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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.276 – Jamie’s cauliflower cheese soup

    Posted on May 15th, 2015 Janet No comments

    This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s book Ministry of Food.  It comes recommended by Charlotte, one of the founder members of Camel CSA.

    Serves 6cauliflower-camelcsa

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    2 carrots
    2 sticks of celery
    2 medium onions
    2 cloves of garlic
    800g cauliflower
    olive oil
    200g Cheddar cheese, grated
    2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
    salt and black pepper
    1 teaspoon English mustard

    Dice the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Cut the cauliflower into florets.  Into a large pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and put over a medium heat, add the diced vegetables and cauliflower. Cook for 10 minutes with a lid partially placed over the pan or until the carrots have softened and the onion is lightly golden.

    Grate the cheese. Put the stock cubes into a jug and pour in 1.8 litres of boiling water from a kettle. Add to the vegetables in the pan. Stir and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are cooked.

    Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese and mustard, season with salt and pepper. Use a hand blender and pulse until silky smooth – if using a liquidiser let the soup cool down, never put hot liquid into a liquidiser.  Top with more grated cheese. You could also top with some crispy bacon.

  • Growing your own – so what’s new?

    Posted on March 1st, 2010 charlotte No comments


    The days of food rationing may be long over but the need to alter our eating habits is as important as ever.  This became clear on my recent visit to – of all places – the Imperial War Museum in London. 

    Its Ministry of Food exhibition reveals some fascinating parallels between the dig for victory campaign in the Second World War and the enthusiasm that we all now share for growing our own food.

    It shows that eating seasonal fruit and vegetables, healthy nutrition, recycling and reducing imports were just as important in 1940 as they are today.

    But for very different reasons 70 years ago, of course. 

    Back then as now, people queued up for allotments and pledged to grow fruit and vegetables at work and in their gardens.  They learned all about crop rotation, the value of nutritious green manure and how to create rich, sweet-smelling compost.  They clubbed together to raise pigs, poultry and rabbits.

    By 1943, more than six million British families were growing their own veg.  The number of allotments had doubled to 1.75 million compared to 850,000 in 1939.  Potatoes – led by cheery icon Potato Pete – replaced imported wheat as a staple of the wartime diet because they were full of vitamin C, easy to grow, cheap, filling and energy-rich.

    A vegetable list to provide “winter meals from a well-planned plot” itemised potatoes, cabbage, sprouting broccoli, carrots, onions, shallots, beetroot, swede, brussels sprouts, parsnips, leeks, kale, savoy cabbage, spinach beet and turnip.

    Unsurprisingly, it mirrors the contents of Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s own seasonal weekly veg boxes being handed out to our members during the winter months.

    The only difference is, thanks largely to multicultural influences, that our seasonal recipes are much more tasty and adventurous! 

    The Ministry of Food exhibition runs at the Imperial War Museum in London until 3 January 2011.  It’s sponsored by Company of Cooks.