02/28 – Diana McCollum

Friday, April 15, 2016

Savoury and Sweet Comfort Foods

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of SciFi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. I'm a big fan of comfort foods, as my stomach sadly bears witness to. Couple that to my husband being a great cook with a sweet tooth who loves spending time in the kitchen, and my waistline has little chance. So I thought I'd share one of my favourite (and healthy) comfort foods - soup - with my husband's Killer Brownies to follow.

Thrown in Anything Vegetable Soup

Cooking oil
1 onion, red or white
Mixed root vegetables of your choice (sweet potato, potato, squash, pumpkin, leek, peppers, carrots, parsnips, swede etc)
Bag of leaf salad (kale is currently my favourite, though you could use spinach, rocket, mixed leaf etc)
Lentils if you like them
Vegetable stock cubes
1. Take a large cooking pot/saucepan, and pour in enough oil to cover the bottom. Add one chopped onion (and sliced leek and/or pepper if using)
2. Chop/dice your mixed root vegetables (the smaller the pieces the quicker they will cook, and the less household energy you'll use!). I generally chop enough to half fill my big soup pot.
3. Gently fry the onion until soft, then add your chopped root vegetables and make sure they're all coated in the oil. Leave to sweat on a low heat with the lid on for ten minutes.
4. Add enough water to just cover the root veg, plus a stock cube, and lentils if you want them. Then add enough leaf vegetable to fill the rest of the pot to the rim (this will then steam cook, preserving the goodness!).
5. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until all the root vegetables are soft. Blend to your preferred consistency. 

This is a great way to use up odd vegetables, and easy enough that most people can cook it (well, I manage, lol). Incidentally, this recipe ended up in my time travel romance novel Keir.

And if you have a sweet tooth, then there's my husband's special: Killer Chocolate Brownies. And they're called 'Killer' for a reason. We only have this as a very special rare treat, like birthdays or Christmas, because they are very, very rich (but also very yummy).

Killer Chocolate Brownies
275g/10oz plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
170g/6oz milk chocolate chunks/drops
325g/12oz caster sugar
175g/6oz plain flour 
1 tsp baking powder
275g/10oz unsalted butter 
4 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas3. Line a 30x20x3.5cm/12x8x1½in tin with buttered greaseproof paper or foil.
2. Put the plain chocolate and butter in a large bowl, place over a pan of boiling water and allow to melt.
3. Sieve the flour and baking powder and set aside. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs. Fold in the flour and milk chocolate chunks.
4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be firm but soft on the inside. 
5. Allow to cool in the tin. Serve warm with icecream or whipped cream, or eat cold later with a good, strong coffee (or try it with raspberry sorbet). Enjoy!

Want to chat? Swing by my website or talk to me on Twitter as @pippajaygreen


Sarah Raplee said...

Now that you brought it up, soup is one of my comfort foods, too! Thanks for the great recipes!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Both recipes look great, Pippa!

Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for the recipes! The Killer Brownies lists Caster Sugar as one of the ingredients. Is that regular sugar or something different, like brown sugar? Thanks, Diana

Pippa Jay said...

Thanks all! Diana, caster sugar is just very fine sugar, somewhere between the normal granular stuff and icing sugar. You can make them with the normal kind if not.

Diana McCollum said...


Judith Ashley said...

Mouth is watering! I love a homemade soup in the winter. Those Killer Brownies? Yep, Killer is a good name for them.

Pippa Jay said...

Soups are my fdavoyrite for the cold weather. I make a big batch to last me a few days.
Lol, yup, you can taste the calories in every bite of those brownies!