Hot Chilli Bean & Feta Soup for a cold day.


I make this soup quite a lot – it’s spicy and warming and perfect for this time of year.  It’s also very simple to make and quite healthy so I tend to cook this for my weekday lunch and it’s chunky texture needs no bread to mop it up.  I do tend to make this quite spicy and the addition of lovely creamy Feta is a match made in heaven for me.   One thing I tend to find myself adding more and more to different dishes these days is a little bit of vinegar of some sort or another, which really seems to enhance the flavour of curries, soups and stews and here cider vinegar really adds a nice tang and subtle sweetness to the flavour of the chilli. This is also probably the only soup that I don’t add salt or pepper to! But feel free to add if you want.  [Read more…]

Potato Dauphinoise

This is a really quick and easy way to make Dauphinoise.  I have tried the other method of using very thinly sliced raw potatoes but I find it just takes too long as you need to cook on a low temperature to avoid the starch curdling the cream.  By parboiling the potatoes first you avoid this and you can get fabulously creamy, garlicky potatoes in half the time. Also by heating the cream with the garlic, salt and pepper first you can check the seasoning before baking in the oven. Use waxy potatoes if possible as floury spuds will soak up all of the cream and become quite mushy. [Read more…]

Cauliflower Soup


I absolutely love Cauliflower Cheese, it is one of my favourite side dishes for a Sunday roast but as no one else in this house eats it I tend to make a small individual dish using a few florets, which leaves me with a substantial part of the cauliflower left-over to make lovely creamy soup for lunch the following days.  On Sunday I decided to try out Mark Hix recipes for both from his lovely book British Seasonal Food.  I only slightly deviated from his recipe by not using leeks (I had none) and by using less milk and no cream. The soup was delicious and I served it in the picture above with some diced chorizo lightly fried in rapeseed oil, which adds a welcome bit of heat and spice, and on day two I threw in the rind of some old parmesan from the freezer whilst it reheated and it was every bit as tasty as the first day. It is a really gorgeous simple soup to make.  [Read more…]

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…]

Aubergine Parmigiana

This is one of the first recipes that I was determined to try from Catherine Fulvio’s wonderful book Catherine’s Italian Kitchen.  I loved the idea of aubergines and melting mozzarella with tomato sauce and this dish was every bit as tasty as it sounded.  It is so simple and the ingredients are very easy to get hold of so it is a definite winner for me.

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Crispy Bombay Potatoes

This is my take on Bombay Potatoes. These are a great side dish and very easy to make.  I love the combination of spiced crispy potatoes and caramelised onions and I would happily eat them with just about anything.  In order to get crispy potatoes you need to firstly parboil the spuds enough so that the edges can be fluffed up and then you need to get the oil in the roasting tray quite hot. [Read more…]

Potato & Spring Onion Croquettes


My husband really dislikes shop-bought croquettes, whether fresh or frozen, but he loves these.  I tend to vary the ingredients to include cheddar, herbs such as chives and parsley or even colcannon croquettes with cabbage and sometimes a little bacon too.  I make one large croquette per person, containing roughly the same amount of mash you would generally serve. [Read more…]

Potato Rösti

I have tried various ways of making rösti over the years and this for me is the easiest and tastiest method.  Most recipes suggest using raw spuds and squeezing the starchy liquid from them in a teatowel – this has never worked for me and the centre of the rösti remained quite slimey.  Perhaps this is because I like my rösti thick rather than thin and crispy.  I use parboiled potatoes and leave them to cool down completely before grating.  You can also use left-over spuds from the day before provided they are not too soft to grate. [Read more…]