Basket 0 items Checkout

Latest Blog Story


Published 9th November 2017

I've always loved cooking and baking - right from being a little girl when my mum's mum (Grandma Ivy) used to show me how to make pies and tarts with fruit straight from her orchard, and gravy dinners using runner beans and greens from Grandad's veg patch at the bottom of the garden.  Nothing was ever wasted!

So this blog is about using left overs.  Married to a farmer, I know that food is not cheap to produce - with rising costs of fuel, seed and fertiliser purchases plus wages to name but a few inputs always on the rise - it's important that we all purchase wisely, store correctly and make the most out of every bit of the food we buy.

I'm a home cook - so you'll only find a few tins and packets of pantry staples in my cupboards.  I do buy some food items in bulk, such as a sack of potatoes, and a net of onions and of course we always have plenty of meat on the farm, but generally I have an idea of what I'm going to cook throughout the week when I buy from my local butcher and vegetable farm shop.

Now we are well into Autumn I cook a lot of soups, some intentionally, but some from left over meals.  I've done a couple of these left over soups recently and they were delicious! 

After Sunday dinner recently we had a small amount of left over carrot and swede mashup which I'd popped in the fridge.  So on the Monday I created this soup:-

Carrot & Swede Mashup Soup (with Chilli and Saffron)

First, I peeled and chopped one medium brown onion.  I placed a drizzle of our Ownsworth's Rapeseed Oil into a medium saucepan and gently fried the onion until soft and golden.

Next I added the previously cooked carrot and swede mashup to the saucepan with a pint of hot vegetable stock and stirred it all to combine.  

Finally I added 4 crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of chilli flakes and a few strands of saffron, and seasoned well with ground black pepper and some sea salt.

After I had heated this all through, I carefully transferred the chunky soup into a blender and blitzed until smooth (although you could leave the soup chunky if you preferred).  To serve, I ladled the soup into deep bowls, and added a final sprinkle of chilli flakes and saffron for decoration.  A chunk of homemade bread went down a treat!  

Chilli con Carne Soup

We all love Chilli con Carne at our house and I always make too much!  One cold lunchtime, my boys were in for a quick lunch and it was one of those two fish and five loaves of bread moments (from the Bible) - how could I feed them all when I had little in the fridge?

Then I remembered my single portion of Chilli con Carne in the fridge.

First, I peeled and chopped one medium brown onion.  I placed a drizzle of our Ownsworth's Rapeseed Oil in a medium saucepan and gently cooked the onion until it was nicely soft and golden.

Next I added the small portion of Chilli con Carne and stirred it with the extra onions.  Again, I added a pint of good vegetable stock and for a bit of extra decadence I chopped up the last inch of chorizo which was lurking in my fridge and added this to the mixture.  

I then gently warmed the soup up before serving in deep soup bowls and served with some homemade granary bread.

You can make lots of soups like these.  Starting off with some gently fried onions, you can add left over vegetables, meat, fish - anything you like!  For an extra special treat you can swirl some single cream on the top of your soup and freshly chopped herbs - there really aren't any rules.

Onion base for sauces, pasta sauces and curries

I like to buy lots of lovely brown, red and white onions in the autumn - they're great in so many recipes!  These umptious hunks, gently cooked in some of our cold pressed rapeseed oil can then have sliced mushrooms added to them with salt & pepper and a little single cream for a simple sauce to top thickly toasted bread, or add a tin of chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, basil and salt & pepper to an Italian sauce perfect for a pizza topping or pasta sauce (think spag bol or lasagne) or add a mixture of indian spices and fry off before adding meat and/or vegetables (cream or coconut milk) for a delicious curry.

It all starts with the fried onions!  .... in our oil of course!

Hate food waste?  Learn more at:

Next month - it's all about Christmas!!!