Author: Suzanne James

Spicy Parsnip Soup

For me it isn’t so much about a diet in January, but more about getting back to basics.  After all the sweet, rich Christmas food I really enjoy getting the more basic but very warming dishes that this time of year brings.  This soup is a real winter warmer that is very easy to make. Spicy Parsnip Soup (serves 4) Ingredients 700g parsnips 2 tsp curry powder 1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil 2 medium onions 2 or 3 medium potatoes 2 cloves garlic 2 pints vegetable stock Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the peeled and chopped onion. Cook gently for about 5 minutes then add the crushed garlic and the curry powder. Leave to simmer gently for a few minutes then add the peeled and chopped parsnips. Give it all a good stir then add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1-2 hours. Blend the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor. Serve with chunks of wholemeal bread.   Enjoy! In season at …

Satsumas in brandy

  One of the nicest things about Christmas has to be all the ‘naughty but nice’ nibbles we get to enjoy.  The shops have plenty to choose from, but I really like to make my own, and there are plenty of options that are quick an easy – here are two of my favorites; Satsumas in brandy Ingredients 1kg satsumas peeled 350g caster sugar 450ml brandy Optional – Star Anise & Cinnamon Sticks Method Pack the satsumas into clean sterilised jars, layering with sugar as you go and pushing the star anise & cinnamon sticks in around them (If using).  Leave at least 3cm at the top of the jar. Pour in the brandy, tapping the side of the jar to remove any air pockets. Seal the jars, shake well and store in a dark cupboard for up to 1 month. Serve cold from the jar, or heated gently in a saucepan with cream. Fruitcake Truffles Whilst whipping up your Christmas Cake, why not make a little extra and use it for this fabulous recipe. …

Roasted chestnut and mushroom pate recipe

Chestnuts are now in season, don’t wait for December, they are good enough to eat now. They are a great source of vitamin C as well as vitamins B1, B2, and B6 and folic acid. Choose firm, shiny chestnuts to create this delicious recipe. Roasted Chestnut and Mushroom Pate; This recipe makes a big bowl of pate, which will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Ingredients: 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 medium parsnip, peeled & diced 2 tbsps olive oil 250g cooked chestnuts, chopped 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 150g shitake or wild mushrooms, sliced 25g butter (optional) 2 tbsps brandy 1 tbsp lemon juice handful of flat parsley, chopped freshly ground black pepper sea salt Method: Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Roast the parsnip in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 20 minutes, until soft and beginning to colour. In a large frying pan, fry the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until soft, but not browned. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add …

Apple, and quince tart with a hazelnut crumble topping

If you have a tree bearing the old-fashioned quinces, don’t let them go to waste — it is a wonderful fruit that is ideal for poaching, stewing, or baking as a dessert as well as being ideal for use in jams, jellies and preserves because of its high pectin content.  I love to combine them with Apples and this is one of my favourite recipes – the perfumed quince puree and hazelnut crumble really make this apple tart special: Apple, and quince tart with a hazelnut crumble topping (serves 4) Allow approximately 1.5 hours Ingredients For the tart 30g unsalted butter 2 Quince, peeled, cored and chopped 3-4 tbsp caster sugar 230g pre-rolled puff pastry 1 egg yolk 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced (Cox’s orBraeburnswork well) Honey to drizzle 30g unsalted butter, melted For the hazelnut crumble 100g Self Raising flour 50g butter 50g sugar 50g chopped hazelnuts Method Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Melt the butter in a pan, add the chopped quinces and cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir …

Beef, Carrot & Chickpea Burgers

Schools out for summer! It’s time to celebrate with a good BBQ, and if you want to keep it healthy here is a great way to get children eating veggies and pulses without them even knowing!  This is truly, absolutely my favourite burger recipe; I hope you like it too! Beef, Carrot & Chickpea Burgers Ingredients 400g lean minced beef 500g carrots, peeled, finely grated and squeezed gently to dry them out a little A 425g tin of chickpeas 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, grated 1” piece of fresh horseradish, grated 1 egg 1 tablespoon of olive oil Method Sweat the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened. Whizz together the chickpeas, carrot and egg in a blender until a thick paste is formed.  Add the mince and mix thoroughly (preferably by hand). Add the onions and garlic to the mix along with the grated horseradish.  Use your hands to combine the mixture well.  Season carefully. Shape the mixture into 4 equal burgers, approximately 3cm thick Ideally chill …