It’s time to brighten up your midweek dinner. Try a new soup with a twist, but maybe don’t serve it to the children, give them fish fingers instead😉
This soup is quite thick, velvety, with a slightly bitter note of Ale. If you love Ale, you’ll love this soup.
CHEDDAR AND ALE SOUP
(Adapted from ‘Delicious’ magazine)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 big potatoes (I used ‘King Edward’), peeled and diced
50g plain flour
250ml vegetable stock
250ml full fat milk
500ml pale Ale
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon English mustard
200 mature Cheddar, grated (plus some more to serve – optional)
- In a big pan melt butter and oil. Add the onion and cook it about 4 minutes until it becomes translucent. Add celery and potatoes, cover and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in the flour, cook for 1 minute.
- Add the stock, milk and Ale. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard, then liquidise until smooth.
- Return to the pan and heat up gently, if required.
- Stir in grated Cheddar until melted, season and serve with nice crusty bread.
Hello October! It’s getting noticeably cooler outside, it’s time for us to dust off the pie dishes and casseroles. Personally, I can think of nothing better what represent this time of year like apples, and this is one of my absolute favourite autumnal puddings.
This recipe was adapted from Simon Rimmer, via BBC Food.
APPLE & CHEESE COBBLER
4-5 apples, depends on the size (Bramley or Cox work best), cut into thick wedges
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the topping:
225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
100g butter, cold, cut in cubes
175ml soured cream
150g Cheshire cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Peel and chop the apples, place them in a pan with sugar, butter and cinnamon, and cook gently until just tender and caramelised. Transfer the apples into the prepared pie dish.
- For the topping, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor or rub it with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the soured cream and pulse (or mix with the spoon) until the mixture comes together as a thick dough.
- Spoon the cobbler dough on top of the apples, then crumble the cheese on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.
I’m still on the fence about what this is. Is it a pâté or is it a hummus? It’s smooth and blended, that’s what unites these two, but it lacks the hefty butter content or cream cheese usually in a pâté. On the other hand it has puy lentils, which can classify it as a hummus. Because of these factors, it is a light, healthy flavoursome blend, which can be spread, dipped in, or topped on salads. Enjoy!
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
2 garlic clove, chopped
400g cooked green lentils (puy lentil)
handful of chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil and butter in saucepan, add the onion, carrot, garlic and sauté 5-7 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove aside.
- Place the mushroom mixture along with the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce,thyme in the food processor or blender and pulse to the preferred (coarse or smooth) consistency. Season well with salt and pepper, or lemon juice.
- Scrape the mixture into a small serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
This delicious blackberry and peach tray bake celebrates the classic combination of these two fruits. Serve it as part of a seasonal afternoon tea or simply with a cup of coffee with a generous helping of clotted cream.
BLACKBERRY & PEACH STREUSEL TRAY BAKE
(Adapted from BBC Good Food)
For the topping:
175g plain flour
140g light muscovado sugar
140g butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the cake:
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
175g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 tablespoons milk
2-3 peaches, sliced (or canned fruit in natural juice)
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan oven. Grease a 23cm square cake tin with butter or oil and line with the parchment paper.
- Put the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse it until it resembles a sticky crumble.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cake ingredients, except milk and fruits, gradually adding enough milk to make a creamy mixture that drops from the spoon. Spread the batter in the tin, arrange the peach slices on top, followed by blackberries. Then top with the crumble and press down lightly.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until golden and skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin, cut into 16 squares and dust with icing sugar.
This salad combines all my favourite ingredients. It is perfect for this time of year, as the courgettes are at its best at the moment. You can also leave the vegetables to marinate for a couple of hours before serving, but always fry halloumi at the last minute, as it is best served warm.
CARROT, COURGETTE AND HALLOUMI SALAD
(adapted from Waitrose magazine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 large carrots
50g cashew nuts
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
250g halloumi, cut into 1cm slices
- To make a dressing whisk the oils, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger together in a large bowl. Using a vegetable peeler or a spiraliser, peel ribbons of the courgettes and carrots into the bowl with the dressing, toss it all together, set aside to marinade while you prepare everything else.
- In a large non-stick frying pan toast the cashew nuts for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat until golden, set aside. Next toast the sesame seeds for 2-3 minutes, set aside with the nuts.
- Fry halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden.
- Lift the vegetables from the dressing and put on a plate. Top with the halloumi and scatter over the nuts and seeds. Serve immediately while the cheese is still warm, spooning over a little extra dressing, if you like.
This is what I call summer edition Flapjacks, it’s much healthier, light, fresh and tangy, packed with summer flavours.
LEMON AND RASPBERRY FLAPJACKS
(Adapted from Olive magazine)
100g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
250g rolled porridge oats
30g flaked almonds
2-3 lemons (depends on the size), zested and juiced
125g golden caster sugar
3 tablespoons plain flour
icing sugar for decoration (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C.
- Gently melt the butter, sugar and honey together, stir in the oats and almonds. Tip the mixture into a 20x20cm buttered and lined tin. Pack the oats mix in the bottom gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes until the base is set and crisp. Take it from the oven and let it cool, while you make the topping.
- Mix the lemon zest, eggs and sugar, then stir in the flour and finally the lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Pour this carefully over the flapjack base, scatter the raspberries on the top at intervals. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until the top of the mixture is set. Cool completely before dusting with the icing sugar and cutting into bars.