We were shortlisted!

Here at Neo Direct, we are thrilled to announce that we were shortlisted for an eBay for Business award. Out of over 1,200 entries, we were fortunate enough to be included in the top 32 applications. We are extremely proud and grateful for the opportunity to take part in the eBay for Business Awards and are excited for our continued success over the next year.

What else have we been up to?

We were recently featured on Radio 4! We joined the conversation about COVID Misinformation, Gift Cards and Heating Gardens to discuss the noticeable shift in demand for our outdoor garden products. We have over 15 years of trading and witnessed huge growth over lockdown which tells us that more people are beginning to view their garden as an extension of their living area. With COVID-19 guidelines suggesting we socially distance outdoors, we have seen a 250% growth in fire pits and over 300% growth in patio and outdoor heaters from the same time last year. If you want to hear more about our Radio 4 interview, you can check out the segment today.

Our favourite soup recipes

best soup recipes

It’s always soup season here at Neo Direct! We’re looking forward to bringing you a fantastic selection of different soup recipes that we know you’re going to love. Soup is a favourite for any meal of the day, whether you’re wanting to warm yourself up or eat something that’s going to keep you full for longer, it’s always a great option.

How to make chicken and sweetcorn soup

Chicken and sweetcorn soup is an old reliable, perfect for batch cooking or family meals; you can whisk it up from scratch in no time.

Ingredients 

  • Chicken carcass
  • 2 onions, diced 
  • 2-4 garlic cloves (depending on preference)
  • Large tin of sweetcorn 
  • 100 grams of pre-cooked and shredded chicken
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 spring onions, using the whites only

Method

Step 1 

Fill up your kettle to the maximum water level and boil. Break up your chicken carcass into a large pan, adding your ⅔ of your garlic and your diced onion. Turn on the heat and cook, regularly stirring, for around 2 minutes. Then, add your 1.5 litres of boiling water, cover, and leave to simmer for another 2 minutes. 

Step 2

Sieve the liquid over a large bowl, you will need roughly 450ml of liquid. Move the onion from the sieve and place it into a blender with ¾ of your sweetcorn, blending until you reach a smooth consistency. 

Step 3

Pour the liquid back into the large pan, adding your blended sweetcorn and onion as well as the remaining sweetcorn, garlic, spring onion and shredded chicken. Simmer this for around 5 minutes, turning off once done. You will then need to add the egg, making sure you stir gently to create what is known as ‘egg thread’. 

Step 4

Season as you see fit with salt and pepper, serve up and enjoy!

How to make chunky vegetable soup

Looking for the perfect way to reduce waste and utilise what’s in your fridge, what better way to do so than making a chunky vegetable soup?

Ingredients

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 leek chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb chopped
  • 225-250 grams of potato diced
  • 225-250 grams of suede or turnip diced
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 600ml vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped chives for garnishing purposes
  • Oil

Method 

Step 1 

Heat your oil in a frying pan and add your chopped onion, frying until soft. Proceed to add your leek, fennel, potato, swede or turnip and carrot to the mix until they have softened. 

Step 2

Add your bay leaf and stock cube liquid and chopped tomatoes into the pan. Season with salt and pepper as you see necessary and cover to boil. Once your pan reaches the boil, you will need to reduce the heat, simmering until all of your vegetables are soft.

Step 3

Sprinkle your chives over the soup and serve with a delicious chunk of crunchy bread. 

How to make sweet potato and red pepper soup

For something a little different, why not try your hand at making sweet potato and red pepper soup for a satisfying, yet healthy meal alternative?

Ingredients 

  • A whole sweet potato diced
  • 1 red pepper diced without seeds
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, preference dependent 
  • 200ml of vegetable stock cube
  • ½ tablespoon of sriracha sauce 
  • 200ml of coconut milk
  • Oil

Method 

Step 1

Roast your sweet potato, onion, red pepper and garlic in the oven for around 30 minutes, making sure that they’re all evenly coated with oil. If you want to add a smokey undertone to your soup, add a small amount of paprika to the roasted vegetables. 

Step 2

Pour your roasted vegetables into a blender and blitz with your coconut milk, stock and sriracha sauce. Blend until you reach the consistency you want, adding it back into your pan to heat up. Serve and enjoy! 

How to make spicy pumpkin soup

Spicy pumpkin soup is an Autumnal favourite, embracing all things spooky, using the insides of your pumpkin that you don’t need is a great way to minimise waste and create a delicious meal.

Ingredients 

  • 2 diced onions
  • 1kg of  pumpkin – peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 700ml of vegetable stock
  • 150ml of double cream

Method

Step 1 

Fry your onions in a pan until soft, adding in your pumpkin and fry for another 10 minutes until it turns golden brown.

Step 2

Add your vegetable stock and season as you see fit. Proceed to bring your pan to the boil, after this you will need to simmer your soup until your vegetables are softened.

Step 3 

Add your double cream into the mix and bring your ingredients back to the boil. Add this into your blender and blitz to the consistency you prefer. Serve and enjoy!

Of course, not everybody has time to make soup from scratch – adding endless pots and pans to the washing-up pile isn’t always plausible. However, here at Neo Direct, we may have the perfect solution for you. Our soup makers are great for batch cooking or leaving your soup maker to create dinner while you’re busy elsewhere, so be sure to invest for hassle-free dinner preparation. 




How to relax working from home

working from home woman

While you lose the hectic commutes and nerve building presentations, working from home does not mean we are exempt from feeling stressed. Working from home brings new stresses like communication breakdowns, unwanted interruptions, and internet problems. Working remotely in the comfort of our own home is not quite as relaxing as we imagine it to be.

Whether your workplace has inforced mandatory remote work, you’re familiar with flexible working or you’re a WFH newbie, you’ll find this guide useful, from reducing stress to creating the right working environment, here at Neo Direct, we’re on hand to provide you with everything you need to know.

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How to clean a wool carpet

A wool carpet or rug can make a stunning addition to your interior. It makes a durable and environmentally friendly choice when it comes to choosing flooring for your home, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to colours and patterns.  

While many of us may be tempted to opt for a laminate or wood floor choice, especially with small feet or muddy paws running around, there’s something very comforting about a wool carpet. A wool carpet can instantly add warmth, texture and style to your living space and keeping it clean can be a lot easier than you may think. 

Continue reading “How to clean a wool carpet”