Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This is a really simple and quick soup to make.  The spices give a lovely warm curry hint to the soup so it is ideal for the months that lie ahead.  For this recipe I used 2 butternut squash as they were a bit on the small side and with around 1.5 litres of stock/water there was enough to serve 6.  If you have one large squash then you may want to add in only half of the water and then check the consistency when blended. [Read more…]

Tuscan Bean Soup


This soup was one of the first things I earmarked to try in Catherine Fulvio’s lovely new cookbook – I knew I would love it and have been making it regularly ever since.  What I particularly like about this soup is that thanks to the pancetta, beans and macaroni it could easily be served up for a light supper with some lovely crusty bread and I doubt any one would complain.  I have to confess something here – I have been adding a little diced chorizo to mine at the start with the pancetta.  I know this is probably sacrilege to some but when it comes to food I think if you like it and it tastes good, then go right ahead.  I have added it in to the recipe below and also slightly changed the method. If you prefer leave the chorizo out but it does add lovely ‘depth’ as they say. Or you could just use chorizo, it’s up to you.  I leave the parmesan for sprinkling because my husband doesn’t eat cheese (strange man) so if you prefer you can add this in at the end of cooking to allow it to melt through.  This is such a warming, deeply flavoured soup – perfect for chilly days. [Read more…]

Homemade Sausages with Cider & Mustard Gravy


Bangers and mash must be one of the all-time great comfort foods which for me  instantly brings back memories of childhood.  This weekend I decided that instead of a Sunday roast I would make these lovely big rustic homemade sausages with some cider and mustard gravy.   This is a great way to feed the family – your sausages have a high meat content and you can control exactly what goes in to them and they are also very economical – I used four boneless loin chops which yielded 11 (if I had been more careful there could easily have been 12) good sized sausages and I found 2 was enough for me but my husband demolished 3!   I served the sausages with creamy mash, oven baked carrots and my first sprouts of the season – delicious! [Read more…]

WIN! “Kitchen – Recipes from the heart of the home” by Nigella Lawson

This competition is now closed. Thanks to all who entered – your comments are  very much appreciated.  It was most difficult to decide on a winner so I asked my son to help me out and his choice was Lynn because she listed two of his favourites and also likes beans with her shepherds pie! Congratulations Lynn – please email me at with your full postal address.

As is the case with most lovers of food or cooking I am fairly addicted to buying cookbooks and over the years I have acquired quite a collection.  To me they are as much a part of cooking as the actual physical act itself and I like nothing better than to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon tucked up on the sofa reading one of my favourite cookbooks, savouring every picture and word, leafing through for inspiration, selecting recipes to try or comparing methods. [Read more…]