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

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 6

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.

Seasonal local food recipes No.245 – Jamie’s humble home-cooked beans Ⓥ


I have been waiting for fresh borlotti beans to try this recipe again!  If you don’t have fresh beans use 300g dried borlotti beans soaked for at least 12 hours.

Serves: 4
Cooking and preparation time: 1 hour

Fresh borlotti beans (podded)
3 cloves garlic unpeeled
a few sprigs fresh thyme
a sprig fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 stick celery, trimmed
1 small potato, peeled and halved
2 cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 slices sourdough bread

Place the beans in a deep pan and cover them with cold water.  Throw in the garlic, herb sprigs, bay leaves, celery stick, potato and tomatoes.  Place the beans on the heat and slowly bring to the boil.  Cover with a lid and simmer very gently for about 45 minutes or until the beans are soft and cooked nicely.  When the beans are cooked, drain them in a colander, reserving enough of the cooking water to cover them halfway up when put back in the pot.  remove the garlic, herbs, celery, potato and tomatoes from the beans.  Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and pinch the skin off the tomatoes.  Put the garlic, tomatoes and potato on to a plate, mash them with a fork and stir back into the beans.  Season well with salt and pepper and pour in three generous glugs of extra virgin olive oil and a few splashes of vinegar.  Stir in the parsley and serve on some toasted sourdough bread.

Seasonal local food recipe No.219 – Millet and vegetable gratinee


I was first introduced to this dish when our son was at nursery school – he is now 23 and I am still cooking it!  It is from the Cranks recipe book.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

125g millet
600ml water
75g butter or margarine
2 medium leeks sliced
1 large carrot grated
4 sticks celery thinly sliced
300ml milk
25g plain flour
3 tbs parsley, chopped
grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
125g cheese grated

Cook the millet in the measured boiling water until just tender and all the water has been absorbed.  Melt 50g butter in a saucepan, add the prepared vegetables ansd saute for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 25g butter in a saucepan and add the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the milk, parsley, lemon juice and rind and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes before adding half the grated cheese.  Combine the cooked millet, vegetables and cheese sauce, season to taste and transfer the mixture to an ovenproof serving dish. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over and bake in the oven gas mark 5/180°C for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Recipe No 8 – Braised celery


One of the staples of the kitchen, celery is used to flavour soups, stocks and many other dishes. It is tasty on its own as a vegetable dish, gives crunch to salads especially a Waldorf salad.

This recipe is from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves 4
1 head of celery
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 or 3 thyme sprigs
225ml chicken, beef or vegetable stock

Trim the root end close to the bottom of the stalks and cut off the leafy tops. Pull of the outer stalks to expose the pale green heart. Cut the group of stalks at the heart in half lengthwise and then in half again as wedges. Line up all the stalks and cut in half crosswise.

Into a heavy pan over medium heat, pour in the oil and add the onion and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the celery. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions and celery have browned a little. Season with salt and add the stock. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the celery is tender. The sauce should be thick and coat the celery; if not, uncover the pan, raise the heat and reduce the liquid as much as needed. Taste for seasoning and serve.

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