As you will no doubt already know, I am all for saving money on our weekly shopping and love to create budget meals. When creating a new budget busting recipe it is essential that quality and flavour is not compromised. Just because you are being thrifty in the kitchen does not mean that your meals are going to lack on flavour or goodness!
So when I received an email from Welly Foods just after Christmas asking me if I would like to create a thrifty meal using some of their delicious, British ham or chicken I jumped at the chance as I knew that it would be perfect for the Hijacked By Twins ethos, good, wholesome food that does not cost the earth and what the whole family will love!
At this time of year soups and broths make a perfect meal, it is pure comfort in a bowl. Sitting in the warm with a bowl of soup and some freshly made bread, perfect. So with this in mind I got planning my recipe. I love to eat as seasonal as we can as this not only ensures we get vegetables while they are at their best but also helps to keep the prices down as seasonal vegetables tend to be cheaper to buy. At this time of year the root vegetables are definitely the stars of the season. When shopping for root vegetables most supermarkets sell great bags of mixed root that are often labelled as stew packs. That is what I have used for this broth, to bulk it out I have added super thrifty pearl barley and topped it with a crunchy ham topping.
This is what I did...
Root Vegetable and Pearl Barley Broth with Crunchy Welly Ham Topping
Ingredients - Served 5 with some leftovers
200g potatoes, washed and cubed
200g swede, peeled and chopped
1 leek, halved and sliced
1 onion, chopped
200g carrots, chopped
100g parsnips, chopped
100g pearl barley
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
300mls vegetable stock
50g kale, chopped
10 slices of Welly Lean Breaded Ham, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 - Spray a large saucepan with a covering of spray oil and add the onions and leeks to the pan
2 - Gently fry the onions and leeks over a medium heat, with the lid on for 3 minutes
3 - Add the chopped carrots, parsnips and swede, cover the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes
4 - Add the potatoes, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and pearl barley mixing all of the ingredients together thoroughly
5 - Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes with the pan lid on
6 - After 40 minutes check that the pearl barley is soft and add the chopped kale and season to taste
7 - Reduce the heat to a minimum and cover to keep warm and allow the kale to soften while you prepare the crispy Welly ham topping
7 - Heat a frying pan over a medium heat a spray over a coating of spray oil
8 - Add the chopped, breaded ham to the frying pan and stir fry, keep the ham moving to prevent burning
9 - Once the chopped ham is crisping up around the edges remove from the heat
10 - Serve the broth in bowls topped with a generous serving of crispy Welly ham!
This deliciously warming broth served all five of us and there was even enough leftover for two more lunches. The costing for this meal came to £6.89 so that is under £1 per bowl of good wholesome broth. Unlike tinned soups and broths there are no hidden nasties, no sugar, no additives, no preservative, just pure vegetable goodness with a crispy ham topping!
You can find Welly ham and chicken in both Waitrose and online at Ocado. For more information and recipes from Welly visit wellyfoods.co.uk.
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Disclosure: This is a collaborative post