Food For Thought

If you have a tried and tested favourite please email them over and we'll put them on our page.

Mulligatawny soup

25g/1oz butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1.5cm/ ⅝in cubes
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1.5cm/⅝in cubes
1 eating apple, peeled, quartered, cut into 1.5cm/⅝in cubes
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube (low-salt is best)
1litre/1¾ pints boiling water
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp mango chutney
100g/3½oz basmati rice
100g/3½oz natural yoghurt or soured cream, to serve
Fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan and stir in the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and sweet potato. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the vegetables are beginning to soften and brown lightly. Stir in the apple pieces and sprinkle over the curry powder. Cook for a further 2 minutes more, stirring as it cooks.

Crumble the stock cube into a measuring jug, and pour over the boiling water. Mix to combine. Pour into the pan, and stir in the tomato purée and mango chutney. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

While the soup is simmering, half-fill a medium pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the rice and return to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the rice is tender. Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse under running water until cold.
When the soup is ready, cool the soup for a few minutes and blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth before stirring in the cooled rice. If you want a more rustic texture to the soup, do not blend.

Add enough water to give a good consistency, (about 150-200ml/5½-7fl oz). Heat the soup for 3–4 minutes until piping hot and check the seasoning, add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into deep bowls and top each with a spoonful of natural yoghurt or soured cream. Garnish with sprigs of coriander or flat-leaf parsley if you like.

Slow roasted tomatoes

I usually cook them in batches of about 1 kg at a time but if you have an abundance of them you can do as many as you can fit in the oven!! Turn the oven on to the lowest heat and prepare the tomatoes by cutting them in half and laying them in a cooking tray. Sprinkle them with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar in roughly equal quantities. Place the tray in your warm oven and leave to slow roast for about 4 hours – they should still be moist and juicy but will have reduced in size quite considerably.

You can eat them warm or cold and they will keep in the fridge in plastic or glass containers for at least a week or so – you can also preserve them for longer by putting them in sterilised preserving jars covering them with olive oil and sealing them tightly. They don’t usually last long enough in our house to do that.

As these tomatoes have a wonderful intense sweet flavour they make a delicious accompaniment to either meat or fish.


'Monkey Gland' Sauce for BBQ's

Don't worry...I know the French will eat almost anything, but this is a recipe from South Africa and doesn't actually use real Monkey Glands...!

The Best Savoury Shortcrust Pastry Quiche

For the pastry
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g butter, plus extra for greasing
(alternatively use ready-made pastry)
Small sprig of fresh rosemary and a few fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
50g grated Cantal or Cheddar
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
A splash of milk


Plum, Almond and

Elderflower Tart

50g Amaretti biscuits. crushed
50g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
50g light Muscavado sugar
50g unsalted butter
Extra butter for greasing

50g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
1 medium egg
75g ground almonds
3 tbsp Elderflower Cordial
6 plums (approximately 400g)
1 rounded tbsp apricot jam or marmalade
1 tbsp Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Tart Plum,Almond