Curried Parsnip and Carrot Soup (4)


I can imagine being in a cosy British gastro pub with a log fire, where the specials of the day are written on blackboards, and ordering this warming soup as a starter. Carrots and parsnips go well together and I often include them in the mixed roast veg. I do when serving the weekly Sunday roast. I decided to use curry paste (Patak’s Original Concentrated Curry Paste – Hot) instead of curry powder for this soup and I think it gave a better flavor – you can taste the curry but not so much that it masks the vegetables. The carrots and parsnips should be cut into pieces of the same size.

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion – diced

1 large clove of garlic – grated

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1 tbsp. curry paste

4 oz. carrots – peeled and chopped into small pieces

8 oz. parsnips – peeled and cut into small pieces

4 cups broth – vegetable or chicken

Heat the oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when nice and hot add the onion and let brown before adding the garlic.

Cook for a minute or two then stir in the turmeric and curry paste and stir well.

Tip in the carrots and parsnips and cook for a few minutes stirring until they are covered with turmeric and the paste.

Pour over 4 cups of broth.

Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Process the soup with a hand-held blender or in a food processor.

Taste and season with a little salt, if necessary.




Spicy Peanut Noodles (2)


The local Chinese restaurant near me does a spicy noodle dish as a side which is served cold Now that we live far away I don’t seem to have come across it. So I experimented and have, I think, come up with a good approximation. Getting the correct balance of ingredients and consistency has been an interesting process – a little bit of this, a little bit of that, how salty do you want it – until it finally tastes right. I combined the sauce with rice noodles and ate it as a vegetarian meal with scallions scattered over the top, but it could also be a dipping sauce for crudites, if you don’t dilute it too much, or as a satay sauce for chicken.

Boiling water – both for cooking rice noodles and for diluting the peanut sauce

4 oz. rice noodles

Pour boiling water over the rice noodles in a pan and let stand for 10 minutes during which time you can make the sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter

2 large cloves of garlic – finely grated

Bunch of scallions – finely chopped (reserve some for sprinkling over the top)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce (depending on how salty you like things)

Juice of half a lime

Boiling water to dilute sauce to a coating consistency for the noodles.

Place the peanut butter, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and lime juice in a bowl and whisk together, adding boiling water to get the desired consistency.

Pour sauce over the noodles, mix together well and sprinkle chopped scallions over the top.

Serve immediately or you will find that the sauce tends to thicken up again.



Tamarind Orange Chicken (4)



Tamarind paste may be an ingredient you are unfamiliar with but you will probably have tasted it in Asian or Indian cooking. The flavor by itself is sour so many recipes use some sort of sweetness as a counterbalance – in this case freshly squeezed orange juice zest. Tamarind paste is easily found in Asian or Indian food stores or online if it is not stocked in your local supermarket. This dish goes well with brown rice.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large skinless chicken breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1 onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 x 2 inch piece of ginger – grated

1 tsp. turmeric

1 can of lite coconut milk

1 1/2 tbsp. tamarind paste

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest of half and orange

Cilantro – finely chopped (enough for sprinkling over the top)

Heat oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let it just start to brown before adding the garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes until you can smell the ginger then add the pieces of chicken and lightly brown.

Then stir in first the tamarind paste followed by the orange juice and zest and the coconut milk.

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with cilantro.

Pomegranate Salad with Chicken (4)


I love to sprinkle them over salads adding both color and taste. However this recipe uses the seeds as an integral part of the dish.  It is a lovely light salad and looks very attractive. Omit the chicken and it is perfect for vegans and vegetarians.


2 x cooked chicken breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1/2 pomegranate – seeded

1 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

1/2 an English cucumber

1 avocado – cubed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lime


Line the serving dish with arugula

Place the next 6 ingredients on top of the arugula, season with salt and pepper, pour the lime juice over the salad and toss well.