Category Archives: Recipes

Sweet potato, smoked pepper and orange soup

I made this yesterday as I had sweet potatoes, red peppers and oranges that all needed using up.  It turned out to be a smashing combination that made me think of Spain for some reason.

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 medium sized onions, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (dulce)
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder
zest of 1 large orange
3 medium sized sweet potatoes, chopped into about 1.5cm dice
2 red peppers
1-1.5 litres veggie stock (I use Marigold bouillon)
juice of 1 large orange
sea salt and ground black pepper

  1.  In a large saucepan, sweat the onions gently until they are soft (at least 10 minutes).
  2. Add the garlic and sweat for a couple more minutes.
  3. Stir in the smoked paprika, paprika and chilli powder together with the orange zest. Let it sizzle until it smells gorgeous (no more than a minute).
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and the stock, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  5. Meanwhile char the peppers all over until the skins are black. I do this over an open flame on my gas hob, but you could do it until a very hot grill, or over a barbeque. This takes longer than you think. Just keep going turning occasionally, until the skin is all black.
  6. Put the peppers in a bowl, and cover with cling film to let them cool.
  7. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, deseed them, get rid of the stalk, and chop them up.
  8. Add to the soup.
  9. Now add the orange juice, and blitz until smooth (I use a stick blender).
  10. Season to taste. Add more orange juice if you like.

I love the combination of the velvety texture from the sweet potato, the glorious colour, and the smoky flavour of the peppers and paprika, overlaid with the sweet zesty orange. Keep tasting and adjusting the seasoning and juice. It’s all about balance between sweet, zesty, smoky and spicey.

Potato and onion soup

I just made a lovely pan of soup for lunch and it was so delicious I thought I better blog it fast whilst i remember what I did!

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 shallots, chopped
  • 4 fat cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 1.5 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 glass white wine
  • dollop of cream/soya cream
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1.5 oz italian hard cheese/vegan equivalent, finely grated
  • chives
  • rapeseed oil
  1. Slowly soften the onion, shallots and garlic in the oil, in a large saucepan. You don’t want them to colour at this is a pale soup.
  2. Add the potatoes, wine and stock. Season with salt and a little white pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Turn out the heat, and blitz until smooth.
  5. Add the cream. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Add the cheese and stir to dissolve.
  7. Serve in your favourite soup bowl with some freshly snipped chives on top.


Smoky sweet spicy citrusy soup

Delisious smoky, sweet spicy citrusy soup.
Delicious smoky, sweet spicy citrusy soup.

This soup is so delicious you’ll want to eat it all at once. Dairy and gluten free, it tastes too goo to be true, having all the elements of taste to tickle all your taste buds.

2 sweet red peppers
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 onion, sliced finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2-3/4 litre vegetable stock
juice of half a lime
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
1-2 tablespoons ground almonds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chargrill the peppers over an open flame until black and flaccid. Put into a bowl and cover with cling film until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in the oil until soft and golden.

Rub the black skin off the peppers, and remove the stalk and seeds. Chop and add to the onions and garlic.

Add the sweet potatoes, paprika and chilli and cook for a few minutes to released the spice flavours.

Add the stock, bring to the boil, slow to a simmer and cover. Cook until the sweet potato is soft (about 15 minutes).

When the potatoes are soft, take off the heat and blend until smooth.

Add the lime and orange juice a bit at a time together with sea salt and black pepper to taste. You are looking to be able to taste and differentiate all the elements: sweet, salty, spicy, citrusy and smoky.

Add ground almonds to thicken slightly.

Two summery salads with grilled asparagus

I love salad season.

Here are a couple of my favourites:

Vegan coleslaw

Carrots, grated

White cabbage, shredded

Red cabbage shredded

1/4 finely chopped red onion

Equal quantities of vegan garlic mayonnaise and soya yoghurt

Juice of a lemon

Few splashes of chipotle tabasco

Sea salt, ground black pepper

I use equal quantities of grated carrot and shredded red and white cabbage – do it by eye until the three colours are equally visible. Add onion. I mix mine with my hands in a large bowl.

For the dressing use about 3-4 tablespoons each of garlic vegan mayonnaise and plain soya yoghurt. Enhance with a a few dashes of chipotle tabasco. Add the juice of a lemon, some sea salt and black pepper to taste. Just keep tasting it until it tastes delicious and then toss half into the salad, and mix thoroughly with your hands. Add enough more until the veggies are coated, but not dripping in dressing.

Warm new potato and asparagus salad

1lb jersey royal potatoes

2 spring onions, chopped finely

3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped

5 sunblush tomatoes, shredded

14 fat pitted black olives, quartered

olive oil

sherry vinegar

teaspoon of dijon mustard

teaspoon of caster sugar

sea salt and ground black pepper

15 leaves of fresh basil, torn up

Boil some small jersey royal potatoes in salted water until cooked.

Whilst they are boiling, mix your dressing thoroughly – I like about 3 parts olive oil to 1 part sherry vinegar, spiked with a heaped teaspoon of dijon mustard and tempered with a scant teaspoon of caster sugar, all shaken together in an old cough medicine bottle.

Drain the potatoes and cut to rough bite sized pieces. Toss in the dressing and leave them to soak it all up whilst you mix the other ingredients in a large bowl.

When you have cooked your asparagus, add the potatoes to the tomatoes and olives and spring onions, add the basil and serve warm.

Grilled asparagus

Toss your asparagus spears in olive oil, and cook lightly for a couple of minutes on a hot griddle pan, until you get a few char marks on the spears. Put them on a plate, squeeze over lemon juice, sea salt and pepper, and serve warm with potato salad and coleslaw.Image

Warm aubergine pasta salad

Aubergine pasta salad
Aubergine pasta salad

The combination of aubergine, tomato, garlic and basil has me salivating before I’ve even chopped anything.

1 large aubergine, cut into 1cm thick slices and then chunked into bite sized pieces
7 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 16oz tin of chopped tomatoes, drained
3 fl oz olive oil
2 tsp sugar
a large handful of basil leaves, chopped
juice of half a lemon
sea salt and black pepper
6oz orzo pasta

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and when hot but not smoking, add the garlic.

Cook for a few seconds then add the aubergine, stir quickly to coat in oil. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and sugar, and a good large pinch of sea salt and a good few turns of ground black pepper. Stir.

Cover and turn down the heat. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the aubergine is soft.

Leave covered, and cool whilst you cook the pasta.

Drain the pasta and add to the aubergine mixture. Toss everything together, adjust seasoning and serve.


Panzanellaish salad.

I had some stale sourdough bread and some tomato juice drained from a tin of chopped tomatoes. I thought I’d make panzanella with it. I had no red onion or cucumber, so this is my version. it’s panzanella ish.

juice from 16oz tin of chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
25 black olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon small capers
1/2 a stale sourdough loaf, torn into large chunks
100g mange tout, blanched
350g good ripe tomatoes
5 spring onions, chopped
a big handful of torn basil leaves
sea salt
ground black pepper
squeeze of lemon juice

Whisk the tomato juice, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. add the bread and toss to coat every piece.

Leave to stand for five minutes.

Toss the rest of the ingredients, apart from the basil, into the bowl so that everything is coated in the dressing.

Leave to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Add basil, adjust seasoning and serve. It’s delicious.

Rosemary and bay scented onion, garlic and potato soup

Lots of garlic!
Lots of garlic!

I’ve been meaning to start sharing soup recipes again for ages. This morning I made a soup so delicious I just had to share it more widely.

3 tablespoons light vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
5 medium onions, chopped finely
about a dozen fat cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 large white potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
2 pints vegetable stock
good handful of white urid dal
2 bay leaves
3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
juice of half a lemon
ground white pepper

In a large saucepan, gently saute onions until translucent. Do this on a low heat, slowly, being careful not to colour the onions.

Add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is soft.

Add the potatoes, and coat on oniony, garlicy oil.

Soup simmering gently. Smells wonderful.
Soup simmering gently. Smells wonderful.

Add the stock, bring the boil, and add the bay leaves and rosemary, together with the white urid dal (you could leave this out if you can’t find it, it thickens the soup, and adds a bit of protein, but the soup will be just as tasty without it).

Season with salt and white pepper.

Simmer gently until the dal and potatoes are soft.

When cooked, blitz until smooth.

Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, and check seasoning. You’ll probably need to add a bit more salt and white pepper.

You can add a bit of cream/soya cream/ milk/soya milk if you like your soup more creamy.

Smooth, creamy, sweet and delicious.
Smooth, creamy, sweet and delicious.

Serve with some delicious crusty bread.

This soup is surprisingly sweet and complex in flavour.