Friday 26 July 2019

Scrumpledumptious Herb & Spice Mixes: Italian Seasoning

We use loads of this as it's such a good mixture of herbs for pasta dishes, garlic and herb bread, and much more besides. Make it in a bowl then transfer to an air-tight jar for storage, use as required.

Scrumpledumptious Italian Seasoning


5 tablespoons of oregano
3 tablespoons of basil
2 tablespoons of marjoram
1 tablespoon of ground thyme
1½ tablespoons of garlic powder or garlic granules
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds


Measure all into a bowl and mix well, transfer to an air-tight jar. Shake well before use.

Scrumpledumptious Italian Seasoning

Asparagus, sweet red pepper and spicy chorizo soup

Having picked up some reduced-price asparagus in the supermarket and having not had this vegetable before (other than as instant packet soup) we needed a new way to use it. Asparagus soup is nice, so what if we could enhance it? A bit of experimentation, and this was the result!

Asparagus, sweet red pepper and spicy chorizo soup

130g-150g asparagus spears cut into small pieces (young thin shoots are best but if yours are thicker and older see notes below) *
enough boiling water to cover asparagus in a pan

1 medium sized capsicum/sweet red pepper, finely chopped (orange or yellow will do if you can't find a red one)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Oil to cover base of small pan/skillet

60g-70g spicy chorizo chopped into small pieces (we use the Aldi one but any make will do)
1 vegetable stock cube
1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning **
¼ teaspoon of ground Star Anise
pinch of salt
¼ pint of milk (dairy, soya or oat milk all work equally well)
¼ pint of boiling water
1 tablespoon of plain flour
50g butter or margarine


Put the chopped asparagus, the pinch of salt and the stock cube into a big pan and cover with the boiling water and cook for approx 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the capsicum and onion in the small pan or skillet for 3-4 minutes.

Add the chorizo to the asparagus pan along with the onion and capsicum and add the Italian Seasoning and Star Anise. Leave it to simmer gently.

In the small pan or skillet put the butter/margarine and melt over a medium heat. Add the flour and mix to form a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes to make sure the flour is cooked properly. Add the ¼ pint of boiling water to the roux and stir well to avoid lumps. Continue to heat through stirring all the time, the mixture will thicken to make a thick sauce.

Add the roux mixture to the asparagus pan stirring continuously, add the ¼ pint of milk. The soup liquid should be a thick runny consistency like honey.

Turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave the soup to stand for approx 2 hours.  Or make the day before and leave to stand in the fridge overnight if you prefer.

Reheat after standing, add more hot water to thin the soup if needed. Do a taste test and add a wee bit more salt if needed.

Serve with fresh bread. The loaf in the photo is one of the Co-operative's loaves which we love!


*  For the thicker older asparagus stalks we found that laying them on a plate and popping them into the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes softens them enough for soup making and makes them easier to cut into smaller pieces.

** We now make our own Italian Seasoning but you can buy similar in most supermarkets.

To make this into a vegetarian soup leave out the chorizo and use a vegetarian / vegan stock cube, vegetarian margarine such as Flora 100% plant based spread, and one of the dairy free milks or coconut milk.