Chilled Pea and Mint Soup
0.364 Â£ * cals
plus 21-34 hours cooling and chilling
50 g (2 oz) butter or margarine 1 medium onion, skinned and coarsely chopped450 g (1 lb) frozen peas 568 ml (1 pint) milk 600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock 2 large mint sprigs pinch of caster sugar salt and freshly ground pepper 150 ml ( pint) natural yogurt mint sprigs, to garnish
- Put the butter into a large bowl and cook on HIGH for 45 seconds or until the butter melts.
- Add the onion, cover the bowl and cook on HIGH for 5-7 minutes or until the onion is soft.
- Recover and cook on HIGH for about 8 minutes or until the liquid is boiling. Reduce the setting to LOW and cook for 15 minutes or until the peas are really tender.
- Remove about 45 ml (3 tbsp) Tpeas from the soup and put them aside for the garnish. Rub the remaining peas through a sieve, or liquidize them in a blender or food processor until quite smooth.
- Pour the purÃ©e into a large serving bowl. Adjust the seasoning and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and cover and chill for 2-3 hours before serving. Serve garnished with the reserved peas and mint sprigs.
Chilled Courgette Mousse with Saffron Sauce
0.30 95 cals
*plus 1 hour chilling
275 g (10 oz) small courgettes, trimmed 15 g (oz) butter or margarine 7.5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice 100 g (4 oz) low-fat soft cheese salt and freshly ground pepper 5 ml (1 tsp) gelatine 45 ml (3 tbsp) natural yogurt pinch of saffron strands 1 egg yolk fresh herb sprigs, to garnish
- Cut one of the courgettes into I very thin slices lengthways, using a potato peeler or sharp knife. Put the slices into a medium bowl with 30 ml (2 tbsp) water.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until the slices are just tender, stirring once. Drain and dry with absorbent kitchen paper
- Use the courgettes slices to line 2 oiled 150 ml (1 pint) ramekin dishes. Set aside while making the filling.
- Finely chop the remaining courgettes and put into a medium bowl with half of the butter and the lemon juice.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 5-6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Allow to cool slightly, then O liquidize in a blender or food processor with the remaining butter and the cheese until smooth. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Put the gelatine and 15 ml 1 (1 tbsp) water into a small bowl or cup and cook on LOW for 1-13 minutes or until the gelatine has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add to the courgette purÃ©e and mix together thoroughly.
- Pour into the lined dishes and leave to cool. Chill for at least 1 hour or until set.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the yogurt, saffron, egg yolk, salt, and pepper into a small bowl and cook on LOW for 1-1/2 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Strain, then leave to cool.
- To serve, loosen the courgette molds with a palette knife then turn out on to two individual serving plates. Pour over the sauce, garnish with a herb sprig and serve immediately.
See Also: best vegetable soups
Coarse Herb and Mushroom Pate
0.15* 62â83 cals
plus 1-hour chilling
25 g (1 oz) butter or margarine 1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed 2 juniper berries, crushed 700 g (1 lb) mushrooms, roughly chopped 75 g (3 oz) fresh brown breadcrumbs 60 ml (4 tbsp) chopped fresh mixed herbs lemon juice salt and freshly ground pepper fresh herbs, to garnish
- Put the butter or margarine, garlic, and juniper berries in a large bowl and cook on HIGH for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms and cook on HIGH for 10-12 minutes or until the mushrooms are really soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
- Add the breadcrumbs and herbs and season to taste with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Beat thoroughly together, then turn into a serving dish. Cover and chill before serving garnished with fresh herbs.
See Also: Creamy tomato soup
Stuffed Plaice Timbales with Lemon Herb Butter
0.25 Â£ 190 cals
25 g (1 oz) butter 25 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice 30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley salt and freshly ground pepper 175 g (6 oz) mushrooms 15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil 75 g (3 oz) long-grain white rice 300 ml a pint) hot chicken stock 2 large double plaice fillets, skinned or 1 plaice, filleted parsley sprigs, to garnish
- To make the lemon herb 1 butter, put the butter in a small bowl and beat until soft. Add the lemon juice, half of the parsley and season well with salt and pepper. Beat together well. Push to the side of the bowl to form a small pat and chill while making the timbales.
- Finely chop the mushrooms and put them in a medium bowl with the oil. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms are softened.
- Stir in the rice and the stock, re-cover and cook on HIGH for 10-12 minutes or until the rice is tender and the stock absorbed, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, cut the place fillets in half lengthways, to make two long fillets from each. Place one fillet, skinned side in, around the inside of each of four buttered 150 ml ( pint) ramekin or individual soufflÃ© dishes. The fish should line the dish leaving a hole in the center.
- When the rice is cooked, stir in the remaining parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon this mixture into the center of each ramekin, pressing down well. Cover loosely with absorbent kitchen paper and cook on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
- Leave to stand for 2-3 minutes, then invert the ramekin dishes on to serving plates. With the dishes still in place pour off any excess liquid, then carefully remove the dishes.
- Garnish the timbales with parsley sprigs, then serve hot, with a knob of the lemon-herb butter on top of each.
0.05* Â£ * 408 cals
plus 1-hour chilling
200 g (7 oz) butter 175g (6 oz) cooked shrimps, peeled pinch of ground mace pinch of cayenne pepper pinch of ground nutmeg salt and freshly ground pepper bay leaves and peppercorns, to garnish
- Cut half of the butter into small pieces, put into a medium bowl and cook on HIGH for 1-2 minutes until melted.
- Add the shrimps, mace, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt and plenty of pepper. Stir to coat the shrimps in the butter, then cook on Low for 2-3 minutes until the shrimps are hot, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Pour into four ramekin dishes or small pots.
- Cut the remaining butter into small pieces put into a small bowl and cook on HIGH for 1-2 minutes until melted. Leave to stand for a few minutes to let the salt and sediment settle, then carefully spoon the clarified butter over the shrimps to cover completely. Garnish with bay leaves and peppercorns, leave until set, then chill in the refrigerator before serving.
- Serve straight from the pots with brown bread and lemon wedges, or turn out and arrange on individual plates.
Brie and Watercress Tarts
0.30 512 cals
As a starter or light meal 100 g (4 oz) plain wholemeal flour salt and freshly ground pepper 75 g (3 oz) butter or margarine 2 bunches watercress 275 g (10 oz) ripe Brie 45 ml (3 tbsp) double cream freshly grated nutmeg.
- To make the pastry, put the I flour and salt to taste in a bowl. Add 50 g (2 oz) of the butter or margarine and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 30-60 ml (2-4 tbsp) water and mix together using a round-bladed knife. Knead lightly to give a firm, smooth dough.
- Roll out the dough thinly. 2 Invert four 10 cm (4 inches) shallow glass flan dishes and cover the bases and sides with the dough. Cover and chill while making the filling.
- Put the remaining butter or
margarine in a medium bowl and cook on HIGH for 1 minute or until melted. Trim and discard the tough stalks from the watercress. Reserve a few sprigs to garnish and stir the remainder into the butter. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 minutes until just wilted.
- Remove the rind from the t cheese and cut it into small pieces. Stir into the watercress with the cream. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 minutes until melted. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
- To cook the tarts, uncover and prick all over with a fork. Arrange pastry side uppermost in a circle in the cooker and cook on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then carefully loosen around the edge and invert on to a large serving plate. Fill with the filling and cook on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. Garnish with watercress.