Daily Archives: 5 January 2010

A Winter Wonderland

Wow, what a beautiful drive to work this morning. The alarm clock may have been something of a shock, as was the need to get dressed within an hour rather than four, but it was worth it for the view alone.

Winter WonderlandI only wish I had pulled over to take a photograph – it would have made a perfect Christmas card for later on this year (that still sounds strange!) A sugared almond backdrop of milky pink and lilac with the bare trees and plants heavily crusted in frost, sparkling in the sunshine.

Missed out on the Dairy Dairy at Christmas?
The Dairy Diary office has been in a blur all day with us trying to get on top of all the phone calls, emails and letters we have received today and over the holiday. There are always people who expect a Dairy Diary Christmas gift and receive something else yet they don’t want to miss out on their diary! To all who are wondering, yes they are still available and can be purchased at www.dairydiary.co.uk or by calling 0845 0948128.

Of course, New Year’s resolutions are front of mind at the moment, and after the excesses of Christmas my other half and I have decided to opt for a soup diet for the next few nights’ dinner. First on the menu is Spaghetti soup – wholesome, healthy and delicious. I will be scouring all our cookbooks and diaries for more inspiration over the coming evenings. We have also decided to abandon the depressingly bad evening television for more happy entertainment, such as reading, board games and painting – I wonder how long that resolution will last!

Spaghetti soup

A perfect dish after the excesses of Christmas – wholesome, healthy and delicious.

Spaghetti Soup

Spaghetti Soup

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Calories per portion 186 Kcal
Fat per portion 10g
of which saturated 2.1g
Serves 2
Suitable for vegetarians + freezing

Olive oil 1 tbsp
Onion 1 small, peeled and sliced
Carrot 1, peeled and diced
Button mushrooms 4–6, wiped and chopped
Chopped tomatoes 227g can
Vegetable stock cube 1
Boiling water 600ml (1 pint)
Angel hair spaghetti or rice noodles 25g (1oz)
Pesto sauce 1 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan-like cheese 1/2–1 tbsp

1 Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and carrot and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to soften. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.

2 Add the canned tomatoes, stock cube and water to the pan and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer the soup for 12–15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Break the spaghetti or noodles into pieces and add to the pan, then boil the soup, uncovered, for 2–3 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.

3 Stir half of the pesto into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and remaining pesto just before serving.

Cook’s tip
If the soup thickens too much, add a little extra boiling water. The soup may thicken after freezing; again, add more water.

Shopper’s tip
You can use ordinary spaghetti, but it will need to be added at the beginning of step 2. You may need to add more water.

Recipe taken from Clever Cooking for One or Two.

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