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.




Pork Chops and Honey Mustard Roasted Vegetables (4)


The only roasted vegetable I ever remember eating as a child was a roast potato. Nowadays they appear in many guises on many menus – roasted Brussels sprouts seem particularly popular. I love the way you can mix so many vegetables together in one dish. You can keep it simple and just toss them in oil and pop them in the oven or you can add some herbs or, in this case, honey and mustard. Most Sundays I cook a roast of some sort and there is nothing better than surrounding the meat with a bunch of vegetables and potatoes and letting them all cook together. It is best if the vegetables are cut to approximately the same size and, depending on what you are roasting them with, to make them larger or smaller pieces (larger if roasting with a whole chicken, smaller if, as in this case when I cooked them with pork chops). Of course you could always roast the vegetables without any meat and they would make a perfect vegetarian dish.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 pork chops

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large clove of garlic – grated

3 oz. carrots – peeled and diced

3 oz. parsnips – peeled and diced

3 oz. beetroot – peeled and diced

3 oz. butternut squash – peeled and diced

3 oz. new potatoes – cut into pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Honey Mustard Sauce

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. olive oil

Put the pork chops in a large roasting pan.

Place garlic and vegetables in a large bowl, pour over the oil, season with salt and pepper

and toss well together.

Arrange the veg. around the pork and cook for around 35 minutes until chops are cooked and veg. are tender.

Spoon the honey mustard mixture over the vegetables reserving a little to put on each chop. Stir the veg. so they are evenly coated with the sauce before serving.



Good Ol’ Chicken Stew (4)


Love stews served with mashed potatoes to soak up the juices. Browning the onions and searing the meat makes all the difference to the end product by providing a depth of flavor to the sauce. I mashed half of the cannellini beans to thicken the gravy. Perfect autumn dish.

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

2 medium onions – finely chopped

2 chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces

2 cups of chicken broth

8 oz. carrots – cut into 1 inch chunks

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

1 x 15 oz can of canellini beans – crush half of them with a potato masher

Heat 1 tbsp. of the seasoned oil in a Dutch oven and when sizzling add the onions and let soften and brown. Then remove them to a plate.

Add the second tbsp. of oil to the Dutch oven and when sizzling add the chicken pieces and sear on all sides.

Place onion back with the chicken and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour.


Fall Soup (4)


This soup is a beautiful orange color and reminds me of the leaves as they turn and soup season begins. I teamed butternut squash with carrots and sweet potato and added some ginger and some coconut milk to make a delicious, smooth and filling soup.

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

8 oz. onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – finely chopped

2 inch piece of ginger – peeled and finely grated

1 pound butternut squash – peeled and cut into bite-size chunks

12 oz. sweet potato – peeled and cut into bite-size chunks

8 oz. carrots – peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

3 cups veg. broth/stock

1 x 13.66 fl.oz. (403 ml) can of lite coconut milk

Heat seasoned olive oil in a cast iron casserole dish.

When sizzling, add onion and cook for a few minutes before adding the garlic and ginger. Let onion soften and brown slightly

Add all veg. together with broth/stock.

Bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Add coconut milk.

Process in food processor.

Citrus Sprouts Slaw (4)


Wonderfully healthy and crunchy salad with an orange mustard dressing.

8 oz. Brussels sprouts – thinly sliced

2 carrots – grated

4 oz. celery root –  peeled, sliced and cut into small pieces

2 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

Handful of raisins

Combine the above ingredients in a salad bowl and toss well with the dressing

Orange Mustard Dressing

Juice and pulp of 1 orange

1 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well before pouring over salad.


Curried Carrots and Sweet Potato (4)

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This vegetable puree has tamarind concentrate as the secret ingredient and is a great addition to the curry flavor. If you dip your finger in the concentrate you will find it rather sour or tart but this is toned down when added to other ingredients. I added some turmeric to the curry spices as it is meant to be so good for you. This recipe brims with goodness. I roasted the vegetables and then pureed them with the addition of some vegetable broth/stock.

1 sweet potato – peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

8 oz. carrots – peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

1 tbsp. each of cumin, ground coriander and garam masala

1 tsp. turmeric

Pinch of salt

3 tbsp. olive oil (+ one extra halfway through cooking)

1 cup vegetable broth/stock

1 tbsp. tamarind concentrate

Place carrot and sweet potato chunks in a roasting dish.

In a small bowl combine spices and salt with 3 tbsp. olive oil and mix well, then pour over veg. and toss them in this mixture.

Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees, but stir after 30 minutes and add another tbsp. olive oil.

Stir tamarind concentrate into veg. broth.

Puree carrots and sweet potato in food processor adding tamarind broth mixture as you go.


Jo’s Vegetable Pie (4)


What to do with a surfeit of lentils? Had already made soup. How about a veggie version of Shepherd’s Pie? To lentils I added peas, cannellini beans, carrots and ‘passata’ (tomato sauce). The topping was horseradish mashed potato

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

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 medium carrots – cut into slices and then each slice cut into quarters

3 cups cooked lentils

1 can of cannellini beans

1 cup frozen peas

24 oz passata (I use the ‘Flora’ brand)

Heat oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let brown, then add garlic and carrots and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add rest of ingredients one at a time, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place mixture in ovenproof serving dish, top with horseradish mash (see below) and cook in oven at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes.

For the mashed potato topping I took 2 largish potatoes and mashed them with 4 tsps. of prepared horseradish (Gold’s brand).