Tomato and Smoky Tofu Soup

It is definitely feeling autumnal and that means it’s time for me to get my big pan out for some soups!

Tomato and Smoky Tofu Soup

This is a tasty soup and a great way for me to celebrate my home grown tomato crop.

Start by adding a little oil, chopped spring onions, chopped garlic and a stock cube to your soup pan. Sauté a little and then add plenty of fresh chopped tomatoes.

The tomatoes I’ve been growing this year are cherry tomatoes so I’ve added about 2 cups full and just chopped them roughly as I will be blending later. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the soup mix to simmer as the tomatoes soften.

Adding tofu to soup is a great way to increase protein (perfect for vegans) and to add flavour and texture. I love the Tofoo brand smoked tofu and think it’s a perfect fit with this dish. As Tofoo does not need pressing you can roughly chop and add to the soup once the tomatoes are starting to break apart.

Once it’s simmered a little more add stock until the vegetables and tofu are well covered and cook on a medium – low heat for about 20 minutes.

The soup will start to smell lovely once the smoky flavour and the tomatoes infuse. Just before serving I use a hand blender to whizz it all up and then serve with gluten free vegan pitta.

This warming and flavourful soup is perfect for Autumn weekends or a midweek pick-me-up.

Wood Fired Pizza Co. At Sheffield Botanic Gardens

Bonfire night is one of my favourite times of the year. As well as being delighted by the seasonal treats at Sheffield Botanic Gardens Illuminations I was also thrilled to find one of the food vans offered gluten free and vegan pizza options.

I had a Veggie Full House on a gluten free base but without mushrooms. The base was delicious and I really enjoyed the combination of vegan cheese, spinach, olives and onions. I’m so glad I found their van!

Pumpkin, Rocket and Vegan Feta Tagliatelle

I hate to see food wasted so after a busy Halloween earlier this week I made good use of the pumpkin I’d been carving with this delicious pasta dish.

I started by chopping the pumpkin flesh into small pieces, seasoning with sage, salt and pepper and roasting with olive oil for approximately 45 minutes in the oven.

When the pumpkin has roasted transfer it into a safe bowl and blend using a hand blender to create a pumpkin puree which will be used as the sauce for the tagliatelle.

Cook the tagliatelle. As I am a coeliac I use gluten free pasta, if you are doing the same make sure the water is fully boiling before you add the pasta to the lab as it can stick together.

When the pasta is cooked drain fully and rinse.

Bring a large frying pan to heat and add the pumpkin puree, cooked tagliatelle and rocket to the pan. Cook on a medium – high heat and keep stirring during cooking. The rocket should wilt down nicely and give you a good idea of when everything is ready.

I’m serving with Free From Greek Style Cheese as it is both vegan and gluten-free.

I hope you enjoy this delicious Halloween meal as much as I have!

Asparagus with Lemon and Mint Risotto

Risotto is an ideal comfort food for Autumn. As a coeliac and a vegan it makes it an ideal dish to suit all dietary needs.

Start by finely chopping a white onion and starting to fry in a large pan on a high heat. Once the onion has softened add arborio rice and continue to fry until the rice turns a little translucent.

I actually only use wine if I have some open so rather than adding wine at this point I pour over some boiling stock and sizzle off swiftly. Kallo low salt stock cubes are great as they are vegan and gluten free.

Add more stock but turn the heat down to a medium setting so it cooks through solidly.

At this point I add fresh lemon juice and zest grated from the peel. I also add mint to the risotto. One of my top tips for storing fresh herbs is to put it into ice cube trays, pour over water and then freeze. This gives you perfect fresh herbs and saves any waste!

Keep stirring and keep adding stock to the dish as it cooks. I cook the risotto for approximately 15 minutes but keep checking the rice and make sure it is cooked to your taste. When it is close to cooked I’ve added 100g of vegan Greek style cheese. I’ve used the Sainsbury’s brand made with coconut milk.

Whilst the risotto finishes cooking gently steam the asparagus.

Serve the steamed asparagus on top of the risotto for a tasty, comforting meal free from gluten and vegan.

Rustic Leek and Potato Soup

Classics are popular for a reason. Sadly though as a coeliac, or with lactose intolerance, you can’t always tuck into the classics.

That’s why I’ve made this rustic leek and potato soup. And made it vegan, gluten and lactose free.

Start preparing the vegetables; chopping onion, leeks and new potatoes. I actually leave the skin on as I love the taste and texture. 

Pop all the vegetables into a large pan and cover with boiling vegetable stock. I use the Kallo low salt vegetable stock cubes so I can be safe from pesky gluten. Bring the entire soup to boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for an hour or so. 

When the potato and leeks are very soft and easy to break with a spoon the soup is ready. 

For a creamy taste stir through some Alpro soya cream and season with a little salt and pepper. 

Butter bean and wild rice stew

Sunday afternoon is, I’m pretty certain, made for slippers, a snuggle on the sofa and a big bowl of warming and filling stew. 

This stew has everything you need to make a Sunday afternoon perfect. 

Start with chopped red chilli, chopped garlic and cherry tomatoes. Add them to a large pan and start to heat on a medium setting. Add butter beans once the tomatoes start to soften. Then add a tin of chopped tomato aand continue to cook. 

Whilst the vegetables are simmering cook the wild rice. I’ve used a nice mix of wild and white rice as it gives a pleasant alternative texture between the two. Once cooked drain and rinse the rice. 

Add the rice, boiling vegetable stock and chopped parsley to the pan. Turn the heat down and cook for 30 – 40 minutes. 

Once cooked have a peek into the pan to see if the beans are soft and the stew is ready to tuck into. This is another perfect meal that is naturally gluten free and perfect for coeliacs and vegans. 

Creamy Broccoli Soup

September is one of my favourite times of the year. I love the change of season and the autumnal spirit. Soup is a perfect Autumn weekend lunch and today I’ve used summery broccoli and vegan cream cheese to make a delicious soup.

I am lucky enough to have a lovely Le Creuset casserole pan and it makes soups really easy as you can just pop all the ingredients in and let it work it’s magic. 

For this soup, a vegan twist on broccoli and stilton, I start by chopping new potatoes, broccoli and brown onion. You can chop quite roughly as when it’s cooked it will need blending. Add all the ingredient to the pan and cover with stock. As I’m a coeliac I use Kallo gluten free stock cubes to avoid a reaction. 

Cover and cook on a medium heat for approximately 90 minutes stirring as required. Once the vegetables are soft and cooked entirely blend the soup. 

I’m serving with a soya, vegan alternative to cream cheese and flavour with salt and pepper. 

A lovely Saturday lunch in a sunny autumn day. 

Nectarine and Apricot, Honey Oat Crumble

As the weather gets slightly chillier I turn to comfort food to get me through. Nothing says comfort more than a hot fruity crumble.

A lot of gluten free crumble mixes and alternatives feel really heavy and gloopy so in this recipe I make my own with gluten free oats. 

I start by preparing my fruit. I’m using fresh apricots and nectarines so I can enjoy that last taste of summer. I chop 6 fresh apricots, first by chopping in half and removing the stone. Then I chop each half into 5 lengths. Apricots provide a great a vitamin boost which I’m counting on to make me feel tough as we move into flu season. They are high in vitamin C but also vitamin A and high in fibre and potassium. Making them a great healthy fruit. 

As with the apricots I chop 3 nectarines by first chopping in half and removing the stone and then slicing lengthways. Nectarines have a lower vitamin content than apricots but complement nicely as they are rich in B complex minerals. They also complement the apricots for taste too.

Then I make the honey oat crumble topping. Start by melting approximately 200g soya butter. I use the Pure soya butter as it is straightforward and doesn’t contain any unexpected ingredients. I melt the soya butter over a medium heat and when melted add 125g of honey. 

I’m in love with honey and so in awe of the many antioxidant and antibacterial properties it has. Eating local honey is said to protect against hayfever reactions and can be ussed in all kinds of healing. In this recipe I’m using a local Yorkshire forest honey and would like to say thanks to the Yorkshire forest bees for their hard work.

Once the honey and soya butter are melted slowly add gluten free oats. Neal’s Yard gluten free oats are a staple of my coeliac diet featuring in most of my mornings. I stir through 200g oats and mix thoroughly with the butter and honey. Place the fruit in an oven proof dish and then top with the oat mixture. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven at 200°.

Once cooked dish up and enjoy. I’m tucking into mine with a serving of soya cream. Perfect gluten free, lactose free comfort food.