Offgrid Living Ireland  from Dogs & Coe

Some Veg just like to take over

Or what to do when your husband forgets how many people live in your house

Just a small example of the many

We have so many courgettes and potatoes the 2 of us could eat them everyday until the end of the year and still have some left.

Just 1 hour picking and not even scratched the surface.

We have 2 freezers which probably seems a little excessive for just 2 people, but it is essential when you have excess veg that you don’t want to spoil. We have mashed, boiled, baked and pickled our way through so many potatoes and courgette this year that we have actually run out of room to freeze anymore. So I am now having to find different recipes on a daily basis so we can eat the glut. These 2 veg are the ones that take over every year and I am thinking a garden ban is necessary in 2023, especially for courgette anyway.

Today I made a main and a pudding with said veg and I have to say both turned out really great. Again let me say I am not that great in the kitchen but I do like to have a go. I struggle with making meals “pretty” but I do make up for it in taste I think. These are a couple of really easy things to make and it took me around 2 hours from start to finish including the dreaded dish washing. With the soup I made a very large pan as I was planning on freezing some, so you might want to halve the recipe if its just for one meal.

Potato, Courgette and Cheddar Cheese Soup

So Good!!

What you Need

1 KG of Potatoes (any I mixed and matched)

2 KG of Courgette

3 Vegetable stock cubes

1 small onion

1 tsp ginger

200 gm Cheddar Cheese (or a cheese you love)

Salt and Pepper to taste

How do you make it?

  • Wash, chop and peel potatoes if necessary (I used ones that didn’t need peeling)
  • Place in pan and just cover with water, pop in the stock cubes and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 5-10 mins
  • Rough chop the courgette and onion and add to your pan along with the ginger. Let this come back to boil and then simmer for around 15 mins or until the contents are soft but not too mushy.
  • Add the cheese of your choice to the pan and stir gently until melted. Add your salt and pepper to taste.
  • It will still look like potato and courgette at this stage so you can either rough mash, use a hand mixer or a food blender to get the consistency you like. I used my blender and got a thick but smooth soup.
  • Garnish with extra cheese before serving.
The finished Soup
Homemade rolls

That’s how easy it is to make this soup and you can serve it with fresh crusty rolls or a sandwich depending on what you love.

Now after all that creamy soupyness you will need something sweet of that I have no doubt and if you left off the rolls then you definitely deserve a big slice of Lemon Courgette Cake. I know putting courgette in cake sounds wrong but let me say as someone who won’t eat carrot cake ( don’t ask me why) this veg in cake business is the best. It gives you a moist bake that doesn’t taste of vegetables and is a good way to get some sneaky veggie bites into your diet.

It’s Cake Time

White Chocolate Yumminess

What I didn’t say and this might just swing it for the courgette cake is that the topping is white chocolate buttercream. Now that sounds better doesn’t it?

You can use any flavour jam you like – I used Raspberry but lemon curd would be good if you want an extra lemon kick. The white choc buttercream goes between layers and on the outside.

What You Need

For the Sponge

375g Butter or Spread (your choice) Softened

300g Sugar

5 Med eggs

375g self-raising flour

300g grated courgette (make sure no seeds)

2 tsp baking powder

Rind of 4 lemons (keep the lemons as you need some juice for topping)

For the Buttercream Topping

175g butter softened

100g icing sugar

150g cream cheese (your choice of brand)

100g white chocolate

generous squeeze of lemon juice.

If you want to cover all your sponge double up the ingredients if you like.

How do you make it?

  • Oven on then first to around gas mark 4 /5
  • weigh out the butter and sugar and cream together either with a mixer or by hand until mixed together
  • Eggs go next, one at a time, beat them in as you go until mixture is smoothly blended
  • Stir in the flour/baking powder and mix together for around 5 mins. Add the zest of the lemons and fold in.
  • divide this mixture between two sponge tins and bake for around 25 mins or until your skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool and then whilst waiting you can make the buttercream topping.
  • For topping – cream together the butter and sugar
  • Place the chocolate over some warm water to melt
  • Waiting for the chocolate? then fold in the cream cheese to your butter and sugar mix
  • Lastly add melted chocolate and your lemon juice, stir all together. This will need to chill for around an hour
  • When buttercream chilled and cakes cooled spread jam and buttercream topping on the bottom cake and then place second sponge on top. Decorate with as much buttercream as you like, the more the merrier I say.

That’s you done, not only a tasty soup but a fabulous moist sponge cake to wow anyone.

still cooling on the rack – even without decoration it tastes great. No courgette pieces are visible, looks like a normal sponge

Lastly then, I realise that the cheese and the large cake don’t naturally make these healthy recipes but as a treat it is nice to have. The important thing for me is to find ways to utilise our veg and if the neighbours get some extra cake I am sure they are not complaining.

In the meantime cut a slice and

Just Breathe

Steph

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