I have a check list that has to be fully ticked off before I will concede what this time of year is:
Hot water bottle every night? Check
Three doonas on the bed? Check
A pair of leggings underneath my pyjamas? Check
Do you know what this adds up to?
IT’S SLOW COOKER TIME!
I luuuuuuuurve the slow cooker. It’s that mgical implement that chicken noodle soup, pumpkin soup, stew and other yummy dishes come out from. Tonight, I’m giving you three recipes for the slow cooker. I’ll be honest and say I’m a dud cook, so clearly Daniel is the maestro at this thing.
Lamb and Pumpkin Soup
2 tsp Moroccan spice mix
6 (about 1.5kg) lamb shanks, French trimmed
500g Butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 1cm pieces
500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
500ml (2 cups) water
250ml (1 cup) passata (tomato pasta sauce)
1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
100g (1/2 cup) basmati rice
Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
Greek-style natural yoghurt, to serve
Place spice mix on a plate. Add the lamb shanks and toss to lightly coat.
Add the lamb, pumpkin, stock, water and passata to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the lamb falls off the bone. Use tongs to remove bones and discard.
Add the chickpeas and rice. Cook for 30 minutes or until rice is tender.
Ladle among serving bowls and top with the coriander. Serve with yoghurt.
Beef and vegetable soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
750g beef chuck steak, cut into 2cm pieces
1 medium brown onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small swede, peeled, chopped
4 cups beef stock
400g can diced tomatoes
1 sprig fresh thyme
400g can borlotti beans, drained, rinsed crusty bread, to serve
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook beef, in batches, stirring, for 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Add onion to pan. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, carrot, celery and swede. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until combined and heated through.
Transfer mixture to the bowl of a 5 litre slow-cooker. Add beef, stock, tomato and thyme. Cover. Turn slow-cooker on low. Cook for 6 hours or until beef is tender.
Stir in beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes or until beans are heated through. Serve with bread.
Pumpkin Soup with a Twist
3/4 medium sized butternut pumpkin, skin and seeds removed, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
salt and cracked black pepper
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup full cream
chilli powder to taste, if desired
Place pumpkin, potatoes, onion, curry powder and stock in a large slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for several hours until vegetables are tender.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Using a food processor or stick blender, process until smooth.
Stir through the cream and chilli powder (if desired). Warm the soup through again, season to taste and serve.
I get the majority of my recipes from www.taste.com.au
Let me know if you have any favorite recipes we can share!