This is a really “different” soup that is good for everyday and would stand up for a dinner party starter too.
- 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Bunch of sage leaves (about 20)
- 500g parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
- 2 eating apples, peeled and cut into cubes
- 4tbs oil
Heat your oven to 200C. Reserve a few sage leaves, 1 tbs of oil and 15g of nuts. Toss the rest into and oven tray and roast for 30 minutes until tender and slightly charred.
Remove the sage leaves from the tray and discard. On the stove top, pour the stock into the tray and bubble until the charred bits in the tray have loosened and incorporated into the liquid. Blend until smooth. If it is too thick, add some more stock.
Fry the reserved sage leaves and hazelnuts in oil until the leaves are crispy and the nuts are brown.
- 4 tbs creme fraiche (or vegan alternative)
Serve the soup in bowls with a spoon of creme fraiche and a scatter of nuts and leaves.
- 200g dried chickpeas (or 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed) – dried chickpeas have a better taste and texture than tinned
If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight, covered, in a pan of lukewarm water. The next morning, drain the water and cover with fresh water. Add ½ tsp salt and boil until soft (about 1½-2 hours). Drain and set aside.
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 medium green chilli, finely chopped
Put the garlic, ginger and chilli in a small bowl and mix together into a coarse paste.
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 400g tin chopped tomato
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 10-15 minutes until soft and starting to brown. Add the cumin seeds and the ginger, garlic and chilli paste, and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes, adding salt to taste.
- 1 level tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
Add the turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, ground coriander and ground cumin and stir well, then add the chickpeas and cook for 15 minutes.
- Handful fresh coriander, chopped
- Natural yogurt and lemon wedges to serve (vegan yoghurt for vegans)
Stir in the chopped coriander and serve with a dollop of yogurt and lemon wedges to squeeze over.
Ten out of ten for this one. You can use any type of squash or pumpkin but butternut is the best.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 3 leeks sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 30g butter or Bertoli (or oil if you want vegan)
Chuck everything in a big pot and sweat gently for 10 minutes.
- 1.2L light chicken (or vegetable stock to make it vegan)
Add the stock and simmer for 25 minutes. Whizz with a stick blender. Adjust seasoning and serve.
Even more incredible with Gremolata sprinkled on top:
- 1 tbs parsley chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
- zest of one lemon
Mix the above. That is Gremolata. Sprinkle on meat and fish to zap it up a bit if it needs it.
Simple to make and flexible with main ingredients. Firstly make this awesome dressing which would go with other things too.
Boil 3 minutes. Add
Boil 2 minutes more. Drain, remove garlic skins and add to a blender (stick blender is best) with
- Juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp onion powder
- half a cucumber
Zap. Add the other half of a cucumber and zap again. You can experiment by adding herbs – tarragon, chives, etc but I am not sure that is necessary.
For the salad – you can swap vegetables around but I used the following:
- Red cabbage, cut into thin slices including the core so it stays together as a “steak”
- Sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- Courgette, sliced
Fry in a hot pan until charred. Transfer to an oven 180C fan, season and roast 30 minutes. Less if your charring took a while. Take them out when soft all the way through, and cool for a bit. Meanwhile…
- Broccoli florets
- Chives chipped or spring onions in 3 cm lengths
In the same pan, add a bit more oil then toss the broccoli and chives around and char until bright green with charred bits. They should be still crunchy but not raw. Remove.
- Tofu (vegan) or halloumi (vegetarian)
In the same pan, sear until browned.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Lettuce hearts, quartered
Arrange the roasted and seared items with the fresh items in a tasteful display on your platter. Serve with the sauce.
You could also try asparagus, treated like the broccoli; button mushrooms left whole and fried with garlic and herbs in olive oil; swede or parsnip treated like the sweet potato.
The best side with Daddy Burgers. You will need:
- Large onion, sliced into 1cm slices and rings separated (1 onion = 2 servings)
- Fizzy water
- Self-raising flour
- Oil for deep frying
Make a batter with the flour and water, the consistency of double cream. Start with a cup of flour and add water until it looks right. Heat your oil in a saucepan to 180C. Dip onion rings into the batter and deep fry for 2-4 minutes until they look light brown. Drain on kitchen paper, serve with plenty of salt. Salt and deep frying are bad for you but the onion is good so I guess it cancels out.
- prepared squash
- 2 tbs mild curry paste
Put cubes of squash in an oven tray, toss in oil and curry paste and season. Cook in a 200C oven for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile…
- 200g green lentils
- 600ml vegetable stock
Put in a pan and simmer 40 minutes or in a pressure cooker for 6 minutes.
- 100g spinach
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- pack of coriander, leaves chopped
Add to the lentils. Add the squash and heat until the spinach has wilted.
Heat in a pan until slightly brown
Serve in bowls. Add pomegranate seeds and coconut on top. Serve with warm naan breads and plain yoghurt.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large red chilli, halved, de-seeded and finely sliced
Fry gently. Add
- 500g potato cut into small cubes
Fry some more. add
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- ½ tsp each black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric
Fry some more. Add a splash of water and ½ tsp salt, cover and let cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add
Continue cooking until wilted. Done!
You might think – for 90p a pack of six in Tesco what’s the point? But these are awesome.
- 500gm plain flour
- 4gm dried yeast (half a sachet)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar
- Glass of warm water 40 deg C
Ideally, use a food processor. If not you may reconsider going to Tesco.
Pour the dry ingredients into the processor. Give it a whizz to aerate the flour. While the motor is running gently and slowly pour in the water. The mix will start to look like crumbs. Very gently add more water a splash at a time until the dough forms a ball. Whizz for another 40 seconds. Now take the dough out and let it rise in a warm place covered in oiled cling film or plastic bag. After about an hour when it has grown by at least 50% it is ready. Pull off a fistful of dough and roll thinly, about 4mm thick. Heat a heavy griddle or frying pan (no oil) , and cook the pittas on the dry pan turning once when the under surface has brown spots. When cooked through from both sides, keep warm in a kitchen towel while you make the rest. This mix makes about 6 large pittas.
If you buy a kebab from a genuine takeaway or van you will usually be offered (or find) some bright pink pickled vegetable with a nice crunch and a bit of a tang. These are surprisingly easy to make, and go well with your own kebabs at home. You will need some sort of glass jar, I used a Kilner but others are available. Wilco is a surprisingly useful source for these. There are other recipes available on-line. This one does produce good pickles though. Others appear to have more salt and less vinegar. Experiment!
- 1 large or 2 small turnips, 400-500g total
- 1 small uncooked beetroot.
Trim off the peel and slice into sticks the size of French fries, or shorter chunkier pieces.
- 175ml water
- 175ml distilled vinegar (white)
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 chilli stabbed with a knife (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole.
Mix the pickling ingredients and stir until the salt has dissolved.
Pack a jar with the beets and fill with the liquid. Place in the fridge and check it each day to see the pink tinge grow! The original recipe advised swirling around every few days. After a week it will be ready to eat. Keep it in the fridge and it will last a few weeks I am told. It didn’t last that long here – it was eaten. The Lebanese call these pickles “lift”. Yes, you can see Rudi in the photo.
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
Chop and sweat in a dash of olive oil for 10 minutes
- 2 tins good quality tomatoes (that is the -ish bit)
- 6 proper tomatoes
- 1 litre vegetable stock (a stock cube is fine)
Simmer 15 minutes
Add a small handful of fresh basil leaves and whizz with a stick blender. Adjust the seasoning and job done. Idea to table in 30 minutes. From a Jamie Oliver recipe. Great with our Irish Soda Bread recipe as you can see in the picture.