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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Home sweet potato soup

My very dear friends Kristi and Paul have moved in around the corner from us. To celebrate, I'm cooking them a quick and easy soup - and would be quite happy to do so every night if meant cooking on their amazing stove!

What you need

4 sweet potatoes
1 pear
A handful of small brown or green lentils
A fistful of Coriander
1 brown onion chopped
Half a pack of feta, crumbled
1 stock cube or 1 tablespoon of bouillon
A hand-held blender, or food processor

The do
Put the kettle on.
In a big pot, sweat the onions in a glug of olive oil. Add the lentils and sweet potato.
Fry for a few minutes then add boiled water until the sweet potato is just covered. Add stock. Slow boil with lid off until sweet potato and lentils are soft. Take off the heat and very carefully blitz with the hand-held blender until smooth adding milk or soy milk to get it to your preferred consistency. Put back on the stove for a few more minutes then serve in bowls. Garnish with copious amounts of feta and coriander.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Pie in the sky

The week leading up to a holiday has an element of that blissful feeling you get after you've just quit your job. I've been going through the motions with a big grin on my face knowing that in a few days time I'll be I'm a climate warm enough to apply copious amounts of sunscreen.
Tonight Kelly - Rocky's favourite aunt - is coming over for a feed, I'm going to use up the remaining veg in the fridge so it doesn't die a slow death in my absence. It's been a busy week and there is quite a lot left so I'm going to make two - that way we can have one for tonight and the other for later.
You can use any combination of vegetables for this pie - butternut squash, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, spinach, cauliflower, celery, courgettes, carrots, sprouting broccoli, aubergine or mushrooms (pan fry with some garlic first)

Going on holiday/clearing out the fridge pie

What you need
An assortment of veg. I used:
5 small heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
4 carrots
Half a handful of runner beans, chopped
2 small handfuls of green beans, chopped
1 butternut squash, cubed

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Gluten free flour
Rice milk

For the mash
6 big potatoes
One small tub, or 3 big tablespoons of goat's yoghurt
Rice milk

Boil potatoes until soft then set aside.

Get the steamer going and throw the veg in starting with the ones that take longest to cook. I started with the carrots, then a few minutes later added the pumpkin, then 3-5 minutes later the broccoli then the beans.

Omce the veg is all lightly steamed, separate into two baking dishes and spread out evenly.

Mustard sauce
Make a White sauce; melt about 40g butter in a medium saucepan then add a few tablespoons of flour and half a teaspoon of cumin - gently blend together over a low heat, do not brown.
When throughly combined, slowly add rice milk stirring with a whisk until it's a saucy consistency. Add the mustard and salt and pepper to taste. If it's too runny add a little more flour or reduce for a little while longer. Remove from heat.
Ladle the sauce onto the veg so it is well coated.

Drain the potatoes and mash with olive oil or butter, chives and goat's yogurt
Add salt and pepper to taste
Spread mash over the veg with a fork, roughing it up so it looks like the Himalayas.
Bake at 180-200c until it is heated through then finish it off under a scorching grill so the peaks go deliciously brown and crispy.

Now you can get started on your packing...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Happy birthday Lily!

A few weeks ago we celebrated Lily's birthday in a most excellent pub in Hackney.
Before heading out, I was overcome with the sudden urge to bake, which I'm sure has absolutely nothing to do with being pregnant.
So here is Lily's birthday cake - Nigel Slater's ginger cake with a block of Green and Blacks dark chocolate melted on top.