New Year - New Members

Happy New Year to one and all on Food Lovers!

The post-Christmas period is a good time to start afresh on new recipe ideas for the family.

I have thankfully used up all the "Christmassy" food, save for the odd mince pie, which I eat year round anyway, so I am getting well and truly stuck in on the new eats in January.

I realised over the Yuletide, that I eat far less meat than I used to, and found having a 6 kilo turkey and enormous ham a bit of a challenge to get through, despite the usual stream of visitors.

Today has been a bit of a mop up on the food front, and Eve and I are using up our remaining supplies before the shops open again tomorrow.

She has just treated me to a cheese omelette with noodles doused in balsamic vinegar and cheddar cheese - quite an unusual combo, but it was rather tasty!

I think I am going to concoct a Stilton and Potato Soup for supper, and use up our pain au maïs as toasted croutons - never, ever waste anything if possible - so many people in the world go hungry.

So, if you are a member, please start posting what's happening on your foodie home front, and if you are not, please join us!

Best wishes


ps - please take a look at my blog if you get a moment and join my Haddock in the Kitchen Facebook page. Loads of tips, recipes and the odd bit of ranting!!/pages/Haddock-in-the-Kitchen/138577096160082

Oh I love thick soups too - particularly Thai Pumpkin or Chestnut, Mushroom & Red Wine or Pineau but post-overindulgence clear and aromatic does it for me! Celeriac I make as a bouillon sometimes with Five Spice or sometimes with Allspice and alternatively I make a thick creamy Sage & Celeriac potage (might add apple or pear and serve with some roquefort....)

As for french veg stock alternatives - I have yet to find one. Most are too full of peppers Capsicum not black!

I have to admit to making soups that are on the thick side - my brother in law refers to having "a slice of soup" when he eats it, so I guess you can get the picture.

I use the organic Marigold veg stock, which is good, but I have yet to find a good French alternative that isn't so heavily laced with salt. Any ideas?

Ah well - that would depend on time allowed! If needing an ultra clear soup (never bother for just us) I would very very slowly brown onions, carrots, celery or celeriac, leek tops, herbs, bay, peppercorns etc in a little oil. Add cold water, bring to the boil and simmer a long time. Then strain through a fine sieve, then whisk through an egg white and strain again. In a hurry I would resort to concentrated vegetable liquid bouillion - not Marco Pierre White’s stock pot things (don’t like them at all) but the stuff in the little brown bottles. Useful in a hurry. You can make the soups with just water but you get better depth of flavour if you use stock.

Sounds super-healthy!

I think the repetition of stylised Christmas food can really stilt the taste buds - citrus will really bring things alive I feel. Even a simple squeeze of lemon on a modest green salad will add an extra dimension of flavour to the plate.

For your clear soups Sarah, how do you make your stock?

Hi Helen

After Christmas and New Year, I get cravings for loads of fresh juicy salads (perverse mid-winter but use citrus -lime, orangle, grapefruit, lemon etc- with celery, celeriac, chicory, dark leaves like rocket or mache and sucrine lettuces, pomegrantes and cucumber) and clear aromatic soups (Carrot Orange & Ginger, Thai Hot & Sour and Beetroot & Cranberry). I suppose it's a sort of detox but not so drastic......

Happy New Year!