Posts Tagged With: potato

Spinach and parsley soup

This is such a lovely soup, full of flavour, verdant and vibrant! And made even more delicious by the addition of sour cream and snippets of chives at the end. We also add silverbeet, rainbow chard & even tatsoi to the spinach if we have it.

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, spinach, parsley, onion, celery, chives
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Kettle
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Bowls – large, med, small
  • Colander
  • Garlic press
  • Potato peelers
  • Large stockpot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring: jug,1/2 cup, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towel
  • Scissors
  • Stick blender
  • Ladle
  • Serving bowls

  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 large all-purpose potatoes
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • Small bunch celery
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ litres stock or boiling water and 1½  tablespoons bouillon
  • A large handful parsley
  • Flaked salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • A small handful chives 

What to do:

  • Fill the kettle and set it to boil.
  • Peel, halve and coarsely chop the onion.Squeeze the garlic through the garlic press. Peel the potatoes under running water and chop into 2cm cubes.
  • Wash the spinach in several changes of water and shake dry. Trim the stems and then slice stems and leaves into pieces 1cm wide.
  • Wash and drain the celery and chop the stalks and leaves into small dice.
  • Heat the oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, cumin,celery and potato and sweat for about a minute until aromatic.
  • Increase heat to high. Add the stock or hot water and bouillon to the pot and bring to the boil. Add the spinach stalks and reduce heat to medium. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until the potato is tender.
  • Meanwhile wash the parsley and spin dry. Finely chop and reserve. Wash and dry the chives carefully in a piece of paper towel, then snip into TINY 1mm-long pieces with scissors. Reserve.
  • Add the chopped spinach leaves to the soup and cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, add the parsley and using the stick blender, whizz the soup until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Swirl in the sour cream, ladle among serving bowls and add a sprinkle of chives.

Notes: What is an all-purpose potato? What does cumin smell like?

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Carrot and potato latkes

Potato pancakes, also called latkes, are a traditional Chanukkah treat. For sweetness, colour and general good stuff, carrots have been added.

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, carrots, lemon, apples, egg, chives
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe on
Makes: about 12


  • Oven tray with rack
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Saucepans – medium
  • Food mill or mouli with medium disk
  • Graters, citrus juicer
  • Colander
  • Bowls – large
  • Measures: ½ cup, tablespoon
  • Non-stick heavy frying pan
  • Spatula or egg slice
  • Sauce bowls
  • Scissors
  • Serving plates

  • 400g red apples
  • A lemon
  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Rice Bran oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 100g sour cream
  • Small handful chives

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C with the baking tray & rack inside.
  • To make the apple sauce: Juice the lemon & quarter & core the apples & slice into 1cm thick chunks. In the medium saucepan, combine apples & half the lemon juice. Cook over low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft & beginning to burst, for about 15 minutes. Pass through the food mill & divide among half the sauce bowls.
  • To make the latkes: Peel potatoes and coarsely grate into a bowl. Add the remaining lemon juice and mix to incorporate, combining each time you add another lot of potato.
  • Meanwhile peel and coarsely grate the carrots, and then in the medium bowl, lightly beat the egg and add in the carrots. Stir in the flour with a little salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Scrape out the potatoes into the colander set over a large bowl and squeeze to press out all the starchy juices. Combine with the carrot mixture and mix well.
  • In the large non-stick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in to your hands and shape into tightly compacted disks.
  • Carefully lower into the hot oil one at a time – do not crowd the pan, you may have to do this in several batches! – and cook until browned on one side and turning crispy at the edges, about 3 minutes. Turn the latkes over with egg slice and brown the other side for about 3 minutes again.
  • Carefully transfer into the oven tray to keep warm and drain and repeat with remaining latke mixture until all are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide between serving plates & spoon the sour cream into the remaining sauce bowls with a snip of chives on top. Add them to the plates with the apple sauce & serve the latkes hot.
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Pumpkin gnocchi with burnt butter and sage

Don’t be put off thinking that these gnocchi are too hard to make! The trick here is to lightly knead the dough so that the gnocchi too are light… super-yum! And once you’ve had a go you will NEVER buy packaged gnocchi ever again! The crispy sage is a big hit too – get the kids to have a smell of the savoury and almost meaty sage leaves, and then compare after the leaves have sizzled in the butter…

And if you’re interested in the gluten-free version, see below!*

Pumpkin gnocchi, burnt butter and sage

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, pumpkin, sage
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Stephanie Alexander, Kitchen Garden Cooking W/ Kids
Serves: 6-8 or about 24 tastes


  • Ovenproof serving dishes
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Peelers, grater, scales
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wok & steamer basket
  • Bowls – med, small
  • Skewer, colander
  • Baking tray, Mouli food mill
  • Measures – tablespoon
  • Pastry scraper, slotted spoon
  • Frying pan with 5cm sides
  • Non-stick frying pan

  • 500g potatoes (use Nicola or Desiree)
  • Cooking salt
  • 600g pumpkin (use a dry-fleshed variety, such as butternut)
  • 320g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 80g Parmesan
  • 20 large sage leaves
  • 150g butter
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gnocchi ready for the pan

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 120C and place serving dishes in the oven to keep warm. Peel the potatoes, cut into chunks, then place in a saucepan with a teaspoon ofcooking salt and enough cold water to cover generously. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Peel and seed the pumpkin. Weigh to make sure you have 500g and cut into bite-sized chunks. Place a wok over a high heat and pour in enough hot water to come a third of the way up the sides. Rest a bamboo steamer on top and spread the pumpkin cubes out in it; cover and steam for 10 minutes. Set the pumpkin aside. Meanwhile weigh the parmesan and grate.
  • Check the potatoes are tender with a skewer then drain, return to the saucepan, shake over the heat to dry out and tip into a bowl. In a separate, small bowl, place the flour. Set this aside until needed.
  • Lightly flour the workbench and the baking tray, and have the measured flour close by. Squash the pumpkin and potato through the coarsest disc of the food mill to form a loose mound on the bench. Sprinkle with a good pinch of flaked salt. Sieve most of the flour over the vegetable mound and, quickly but lightly, combine. Knead briefly until the dough is smooth, using a little more flour if necessary.
  • Cut the dough into four pieces and, with your fingers, roll each into a sausage 2-3cm wide. Cut each “sausage” into pieces 2cm long and place on the floured baking tray.
  • Fill a high-sided frying pan with water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Drop in as many gnocchi as will fit easily in a layer. Adjust the heat to a simmer. When the gnocchi rise to the surface (about three minutes), lift out with a slotted spoon, drain well and slip into the warmed serving dishes. Return to the oven after adding each batch of gnocchi. Scatter over the Parmesan and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
  • Spread the sage leaves in the non-stick frying pan and add the butter. Fry until the leaves are crisp and the butter has become a medium-brown colour. Spoon the sage leaves and butter over the gnocchi in the serving dish and add some ground pepper. Place heatproof mats on the tables and serve the gnocchi in the ovenproof dishes.

*Gluten-free note: We took off about 100g of the milled potato and pumpkin mixture and combined it with about 30g gluten-free plain flour, the results were fabulous – check these babies out:

Gluten-free pumpkin gnocchi

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Luxury potato salad

Fresh from the garden: Potatoes, corn, chives, coriander, mint, spring onions

Recipe source: Melissa


We’re enjoying some slightly warmer weather – hurray! Whether in the park at a picnic, or at home with a BBQ this salad is always a winner – and especially with this luxurious mayo.


  • Scrubby brush
  • Large saucepan
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Measuring tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Salad spinner, paper towel
  • 2 medium bowls
  • Garlic press
  • Tea towel
  • Measuring jug
  • Electric whisk, 2 beaters
  • Glad wrap
  • Colander
  • Metal spoon
  • Serving bowls

  • 2kg chat potatoes
  • 2 corn cobs
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 8 spring onions
  • A small handful parsley
  • 12 chives
  • A small handful coriander
  • Flaked salt


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard powder
  • Cooking salt & black pepper
  • 275ml Rice Bran or peanut oil
  • White wine vinegar

What to do:

  • Wash the potatoes well, using a brush if needed, and cut any larger ones in half or quarter. Put them all into the large saucepan, cover with cold water and set to boil.
  • Strip the husks from the corn cobs, wash and wipe dry and then carefully slice off the kernels.
  • Wash the mint and add to the potatoes with a tablespoon of cooking salt. Once the water is boiling, check to see if tender after about 15 minutes. In the last minute of cooking, add the corn kernels.
  • Meanwhile make the mayonnaise (see over for recipe) and wash the remaining herbs and spring onions and dry well. Pick the herbs and finely chop; remove the outer layer of spring onion (discarding it) and chop into slices about half the size of the nail on your little finger.
  • When the potatoes & corn are tender, pour out into a colander and drain. Shake to remove excess water and turn back into the warm saucepan, immediately adding the mayonnaise and spring onions. Using the metal spoon, carefully turn the warm mixture so that all is covered. Taste for seasoning and add if needed.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle over the chopped herbs and turn out into serving bowls.


  • Separate the eggs and put the 2 yolks into a medium bowl reserving the whites for another use.
  • Crush the garlic clove and add to yolks with the mustard powder and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar.
  • Season with a level teaspoon of salt and a few twists of freshly milled pepper, and mix well together. Place the bowl onto a folded damp tea towel to steady.
  • Measure the rice bran oil into a jug, and using the electric whisk in one hand, add just only one drop of oil to the egg mixture, and whisk that in. Keep adding just one drop at a time, mixing in well after each addition.
  • As soon as it begins to thicken, begin to add the oil in larger drops.
  • When about half the oil is in you can begin pouring in the oil in a thin, steady trickle – whisking the whole time.
  • When it’s all in, taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and, if it needs it, a little more vinegar to taste. Cover with wrap and chill until the potatoes are ready.


  • There is a risk home-made mayonnaise will curdle or split if you add the oil too fast, too soon. If that happens, just put a fresh yolk into a clean bowl, add the curdled mixture to that, drop by drop, and then carry on with the remainder of the oil as if nothing had happened.

Notes: What does to curdle mean? What is a chat potato? Why do we start cooking the potatoes in cold water?

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New recipes – Term 2

I’ve been absent for a while and realise now – so late – that it’s been months… where does the time go? I’m starting to feel like a cliche, in that the older I get, the quicker time flies. I’m always running late, I clearly never plan my time well and am forever trying to scrape through at the last minute…. and then see that the weeks fly past, and now we’re almost in July. Yikes!

Anyway,  my excuse for the absence is that I’ve dived back into the pool of employment and become what is statistically known as a ‘Working Mother’… hmmm. One child in daycare for four days, the other child can only fit in on two days so we also have a nanny on one day – and I’m only working for three days! My wage comes in one hand and goes straight out the other, it’s crazy. But I am enjoying the job, and also the enforced separation for my darlings – I relish picking them up from school having missed them all day, and love that they missed me too…

So my new job is my perfect job. Cooking with school children! The primary school students grow the veggies in the school garden; they harvest when the time is right; they prepare and cook the food; they share the food (and then they clean up!). It’s that simple.

Cooking with the kids

We have been cooking up a storm at school recently & I thought I’d share a recipe from one of the most popular dishes: Rocket, silverbeet & potato soup. This has been such a hit (I think it’s all the garlic) and is perfect for the cold wintry days we’ve been having…

and here in full is another easy & fun recipe to do at home:

 Rosemary & Thyme Grissini

 Fresh from the garden: Rosemary, thyme

 Recipe source: The Cook and the Chef TV program


A simple & fun bread-making exercise – I’ve found that the thinner you make the grissini, the crunchier and more delicious they are! It also pays to knead the dough well too.

  • Kitchen towel
  • Chopping board
  • Large knife
  • Large bowl
  • Large spoon
  • Measuring jug
  • 2 baking trays
  • Pastry brush
  • Rolling pin


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon cooking salt
  • Large sprig rosemary
  • 4 or 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 100ml lukewarm water
  • A pinch or two of flaked salt

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Wash & dry herbs thoroughly
  • Strip herbs from stalks and chop up finely to yield 2 tablespoons of herbs
  • Mix all the dry ingredients (except for the flaked salt) and herbs together in a large bowl
  • Add the water and olive oil and knead together until a smooth dough is formed – this might take between five and ten minutes. If the dough is too wet just add some more flour, bit by bit
  • Brush baking trays with a little olive oil
  • Flatten the dough out and roll into an even rectangle shape. Divide into halves, then quarters, and then again and again until you get 32 pieces
  • Roll each ball into a thin cigar shape with floured hands & place evenly onto the baking trays
  • Sprinkle with flakes of salt
  • Carefully slip the trays into the oven & bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown

Notes: Grissini are thought to have been invented in Italy in the 17th century – what other dishes have originated inItaly?

Here also is a list of recipes of other lovely dishes the children have been making this term:

Basic pasta dough

Linguine with herb sauce

Baked ricotta slices with capsicum & tomato

Gnocchi with burnt butter & sage

Carrot & coriander soup

Eggplant, garden herb & bocconcini pizza

Happing reading, happy eating!

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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