What’s Cooking – Botwina – Meaty Beetroot and Chard Soup

Botwina - Meaty Beetroot and Chard Soup
Botwina – Meaty Beetroot and Chard Soup

Botwina is a Polish name for this fantastic soup. The main ingredient is chard – young leaves and roots from red beetroot. They are generally not available all year round, but at this time of year (July/August) they are in season and much easier to find. Your local veggie shop will probably have some or be able to source it for you.

This recipe makes a big pot of soup; it will feed 4 people for 2 days… yes, I know that is a lot of soup, but just wait till you try it, then it won’t be enough! This is a hearty soup by all accounts, for us it’s an evening meal. This is due in part to using a lot of meat to make it so it becomes like a 2 in 1 meal – soup and main dish in 1 course. It is very easy to make and oh my goodness it taste delicious.

Ingredients:

300g of sliced chard

3 large beetroots cubed

500g of beef cut into big chunks

500g of smoked ribs left intact

1 large parsnip quartered

3 large carrots quartered

1 leek quartered

2tbsp of soft brown sugar

Salt

Fresh ground pepper

Pepper corns

Bay leave

Lemon, juiced

Double cream

+ pepper corns + lemon
+ pepper corns + lemon

Cooking method:

1.       1. Take a large heavy cooking based pot and place the sliced chard, beef chunks, ribs, parsnip, carrots and leek in it.

2.       2. Add 4 litres of water.

3.       3. Add salt, pepper corns and the bay leaf and start to cook.

4.       4. Start timing 45minutes as you turn the heat on, when boiling bring to a gentle simmer.

5.      5.  After 45 minutes add the cubed beetroots and cook for a further 15 minutes.

6.      6.  Add the lemon juice, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, season to taste and then the final ingredient – double cream. The amount of double cream is depending on the final taste you want to achieve, the more cream you add the more you will counteract the acidity of the lemon juice making for a more mellow soup. We only added two heap spoonfuls to our huge pot of soup.

7.       7. That’s all she wrote as they say, you are ready to serve. Enjoy!

Time to serve!
Time to serve!

Remember any soup not eaten straight away will need to be put in the fridge as we used double cream. The added bonus here is that the soup becomes even richer and more complex the next day.

As a final thought, as chard is seasonal, you can make large volumes of this soup and freeze it for an out of season delight. However if you do plan to freeze omit the lemon juice and cream and add them on the day you eat whilst heating your soup up.

What’s cooking – Beef and Vegetable Noodle Soup

Beef and Vegetable Noodle Soup
Beef and Vegetable Noodle Soup

I love Chinese food. Most of the time it is my first choice for either take out or dinning in. Mark cooks a lot of different dishes from all over the world but very rarely is it Chinese. At present he is on annual leave, so I was promised more of my favourite food in days to come.

This Beef and Vegetable Noodle Soup recipe is based on Jenny Stacey idea from “What’s Cooking Chinese”. I said based, because like always Mark made his own twist on it.

 

Let’s start with an ingredients list:

Our ingredients... oh ok... most of them
Our ingredients… oh ok… most of them
  • 225g of lean beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large spring onions, chopped
  • 3tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1tsp of sesame oil
  • 225g of egg noodles
  • 850ml of beef stock
  • 1ltr of chicken stock
  • Pack of baby corn cobs, sliced
  • ½ leak, shredded
  • 1 small celery, chopped
  • Pack of baby courgettes, chopped
  • 1 small tin of bamboo shots
  • Handful of curly parsley
  • 125g of broccoli, cut into florets
  • Handful of bean sprouts
  • 3 large chillies

 

And now step by step instructions on how to turn these lovely ingredients into a delicious soup.

  1. Cut the beef into a thin strips or bite size cubes and place in a bowl
  2. Add the garlic, spring onions, soy sauce and sesame oil and mix together well, turning the beef to coat. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Put the beef stock into a large saucepan and bring it to boil
  4. Add the beef, together with the marinade, than add all other already prepared – chopped or sliced ingredients. Cover and leave to simmer over a low heat for around 10 minutes or until beef and vegetables are tender and cook through.
  5. Stir in the noodles and cook for further 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer to serving bowls and serve.
And to the pot they go...
And to the pot they go…
And some more...
And some more…
Don't forget about chillies
Don’t forget about chillies
Looks good, time to add some noodles
Looks good, time to add some noodles
Time to eat! Easy isn't it?
Time to eat!
Easy isn’t it?