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Green Bean and Corn Succotash

During the Easter weekend, I spent time with family which, of course, means the over-consumption of food.  Not wanting to contribute to the fat-fest that is Easter (and thus contribute to the size of my thighs) I decided to make some slightly healthier (but also tasty) options for our family gathering.  I quickly made a Tuna Loaf , which everyone always enjoys and, if there’s leftovers, can be eaten the next day and freezes well too.

I then thought about making a salad.  Now, I eat salad pretty much every single day.  Which can get a little bit dull, to be honest.  I didn’t want to make the usual lettuce-cucumber-tomato scenario, so I went with this yummy Green Bean and Corn Succotash.  My ex Mother-in-Law used to make this for me whenever we got together for a family event.  It is fresh and vibrant and so colourful.  This isn’t her exact recipe – I haven’t been able to find her original one (which I put somewhere very safe and now, well, you can guess the rest) but it is pretty close and I reckon, with some tweaking, one day I might replicate hers exactly.  In the meantime, I will enjoy some delicious trial and error 🙂

This recipe, below, is adapted from Celebratemag.com

Ingredients

350g green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 small red onion, diced

3 cups corn kernels (fresh, or frozen, drained and cooled)

1/2 red capsicum, diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs: parsley, basil, or cilantro

2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar (start with 1/2 tsp, then add other half if you think it needs it!)

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, cook green beans in boiling, salted water until bright green and barely tender, 2 minutes. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain well on paper towels.
  2. Sauté diced onions until softened, 3 to 4 minutes, in the 2 tbs olive oil. Transfer to a large bowl, and let cool.
  3. Add corn, beans, capsicum and herbs to onions, tossing to combine;
  4. In a small jar, combine remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard, and pepper; cover and shake to blend. Dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature.
  5. Just before serving, cover, and shake dressing jars to blend; drizzle on salads.

Voila!  Yummy, healthy and a bit of a change from a boring green salad.

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Thank you for popping in 🙂

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Roasted Capsicum & Carrot Soup

Roasted Capsicum & Carrot Soup

I love soup.  At any time of year I am more than happy to have a big bowl of hot soup.  It’s easy to make, inexpensive and is very filling and satisfying.  It’s also a good way to use up any scrungey old veggies you have in the fridge (you know, the ones that are looking a little bit sad/wilted/depressed).  My favourite soup to make at the moment is Roasted Capsicum and Carrot Soup.  So delish.  It is pretty simple to make, with only a few ingredients and keeps well in the fridge so you can enjoy it over a few days, or freeze it for stand-by meals.  I like to top mine with some crumbled, creamy Danish feta.  Yum.

So here’s my basic recipe.  I never measure anything or really notice how much of anything I am using when making this soup so feel free to substitute ingredients or leave out anything that you don’t like.  The only thing that is compulsory is roasted the capsicum and carrot – it adds so much flavour and richness to the finished dish, you really can’t leave that step out.

Start with about three large red capsicums.  Chop them up into pieces, discarding the seeds, stalk and pith.  Chop up 1-2 large carrots.  Lay the capsicum and carrot on a baking tray (on some baking paper – both vegetables are fairly sweet and so they WILL stick to your trays if you don’t line them first).  Roast them in a hot oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until they start to caramelise and brown.  A little bit of black skin on the capsicum is fine, I think.  It adds a bit of smoky flavour.

Whilst these are roasting, dice up a large onion and sauté it in a large saucepan with a little bit of olive oil and a couple of chopped sun-dried tomatoes until just starting to caramelise.  Take off heat.  Add a teaspoon of garlic/ginger paste and stir through.  Once oven-roasted veg is ready, add it to the saucepan with 2 cups of vegetable stock, and chopped herbs (optional but I like to add some basil or thyme) and return to heat to simmer.  Stir it occasionally and add more stock as the liquid reduces.  You can add more or less stock depending on how thick you like your soups.  I usually use about three cups in total.

Simmer for approx 30 mins or until all veg is very soft (i.e. mashable).  Season as desired and, using a stick blender, puree until desired thickness is achieved.  Pour into soup bowls with a soup ladle and garnish with a little bit of feta, grated cheese or herbs.

Voila!  The recipe isn’t really a “recipe” – it’s more a guide.  Soup isn’t meant to be super fussy or difficult to make and I certainly don’t follow any instructions for it.  It’s a case of bung it in and boil it up!   Serve it up on its own or with some nice crusty bread.

Try it today – it’s delicious and healthy, colourful and full of good stuff!  I know what I am having for dinner tonight! 🙂

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