Monday, December 28, 2015

Cottage Cooking Club - December 2015

Anticipating that December would be a busy month for everyone, Andrea, our Cottage Cooking Club founder, chose only five recipes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Veg for us to make this month. I managed two them:

Mushroom "Stoup" (page 154)
Made with both fresh and dried mushrooms, this hearty "stoup" was rich and meaty - without containing any meat - with intense mushroom flavour. The (optional) herb dumplings that were a recommended accompaniment sounded very tasty and I'd like to try them one day but I had leftover cooked brown basmati rice that needed to be used so that's what ended up in the soup. Brimming with mushrooms, vegetables and flavour, this made a satisfying meal-in-a-bowl.

Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Pita (page 193)
I've said many times that the "Raw Assemblies" chapter was my favourite for opening my eyes to new treatments for raw vegetables but the "Bready Things" chapter has been equally revelatory, showing me just how much of a sandwich rut I was in! Who would think to use spiced, caramelized carrots and chickpeas as a sandwich filling? It's not a combination I would have considered, but it worked extremely well. Hot paprika added some heat, and orange zest and juice gave the ingredients a nice lift. It was delicious on a pita with a little Greek yogurt.

I'm looking forward to what January will bring.....

Until then, I wish everyone much health and happiness in the new year!


  1. Hi Zosia, I prepared the stoup too, loved it, had been thinking about the pita, looks amazing! Happy holidays to you and your family, this definitely has been a crazy busy year.

  2. I loved the stoup. You should definitely try the dumplings when you have a chance. Those were delicious too. Thanks for reminding me about sandwich ruts. I never seem to move further than grilled cheese... Happy New Year, Zosia!

  3. Hi Zosia, Great use of the wild rice in lieu of dumplings for the mushroom stoup and it looks beautiful! I also prepared the Spiced Carrots and Chickpea stuffed pita and thought it delicious, I agree with you on the wonderful creativity of putting these simple ingredients together as a wonderful bready thing! Wishing you a Happy New Year and the best in the year ahead!

  4. Although I have been a no-show the past two months, Zosia, I have enjoyed reading and commenting on everyone else's recipe choices. So many of you really enjoyed the stoup, with or without dumplings. (As for me, I'm a dumpling girl.) You're right about getting in a sandwich rut. I'm a bread lover but ham and cheese on whole wheat gets boring. This combo of carrots and chickpeas? now, who would think of that? Nice post. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  5. Dear Zosia, how delightful to see the mushroom dish here - I did not get a chance in the month of December to make the Mushroom Stoup but reading your comments and looking at your wonderful pictures, I will make sure to include it in my personal "have-to-make-up" list!
    Thank you, again, for being such a wonderful participant in the CCC, for all your wonderful comments, delightful posts and all!
    Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year! And "see" you very soon!

  6. I'm loving the "Bready Things" chapter too. You've made me really want to try the carrot and chickpea combination. Happy New Year to you!

  7. Love the colors in both your dishes! The suet required for the dumplings had me stumped, hence I opted for barley and elbow pasta instead! The spicy carrot and chickpea was Fantastic! I enjoyed the fried risotto, do give that a go!

  8. We chose the same dishes this time. I liked them both, but it's the mushroom soup that's going to be the most-repeated dish. I agree that the mushrooms give it a meaty richness. I made a thinner version (to match my partner's preferences) and it was a hit. I love a soup that you can add things to, like rice or pasta, or leave plain and still be satisfied.


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