A combination of the wintery weather and the post-Christmas blues mean we’re been feeling a bit chilly this month, so it’s off to the kitchen to whip up a batch of our favourite warming recipes.
For a winter’s breakfast, it’s got to be porridge, the ultimate comfort food. There are heaps of variations, so you’re bound to find something to suit your taste, and it’s easy to make. It’ll take about five minutes, so start it off as soon as you come down in the morning, then by the time you’ve made a cup of tea it’ll be ready to go.
You’ll need 50g of porridge oats and 350ml of water per person. Put them both in a heavy bottomed saucepan, and stir until the water comes to the boil. Turn the heat down, and simmer for about four minutes until the porridge thickens. Serve to taste with brown sugar, golden syrup, Greek yoghurt, fresh berries, dried fruit, chopped nuts, chocolate chips or whatever you like. For a creamier taste, replace half the water with milk.
To serve your porridge in style, treat yourself to one of these gorgeous stoneware bowls (above), £12.50 from Drift Living.
Or how about these Bohemian breakfast bowls, £35 for a set of four from Berry Red?
For lunch, may we suggest this incredibly easy vegetable soup? It’s great for using up odds and ends of vegetables, and you can flavour it however you want. To serve four, you’ll need two large onions, six to eight carrots, a couple of parsnips, two large potatoes and a litre of vegetable stock.
Slice the all vegetables into chunks, and gently fry them with butter in a large saucepan until they take on some colour. Add the stock, put the lid on the pan and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, transfer the soup to a food processor and puree until smooth. If it’s a bit too thick, add a little more stock and adjust the seasoning. To jazz it up a bit, serve with a drizzle of cream, a few chopped chives, some croutons and some crusty bread. You can add pretty much any vegetables you like, but keep away from bitter tasting veg such as winter cabbage and sprouts. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, shallots, leeks and broccoli all work well.
Add a little dash to a plain soup by serving it in these cute polka dot soup bowls, complete with lids and their own spoon. £6.99 each, from My Gift Tree.
Create the perfect blend with this cheerful red Guzzini G-Plus blender. Was £70, now £63 from Red Candy.
For the perfect warming meal, try our easy chicken curry. For four people, you’ll need:
- two large, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons readymade masala paste
- 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Crush the ginger and garlic together in a pestle and mortar until you have a rough paste. Fry the onion and chilli in the oil over a medium heat, then turn the heat down add the masala paste and the ginger paste and cook everything together for a couple of minutes.
Add the chicken, chilli powder and turmeric and cook until the chicken is coloured and sealed. Then add a little boiling water and cook over a low heat until the chicken is tender, adding more water periodically if it looks a little dry. Serve with plain rice.
Guaranteed to cheer up a grey day, these handmade and hand painted Lulu plates (above) cost £21.50 each from Boutique Provençale.
Create your own curry pastes and spice blends with this personalised marble pestle and mortar. From £29.99, Getting Personal.