Friday, August 1, 2008

Homegrown is best!

As an amateur vegetable grower I must admit to some doubts regarding the productivity of my patch. Flowers - yes, I've grown flowers all my adult life, but vegetables - no - not until now that is. My kind next door neighbours started me off with some tomato and courgette plants, to which I added runner beans (almost foolproof), aubergines and peppers. We may well have had one of the wettest Julys ever down here in Devon but, fuelled by the warm sunshine we have enjoyed between the rain, my plants have grown and grown and grown.

And tonight I was proud to present my adaptation of Gordon Ramsay's Fish and Tomato Chowder. It was DELICIOUS!! Here's how it goes....

First put on your very beautiful DevonBear apron


good splash of olive oil
1 or 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
couple of handfuls of small new potatoes (pre-cook these or use up leftovers)
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
a few thyme sprigs from my own garden
2 bay leaves from my own garden
400g tin chopped tomatoes (but I think when my own are ready I shall use these and just add more stock)
1 pint hot fish or chicken stock
2 courgettes, roughly chopped from my own garden
handful of green beans cut into short lengths from my own garden
some chilli flakes to taste
1 lb white fish fillets (the fish van that visits the village every Thursday has a good selection of mixed fish fillets - only £3.50 for 1 lb)
bunch of parsley, roughly chopped from my own garden


  • Heat olive oil in heavy casserole. Add onions and celery, cook for 6-8 mins to soften. Then add carrots, pepper and herbs, then saute for 5-10 mins until veg are lightly golden.

  • Add tomatoes and stock to pan, plus courgettes and beans and chilli if desired. Simmer for 5 mins. Thicken with a bit of cornflour/water if desired, then add potatoes, and simmer to warm through potatoes.

  • Put most of the fish fillets on top of the vegetable mix in the pan. Give the remaining fish to the newfies who are absolutely starving as they haven't eaten for oh - at least 2 hours.

  • Cover and simmer for 5-10 mins (bottom oven of Aga for me) until fish is just cooked through.

  • Break the fish into large flakes and gently stir through casserole. Ladle into bowls and eat in secret so that the newfies don't realise what you're doing.

And that's it! It's so delicious you don't even realise it's healthy too. (Can always be followed with chocolate icecream, chocolate cake or best of all chocolate dipped strawberries if desired!)


Pipany said...

Scrummy Ellie. I will be trying this one out though not with our own beans I fear as the blasted slugs have had a field day, thanks to all the rain. Probably will print recipe out if that's ok and make it next wek - huge chowder fans here. xx

Elizabethd said...

That sounds super. We have so many tomatoes, courgettes...and all the rest. Very productivr garden!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I have never grown any vegetable - although my Dad used to grow runner beans and I can still remember the thrill of eating something we had grown.

Now a fan of fishy things . . . we have something called Cullen Skink up here - fish soup . . . shudder.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Fish chowder, my favorite! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Pondside said...

That looks very tasty - I like to find new recipes for soups and will definitly try this one - although the photos of the tea and scones in a previous post really got my attention!

CAMILLA said...

Thank you for the recipe of Chowder Ellie, I will try that this weekend, have never tried it before.

We used to grow a small supply of veg in our old house in London, if we move again would be lovely to have a garden big enough to grow them again.

Love your gorgeous arts & crafts designs, will pm you nearer Christmas time Ellie.


Fennie said...

Oh those Newfies are wonderful. Mmm the chowder sounds wonderful too.

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