With Winter drawing nearer and the allotment getting barer, a well stocked larder is essential for throwing together some really tasty and filling dinners.

My dry store basics include:

Stock cubes/bouillon, marmite, bovril
Rice, all types, arborio, basmati, pudding
Dry Pasta, all typer, but I stick to linguine, lasagne sheets and macaroni
Super grain and pulses such as amaranth, cous cous, green and red lentil, quinoa, pearl barley
Dry herbs and spices, my store is pretty jam packed but I use smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, vanilla, coriander, bay leaves and mixed herbs the most
Tins, chopped tomatoes, passata, chickpeas, kidney beans, butter bean, mushy peas and any other beans I can get my paws on…

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Keeping these in my larder means I always have a meal idea using a combination of these and a few fresh ingredients.

One of my favourites is a simple chicken and rice soup. They do say chicken soup can cure the sick, and I can understand why. It is so yummy and full of goodness you cant help feeling better after you’ve eaten it.
The chicken provides protein for repairing the body, The fresh vegetables give essential nutrients, the stock/water rehydrates and the rest fills you with warmth and love. How could you not feel better after all that in a little bowl.

Chicken and Rice Soup
Ingredients- Serves 4
Slimming world syns- free

x 2 chicken breasts raw, chopped into small chunks
x1 leek, green and all
x 2 celery sticks
x2 carrots
x 1 half red chilli
x1 small garlic clove, smashed
x 60g rice, any would be fine, I used plain white rice
x1 stock cube dissolved in 400ml of boiling water

Method
In a pan spray cooking oil and add the chopped vegetables, cook off for a few minutes, splash a little water in if it starts to catch.
Add the garlic and chilli, and again cook off for a minute making sure nothing burns.
Add the rice and chicken and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Before blending take out a few spoonfuls of chicken, vegetables and rice.
Blend to smooth, check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.
return the removed chunks back to the soup, heat through and serve.
Of course you can leave chunky if desired, or blend all smooth….

This is a great filling soup. The rice releases starch so this soup should not need thickening or milk/cream as the rich should provide both thicken and add creaminess.

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I will add more larder staples as I make them, so stay tuned.

Enjoy and Bake Love…….