The Cold Conquerer

Well, if Emily’s cold has not been conquered by tonights dinner, nothing will. I took a classic Italian stew, Garmugia and added my own spin on it. Garmugia is typically made in spring time, taking full advantage of the abundance of gorgeous seasonal vegetables. A traditional Garmugia includes pancetta, beef mince, artichokes, asparagus, broad beans, peas, onions and garlic. So some changes…

Is there anything to help beat a cold than the spice of some chillies? I added 2 chillies and some potatoes to some of the above ingredients.


1. Bring some vegetable stock to the boil. Chop all of your veg: onions, garlic, potatoes, asparagus, cavolo nero, artichoke and chillies.


2. Add all of your veg to the stock and cover with a lid. Meanwhile, fry the pork mince in a frying pan until brown.




3. Add the mince to the veg and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.



And thats it; sit down, pour a glass of wine, break a piece of bread and enjoy. Cooking all of the ingredients in the same pot allows all the flavours to join together and this truly is divine.
Next time you, or a loved one, have a cold, get this cold conquerer cooked and allow all the goodness and heat soothe you.

Bon appetito everyone and happy eating!

A welcoming bowl of soup, an omelette and Tuscan inspiration.

I was greeted with a lovely bowl of homemade creamy mushroom soup upon my return from work. A delicious combo of onions, garlic, nutmeg, milk, cream and of purse mushrooms. I just love homemade soup, especially mushroom soup.


Yet again, I made a quick meal for my lunch this morning, a very quick and simple omelette with cavolo nero and rocket salad. I added the cavolo nero to a pan of boiling water and left to boil for 5 minutes whilst I combined 3 eggs, salt, pepper, a dash of milk and some leftover cream. heat some butter in a pan and once the cavolo nero is nicely blanched, add to the omelette mix and throw into the pan. The omelette only takes around 4 minutes to cook and I placed it on a bed of rocket tossed in some delicious balsamic vinegar. Needless to say, I cannot wait for lunch! Have you tried making a quick, easy meal for your work lunch? It is definitely worth the effort!

Emily is still feeling under the weather, so tonight I am going to make a dish similar to Garmugia, a Spring stew from the province of Lucca in Tuscany. This is traditionally made in the spring, taking full advantage of the fresh vegetables and is known for having ‘healing’ qualities. I will leave the original until spring time, but I want to steal the idea and make a hearty stew of my own.

It has been a long month and pay day is still a week away. Not to worry, a rummage in my fridge last night revealed a batch of cavolo nero, some pork mince and some leftover broad beans. I also have some chillies so I am going to combine the lot.

I will post again tonight with the results of my own Tuscan inspired stew, so stay tuned.

Happy eating everyone!


Hug in a Bowl

Emily has been under the weather today, it has been very cold here! So for dinner, there was only one thing for it, French Onion Soup. This is a simple yet delicious soup, silky smooth and a good defence against the cold.

Add a large knob of butter to a large sauce pan and once melted, add the onion. Toss over 2 tbsps of sugar and cook the onions until they are soft. Pour over enough beef stock to cover the onions and simmer for an hour.
You can also aff lovely, light and fluffy dumplings. Simply add 100g of flour with 50g of Suet. Add a pinch of salt and, if you want, 50g of fresh herbs. Add 5 tbsps of water to the dry mix and stir well to form a dough. Once combined, roll the dough into balls and add to the soup to cook for 25 minutes, they will double in size and will be deliciously fluffy.
I have also sliced and toasted some read, rubbed with garlic and topped with some melted cheese. Out this at the bottom of the dish if using, and pour the soup over.

This really is a favourite of mine, and one of my mums many soups I remember eating when I was a little boy. The onions melt in the mouth and the sweetness combines really well with the fresh, fluffy dumplings. 2 clean dishes later, and Emily is a happy girl, so job well done!

French Onion Soup with dumplings