Gazpacho

This week the weather started to turn autumnal but only three weeks ago we were sweltering in record breaking temperatures over the Bank Holiday weekend. I was rushing around a lot of the time, helping my daughter move into her new flat, so I didn’t have time to do much cooking – and it was…

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…

Chilled watercress soup

The heatwave continues. It was around 30C yesterday so I took the day off and went to Brockwell Lido, a massive open air pool in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill (aka ‘Brixton Beach’). I love the lido – in this kind of heat I just want access to an outdoor pool and to feel like I’m…

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…

Chicken soup

I made this chicken soup for yesterday’s lunch. I’m not working at the moment so can stay cosy and warm indoors if I like and only need to venture out in the cold if I need supplies or to go to the woods. I live five minutes’ walk from Selsdon Woods in Croydon and I…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Chicken liver paté

I love paté but hate the look of all those unidentifiable ingredients listed on packs of the  shop bought stuff. I’d much rather make fresh paté myself without preservatives (it tastes so good it doesn’t last very long anyway). Different recipes will suggest you use different spirits or fortified alcohol to give it an extra…

Spicy pumpkin soup

This tasty seasonal soup uses small eating pumpkins/butternut squash, not the giant Jack o’Lanterns people use for Halloween. I used a pumpkin the size of a large grapefruit and half a butternut squash I had left over from another meal. I also bought a couple of adorable munchkin pumpkins but I struggled to chop them…