served me well over the past few years. My parents’ Avgolemono always came with scraps of chicken floating in it, whereas Aunty Helen’s did not. Some Greek restaurants add parsley to it, but I believe that is more for prettiness than taste. Simple, honest food is sometimes the best of all. These quantities make enough for 2 …

Nigella’s Lentil & Chestnut Soup, 48p

This recipe is adapted from ‘How To Eat’ by Nigella Lawson, who in turn adapted it from ‘an aromatic, velvety, manilla-coloured soup at Le Caprice’ in the late 1980s. The bootstrap adjustments and pricing are my own. The original recipe includes half a leek, which I have omitted out of laziness; I didn’t have one in and didn’t want to take a trip to the shop especially, but if you want to stick more closely to the original, slice it and add it at the same time as the onion. If chestnuts are a step too far outside of your comfort zone, replace with peanut butter instead; this variation benefits from a hefty whack of chilli and lemon, turning it into an entirely different meal, but a delicious one. Serves 4-6 from 48p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All …

Spicy Rice & Doublebean Soup, 31p [Tin Can Cook]

This soup was a soup to shake me out of a funk longer than any I have recently known. I had a serious accident one Saturday night in April and hit my head backwards on a concrete floor at some speed. I ended up with whiplash and concussion, both of which limited my ability to sleep, work, and in the case of the latter, have so much as a thought in my head. For the first few days I rather enjoyed the peace and quiet of absolute mental vacancy as my brain shut itself down to heal, but I also temporarily lost my ability to create – the thundering hum of a thousand ideas that usually fly around at any given time, as I clutch at them wildly trying to capture one to expand on it. And they vanished, to be replaced with absolutely nothing at all. I lived off crisps and apathy for a week, and being miserable, until on the seventh day I felt like wandering into the kitchen. I threw this together …

Love Soup, 23p [A Girl Called Jack]

There are many different recipes entitled Love Soup – I’ve seen some rich chicken soup recipes, some with heady garlic and some deep red tomato soup ones. By chance, the ingredients for this were what I had kicking around in the fridge one Valentine’s Day, so this warming carrot, ginger and onion soup is mine. Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like sweet roasted vegetables, blended into a home-made silky soft soup. Especially if you’re making it for yourself. Serves 2 from 23p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change.     3 tbsp cooking oil, 4p (£2.98/3litres) 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2p (39p/250ml)   2 cloves of garlic, 3p (50p/3 bulbs) A small piece of fresh ginger, to taste, 3p (£1.50/500g) A fistful of fresh coriander or …

Chocolate, Chilli & Black Bean Soup, 64p [A Girl Called Jack]

I knock up this soup whenever I find myself in the grips of a piteous cold, or just generally need a bit of a kick in the cookies. It combines onions and garlic for detoxifying goodness, with chillies to fire your engine back up, tomatoes and carrots for essential vitamin C, beans for protein and chocolate because it’s a solution to almost everything. Plus dark chocolate and red wine are good for you, don’t you know? But putting all the science to one side, this is delicious, filling and surprising – so even if you don’t have a cold, make it anyway! Serves 2 from 64p each . This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. 400g tinned black beans or kidney beans, 55p 1 onion, 5p (54p/1kg) 2 cloves …

Cannellini, Cider & Garlic Risotto, 29p [Tin Can Cook]

I did not mean to make this. I did not imagine it, did not plan it, did not conceive of it in advance. I wandered into my kitchen one midday in May with friends to feed, and myself, and pottered absently at the stove throwing whatever came to hand into my, wide, shallow pan. I very rarely cook with onions these days, as any great quantity of them upsets my stomach – such are the perks of growing older with a compromised immune system and a body that seems to find a new failing on a near-weekly basis – but I inexplicably find myself still with half a fridge drawer of them, red and white and peeling at the edges, and so I shrug and accept the consequences. A tin of cannellini beans at eye level, a bag of basic rice so old by now that when I bought it that it has cost 45p, 65p and now 45p again before I have reached the bottom. I want comfort, soft and creamy, but subtle and …

Lettuce, Pea & Lemon Risotto by Jack Monroe

Risotto with Peas, Lettuce & Lemon, 16p

The idea of putting cold lettuce leaves into a warm dish may seem an unusual one, but it is one of my new favourite things. The idea is definitely not a revolutionary one; gently wilted lettuce has topped slick hot burgers for a hundred years or thereabouts, so there must be something in it. I found a bag of lettuce for 10p at my local Tesco Express, and have been folding it into everything ever since, much to the chagrin of my bunnies, who usually get to nibble on the bargains, but what they don’t know shan’t hurt them. If the idea really makes you shudder, then use a hardier leaf for this recipe, like spinach, chard or cabbage, but I promise you, the fresh, still-slightly-crisp surprise of a lettuce leaf in a creamy-soft risotto is a truly delightful one. Serves 4 at 16p each 300g basic rice, 14p (45p/1kg, Smartprice at Asda) 1 tbsp oil or butter, 1p (97p/1l, Asda) 2 tbsp white wine, if you have it, 12p (£2.98/750ml Fre Chardonnay, Asda) 750ml …

White Bean, White Wine & Garlic Risotto, 29p

I did not mean to make this today. I did not imagine it, did not plan it, did not conceive of it in advance. I wandered into my kitchen around midday with a gardener and a friend to feed, and myself, and pottered absently at the stove throwing whatever came to hand into my, wide, shallow pan. I very rarely cook with onions these days, as any great quantity of them upsets my stomach – such are the perks of growing older with a compromised immune system and a body that seems to find a new failing on a near-weekly basis – but I inexplicably find myself still with half a fridge drawer of them, red and white and peeling at the edges, and so I shrug and accept the consequences. A tin of cannellini beans at eye level, a bag of basic rice so old that it was 45p when I bought it (it has risen to 65p now, and I no longer shop at that particular supermarket). I want comfort, soft and creamy, …

Mac n Swede, 19p

The humble swede is a much misunderstood vegetable, and one I can truly empathise with. Misshapen, lumpy, outwardly tough, slightly bitter and difficult to get under the skin of, but once you get inside, it’s soft, delicate, sweet and surprisingly versatile. Asda have them for 20p each at the moment, and as the author of an ultra low budget cookery website, it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up really getting to know the inscrutable rutabega once and for all. The cheese in this recipe can be substituted for any vegan cheese of your choice – I didn’t have any to hand, and am not going to pretend otherwise. (I made myself a separate cheese-free portion but my 8 year old would not have touched it without the cheesy element, and parenting is challenging enough at times without fighting over liquidised root vegetables). Can be made gluten free by using GF pasta of your choice. Serves 4 at 19p each 1 large swede, 20p (20p each, Asda) 2 tbsp cooking oil, 3p (98p/1l, Asda) …

Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Soup, 18p [A Girl Called Jack]

. I wanted to write another recipe, but I felt sullied, trite, misappropriated, and used. So instead I am going to rewrite my recipes from 2012 – that many of you will not have seen buried beneath the beautiful new ones – and re-cost them to demonstrate the soar in prices in the Basics range over the last 6 years, and how it is always the poorest who shoulder the burden of economic inequality. 

Bread, Bean & Fennel Stew, 17p

The idea of putting bread in stew is one that dates back hundreds of years, to a medieval broth known as ‘caudle’. It is both a use-up for stale bread, or crusts cut off for fussy children, and adds both texture and thickness to a liquid broth. This soup is hearty, wholesome and delicious – made in a grey January fog for a group of hungry friends, and devoured with gusto. The ingredients are all fairly interchangeable; the beans can be any kind you fancy, even plain old baked beans will do. You can extend this with some diced chopped veg, or sweeten and substantiate the base with chopped onion and garlic, but I like it just as it is, simple and huggy. The fennel is just there for a touch of sweetness; if you don’t have any in, a teaspoon of sugar and some herbs will do the job just fine. To make this gluten free, simply replace the bread with gluten free bread of your choice. I make mine with kidney beans sometimes, …

Butter Bean & Cider Cassoulet, 35p

This soft, creamy cassoulet is a can of beans at its finest; simmered until gently collapsing, bolstered by rich, slow-cooked flavour. In a nod to the traditional French version, I have added a smattering of paprika in place of the traditional bacon pieces for a similar smoky flavour. Leftovers can be frozen, and it makes a tremendous pie filling. (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.) Serves 4-6 from 35p each 1 whole head of garlic, 15p (30p/2 bulbs, Sainsburys Basics) 2 large onions, 18p (90p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics) 4 large carrots, 18p (45p/1kg, Sainsburys Basics) 1 tbsp oil, 1p (£3/3l vegetable or sunflower oil) a generous pinch of dried thyme, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC brand) 400g tin of cannelini or haricot or borlotti beans (baked beans with the sauce thoroughly rinsed off work just as well), 55p 400g tin of butter …

Slow Rich Lentil Ragu, 29p (slow cooker)

Cooking anything for 12 hours when on the most stringent of budgets sounds like an eye-popping luxury, but fear not bootstrap fans, there’s only as many hours actual cooking as you want to stretch to, and done in a slow cooker it costs less than keeping a lightbulb on. For the last few years readers have been asking me to venture into slow cooker recipes, and mine is this nifty little £12 number from Wilko (no I’m not on commission, unfortunately!). At 1.5l it just holds enough for a main meal for two hungry people or four smaller appetites. I have had mine for around 4 years and it is still going strong, so it is well worth the investment if you can afford it, for what you will save in energy costs, time, effort and headspace alone. It is no big secret that I am not always in the greatest of health, mental or physical, and on low spoons days I need something that delivers the maximum nutrition on the minimum of effort; I’m …