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.




Tomato and Bacon Chutney (1 1/2 cups)


A dollop of tomato and bacon jam was served atop my bun-less, cheese-less burger the other day and it was a delicious surprise. I used maple bacon, but if you can’t find it regular bacon will do. After cooking the bacon I removed it from the skillet and placed paper towel underneath and on to of it so I could get rid of the grease. Then I browned and softened the onion and garlic in the bacon fat left in the pan. That needed paper towel too. The sauce is an interesting mixture of mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Goes well with sausages too.

8 oz. maple bacon – cut into thin strips

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

12 oz. plum tomatoes – sliced and then chopped into small chunks

2 tbsp. each of Dijon mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce

Heat a lidded skillet and when hot add the bacon strips and cook until nicely browned but not too crisp. Then remove from skillet and place between two pieces of paper towel to get rid of extra grease.

Add onion and garlic to the remainder of the bacon fat and cooked until softened and the onions are a little browned. Place onion and garlic mixture between two pieces of paper towel as above.

Place bacon, onion and garlic mixture back into the skillet and add the tomatoes.

Whisk the mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl, then pour into the skillet.

Bring to a boil then turn heat down low and cook for 25 minutes removing the skillet lid every once in a while to give the mixture a stir.


Miso Mayonnaise

photo - miso mayonnaise

Love this savory mayo. Makes enough for a dipping quantity. You can dip raw veg in it or French Fries (!). I had it in a restaurant as an accompaniment to Asian Salmon Patties. I made the mayonnaise from scratch but you could play around with the ingredients and add them to store bought mayo.

2 tbsp. gluten free miso paste (white)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. gluten free soy sauce

1/4 tsp. runny honey

1 egg yolk from large egg

1 clove garlic – chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor and whiz till mixed together.

Add olive oil a drop at a time (to prevent curdling)


Jo’s Chutney (serves 4)

Jo’s Chutney (serves 4)

Dates seem to be flavor of the month. Have never really like them but thought I would give them a go – memories of them turning up on sideboard every Christmas along with walnuts needing cracking, tangerines and Turkish Delight and not tkers for dates!

I combined dates, dried prunes and dried apricots with some curry spices, garlic, ginger, a little oil, some apple cider vinegar, and water.

I realize that most chutneys contain sugar (needed none as that was taken care of by the dates which are sweet) and vinegar (used organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar but had no idea vinegar was used in chutneys).

It was all an experiment in my kitchen but it turned out well – in fact quite delicious. I am going to eat it with roasted cauliflower tonight.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic – finely grated

Piece of ginger (size is equal from thumb knuckle to joint od thumb – didn’t have a tape measure!) – peeled and finely grated

2 oz. each of dates, dried prunes and dried apricots – chopped into small pieces

1 teasp. curry powder

1/2 teasp. garam masala

Pinch of turmeric

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

4 tbsp. water

Heat olive oil in small skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add garlic and then turn down heat so garlic doesn’t brown.

Add ginger and spices.

When aromatic smells of spices arise add dried fruit, vinegar and 2 tbsp. water.

Cook slowly for 10 minutes with a lid on skillet/frying pan, turning  fairly frequently with a spatula.

Remove from heat and place in food processor and slowly add a further 2 tbsp. of water.

photo - Jo's chutney

Prune, Lingonberry and Mustard Sauce

Prune, Lingonberry and Mustard Sauce

I use this as you would use cranberry sauce, mint sauce or redcurrant jelly – as a condiment. Good with pork chops but would go with other meats too. My supermarket stocks the Felix brand of wild lingonberries but think you can find something similar (like a jam) in Ikea’s food department, where I am sure there are lots of other interesting goodies (not near one unfortunately). Think redcurrant jelly may be a substitute.

Take 6 dried, pitted prunes (Newman’s brand) cut into small pieces, 2 tbsp. lingonberry jam, 1/2 cup veg. stock/broth and 1 teasp. Dijon mustard and place in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. If you want a smooth sauce pour it into a food processor, or else you could mash it a bit.

Jo’s Onion Marmalade

Jo’s Onion Marmalade

I am a fervent buyer of artisanal jams, chutneys, etc. Take me to a Farmer’s Market, a gift shop and you will find me browsing the goodies. The best marmalade I have ever tasted was made by a friend of my mothers in Scotland and she brought a jar whenever she visited. Excuse digression – anyway, I thought I would make some onion marmalade to go with roast pork, but I didn’t want to use any sugar. Decided to improvise using apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar, and it worked. Would also be good with sausages.

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

2 medium onions – finely sliced

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a skillet and when sizzling add onion, then immediately turn the heat down low.

Add the two vinegars.

Cover skillet  with a lid (preferably glass so you can see what is going on)

Cook for 30 minutes, stirring intermittently.

Honey Mustard

Honey Mustard

This is so delicious I had to post it. It is to dip food in – sausages would be great. Can also be a condiment on the side of a plate – roast chicken, roast pork. Think it would make a tasty vinaigrette. So easy to make it can’t be classified as cooking.

2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Put ingredients in a jar and whisk with a mini-whisk or even a fork.