Steamed winter salad

cavolo nero

cavolo nero, by jules:stonesoup

Even just the thought of lettuce and tomatoes salad in winter makes you feel cold…

So a blanched salad of carrots and greens with all kinds of toppings will (hopefully) make you warm…


  • 2 carrots (cut into long thin pieces)
  • Any greens (cavolo nero, green cabbage, kale, winter greens) cut small
  • Olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt
  • Topping: nuts (walnuts, almonds) seeds (pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)

Cut the veg and blanch in batches (blanching is quick boiling just to cook the veg a in very little water with a some salt for 3-4 minutes. Add the oil, lemon and salt to taste and the topping.

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Easy miso soup recipe

miso soup

Miso soup by adactio

Next time you come home from work starving, instead of eating lots of bread, why not make a quick miso soup? The following serves two:


oil (olive, sesame..)
1 small onion
1 carrot
1 spring onion
1 teaspoon of barley or rice miso paste (you can use instant/dried miso, but it’s not the same!) and a cup of water per person

1. Cut the onion and put in a pot with little oil.
2. Fry for a few minutes and add water (one cup per person)
3. Add the sliced carrot and, if you like, an greens you have (broccoli, kale, parsley).
4. Bring to a boil and cook for few minutes more.
5. Put the pot on a low heat and add one teaspoon of miso per person (the miso should not boil just simmer).
6. Cook for three minutes and add the green part of the spring onion (cut into tiny slices)

If you like, you can also add a sheet of Nori (which is the seaweed which used to cover sushi). Simply take half a sheet, tear into pieces and add to the top of the soup.

This is a great starter for when you come home, and a great alternative to having snacks/bread.

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Devilled beans (for Sophie C.)

OK, this isn’t studentcooking.co.uk, but it’s come to LondonCooking’s attention that no matter how easy, simple, basic we try to make our recipes, some people (ie – my friend Sophie H., née C.) still won’t go anywhere near them.

With this in mind, here’s a recipe even the most fervent pulse or legume-dodger can make in about 5 minutes flat. No excuses, S.C.!


1 can baked beans
1 onion
Cumin, to taste

1. Chop the onion into small pieces and fry in a little oil.
2. When ready, add the beans, and cumin to taste.
3. You can put this on toast…duh!

If you’re really fancy, you could consider buying whole cumin seeds, and crushing them into powder yourself (let’s face it though, you’re making a baked bean curry. This isn’t going to happen.)

On an unrelated note, I see that the website URL studentcooking.com (listed under ‘EXTREME BRANDABILITY’ – nice caps) is available for just $24,000 – bargain!

NB – ‘Brandability’ is definitely not a word. Whoever coined it needs a big slap.

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A Tale of Two Soups – Soup the Second: split pea

It was the best of peas, it was the worst of peas – the split pea is so revered in certain cultures that they even have a National Split Pea Soup Week (no joke – 12-18 Nov – missed it, darn!) But is not to be confused with the pigeon pea, often used to make dal.

You’ll need to start by soaking the peas for about 12 hours or so – try leaving them in a bowl of water before you leave for work in the morning – this’ll cut down their cooking time considerably. Just multiply the measures of pea/water if you want to make masses of soup.


1 cup of yellow split peas, soaked
3 cups of water
1 stamp-size piece of kombu (seaweed) soaked for 15 min – this is a definite optional – if you can find/afford kombu or another type of seaweed available in health food shops, it’s said to make them ‘easier to digest’ – alternatively, just go ‘commando’, seaweed-less!
1 Sliced onion
2 carrots
1 cup of pumpkin (another optional – you could replace with mushroom, or a green vegetable like pointed cabbage – in season at the moment, if it’s easier)
Pinch of salt
Barley miso (paste) to taste OR marigold/any other type of soup stock

1. Place the peas (and seaweed, if you’re using it) in a pot with water. Simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add chopped onion, carrots,pumpkin and salt and cook until tender.
3. Add the stock powder, or miso.
4. cook for 5 more minutes (but don’t boil – this can denature the miso.)

And that’s that. I’ve also just discovered there’s also an interesting traditional Geordie/NW English pea recipe (no, not Cheezy Peaz) called pease pudding using split peas… will have to check this out in a future London Cooking recipe!

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A Tale of Two Soups: Soup the First – Cauliflower

Popular flavours of soup in London include: cream of mushroom, chicken and sweetcorn and Covent Garden.

Cauliflower soup isn’t at the top of the list – and why should it be when half the metropolitan population is still traumatised by their formative school dinner experiences (yes – it’s up there with sprouts, people.)

Having seen an abundance of the cauli around this month (in season? Apparently, the ‘flower thrives in -20 conditions!) I decided to give the albino broccoli another chance.


1 cauliflower (flowerets separated and stem cut to pieces).
1 onion sliced
6 cups of water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of rolled oats (optional!)
2 tablespoons of tahini
6 teaspoons of white Miso paste (or Marigold veg soup powder/or other stock to taste)

1. Put the cauliflower, onion,oats,salt with the water in a pot.
2. Cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender but still firm.
3. Add the white miso or powder/stock and tahini and cook for 5 min.

There you go – another terrifying childhood memory banished, thanks to Londoncooking.

… At least until you watch Little Shop of Horrors again.

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Festive Udon Noodles with Tahina and Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Image by sweetbeetandgreenbean

“Why are you even thinking of buying a bag of pungent, watery balls that give you wind?”

– Nigel Slater on brussel sprouts, in his book Appetite.

I have to disagree with Nige on this one – for some reason I haven’t been scarred by overcooked Xmas or school dinner sprouts over the years, and as these festive ‘watery balls’ only come out to play around this time of year, I found a good new use for them, combining udon (noodles made from rice (much nice than soba, for me), my ever-so-simple tahina/tahini recipe and, of course, the ‘sproutage’.


Udon noodles (about 100g per person)
Brussel sprouts
(Optional extras: mushrooms. You can also make this dish with broccoli, instead of sprouts, if they still give you nightmares.)

1. Wash and score the sprouts, with an ‘x’ (this speeds up cooking), then boil until softened (but not light green and watery!)
2. Fry the sprouts in olive oil (with mushrooms, as an added extra, if you like)
3. Boil the udon, drain and rinse with cold water.
4. Mix the tahini and udon, then add the vegetables.

Tip: The tahini tends to solidify when you add to the noodles, so consider making it extra-runny!

I’m sure there must be a range of other winning veg. combos for this dish – let me know if you discover any…

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