Full of greens pancakes

I make masses of pancakes – regular sugar and lemon Shrove Tuesday ones, Scotch pancakes which for some reason we used to call Cold Feet, fat fluffy American pancakes and veggie ones.  Lots and lots of veggie pancakes.  Not only are they delicious but a great way of slipping extra veg into reluctant customers (my children) and to use up a glut – I must have made a 1000 courgette and feta type pancakes when we had a courgette glut a couple of years ago.

You can customise these according to what you have – I tend to use something a little starchy like the peas/broad beans or some cooked/canned pulses plus fresh veg such as broccoli or spinach along with any soft herbs I have.  At the moment wild garlic is going into lots of things as we have some growing here but otherwise a clove of garlic adds a gentle hum.  If you use courgette (and it is delicious) then grate it and squeeze out as much water as you can so the batter isn’t too wet.   Same with carrots and parsnips which benefit from grating and any excess water being removed.

I used a couple of spring onions that needed their last hurrah but you could use chives if that’s what you have.  Chunks of feta or cheddar work well and make these even more substantial.  You can add finely chopped chilli or a pinch of cayenne if everyone you are cooking for is receptive – I like to add my heat via a generous squirt of sriracha.

Incidentally these make a wonderful breakfast topped with a fried or poached egg and some Greek yogurt to which you’ve added a swirl of sriracha, just saying….

Veggie pancakes

Below are the quantities I used for the pancakes you see in the pictures.  As long as the amounts are roughly in line you can pretty much freestyle as you please.  A tin of sweetcorn also works if you don’t have any peas or pulses.  Add or subtract herbs depending on what you have and what you like – these pancakes are very flexible. If you don’t have any self raising you can use plain flour plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

300g peas, blanched for 1 minute if frozen

1/2 head of broccoli, approximately 200g, chopped fairly small, core included

3 spring onions, finely chopped

Small handful of parsley

Small handful of wild garlic, entirely optional

2 eggs

200g self raising flour (see intro)

50g Greek yogurt, or regular plain yogurt

A little olive oil

Put everything except the oil into a food processor, season well and blend.  Leave a bit of texture, you don’t want it baby food smooth.  Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and add tablespoons of the batter, leave for a few minutes until turning golden on the bottom when you peek and then turn.  Cook for a few minutes on the other side and then keep warm while you cook the rest.  The above was enough for 4 for lunch with a salad.






Easy tomato soup with herby garlic oil

I always feel terrible about throwing any food away that I have let slip the net and these days, more than ever.  If there was a time for using every last scrap then its now.  For instance, beetroot leaves that I always try and use but inevitably sometimes find their way to the chickens were chopped the minute I got back from the farm shop last week and sautéed with garlic and chilli. Extra delicious because we ate them rather than our feathery friends.

We can no longer pick a recipe and then go and buy exactly what’s required, rather we have to look at what we have and cook accordingly.  I quite like this challenge so do let me know if you need any ideas.

This was lunch yesterday rustled up from mainly store cupboard ingredients, without using too much of our fresh supplies, very easy, cheap and was properly delicious.   Making the herby oil was just a way of using some of the wild garlic that is around at the moment.  I realise not everyone has access to this so if you have some soft herbs or rocket in the fridge that need using up these will make a wonderful, deep green oil full of flavour which is fabulous with the tomato soup.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any of the red lentils I use to thicken the soup – a handful of rice or a large peeled and chopped potato added instead of the lentils will break down and once blended do a fine job of thickening your soup.   I suspect we will be having this more than once, next time I might add some dried chillies instead of the oregano.  Just use what you have.

Easy tomato soup with herby garlic oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

A good pinch of dried oregano (if you have some)

3 tablespoons dried red lentils (see intro)

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

Splash of white wine (if you have some and can spare it)

500ml vegetable stock

100ml milk

A handful of wild garlic or soft herbs/rocket that need using up

A clove of garlic if you aren’t using wild garlic

100ml olive oil

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion gently until soft.  Add the garlic and the oregano if you are using it and stir.  Add the lentils followed by the wine if you are using it and the stock.  Let it simmer, covered, for about 20-30 minutes until the lentils have broken down.  Remove from the heat, add the milk and whizz with a hand held blender until smooth, taste (cautiously, it will be hot) and season.  Either serve immediately or reheat when required.   Blend the oil with the wild garlic or the herbs/rocket and garlic with a pinch of salt and swirl into the soup.  Serves 4.