Mrs. Stephens Recipes
All you need to make good soups is a selection of ingredients and a good, strong pan or pressure cooker.
One problem with a long cooking time is that the liquid evaporates and needs to be replenished frequently. The use of the pressure cooker has considerably shortened the cooking time, especially in soups which normally take more than one hour.
I make quantities of 4 pints or 2.4 litres and store the surplus in the freezer for another occasion. Margarine tubs are useful storage containers as a 500 gram tub holds sufficient for 2 to 4 people. It is advisable not to add thickeners such as cornflour, eggs or cream if the soup is to be frozen as these tend to separate when thawed out and will spoil the texture. I thaw the unthickened soup, then reheat gently and add the thickener, the soup then tastes freshly made.
For a smooth puree use a liquidiser, a blender or a sieve. Just lift the solids from the pan with a slotted spoon and put into the liquidiser. Add enough liquid to cover, then puree the mixture and pour back into the pan.
TOMATO AND CELERIAC SOUP
Serves 4 - 6
225 gm. celeriac, peeled and cubed.
1 large onion, peeled and chopped.
3 large tomatoes or 1- 400 gm. can tomatoes, chopped.
2.5 ml. garlic salt.
1 litre white stock, or water with 1 chicken stock cube.
Cooking time: 35 minutes or 10 minutes in a pressure cooker.
1. Put the stock, or water and stock cube, celeriac, onion, tomatoes and garlic salt into the pan.
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35 minutes or cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
3. Blend in a liquidiser or press through a sieve.
4. Season to taste.
5. Reheat before serving.
6. Garnish with chopped chives.
The pressure cooker is also a useful time saver when cooking meat dishes, but if you do not have a pressure cooker use your oven for this tasty main course.
STUFFED TURKEY SLICES
4 thin slices uncooked turkey breast.
1 - 400 gm. can tomatoes, chopped.
60 gm. mushrooms.
250 ml. stock, or water and 1 chicken stock cube.
125 gm. fresh breadcrumbs.
5 ml. mixed herbs.
30 ml. dried sage and onion stuffing.
60 gm. mushrooms, chopped.
60 gm. cooked ham, chopped.
60 gm. margarine, melted.
Cooking time: 40 minutes or 15 minutes in a pressure cooker.
1. Make the stuffing. Mix together the breadcrumbs, mushrooms, ham, mixed herbs and melted margarine. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry to stick together.
2. Divide the stuffing into four and spread onto each turkey slice.
3. Roll up each slice and tie with string.
4. Pour a little oil into the pan, heat and brown the turkey rolls evenly, turning frequently.
5. Lift the rolls out onto a plate.
6. Put the stock, tomatoes, juice and mushrooms into the pan. Bring to the boil and stir well.
7. Add the turkey rolls.
8. To bake in the oven, pour into an ovenproof dish and cook at 375 F, 170 C or gas mark 3 for 40 minutes.
9. Or cook at high pressure in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes.
10. Cut the string off the rolls before serving.
It is always useful to have a sweet course that can be made earlier and finished just before serving the meal. I make double quantities of the shortcake and store either in a tin or in the freezer, ready for unexpected guests.
Serves 4 - 6
250 gm. soft margarine.
125 gm. sugar.
300 gm. plain flour.
60 gm. semolina.
5 fl. oz. whipping cream.
250 gm. fresh strawberries.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.
1. Grease and line 2 - 18 cm. sandwich tins.
2. Cream the margarine and sugar.
3. Stir in the flour and semolina.
4. Knead until smooth.
5. Cut into two pieces.
6. Press each piece into a tin.
7. Smooth the top with a palette knife and prick all over.
8. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
9. Bake at 375 F, 170 C or gas mark 3 until pale brown.
10. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes to cool a little before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
To assemble the shortcake:
1. Whip the cream and pipe half onto one of the shortcakes.
2. Arrange the strawberries on top of the cream.
3. Place the other shortcake on top.
4. Pipe with the remaining cream.
This is a very fattening sweet, but you can use a low fat cream which will reduce the calories.
Keep watching there is more to come.
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