Tuscan White Bean Soup — Recipe from Three Gold Coins

This is one of my favourite recipes that I developed while researching and writing Three Gold Coins. Perfect for these cooling nights!

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 large leek (or 2 small ones)

2 garlic cloves

1 potato (I use Dutch Cream potatoes all the time, just because I love them the best)

1 parsnip

Half a head of cauliflower

1 carrot (optional… it will change the colour of your soup, but it’s a good way to use up vegetables in your crisper!)

2 cans of cannellini beans

4 cups stock (I use lamb bone broth)

Salt and pepper to taste

The leaves of a few sprigs of fresh thyme (just pick them, wash them and use your fingers to strip the sprigs)

2 Tbs lemon juice

Method

Chop all your vegetables.

  1. Fry your leek and garlic in olive oil under fragrant.
  2. Add the rest of the your chopped vegetables and mix thoroughly, allowing to cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add water just to the top of the vegetables and simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Add your stock and cook for ??
  5. Allow liquid to reduce a little if it seems to watery, otherwise proceed to blending.
  6. Blend half your soup until creamy then return to the pot. (Or blend three quarters, or even the whole lot. It depends how you like your soup.)
  7. Add your salt, pepper, thyme and lemon juice and heat through.
  8. Serve with sprigs of thyme for garnish and a side of crusty bread

Jo’s Choc-Lavender Coconut Milk ‘Nice Cream’ (Dairy and Gluten free!)

Jo’s Choc-Lavender Coconut Milk ‘Nice Cream’ (Dairy and Gluten free!)

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 9.08.10 pm
This chocolate deliciousness is just the thing to delight your taste buds – and it’s good for you! Explore the healing power of chocolate (just like in The Chocolate Promise) with this yummy, guilt free treat. (And it should suit most people with food sensitivities, too.)

1 Can Coconut Milk (full fat)
The cream of 1 Can Coconut Cream (chilled overnight)
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ cup maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla bean powder
1-2 drops of edible lavender essential oil (you’re going to taste the lavender, so if you’re new to using essential oils in food, maybe just start with 1 drop).
  1. To get the cream from your can of coconut cream, you will have to chill it in the fridge overnight. Then open the can and scoop out the solid cream.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender for 30-60 seconds (depending on the strength of your blender) to combine.
  3. Pour into a freezer proof container and put in freezer until frozen.
  4. Cut into squares with a knife and serve on its own, or with lavender flowers if you have them, but if not, rose petals, berries or lashings of thickened cream also look wonderful.

Creamy Valentine Chicken

Creamy Valentine Chicken

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 5.44.00 pm

In honour of The Tuscan Feast (out in April 2018), and my recent trip to Tuscany, I’ve played with this classic Tuscan-inspired recipe for you to try.

Approx. 750g (2-4) chicken breasts (organic and free-range, please, because if you’re going to be sharing the love, let’s share it with our beautiful planet too.)
Olive oil
Two garlic cloves, minced
300mLs thickened cream
150mLs chicken stock
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1tsp dried Italian herbs (or pick a few of your favourites from your garden and chop them finely)
1½ cups baby spinach leaves
½ cup sundried tomatoes (preferably dry, not in oil)
Pasta or rice of choice to serve.
  1. Wash the chicken and cut each breast into thirds, crosswise
  2. Cook in the olive oil on a gentle heat until just brown and cooked through (no pink bits!)(Tip: I like to put the lid on the fry pan for some of the time so as to steam them a bit more than frying them. It keeps them moist. But do take the lid off towards the end to reduce the liquid till you get some lovely brown, sticky bits.)
  3. Give the minced garlic a turn in the fry pan for about a minute
  4. Pour in the cream and the stock, add your cheese and herbs, turn the heat up and bring to a simmer, stirring until it thickens.
  5. Add your sun-dried tomatoes and spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted then add your chicken back in too, giving it all another stir, raising the heat to take it back to a final simmer for a minute, lid on.
  6. Let it rest for ten minutes before serving alongside your choice of rice or pasta dish.

Bellissimo!

Josephine Moon’s Rose Iced Chai

Josephine Moon’s Rose Iced Chai

If you’ve read The Tea Chest, you’ll know that I love chai!

This is perfect for a sultry summer’s day. It’s a chilly iced tea that’s full to the brim with deliciousness.

 

2 heaped dessert spoons loose leaf Masala chai (or good quality teabags) (or use a spice chai with no black tea if you are caffeine free)
Sweetener (e.g. sugar or honey), if you choose
2 Tbs dried rose flowers (or petals), plus extra for serving
3 tsp rosewater
Fresh lime, optional (some people are not a fan of lime juice but I love it!)
Plenty of ice

  1. Brew your chai: two heaped dessert spoons to one litre of water. Pour into a glass jug (or similar) that can go into the fridge.
  2. Add your sweetener of choice (if using) and stir until dissolved. Allow it to cool until warm.
  3. Add your dried rose flowers or petals and allow to steep in the fridge, 2-4 hours, then remove flowers/petals.
  4. Add the rose water.
  5. Now taste the brew. It will likely be very strong—it’s supposed to be! This will become your base brew.
  6. Mix half quantity of brew to half quantity of water as a guide (but feel free to adjust to your taste).
  7. Add freshly squeezed lime juice to taste (if using) and plenty of ice.
  8. Top with either fresh (spray free!) rose petals from your garden or more dried flowers.
  9. Enjoy!

Tip: Use sparkling water here for extra pizazz.
Note: You can buy edible rose flowers and petals online or in many organic/wholefood shops or from spice merchants. Rosewater can be bought off the shelf in your supermarket.