Sunday, 26 February 2012

Bright Spring flowers and a Herby Spring Broth...

As we slumber towards a more hopefully lighter and warmer March, brightened up with cheerful Spring flowers, we occasionally get halted with a seasonal cold or, if you are a male, according to some I could could suffer from ‘Man Flu’...

The Spring flowers are giving of their beautiful best.

I was doing so well through these winter months and feeling rather virtuous when very unexpectedly I was struck down by a head cold and hacking cough...where I picked this up, I don’t know...

I could, though, still enjoy the cheerful flowering Spring bulbs and could manage a little light weeding...

Time then to retreat to the comfy sofa, drape myself with a fleecy throw in front of that warming fire in the grate and do absolutely nothing...

Well ok, I might stir myself to make some soup...

After all, who else would be making it...

A Herby Comforting Broth For Those With Flu-or for those just suspecting they may have it...

When you are feeling poorly, all you want is comfort food and, if, in addition, there appears to include ingredients that may help to alleviate the symptoms, then, so much the better...

My Curry Leaf plants are over wintering indoors and occasionally drop their leaves so I didn’t want to waste them plus I wanted to use my Basil Tofu produced by Talifun-a very tasty tofu infused with basil and other herbs-obtainable from Waitrose. Other supermarkets are available...

1 onion-finely sliced
1 large carrot-finely chopped into batons
1 tsp of finely chopped fresh thyme
1 Pak Choi- finely sliced
150g Purple Sprouting Broccoli-finely sliced
1 plump clove of garlic-crushed
1large plump chilli-chopped-seeds included.
150g of basil tofu-diced
1 small glass of white wine
4 litres of vegetable stock
150 g sweet corn
100g soya beans
1 inch of fresh ginger –grated
Zest and juice of 1 lime
6 curry leaves
3 tsp of miso paste
2 tbsp of fresh coriander finely chopped
A little extra virgin rape seed oil

In a large wok, heat the oil then add the sliced onion, garlic and batons of carrot. As they gently turn golden brown then toss in a small glass of white wine and burn off the alcohol. 

Add the miso pasta to the stock and ladle in, together with the curry leaves, chopped chilli and chopped thyme. Add the sweet corn and soya beans.

Gently simmer for 15 minutes then add the chopped purple sprouting broccoli and grated ginger and continue to simmer gently for 10 minutes.  Add the diced basil tofu, and chopped Pak Choi and warm for a couple of minutes and then ladle into individual bowls topped with the zest of the lime and the chopped fresh coriander.

This is a hot spicy chilli broth full of spring greens and very deep wholesome, miso infused aromatic flavours-guaranteed to clear the tubes!!

For those with ‘man flu’ I do indeed have some sympathy...

I would recommend two bowls of broth followed by some gentle exercise...i.e. some digging!!

Back now to contemplating those lovely spring flowers...

A woman’s work is never done...


  1. The spring flowers are so beautiful and make you feel like life is renewing even when you feel like curling up and doing nothing. Great pictures, and soup looks yummy.

    1. Hi Wobblymouse,

      Glad you liked the photos-hopefully, with careful tuition, I am improving...

      Sadly, chucking it down with rain now so the flowers are not looking so bright and cheerful...

      Hay ho, time to retreat to back under that warm throw in front of the fire...

  2. Its interesting that you are using curry leaves in a something other than a curry - I've never thought to do that. I really should use more tofu in my cooking, my kids like it but the partner is a hold-out, perhaps next time he pisses me off....

    1. Hi Liz,

      Yes-well I didn’t want to waste the curry leaves and it did work out well!

      I do like this brand of tofu as it is very savoury and herby-I have even cut it up into cubes uncooked, spiked on cocktail sticks to take to a bring a dish lunch and committed carnivores loved it-before they found out it was tofu...

  3. Spectacular photographs! Spring flowers cannot fail to cheer. Have you ever tried boiling fenugreek seeds in water, just a for a minute or two, to make a tea. (It is important to boil them) This is what we drink at the first hint of a stuffed nose, or contact with someone with a cold - and so far, (x) we have stayed cold-free this autumn and winter, even with a bio-warfare factory (our grandson) running in and out of our house. For flu the best thing is a hot drink of elderberry rob - we are hopeful that this year the elderberry harvest will be rather better than last year's pitifully small one.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’ve never heard of trying fenugreek seeds-one to try for sure! I did chuckle at your image of your grandson being a bio-warfare factory...that is before my chuckle turned in to yet another coughing bout!

      But thank you again for your kind wishes!

  4. I love crocus and you have captured them beautifully - wouldn't mind coming round for a bowl of that soup either.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      Thank you indeed for stopping by. There is something so wonderful about a crocus with the sun on it that you just have to smile and feel uplifted...

      Soup was great too-the chilli really helped to clear the tubes!!

  5. From the description of your blog, it seems like you live in an wonderful area, in a paradise...aww..when shall I visit the lovely English, Scott, Wales and Irish countrysides? I hope you feel better.

    Your flowers are absolutely lovely. What's tha pink flower in the middle?

    1. Hi KL,

      Many thanks indeed for stopping by and leaving a kind comment. The pink flower is a purple heather.

      Yes thank you, I’m now starting to feel better!

  6. The flowers are lovely. I haven't planted any bulbs here for a long time. At some point I decided that I should spend all my time trying to grow edibles. So the roses are on their own and the 4 o'clocks take over the flower beds. I really should put more effort into the flowers. They, after all, are so useful in just making you feel good.

    1. Hi Becky,

      I do like my flowers and as you say they do make you feel good! I am never going to have a lot of them because of the situation of my garden being North West facing, lots of rain and subject to squirrels, slugs, snails and sheep! But that in a way, makes me so happy when I do get each flower coming through...

      And what are 4 o’clocks may I ask-I’m intrigued by their name?

  7. Nicely done I feel a little better seeing your crocus abloom my area got a blast of winter this morning so it was nice to see something positive. lol

    1. Hi Dusty,

      Sorry to hear about your Winter blast. It has been pleasantly warm here the last couple of days with temperatures creeping up to 15C today. Fingers crossed it will continue to improve...though probably it won’t knowing Wales!!

  8. Oh, those flours are so pretty - I can't wait for them to poke up through the grass here. We usually have some growing on the grass here, but it doesn't last long - kids running around playing soldiers and kicking balls over the tops :(

    I have a sore throat now, am I allowed the soup too? :D

    1. Hi Charles,

      Now just remember to be really brave now if you are getting a sore throat...I could of course recommend a rather fabulous French Onion Soup if only I could remember when I had seen it posted...

  9. Huh! After that, I may never speak to you again...
    I work as a Lecturer aka adult education teacher, so I come into contact with different people pretty much every few days, so I think my immunity level is better than most. No Man Flu for me. But if I did have it, I'd make myself some therapeutic soup.
    P.S. I'm also good at contemplating Crocuses - blogpost coming soon...

    1. Hi Mark,

      I’m absolutely sure you of all people would never succumb to Man Flu... unlike other people of my acquaintance-and they know who I mean...

      Have to say though when you are feeling poorly, food takes on a new role and as you say soup can be very therapeutic!

      Can’t wait to see your blogpost on Crocuses-what colours have you got?


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