Roast Butternut Soup with Lemon Thyme

butternut squash soup

This roast butternut soup is perfect for autumn. Season of beautiful leaves, mushrooms in the grass and an abundance of apples. And squashes, let’s not forget them.

Timely then that Oatly sent us some of their products and a recipe for roast butternut squash soup with lemon thyme. The apples really add a seasonal fruitiness to this dish, don’t miss them out!

Roast Butternut Soup Ingredients

mushrooms
  • 250 ml Oatly Organic Creamy Oat
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • a couple of onions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 minced red chilli
  • 2 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 2 green apples, diced
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 240C/475F
  • Halve the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Place the halves on a large baking sheet with flech side up. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  • Heat a large pot over a medium high heat and add the oil. Add the onions, chilli, ginger and apple and cook gently until soft.
  • Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh from the butternut squash and add it with the thyme to the pot.
  • Pour over the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and blend using a hand-blender to desired consistency.
  • Add the Oatly Organic Creamy Oat and squeeze over lemon. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds. We didn’t have those but we did have homemade potato wedges which made up for it.

Recipe credit: this recipe was made with Oatly Creamy Oat – a great dairy free, healthy alternative to single cream. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit facebook.com/oatlyab

Creamy Oat is also great with puddings such as apple pie, it comes out of the fridge with the consistency of double cream. Pie recipe over on frugal.org uk

apple pie

Living in a Forest Garden

summer garden camping
Forest Gardening by Robert Hart

In Forest Gardening by Robert A de J Hart, the vegan author details his garden – a miniature forest filled with an abundance of things to eat. This is low maintenance gardening once established with trees, bushes and perennial plants which provide both shelter and food. Included are recommended plants for different regions of the world – this book is a huge resource of information and inspiration.
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It’s certainly inspired us over the years. We live among the trees and love to eat the garden!

Below are more pictures and recipes from the food forest.

Courgettes and lettuce growing all wild and mixed up together:

Courgettes and lettuce in the forest garden
tattie and broad bean soup
Tattie and broad bean soup, all from the garden

Daisies are edible, pictured on top of a wild garlic pesto.

We transplanted some wild garlic from the woods to a shady spot under trees in the garden and it’s thriving and spreading further every year.

wild garlic

A rabbit relaxes on the grass…

rabbit in the forest garden

We grow quite a few annuals too…

carrots from the forest garden

Apple and bramble (blackberry) juice from trees and bushes:

juice from the forest garden
berries from the forest garden

Fruit bushes there are aplenty. White chocolate mousse above, topped with redcurrants and raspberries. Chocolate cheesecake below with mint and currants.

Mint is a wonderful herb to spread and grow wild. Minted noodle soup is a simple summer favourite:

Homemade ketchup by the barbecue:

Blend up:
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small onion also roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 heaped tablespoons of tomato puree
3 tablespoons of vinegar (apple cider best)
a little salt to taste
herbs make a very nice addition – to the pictured sauce we added a bunch of fresh dill. This variety grows huge.

Sage, lovage, thyme and oregano are all great perennials too, and nice and hardy for Scotland!

Don’t miss our latest post over on Frugal Living in the UK:

Sourdough Bread for Pennies

sourdough olive bread with rice and tomato soup

A courgette flower in the forest garden:

courgette flower in the forest garden

Ailish Sinclair's novels

Set in a castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations and a love story.

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

Paperbacks and kindle:

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Cauliflower Steaks and Blue Potato Poppies

cauliflower steaks

Really flavoursome and delicious, these cauliflower steaks are super easy to prepare.

We used two medium sized cauliflowers and cut them into thick ‘steaks’ (there will be lots of wee bits too). We then rubbed them with two tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of smoked paprika and a dash of soy sauce. Roast in the oven at 200C/400F for about half an hour or until soft. Turn at least once during the cooking time and sort of squidge them around in the oil else they tend to dry out. YUM!

cauliflower steaks and baked tatties
Cauliflower steaks served with a simple meal of baked tatties and beans and salad.
blue poppy in the potato patch

Beautiful blue poppy (flies like it too obviously) growing in the potato patch. These were the result of throwing a bag of out of date blue poppy seeds into the compost! They’re popping up everywhere…

poppy in the potatoes
Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

From the Publisher’s press release here: “Fiery and forthright, Elizabeth isn’t someone to be argued with. Through her experiences, the reader sees her grow from a girl, into a woman with a powerful voice… a woman of her time, but very much of ours too.”

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Waterstones 

Barnes and Noble

Burns Night: vegan haggis and Scottish recipes

FAIR fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!

So said Robert Burns of the haggis. Good word ‘sonsie’, it really should be used more. You can get a sonsie vegan haggis in many shops now to serve with neeps and tatties.

Vegan Haggis on Burns Night

You could make some sonsie Cranachan for afters, recipe taken from our cakes and puddings page.

Cranachan
This is often served at Burn’s Suppers in Scotland.
Ingredients: half a cup of porridge oats; 1 small box of soya cream; 1 tablespoon of Agave Nectar; 1 tablespoon of whisky (or whisky flavouring if you don’t take alcohol); 1 punnet of fresh raspberries

Lightly toast the oats in a frying pan on the stove. Remove from heat and pour in the cream – it will bubble and thicken a bit with the heat. Stir well and add the agave and whiskey, and mix in. Add most of the rasps, keeping a few back for garnish. Place in dishes and chill in the fridge until pudding time.

The perfect Burns Night pudding: Cranachan

Other Scottish recipes that might be of use or preferable to haggis:

Scotch Broth
Balmoral Pie can be found on the main courses page (scroll down a bit). It’s a lovely dish of beans and sausages topped with mash.
Scottish Macaroons are a feast of sugar and potato.

Whatever you do, have an honest, sonsie time this Burns Night 😀

low sun

Experience a perfect Scottish escape with THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR! Exchange 21st century lockdowns for 16th century witchcraft accusations! Live in a castle, visit the stone circle and taste the Twelfth Night Cake…

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Waterstones

Author website

See more recommendations for vegan books from us here.

Christmas Frazzle: when things get too hectic

salt and vinegar twists

We’ve reached that Christmas frazzle time when, regardless of how simple your planned festivities are, everything becomes really hectic. So: frazzle style crisps on a plate. It is a festive plate though. And people are happily gobbling up their Tesco salt and vinegar twists as happily as they gobbled down the fancier snacks 🙂 Moral of the crisps on a plate? Don’t try too hard, don’t tire yourself out: enjoy Christmas.

Take a little walk on the beach. Breathe. Eat some crisps.

sunrise over the dunes

Today’s recipe: Gluten Free Mini Chocolate Yule Logs

See all Christmas Dish posts

See all Christmas recipes

The Mermaid and the Bear, the perfect read for Christmas!

Escape Christmas 2020 with THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR! Exchange lockdowns for witchcraft accusations! Live in a castle, visit the stone circle and taste the Twelfth Night Cake…

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Waterstones

Author website

Eating Vegan Trifle, Reading and Sunsets

vegan trifle

Eating: a simple trifle made of bananas in vegan jelly, topped with thick custard and this rather nice provamel cream (we were lucky enough to find a few of these cheaply on Approved Food recently). There’s a more detailed trifle recipe on the  Vegan Christmas page.

Reading: Manda Scott’s Boudica series.

Looking at: wintry sunsets.

The Mermaid and the Bear, the perfect read for Christmas!

THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR (a novel by Lucy, written under her pen name), has six whole chapters of medieval Christmas, making it the perfect festive gift! Also: romance, witches, and a Scottish castle…

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Waterstones

Author website

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Vegan Christmas Cake, a Christmas Dish Post

vegan Christmas cake bites

Co-op Free From Christmas Cake Bites. Christmas is still a little frazzled… Here’s the enormous Christmas tree at the Old Auction Rooms in Strichen (vegan cake usually available there too):

Christmas tree

Today’s recipe: really simple trifle

See all Christmas Dish posts

See all Christmas recipes

GreenBay 100% vegan supermarket

Nessie in the Noodles

Nessie in the noodles

Noodles are cheapo ramen (3 packets), beloved of students the world over, flavouring sachet discarded and replaced with: teaspoon turmeric, teaspoon cumin, teaspoon Vecon stock. Add chopped kale, a tin of cannelloni beans and a chopped red onion and simmer in plenty water for a few minutes. Serve with dash of soy sauce, a little sesame oil and chopped fresh parsley.

Works well with rice noodles too.

Nessie is part of the Nessie Family of kitchen toys utensils 😀

The Nessie Family kitchen utensil set

See all our recipes here and our Vegan Christmas section here.

Loch Ness
A wee boat on Loch Ness


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hummus, sunrise, and a book in between

homemade hummus

Homemade hummus in the early morning sun. Little bit of parsley in it. Basic recipe here.

The Mermaid and the Bear

The book in between is THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Out now.

Universal links:

Kindle

Paperback

Sunrise from our garden…

sunset

Truffles and Trees

vegan truffles

These are from a Tesco Finest Free From Salted Caramel Easter Egg, which is a bit of a mouthful, but a delicious one! A bit of a jump too,  from what was available in supermarkets last year, with those white chocolate truffles.

Despite what the blog might suggest, we haven’t just been living on Easter chocolate and trying to claim it as ‘seasonal eating’. Soup is such a staple just now as we come to the end of winter. See our page of soups here.

vegan cream of tomato soup (no soya)

Winter is ending. We are convinced of it. Sunsets are later, and sunrises, like the one through the trees below, are earlier and earlier!

woodland sunrise


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