Slow roasted tomato and pepper soup

Here’s a very easy, spicy (and vegan) soup that’s perfect for these cold days of early spring. The slow roasting really helps build up the flavour which means you can use the cheaper tomatoes rather than the tastier vine ripened ones.  I served the soup with  crunchy rosemary croutons, made with my own sourdough bread…

Spicy chickpea croquettes

I made these last weekend and intended to freeze them in batches. But they were so tasty I found I was eating a few every day either as a starter or when I came home hungry from work and needed a quick snack. They are particularly nice with a range of dips and would be…

Smoked fish salad

With the World Cup in full swing my current priority is to get straight down to watching TV as soon as I get home from work, so cooking has taken a bit of a back seat. I have a  few home frozen meals for easy prep – some turkey and sweetcorn meatballs eaten cold with…

Spicy pea dip with smoked paprika vegetables

This is a quick supper dish which is great for using up veg from the fridge before it goes off. I cooked it yesterday because I was getting low on food and too lazy to go shopping (and I’m trying to save money so resisted the temptation to order a takeaway). I love the flavour…

Smoked mackerel paté

You can whip up this paté in the time it takes to make the toast to go with it. It’s one of the quickest, easiest and tastiest recipes I know. I’ve calculated it costs about £2 per portion (and a generous portion at that) and is perfect for either a first course or as a sandwich…

Pea and mint soup with Parmesan crisp

This soup ticks all the ‘cheap, fresh and easy’ boxes. It’s also incredibly quick and can be made in less than 10 minutes. I always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer and a mass of mint growing in a pot in the garden – so I have everything I need to rustle up…

Griddled chicory with Gorgonzola dressing

This was a recipe I planned to use as a first course but with sourdough bread it was really substantial and I was too full to eat anything else. It’s based on a Jamie Oliver recipe which uses radicchio (which I couldn’t find so I used chicory instead) and raisins (which I didn’t have in…

Twice baked cheese soufflés on mushroom steaks

There is so much mystique around soufflés and how hard they are to make that it is only last year that I made my first soufflé. It was so easy I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made them  before. The key thing is to be very careful about folding the whisked egg whites into the mixture…

Roasted beetroot, orange and feta salad

Beetroot is one of those vegetables people either love or hate. Roasting beetroot in olive oil and sea salt is completely different to eating tiny balls of vacuum packed beetroot soaked in vinegar. So if you have negative experiences of beetroot please give this roasted recipe a go. Beetroot provides a big flash of colour…

Minestrone

I’ve been working away for a few weeks recently, just coming home for long weekends. Before I started working away I tried to use up as much food as possible from the fridge, to avoid waste and save money on shopping. Like most people I know I often find myself throwing fresh food away and,…

Broccoli and Stilton soup

I was sitting up in bed on Saturday morning planning my week’s food shopping – reading through recipes online, as well as my cook books, while drinking cups of tea in the warm. I came across this article (How to make the perfect broccoli and Stilton soup by Felicity Cloake) so decided to add this soup…

Figs with Roquefort and walnuts

These are perfect as canapés or a first course. The salty cheese is delicious with the sweetness of the honey and the crunch of the walnut contrasts with the soft flesh of the fig. They are dead easy to prepare and only take 10 minutes in the oven – make sure to get them out…