Bicester Avenue Home and Garden Centre and Broccoli Soup


The thing about Oxfordshire is that there are so many great food/farm shops, only a short drive from the main city centre. The purpose of my trip out today was for some essential kitchen items, that have over time; worn out, chipped cracked etc. Bicester Avenue Home and Garden Centre has a Lakeland which in my eyes has everything you would think of and need in a home kitchen. The range in products was impressive too; including Le Creuset, Raymond Blanc pots, Tupperware in all sorts of shapes and not to mention square cake tins – controversial!

The Wyevale shop was huge, I’m fairly sure there was at least 2 restaurants inside. I must say I was impressed with the chilli plant which for £7.99 had oodles of chillies on it before you had to do any work! The farm shop was the main appeal for me, the food supplies ranged from Pieminster (also found in the covered market in town) local sausages, a variety of chutneys and oils, (some of which was available for tasting) and a huge range of ciders and ales, which were not available for tasting on site, so a few have been purchased for home enjoyment.

This farm shop is the type of shop that invites you to purchase something, the moment you walk into it. Even if you hadn’t intended on doing any more food shopping for the week. I was also intrigued by the frozen ‘Patchwork Cheese Pate’ something I’ve never seen before, but it looked like there was a great range of flavours ‘Stilton and Guinness’ was the one I noticed first, maybe I’ll try one next time!

My purchases:
Broccoli (for soup making for this week).
Teapigs tea: lemongrass and peppermint.
A variety of Sheppys cider and Oxfordshire Ales.

My Soup – Broccoli, lemon and chilli soup.

1 Large Broccoli – purchased today as mentioned
A handful of green beans before they go past their best
1 home-grown and dried chilli
2 slices of lemon
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 Onion and 1 garlic clove
Vegetable stock cube with a large amount of water – cover your broccoli!

I’ve made this purely for my working week of lunches:
Chop the broccoli up and throw into a saucepan, along with the green beans topped and tailed.
Boil the kettle and fill up your measuring jug, just add one vegetable stock cube, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and stir it around until the cube has dissolved. Once this happens add this too your pan of broccoli, top up with boiled water if needed, and start to bring the broccoli and beans to the boil.
Meanwhile chop the onion and garlic and fry in a pan, not too much oil though!
Then add this too your broccoli pan, (I find this way you don’t end up with too much oil in your soup.)
Reduce your soup to a simmer and remove the lid to add the chilli and lemon, put the lid on the soup and continue to simmer until the broccoli is nice and soft.
Now simply whizz it up and leave to cool before putting into a container to take to work.
Just remember to lift the container in the morning!

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