Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Seasonal Super food: Squash & Pumpkin

Healthy squashes

Healthy squashes

The Squash family are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals including fibre, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus and potassium. They can also aid in the processing of fat, carbs and glucose. For ladies, squash aids with the symptoms of PMS as it is full of manganese, which helps reduce mood swings and cramps.

Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween lanterns and thrown away after the event. DON”T, what a shocking waste! Inside the hard orange or yellow skin, the bright orange flesh is sweet and honied, a particularly good source of fibre, and delicious roasted as a veg with meat, roasts, risotto or pasta, in a stew or a sturdy winter soup.

Climbing pumpkin

Climbing pumpkin

I have a rampant pumpkin plant climbing a tree in my garden, and will definitely give them more space next year, as well as grow squash, especially the spaghetti variety, which is delicious and a much healthier alternative to pasta.

So when preparing your halloween lantern don’t throw away the pulp, or even the seeds that can be roasted and salted for a snack, or kept for next years crop. And watch out for cheap pumpkins after halloween.

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash

For a pumpkin soup recipe click here (although I would roast the pumpkin first). To find your local farm shop for fresh pumpkin and squash use our local food map, or to buy organic, spaghetti squash, on line, straight from the farmer, click here.

Please feedback any recipes and we will add them to our database with your name. Or do a quick video and add it to our KIS Cookery video library and perhaps be discovered as the next famous chef!


How crazy is tinned soup?

When we are running out of oil and resources like tin, and short of money how crazy is tinned soup?

Soup has to be one of the cheapest, and easiest meals, yes meal, to make. And really nutritious, yet whole aisles are set aside for tinned soup.

Yes, we are busy and have a sub conscious comfort zone for certain varieties of tinned soup. But look at the price next time, and the list of ingredients.

Some are saltier than sea water.


A big saucepan of soup can feed a family and the remains put in the fridge for another day. You can even hide the ‘leftover’ by adding some new ingredients as you heat it up.

If you are a confident chef just get stuck in, and boil some chopped veg with a stock cube or two. If not, or a gastronome, dig out a recipe. Or add one to our KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery video channel.

And next time you are at one of those big shops, you can give a smug look at the other shoppers with tinned soup in their trollies.

Oversupply of Onions BUY NOW!

My ‘onion growing’ cousin told me today that the price of onions has collapsed to about £45/tonne. The supermarkets are selling them at 46p/kg, £460/tonne. Nothing new there!

UK farmers have had very good yields this year so there is oversupply and the price has dropped, lower than their production cost. Helped further by Dutch growers dumping onions on our market. Apparently it is cheaper for the Dutch to send them here at a net price of just £8/tonne than to pay for them to be disposed of! (£8/tonne is 16p for a 20kg bag!)

So, find an onion grower, or ask your local farm shop, using our local food map, and get your recipe books out. Onion soup, Goulash, tart, lasagne, flan, shepherd pie, stews, beef burgers, bolognese, to name a few. Indeed most soups and dishes are improved with onions.

Onions also store extremely well kept in a cool dry place.

This is another example of how the national food industry does not work for farmers or consumers. How many people noticed that the price of onions has dropped in the supermarket, or that farmers will make a loss?

In a local food industry, consumers hear about onions being cheaper and are encouraged to buy more onions, especially if producers add recipe cards to the onion display.

Perhaps more important, by supplying local farm shops and small retailers, farmers are encouraged to grow a wider range of products, rather than specialise, as most do at the moment.

And onions are very good for you, so here’s to a hot soup, warning stew, healthy winter. If you have a great onion recipe please feedback below.