Posts Tagged ‘basil’

The weather has been so grey since yesterday….. yes, I’d say there are 50 shades of grey out there…. DEFINITELY!

This is just reminding me that only last week, I was still harvesting (granted from the polytunnel) but there were delicious tomatoes, peppers, and my hugely proud of aubergines! Yes, for the first time ever I managed to grow aubergines (egg-plant to non-Irish folk).

I am not going to let this greyness get in on top of me!!!!

So last week we had the end of harvest mixed bag of vegetables that needed using.

aubergines (eggplant) tomatoes

I thought a variation of Minestrone Soup???

So that’s what it started out as…. but it didn’t end up as soup!!!!

You are probably wondering about the strange mix of vegetables?  I hate to see waste and there were a few bits and pieces lingering that just needed to be used up.  Hence the potatoes went in there too!


  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium aubergine (egg-plant)
  • 1 large courgette (zucchini)
  • 6 or 8 fresh tomatoes
  • Handful of runner beans
  • 1 pepper
  • 2 or 3 small potatoes cubed
  • 1 lt of chicken stock
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • Pasta – quantities will be explained in a bit!!
  • Selection of fresh herbs – I used oregano and basil
  • Salt and Pepper


Finely chop the onion and garlic.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently colour the onion and garlic.

Chop your other vegetables into cubes and add these into saucepan with the stock and the tin of tomatoes.

Bring to the boil, then simmer gently (about 20 minutes) until the vegetables are almost cooked through.

At this point I added in about 2 ozs of Penne pasta with the herbs and seasoning and cooked for another 5 – 10 minutes.

And that was (I thought) my Minestrone Soup ready for lunch the next day!!!!  So you could just stop here!!!!

We did not!

When himself came home….had a taste and smell….. and suggested that it would make a nice pasta bake.  Yes, the carnivore himself, suggested a vegetarian pasta bake!

So next day, I added in a further tin of tomatoes.  About another 4 oz pasta.  Topped it all with Mossfield Cheese.

Baked in the oven for about 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh basil.

Pasta Bake

Comfort food at its best!

And healthy 🙂






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I thought of writing about Bloom and I will put I’ve so many photographs to sort through!  That will have to wait for another day.

In the interim, I thought I’d update you on progress in the polytunnel.

All, I can say is, wow! You just would not believe how quickly everything grows.  Maybe it is just particularly noticeable this year, as it has been virtually impossible to get things planted outside.  Is anyone else having this problem?

I have so many things ready to go outside…. I keep hardening them off and then the weather changes again.  Even today 6th June, I’ve the fire lit and we are told that there is a possibility of frost tomorrow and Wednesday night!  For heavens sake!  It’s June guys!  Come on!

It was amazing to see so many people interested in polytunnels and glasshouses yesterday at Bloom.  I can’t ever remember seeing them featuring there before.  So obviously lots of people really are thinking of growing their own…. all I can say is if these weather patterns continue… a polytunnel is your only answer!

We are already harvesting lots of Chinese Greens, Salads of varying types, the marigolds are enjoying themselves in there.

Salad from the polytunnel

We have coriander, basil and parsley.  I’ve been harvesting courgettes this past week.  There are lots of fruit on the tomato plants.  And tons of flowers on the squash, pumpkin and cucumber…. and you should see the corn!

Corn in the polytunnel

The whole experience is still a learning curve for me.  I still have loads of questions that only time will answer!

  • Can a polytunnel be too hot for plants?
  • I have learnt that watering brings the temperature down about 5 degrees!
  • I have been watering twice a day – it seems to need it.
  • Will I still be able to grow much in it in the winter?

I am so looking forward to our first crop of tomatoes – there are so many on the plants.  And last week I planted aubergine and pepper plants…. fingers crossed they will thrive!

Tomato plants and greens

While A is not too happy at the extension to the courgette season.

Rua, the elder cat, loves the polytunnel…. it’s warm, hen and dog free…. cat utopia!


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