When the weather is getting hotter, I recommend you spend an evening making a large batch of this beautiful soup. It is both healthy and tasty, and well loved by all family members. I like to use vegetable stock, this means the dish is completely vegetarian and all my friends can enjoy it as well.
The soup can be served hot or cold. I would cool the soup for at least 4 hours before serving. That’s why I like to make this dish a day in advance.
This soup is also beautiful als a small course at a dinner party or for a high tea. Just serve the soup in a dainty tea cup or a small glass instead of a large plate.
Vichyssoise (6 portions)
2 leaks, sliced and thoroughly cleaned, including the green part
1 large onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
4 medium potatoes, diced
500 – 750 ml vegetable stock
150 ml cream
1 tbsp olive oil
Greek yoghurt or sour cream
Chopped spring onion or chives
Fry off the potatoes, onion, leaks and garlic until the onion is translucent.
Add vegetable stock until all ingredients are submerged.
Simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
Blend the soup to a smooth puree, add stock if you want a thinner soup.
Stir in the cream and season to taste. Remember that cold soup will need stronger seasoning.
Serve your soup with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or sour cream and some chopped chives or spring onions.
On hot summer evenings I enjoy a plate of this cold soup with some fresh bread. The best thing is that all you have to do is serve it up, no mess or fuss, just a cooling and healthy dinner.
This is coleslaw with a twist. I love preparing a large batch of any type of coleslaw. I bring it to work, serve it as a side dish with some fried chicken (like chicken fingers) or with our barbecues in the summer.
The kohlrabi has both great crunch and lovely subtle cabbage flavor. It pears great with the apple and the fresh dressing. It can be prepared day(s) in advance, making it a practical dish too!
2 kohlrabi, sliced in match sticks, or coarsely grated
This is our families new favorite dip: hummus. We like dunking into hummus with chunks of home made pita breads or freshly sliced veg such as paprika or cauliflower.
Hummus is surprisingly easy to make. All you need is a good blender. Every ingredient you put in is healthy, making it a guilt free dip full of nutrients. Hummus should be nice and smooth.
Dress up your hummus with lots of garnishes, as this is a feast for both your eyes and your taste buds. A large plate of hummus is great as a starter while you get the barbecue going, or when you are serving multiple dips like aioli and tzaziki.
220 gr tinned or boiled chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
70 ml olive oil
1 tbsp peanut butter (non chunky)
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp good spicy paprika
drizzle of olive oil
juice of half a lemon
a few chickpeas
chopped flat leaf parsley
a dash of paprika
Blend your hummus ingredients to a smooth dip, it should not contain chunks and be soothingly smooth.
Add salt and pepper to taste. If your hummus needs freshening up, add lemon juice.
You can keep this hummus in a jar or container in your fridge for a number of days.
To serve, spread the dip out over a large serving dish and garnish generously.
Use tea cups or pretty glasses for serving a soup starter or for a high tea.
Use serving dishes as a gift wrapping for chocolates or home made cupcakes!
2. Vintage clothing – I like looking for dresses and tops. If they don’t fit nicely, I cut pieces of, or add some waist line with a belt.
The result of a recent thrift store treasure hunt.
3. Accessories – When you find that great dress, try finding accessories to match. After watching a documentary about Iris Apfel, I decided to have more fun with dressing up. This senior fashionista has so much fun and personality with using accessories, that it inspired me to stock up on necklaces, scarves, broches, sunglasses and more.
4. Kitchen utensils – The thrift store is full of items people got bored of, or maybe the hype passed. I am thinking of fondue pans and bread makers. Use your fondue pan for cheese fondue or surprise your dinner guests with a chocolate fondue with fruit for desert.
Have a tasty lentil salad for lunch! This salad is full of healthy and teasty ingredients. It is well balanced in so many ways. The crunch of the oninons against the soft cheese and potatoes, the fresh mint contrasts beautifully with the sweet flavors.
This salad would make a great lunch, a starter or a side dish with a barbeque.
Sweet potato and lentil salad ( 1 person lunch, or a great side dish)
2 sweet potatoes
150 gr (puy) lentils, tinned or freshly cooked
100 gr goat cheese
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 handfull of fresh mint, finely sliced
1/2 red paprika, in small squares
1 pepper, finely sliced
Honey mustard dressing:
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dill (optional)
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.
Peel your potatoes and slice them into rustic chips. Coat them in oil, season them and bake them in the oven for 25 minutes or until they are tender.
Combine with the other salad ingredients for a great lunch dish!
This is a great omelet to make with wild garlic. This humble but delicious plant grows abundantly under trees in the Netherlands. Officially this plant is protected in the Netherland, but where I live I see large patches full of the stuff.
Luckily my mother has a huge patch of wild garlic under her apple tree. As it is in season, she picked a large bunch of the leaves and flowers for me to prepare.
If you are not lucky or brave enough to get your own wild garlic, you can use spinache or swiss chard instead.
This omelet makes a great lunch or side dish. It can be eaten warm or cold.
Spring forest omelet (2 lunch portions)
3 handfulls of wild garlic leaves and flowers
150 gr mixed mushrooms, sliced
3 large free range eggs
100 gr creme fraiche
about 75 gr butter
pinch of nutmeg
Wash your wild garlic in very salty water, to get rid of any sand and wildlife.
In a bit of oil or butter, fry the wild garlic untill it wilts down.
Let your wild garlic cool slightlybefore roughly shopping it.
Fry the mushrooms in some butter, season them generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs and creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
Mix in the wild garlic and mushrooms.
In a non stick frying pan, melt a generous amount of butter on high heat.
Pour the mix in the hot pan and turn the heat down. If you have a lid, clamp it on.
Wait for your eggs to just set before turning it onto a plate.
Cooking times vary, so just stay near your stove.
There are several reasons I grow edible plants in my garden. It occured to me that people sometimes wrongly think that vegetable garden is something for country folk. As a women living in the suburbs with a post stamp garden I can tell you anyone can grow edible plants.
Chives in my rock garden
Vegetables and greens that are easy to grow:
Wild garlic, I took some bulbs from my mothers garden and planted them under my pear tree. The leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked. The garlic flavour and spinach texture combine well with steaks, mushrooms or salmon. I rarely eat mine raw, just because that’s safer.
Rocket in our gnome garden
Rocket, once you have had this plant in your garden, you will never need to sow it again. It spreads like a weed! When I have to harvest great amounts, I make my own rocket pesto. It is also great to mix through my salad leaves, or to garnish my pizza‘s.
Rhubarb, a zero maintenance plant! I have this plant thanks to my parents garden. My father made a rhubarb patch next to the house. He devided some rhubarb plants from my grandfathers garden to create this patch. Now I have a piece of this patch in my garden. I like to use the rhubarb to make rhubarb crumble. I freeze some rhubarb in the summer, so I can even enjoy this dish in the winter!
Nasturtiums. Another easy plant to sow. You can eat the leaves and flowers of this annual plant in a salad. On top of all this, they look great too. I like to grow lots of edible flowers, such as pansies.
Tomatoe salad with nasturtium
Herbs. Nothing beats fresh herbs, so I like to always have these herbs on hand:
Regular mint, balm mint and peppermint – also great for making (iced) teas
You can plant these plants in a seperate vegatable patch, but my garden is so small that I choose to let my edible plants live among the decorative plants. But all the plants in this list would also be very happy living in a flower pot or window box.
Adding edible plants to your garden or balcony is also a great way to teach your children how their vegetables grow. You could even consider making a gnome garden. For children I would always recommend including some strawberry plants. They are low maintenance, high reward plants for children.
I recommend choosing plants you enjoy eating and easy to grow & maintain. This way you are more likely succeed and reap the rewards soon!