RECIPE: Curried Parsnip Soup


When people think of parsnips, they usually think of roasted parsnips with a roast dinner. However, they are a delicious ingredient to include in soup. They have a sweet and earthy flavour that works well with spices and the texture is perfect for blending. Here is how to make curried parsnip soup.

Ingredients for Curried Parsnip Soup

  • 6 large parsnips
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Curried Parsnip Soup

  1. Heat the oven to about 180 degrees C or gas mark 4.
  2. Peel and thinly slice one of the parsnips and spread out on a baking tray. Sprinkle with half the cumin, some salt and drizzle with half the oil.
  3. Bake the parsnips for approximately 20 minutes, or until they are golden and the edges have become crisp.
  4. While the parsnips are cooking, put a small frying pan over a medium heat and toast the remaining cumin, the turmeric and chilli powder for one minute.
  5. Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the remaining oil and fry the chopped onion for approximately seven minutes.
  6. Chop the remaining parsnips and crush the garlic. Add these to the pan with the onion.
  7. Add the toasted spices and stir.
  8. Add the vegetable stock and increase the heat to bring the mixture to the boil
  9. Once boiling, season with salt and black pepper and reduce the heat to medium to simmer for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat and blend with either a stick blender or a food processor.
  11. Serve into soup bowls and decorate with the parsnip crisps.

RECIPE: Creamy Mushroom Soup

mushroom soup

Mushroom soup is perfect all year round as it is both warming for the autumn and winter months, and a light meal option for spring and summer. It is also a quick and easy meal to make that is budget-friendly. Here is how to make mushroom soup. 

Ingredients for Mushroom Soup

  • 300g button mushrooms
  • 300g chestnut mushrooms
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75 ml double cream

How to Make Mushroom Soup

Clean and slice the mushrooms

.Crush the garlic and then chop the onions and celery.

Add the butter and oil to a large saucepan and put over a medium heat on the hob.

Add the celery, onions and garlic and cook for two minutes.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and add the pan lid.

Cook for a further five minutes.

Add the vegetable stock to the pan and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Season with salt and black pepper and then blend the mixture

Add the cream and simmer for a few minutes before removing from the heat and serving into soup bowls. 




RECIPE: Vegetable Thai Red Curry

thai red curry

Thai food is full of different flavours due to the wide range of herbs and spices used in authentic Thai cuisine. One of my personal favourite dishes is vegetable Thai red curry as it is creamy with an after kick of spice. This is a delicious meal that is suitable for all the family, including vegetarians. Here is how to make a vegetable Thai red curry. 

Ingredients for Vegetable Thai Red Curry

  • 1 courgette (zucchini)
  • 2 carrots
  • I red pepper
  • 100g green beans
  • 8 spring onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli
  • 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste, ready-made or fresh using this recipe
  • 2 tins coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

How to Make Vegetable Thai Red Curry

  1. Prepare the paste if you are using homemade following the instructions in this recipe.
  2. Slice the peppers and courgettes, julienne the carrots, and chop the green beans into one-centimetre strips.
  3. Add the carrots and green beans to boiling water and cook for five minutes before draining.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a pan and put over a medium heat.
  5. Add the chilli and crushed garlic to the pan and fry for two minutes.
  6. Add the curry paste to the pan and cook for a further two minutes to release the flavours.
  7. Add all the vegetables to the pan and stir around so they are lightly coated with the paste, garlic, and chilies. Cook for a further two minutes.
  8. Add the coconut milk and stir into the mixture.
  9. Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  10. Serve with jasmine or long grain rice. 





RECIPE: Thai Red Curry Paste

curry paste.png

Although Thai red curry paste is widely available in the shops, it is well worth the effort of making your own as this has a fresher and more flavoursome taste. You can then use this paste to make delicious meat or vegetarian Thai red curries. Here is how to make Thai red curry paste.

Ingredients for Thai Red Curry Paste

  • 2 red chillies
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 40 g chopped coriander leaves

How to Make Thai Red Curry Paste

  1. Remove the stalks from the chillies and peel the garlic and shallot.
  2. Crush the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar before transferring to a food processor.
  3. Add all the other ingredients into a food processor.
  4. Blend to create a smooth paste.

TIP- For vegetarian curries, omit the fish sauce and add some salt.

RECIPE: Fresh Salsa


Salsa is a fantastic accompaniment to serve alongside many other meals. The fresh flavours make it a great way of spicing up an otherwise bland meal or of adding contrast to richer foods. There are many different recipes and ways of making salsa as each person will add their own twist to suit their own tastes. The recipe I use is inspired by one devised by Delia Smith. Here is a quick and easy salsa recipe.

Ingredients for Salsa

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Salsa

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds and skin
  2. Finely dice the tomato flesh.
  3. Finely dice the red onion and chop the coriander.
  4. Deseed and finely chop the chilli.
  5. Remove the juice from the lime.
  6. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper.

RECIPE: Chilli Con Carne


Chilli con carne is a favourite in my household. My children have quite diverse tastes as I have brought them up eating a variety of cuisine, so spicy dishes are not an issue. Everyone loves this Mexican-inspired meat dish and I serve it in a variety of different ways. Most commonly, we eat it with rice, tortilla chips, soured cream and guacamole. However, it is also a great filling in tortilla wraps, jacket potatoes, or loaded potato skins. Here is how to make chilli con carne for six people.

Ingredients for Chilli Con Carne

  • I kg lean minced beef
  • 1 red and 1 green pepper
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • I beef stock cube
  • 2 chillies, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Chilli Con Carne

  1. Dice the peppers, crush the garlic and finely chop the chillies.
  2. Add the oil to a pan and put over a medium heat.
  3. Add the chillies, peppers and garlic to the pan and cook for two minutes.
  4.  Add the minced beef to the pan and brown.
  5. Once the mince is browned, add the chilli powder, paprika and cumin.
  6. Stir in all the spices and leave to cook for a further ten minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the mince.
  7. Crumble the beef stock cube into 300 ml of hot water, stir, and then pour over the mince in the pan.
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.
  9. Stir the mixture thoroughly and then bring to the boil.
  10. Turn down the heat so the mixture is simmering and place a lid on the pan.
  11. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  12. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and add them to the pan. Stir into the chilli mix and bring back to the boil.
  13. Leave to stand for ten minutes to allow the flavours to develop and then serve.


Spice levels- In my house, we enjoy spicy food. However, if you prefer your food less spicy, it is easy to adapt the levels of spice. SImply use fewer chillies and less chilli powder, cumin and garlic.




RECIPE: Cauliflower Cheese


Cauliflower cheese is a delicious accompaniment to a meal and works particularly well with roasted meats, pies, and fish. It is also a tasty meal in its own right for vegetarians. Some people are deterred from making cauliflower cheese at home as they are worried that the cheese sauce is complicated to make. However, this is not the case as this recipe is quick and easy to make. Here is how to make cauliflower cheese.

Ingredients for Cauliflower Cheese

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 oz/ 50 g butter
  • 2 oz/ 50 g plain flour
  • 6 oz/ 160 g cheese for the sauce
  • 3 oz/ 80 g cheese for topping
  • 1200 ml/ 2-pint milk
  • Black pepper and salt

How to Make Cauliflower Cheese

  1. Measure your ingredients first.
  2. Remove the leaves and main stem from the cauliflower, then break into florets.
  3. Add the cauliflower to a pan of salted boiling water.
  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, start the cheese sauce.
  5. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. 
  6. Sieve the flour into the melted butter and stir.
  7. Cook for two minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk a little at a time continuously stirring until you have created a smooth sauce.
  9. Season with the salt and black pepper .
  10. Simmer gently over a low heat for approximately eight minutes.
  11. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese.
  12. Drain the cauliflower before adding to a large, oven-proof dish. Any excess water will cause the sauce to split, so dabbing with kitchen paper can help to make sure the broccoli and cauliflower are thoroughly dry.
  13. Pour over the cheese sauce so it is evenly distributed.
  14. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of the dish.
  15. Cook on a high heat in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top of the dish is golden brown. 


Cauliflower and Broccoli Gratin– Adding broccoli, mustard, and breadcrumbs to this dish makes a great vegetarian meal. Read the recipe here.

Meat Lovers– Add some leftover ham to the cauliflower cheese before transferring to the oven if you prefer meat dishes.