Monthly Archives: January 2019

Sweet Potato Satay Soup

I love a good soup.   This Sweet Potato Satay one is pretty special.  Ok I know it’s not a flavour combo you’d probably expect in a soup but it works.    It’s warm and spicy with the flavours of chilli, garlic and ginger and sweet and earthy with red lentils, carrots and the sweet potatoes themselves.  It’s full of good things that fight both a cold and the cold itself,  and yet it’s satay flavours lend themselves to being eaten in warmer weather when you need a pick up.  It’s “accidentally” vegan, gluten free and if you have a nut allergy works as a spiced sweet potato soup if you don’t add the peanut element.  It’s an all round winner!

Of course the use of the peanut satay flavours in this soup doesn’t make this an authentic Indonesian dish   We are entering the same battlefield as M&S are at the moment with their biryani wrap in terms of authenticity.  To call a soup satay (which historically was essentially a meat kebab) is technically incorrect,  but my use of satay here does give you an extremely good idea of this soups flavour profile which I can’t think of any other way of doing so succinctly.

Depending on the time of year, I like to adjust this soup’s thickness/viscosity.   In the winter I like it thick and almost dhal like.  In the summer, by letting the blended soup down by adding water, I like it looser and more of a traditional soup consistency.  This is all a matter of personal preference of course so do whatever feels right for you. Continue reading

Creme Caramel

Imagine a soft, silky quivering custard topped with a rich, toffee amber caramel sauce and you have crème caramel.   It is such a simple, family (and budget) friendly dish that only uses 4 ingredients (milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla) to make something quite special. Yet it is often overlooked in favour of the more popular, and far richer,  crème brulee. Yet Creme Caramel is a French classic in its own right

Creme Caramel can quite happily be made 48hrs in advance and kept in the fridge.   It can be made in one large dish for the family or, if you want it to be smarter, made in individual portions.   Its is delicious on its own or with fruit – imagine that caramel sauce seeping into sliced clementines/oranges.   Whichever way you serve it, I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t end up scraping every last bit of it off the plate (or licking the plate if they think they can get away with it – naming no names!!) Continue reading

Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

When its dreary and cold, or as the Scots would say “dreich”, I always crave something zesty and full of sunshine and this salad gives me all of that simply and quickly with its Mediterranean flavours of aniseed fennel, salty olives and the bright zesty sunshine taste of the oranges.  That’s the strange thing;  oranges (and indeed all citrus fruit), which look like bright orange orbs of sunshine, are at their best right now, in January. Winter.  Not a lot of sunshine.  Duh?

Most importantly, and particularly so for all you who share Paddington’s favourite food, Seville Oranges have arrived!! Y Viva Espana!!  NOTE:  Hurry as they are only here for a few weeks although you can buy them and stick them whole in the freezer if you haven’t time to make marmalade right now. Continue reading