Recipe index

Starters

Caponata
Carrot, Orange and Mustard Soup
Celery and Cashew Nut Soup
Lentil and Chestnut Soup
Mini Red Onion Tatins
Pumpkin, Prawn and Coconut Soup


Carrot, Orange and Mustard Soup

Ingredients

4 carrots
2 potatoes
2 sticks celery
1 large onion
1 orange
1 pint veg stock
2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
Pepper and Salt
Olive Oil

Method

Chop vegetables quite small, fry in pressure cooker base for a short time using the oil. Add grated rind of orange and juice, stock, pepper and salt and mustard. Pressure-cook on high for ten minutes.

Whoosh in food processor.

To serve - warm through - add yoghurt.

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Lentil and Chestnut Soup
Serves 4

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium leek, roughly chopped and washed
A few sprigs of thyme
A good knob of butter
250g split peas or orange lentils
1.5 litres vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g shelled weight of fresh, vacuum-packed or canned chestnuts
Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the onion, leek and thyme until soft. Add the split peas or lentils and vegetable stock, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add half the chestnuts, remove from the heat and blend in a liquidiser until smooth. You can blend it less for a more robust, coarser soup if you wish. Roughly chop the rest of the chestnuts, add to the soup and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary. Bring back to the boil and serve.

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Mini Red Onion Tatins

MAKES 20

2 red onions
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
salt, black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
100g (3oz) puff pastry
100g (3oz) caster sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 thyme sprigs, roughly chopped, to garnish

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

2 - 12-cup bun tins or 2 - 12-cup mini muffin tin, 5cm (2in) plain pastry cutter

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6. Cut each onion quarter across into 5 pieces, about 0.5cm (1/4inch) each.

Place pieces on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with chopped thyme, salt, pepper and oil. Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, roll out pastry on a floured surface to a 0.5cm (1/4inch) thickness. Stamp out 20 rounds with the pastry cutter. Put sugar and water in a small pan and stir to dissolve. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook to a dark caramel.

Divide caramel evenly among 20 of the muffin cups. Arrange 2 onion pieces over the caramel in each muffin cup. Press pastry rounds on top. Bake until pastry is crisp and golden, 10 minutes. Cool slightly before turning out. Sprinkle with thyme and drizzle with vinegar. Serve warm.

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Pumpkin, Prawn and Coconut Soup

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
450g ripe unskinned seeded pumpkin flesh
400g cooked prawns
1 tsp fresh lime juice
2 medium onions finely chopped
Small knob of butter
50ml vegetable stock
tsp smoked paprika
tsp nutmeg
1 400ml can of coconut milk
1 200g pack coconut cream dissolved in 600 ml boiling water
Nam Pla (fish sauce) to taste
Tabasco Sauce to taste
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)


Method

1. Dice the pumpkin and steam until soft.
2. Caramelise the onions in the butter.
3. Place pumpkin, half the prawns, paprika, nutmeg, lime juice, vegetable stock in a food processor and whizz until it is a smooth paste.
4. Pour the thin coconut milk into a pan with the dissolved coconut cream and add the processed paste and the rest of the prawns. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
5. Season to taste with Nam Pla and Tabasco.
6. Stir in the basil leaves and serve immediately.


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