Sweet Pea Soup

This recipe has only three ingredients and is dead easy to make, but to me, in season peas are one of the nicest summer flavours. Not to mention that Mae loves shelling them and it was so much fun making it together.

3 spring onions
1kg peas in shell (always organic, if possible)
1 pint chicken stock

I always try to have chicken stock in my fridge. By adding whichever veg I have in the fridge it just makes a great soup. When Mae was weaned onto solids, after her sixth month, she had a cup of broth with a spoonful of yogurt every day.  Eventually we added chicken pieces and steamed carrots or lentils. This formed the basis of her diet for her first two years.

Get a couple of chicken carcasses (organic, if possible) from your butcher, put in a pan, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer gently for 4 hours on a low heat. I don’t salt it, but I sometimes add, towards the end, a few carrots and a celery stick to the simmering stock - it does help enhance the flavour. Refrigerate and keep for up to 5 days.

Sweat the onions in butter for 5mins. I used 2 tablespoons but put more if you like it creamier and buttery. Add all the shelled peas and around 15 shells, but do make sure that you take the strings out of the shells. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the chicken stock and cook for a further 15 minutes. Whizz the soup in the blender until smooth.


Chocolate Beetroot Brownies

It might seem like a strange combination but beetroots give a slightly earthy flavour to chocolate, as well as, the moistness in the middle – so delicious! I use 100% chocolate, Venezuelan Black by Willy’s Chocolate Factory - but there are other 100% unsweetened chocolate brands out there

50g  gluten free flour
50g  almond flour
100g  butter or coconut butter
180g plain chocolate
3 medium beetroots
200g coconut sugar
2 TBSP date syrup
1 vanilla pod
3 eggs
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

Although you can buy cooked beetroots and warm them, I prefer them fresh.  They have a nicer flavour and texture.

Wash and trim the beetroots. Be careful not to trim too much as they will bleed and a lot of water will soak into them.  I leave on around 3cm of the stalk. Put the beetroots in a pan with water and boil for 30 mins. Peel and chop in 4 squares each. If you are using precooked ones from the supermarket, first heat them up in the pan of water.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.  Line a square-ish roasting dish with baking paper.

Now put the hot, cooked beetroots into a blender together with the roughly chopped plain chocolate, the butter and the extracted vanilla pod. You can use a vanilla tincture if you don’t have a pod, and if you are doing this, use 1 TBSP. Mix until smooth. The chocolate will melt with the help of hot beetroot.  The mixture will look like a thick dark red mush.

Mix the eggs, sugar and date syrup until thick and foamy. There is no need to separate eggs.
Put the beetroot mixture into a bowl and gradually add the egg mixture, folding slowly with a spoon so that some air gets conserved. Add the flour and cocoa and fold all together.

Pour the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes. The brownies might look like they are not ready and the mixture slightly shaky, but don’t worry once cooled down it will stiffen. When the brownies are completely cool, cut into squares


Fruit Scones

I was surprised at how ‘real’ these tasted.  The consistency is very similar to a regular scone, buttery and crumbly. I would normally serve these with homemade strawberry jam (sweetened with fruit extract instead of sugar) and butter but there was a sense of urgency  today –  two very impatient little children and the jam was put on hold.
2 cups of gluten free self raising flour
4TBSP of butter
4TBSP of fruit extract
1 egg
handful of raisins
1 beaten egg for glazing
¼ pint of nut milk
2 TBSP of coconut milk cream
Set the oven on gas mark 180.
Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 
Stir in the fruit extract.
Beat almond milk, coconut cream milk and the egg together. Add this and a handful of raisins to the flour mixture and beat together until smooth.
Scoop a ball of mixture and fill the bottom of a round cookie cutter around 1’ high so that they are all round and the same size.  You can, also, just scoop them out with a spoon onto a baking sheet but I wanted them to look neat. Brush each scone with the beaten egg.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.


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