On the menu – leek and potato soup, kale failure, ‘healthy’ crumble and a not that brill carbonara


I recently went through my cook books, trying to get rid of some (storage space is limited in my flat and unfortunately I need to use my bookcases to store more than just books). I tried to be ruthless and I was, even some Jamie books went but as I flicked through each book, sometimes all it would take was one recipe that looked good and the book would be reprieved.

One such book was Lisa Faulkner’s Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter, the book can thank the fact that I’ve been craving leek and potato soup recently because that’s what saved it. Although to be honest, leek and potato soup is such an easy recipe and there’s so many versions on the internet, this book may not be saved for long.


But omg was the soup good, like a warm, comforting hug in a bowl, so thick, creamy and filling and only just under 350 calories to, so not bad! (I did substitute double cream for creme fraiche though). Will be making again!

Also made today

I also made the tarragon and mustard kale chips from A Modern Way to Eat, these were nowhere near as nice as last week’s Sesame Miso ones unfortunately and although they’re edible, I have a feeling most of it will be going into the food recycling bin of failure. I think the dressing this time was just not as nice and whereas I could have put more on my baking trays last time I made kale chips, this time I put too much, so they didn’t dry properly.



This was Saturday dinner dessert, poppy seed crisp from A Modern Way to Eat. It’s meant to have strawberries in but Girl Lacer can’t eat strawberries so I substituted a mixture of frozen blueberries and raspberries. Now from such a lovely cookbook, this recipe is a bit ummm, in that I think the proof reader must have skipped right on by this one. There is no oven temperature (I put it on at 200C, which seemed to work) and the instructions go on about polenta where in the ingredients list it’s almonds. There is a slightly better edited version of the recipe here, which answers the polenta mystery (there is none, use the almonds) but still no oven temperature or instructions about what to do with the 100g of sugar (I just left it out, it was fine). With such a dubiously written recipe, it made me question my assumption that the rest of the recipe was right, even if it did seem to make sense, for example, the recipe calls for 800g of strawberries, that’s a **** lot of strawberries and pricy to, I ended up using 400g of fruit and it was fine. As for the actual dish, the kids did not like this, Mr. Lacer ate it but complained it suffered from being too healthy and I went from initially unconvinced to “yum this is lovely”. The recipe gives the option to use coconut oil (you can substitute with butter if you can’t find any) and I loved the subtle coconutty taste but I know that’s what Girl Lacer didn’t like about the dish and I suspect it was probably the same for Boy Lacer, which is a shame, as Anna Jones is obviously a big fan of coconut oil and it’s in a lot of her baked dishes. Reading about the benefits of coconut oil (although as usual with all unusual’ superfoods’, the claims for and against can be pretty wide), I think I’d like to bake with it more, although it is pricy. So anyway, I’ve gone from “hmm, don’t think I’ll make this again” to “ooh I want more!”, but I won’t make it for my family again, I think just a bit of ground almonds, oats, coconut oil and poppy seeds, rubbed together and sprinkled on some fruit before being bunged in the oven, could work quite well for individual portions to. If you fancy making this, use the internet version of the recipe I’ve linked to above but even then it feels a bit like a technical challenge.



Making the leek and potato soup from the Lisa Faulkner book made me look again at the other recipes in it. There was a recipe for a ‘carbonara’ that didn’t involve eggs (I don’t like making food with raw eggs or possibly not cooked ‘properly’ eggs), so even though it had cottage cheese in (which I hate), I thought I’d give it a go.

I wasn’t that convinced whilst making it but maybe that’s because I think cottage cheese is one of the most unattractive substances to prepare food with and as you may guess, yes the sauce was lumpy, for a while anyway. But it came sauce like in the end, so I served it up and although it was edible, I’ve had better ‘fake’ carbonaras (ones with creme fraiche are the best) and I’m including shop bought carbonara in that ranking. The cottage cheese just gave it a slightly sour taste I wasn’t that keen on, definitely not the creaminess you expect from carbonara.


4 thoughts on “On the menu – leek and potato soup, kale failure, ‘healthy’ crumble and a not that brill carbonara

  1. Tonight I made a carbonara that was really, really good (but definitely NOT very healthy). It doesn’t have egg in it.

    Google “Bucca di Beppo chicken carbonara”

  2. The Medicinal Chef also uses coconut oil quite a bit…one of the reasons I haven’t made many meals out of it as we don’t have a cheap local source. That crumble looks lovely by the way

    1. Coconut oil is nice but it was hard to find even here and a bit pricey as well, I’m certainly using it again but once the jar runs out, probably not

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