My son arrived in from college this afternoon with five free sachets of Knorr Quick soup that were handed out to the students. Perfect instant student food, I told him to have them when he was studying.
Meanwhile I started cooking the dinner, mince and sliced potato bake for us and vegetable layer gratin for my veggie daughter. Aah, I thought as I started to brown the mince, why not use the soup instead of a stock cube plus flour? and for the veg dish, why not mix the powder with some cream cheese and pour over instead of veg stock. It was all delicious.
The mince bake is just literally browned mince, a sachet of oxtail soup sprinkled over then a cup of water to make a gravy. Butter the dish then spread out a layer of thin sliced potatoes, top with half the meat mix, repeat then finish with a thin layer of butter to cover the meat. Dot with butter and season, pour in enough water to come to just beneath the top layer of potato. Bake covered for about an hour at 200 degrees/gas 6.
The vegetable gratin is very similar. Butter a gratin dish and layer vegetables of your choice. I used potato, carrot, parsnip, sliced pak choi, sliced celery, chopped parsley then finished with a final layer of potato. Blend the sachet of cup-a-soup with a tablespoon of cream cheese, thin with water and pour over, enough liquid to come just below the top layer of potato. Top with a thin layer of mixed breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Bake about 1 hour 200 degrees/gas 6.