Category Archives: Recipe

Pumpkin tomato soup

Pumpkin tomato soup

It’s approaching that time of year when soup becomes a staple lunch item on my B&B courses. Debbie, who provides the lunch, always brings along a soup made with fresh ingredients from her garden.

Here at Hopton House, I also make soups for mine and Rob’s lunch, using whatever produce someone has donated to me. Sadly, I seem to have run out of time to grow my own again this year.

I’m not a huge fan of courgettes, pumpkins etc in their natural state but I do like them when they’re combined with tomatoes in a soup. Tomato soup can be a bit thin and acidic when it’s just made with tomatoes, but by adding a pumpkin or courgette it mellows and thickens the soup.

This is probably the easiest soup in the world. And it’s very low calorie. I calculated about 70 calories per bowl, assuming you’ve got 4 bowls out of this recipe.

I make it with tinned tomatoes but you could use fresh if you have a glut.

If I have a large pumpkin, I’ll chop all the flesh up and portion it into 200g bags and just pop them in the freezer. You can then make more soup later on with the pumpkin straight from the freezer.

This also works well with courgettes and marrows.

Add 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat!

Pumpkin tomato soup ingredients

  • 200g roughly chopped pumpkin
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves if you like
  • 1 tablespoon sundried tomato paste
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock ( I use Marigold bouillon but I’ve also just used water with salt added when I’ve run our of stock )
  • black pepper to taste

Method

Put all the ingredients in a large pan. Bring to the bowl, then simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes. Puree with a stick blender. Check seasoning.

If you like you can serve with creme fraiche or soured cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4

An easy and delicious pumpkin and tomato soup recipe | very quick and easy to make | only 70 calories per bowl | can also be made with courgettes or marrows | try it today!

 

 

Healthy Breakfast Bowl

Healthy Breakfast Bowl

I do love my food and cooking, so I like to think that the breakfasts I serve at Hopton House are a bit of a treat. I offer the full English breakfast of course,  but you’l also find lots of specials to choose from.

Eggs Benedict or eggs Royale ( substitute the  bacon for salmon ) are probably the most popular breakfast special. If you’re vegetarian and fancy Eggs Florentine, let me know before your stay and I’ll make sure I have some spinach in.

The fluffy buttermilk pancakes are also very popular and my personal favourite breakfast. I love mine served with crispy bacon and maple syrup.

Healthy breakfast bowl recipe. Turn overnight oats into a healthy breakfast bowl by adding berries, nuts, banana and seeds

If you don’t fancy a cooked breakfast, there’s a breakfast buffet table with cereals, fruit, organic natural Greek yoghurt, fruit juice, homemade white and granary bread to toast and some sort of baked goods. I also put out bircher muesli ( or overnight oats as it’s commonly known )

I’ve converted a lot of people to bircher museli. It’s very easy to make and will last for 3 days in the fridge, so is great for a quick breakfast when you have little time in the morning. The recipe is below.

To make it into your own trendy healthy breakfast bowl, just add berries of choice, banana, seeds ( I like chia and pumpkin ) and nuts.

Healthy breakfast bowl. Turn overnight oats into a healthy breakfast bowl by adding your choice of berries, bananas, nuts, chia and pumpkins seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup of full fat greek yoghurt
  • 1 grated apple – granny smiths are perfect.

The night before ( but it works fine if you only do it an hour before ) put the oats in a bowl and add the water and apple juice and stir well. Add in the greek yoghurt and grated apple.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Recipe

We’re big fans of cinnamon here at Hopton House. My husband is particularly keen.  Normally I can’t tempt Jess & Rob with a fresh baked sweet bread in the morning, but they both make an exception for this.

OK it’s got a lot of sugar in it, but I’m a firm believer in enjoying everything in moderation. If you’re trying to cut down on refined sugar than leave out the cinnamon swirl mix and make it with honey instead of sugar.

It also tastes very good as a gluten free cake. Make with gluten free self raising flour and gluten free baking powder. Add an extra tablespoon of buttermilk as gluten free flour absorbs more liquid.

You  make it in a 1lb loaf tin  & it needs to be completely cool before cutting.  If you don’t have time to bake it for 45 minutes and cool it before cutting, you can make it as 6 muffins, cooking for about 20 minutes at 20 degrees higher oven temp and no cutting required.

This is  incredibly easy to make as it’s one of those cinnamon swirl banana bread mixes where you just bung everything into the mixer. It also lasts quite well so can be cooked the day before. Or you can double the mix and make 2 loaves and put one in the freezer.

Makes 1 lb loaf

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Ingredients

  • 50g coconut oil ( use sunflower oil or softened butter if you prefer )
  • 90g soft brown sugar ( caster sugar or honey – if using honey only use 60g )
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 110g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp buttermilk ( you can happily substitute 1 tbsp milk or 1 natural yoghurt as who wants to open a whole buttermilk carton for 1 tbsp but it does create a fluffier result )

Cinnamon Swirl Mix

  • 4 tbsp of white sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C ( or 150 degrees for a fan oven ). Put all of the banana bread ingredients ( not the cinnamon swirl mix ingredients these are added separately ) into a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer on high for 2 minutes. Combine the white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Line a 1lb loaf tin with a loaf liner. Put half of the mix into the lined tin. Take a 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon swirl mix then sprinkle over the wet  mix. You’re looking to have the mix completely covered with sugar & cinnamon. Then add the remaining wet banana bread mix to the tin and finish off with the rest of the sugar cinnamon mix.

Bake for about 45-50 minutes till they’re firm to touch. Just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t brown too much.

If you have any remaining sugar & cinnamon mix you can store it in a airtight jar for next time ( or sprinkle some on your porridge in the morning )

 

An easy cinnamon swirl banana bread recipe. It's moist and delicious and easy to adapt to make it gluten free or with no refined sugar Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread (3)

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

The best easy lemon drizzle cake receipe | based on a recipe by Mary Berry but made even lighter with buttermik | All my B&B guests love it | click through for the recipe and bake it this weekend!

Every guest who arrives at Hopton House Bed and Breakfast  has a whole cake waiting for them in their room to enjoy during their stay. Usually, unless I’ve had a special request, this will be a lemon drizzle cake.

This lemon drizzle cake recipe is based on one of Mary Berry’s, though I’ve adapted it to fit into 3 1lb loaf tins rather than making it up as tray bake. I’ve also upped the temperature which gives a nice cracked top to the cake which I like.

Replacing Mary’s recommended milk with buttermilk makes this lemon drizzle cake recipe even lighter and fluffier

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

You need 3 1 lb loaf tins – I line mine with ready made paper liners.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees ( for fan oven )

Ingredients

For the Cake

285 g (10 oz) self raising flour
225 g (8oz)  caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
225g (8oz) softened butter ( I normally just use a whole pack of butter which is slightly over 8 oz)
5 Hopton House eggs ( which is about 4 large eggs )
4 tablespoons buttermilk
grated rind of 2 large lemons

For the Drizzle

175g (6oz) granulated sugar
juice of 2 large lemons

Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes.

Divide the mixture between the 3 loaf tins.

Put in the oven for 30 minutes – check after 30 minutes to see if the cake is firm on top. You will probably need longer but only allow 5 minutes at a time. You want just cooked.

Take out of the oven and leave for 5 minutes. Prick all over with a skewer ( I use my meat lifting forks – creates 4 holes at  a time – how lazy is that? )

Mix the sugar & lemon for the drizzle and pour over the cakes. After another 10 minutes take out of the tins & place on a wire tray – this is where is really helps having the ready made paper liners because it keeps any of the drizzle that has fallen down the sides in place.

This will keep for several days as it’s so moist and they also freeze well.

If you’ve enjoyed making this recipe, have a look at my recipe blog for more recipes from Hopton House B&B

Gluten Free Oat and Banana Blueberry Pancakes

I often get requests for gluten free options at the B&B and try and offer a good choice.

On request, I can do a gluten free lemon drizzle for the rooms and the gluten free banana bread at breakfast has proven to be very popular even amongst the gluten eaters!

Pancakes are a popular choice at breakfast but by just replacing the flour with gluten free they can taste a bit gritty.  So, as it’s the quiet time of year for the B&B, I thought I’d have a bit of an experiment.

I’m very pleased with the result and they have the added benefits of being high in fibre and with no added sugar.

This recipe serves 1 with 3 pancakes. You could also replace the blueberries with chopped apple and add a teaspoon of cinnamon.

The calorie count ( according to my fitness pal ) is about 320 calories for 3 pancakes – 8g fibre, 50g Carbohydrates, 15g sugar, 10g fat, 10g protein.

Adding a tablespoon of maple syrup adds 40 calories.

Gluten Free Oat and Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Gluten Free Banana Oat Blueberry Pancakes - Hopton House, Bed and Breakfast Shropshire

Ingredients

1 small banana

1 small egg

40 g ( 1/2 cup ) gluten free porridge oats

1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder

25g blueberries

3g butter for brushing the pan

Method

Whizz all the ingredients together in a blender until the mix is smooth. Leave for about 20 minutes to allow time for the mix to thicken up.

Heat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat. Brush with melted butter. Spoon the mix into the pan, creating 3 pancakes, Sprinkle the blueberries over the pancakes. Cook the pancakes until small bubbles appear and the bottom are golden brown, then flip the pancakes, cooking until golden brown.

Best served with lashings of maple syrup……

Hopton House Shortbread Recipe

 

Homemade shortbread and a cup of tea at our Shropshire B&B

There’s a jar of homemade shortbread waiting for every set of guests in their room on arrival and it’s refilled daily.

This recipe is great for Christmas guests and would also make a great last minute present in an airtight tin.

I have Mary Berry to thank for the original shortbread recipe – thank you Mary

I’ve specified cornflour here. This makes a very soft, melt in the mouth ( or melt in your tea if you’re a dunker like me ) biscuit. If you like something a bit crunchier use ground rice, semolina or polenta.

You can add different flavours to vary your shortbread; powdered & crystallised ginger, chocolate chips, lavender flowers etc etc

250g plain flour
250g butter ( soft room temperature )
125g caster sugar
125g cornflour

Preheat oven to 140 degrees C ( this is for a fan oven, a conventional oven will need to be about 160 )

Line a 12×9 inch roasting tin ( if you own an AGA this is the small pan ) with foil or silicon lining.

Beat all the ingredients together to form a dough, then press into the pan and spread out so the top is even. Prick all over with a fork, then put into the oven.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is slightly golden.

Take out of the oven and leave in the tin till they are completely cool. If you take out too soon they may be too crumbly. Then take out of the pan and cut into fingers ( as thick or as thin as you like ).

Keeps for a few days in an airtight tin ( assuming you don’t live with my husband or have lots of B&B guests )

Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

Blueberry buttermilk pancakes have been a firm favourite on the breakfast menu this year. I usually do them with blueberries but sometime

s have a request for plain with blueberries on the side. As we move into Autumn, I’ve added cinnamon apple pancakes to the menu. These taste particularly good with sausage and maple syrup – trust me!

For this pancake recipe, I make a big batch of the dry mix up, keep it in a big kilner jar,  and just scoop it out and mix up with the wet ingredients when it’s time for breakfast.

One of the secrets of this pancake recipe is the fluffiness is buttermilk ( it may seem like I have shares in buttermilk, as I use it so much, but it really is a magic ingredient )

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big jar with a lid and shake really well. The cups are American measuring cups with a volume of about 250 ml.

Pancake Recipe

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

WET INGREDIENTS ( for 6 big pancakes for 2 people )

  • 1 pot of buttermilk ( between 284 & 300 ml depending on the brand)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • vanilla extract ( for plain or blueberry pancakes but leave out for cinnamon apple )

Shake the dry ingredients really well, then scoop out 1 measuring cup into a bowl. If you’re making apple cinnamon pancakes add 1 tsp dried cinnamon at this point and mix well.

Mix the wet ingredients well and mix gradually to the dry ingredients. You want quite a thick batter – probably the consistency of very thick Greek Yoghurt. You may not need all of the wet ingredients. Don’t overmix.

If you’re making apple buttermilk pancakes, grate 2 apples into the mix and stir.

Heat a heavy 30cm frying pan over a medium heat. Brush with butter and put in 3 dollops of pancake batter.  If you’re making blueberry pancakes add 5 or 6 blueberries into the top of each pancake.

Cook the pancakes for a couple of minutes on one side, making sure they’re not over browning. When bubbles start to appear on the top, flip them and cook them for a couple more minutes.

A stack of blueberry pancakes with icing sugar and blueberries and strawberries
Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes