Butternut & Bean Soup


Back with another recipe this week, a butternut squash and butter bean soup. Great for these colder and windy days we are having. Deliciously healthy, earthy and even creamy with the flavour of the butter beans.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a medium sized butternut squash
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (400g) butter beans, drained
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion granules
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 200 (fan) and bake the butternut squash for 45 minutes to an hour.
  2. Once you’ve removed the squash from the oven, scoop out its contents, disposing of the skin and place in a bowl. Using the back of a fork, thoroughly mush the squash until it’s mashed but not fully puréed, then leave to one side.
  3. Get yourself a saucepan and on medium heat, start by frying the garlic in the oil for a minute.
  4. Then add the squash, add all the seasonings and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the butter beans and fry for another 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the stock, mix and leave to cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add a generous sprig of rosemary, cover and leave for an additional 5 minutes and then serve.

Enjoy ☺️

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Persimmon & Burrata Salad

That’s right guys, we are back with a cheeky little autumnal recipe. Keeping it nice and simple with this first week back, plus, let’s be honest it’s not so cold out there for this time of the year so I think we can get away with a salad, albeit a ‘warmish’ salad.
As a kid I had known persimmon as ‘Kaki’ fruit as that’s the word my parents had taught it to me as. In Italian it’s referred to as Kaki and it wasn’t until much later in life that I discovered that here in the UK it is called a persimmon and I’ve also heard it referred to as Sharon fruit? I don’t know where the Sharon comes from but hey?! Now I’m just going off on fruit names, let’s get back to the good stuff. Go on have a lil’ read of this recipe, you know you want to give this a go…

Ingredients:

  • 2 Persimmon/ Kaki fruit, cut into rings
  • 1 Burrata, drained
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 fan. Evenly distribute the persimmon rings on the baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flip them over half way through.
  2. In the meantime, take a small bowl and add the mustard, golden syrup, olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
  3. Dress your dish of choice by starting with the persimmon, then using your hands tear the burrata and delicately place on and around the fruit. Drizzle over the dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Courgette, Halloumi & Tahini Salad

Autumn is just beginning which means courgettes are at their best. They’re often overlooked but this recipe gives them a leading role. Perfect for a quick and easy lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette, sliced into rings
  • 115g halloumi, sliced into batons
  • Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 50g fine bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan) or grill at medium-high heat. Either using the same or two baking trays place the courgettes and halloumi into the oven or grill and leave for 10 minutes. Check after this time and flip both the courgette and halloumi. Cook for a further 5 minutes or so or until the courgette and halloumi are lightly- golden brown.
  2. Prepare the bulgur wheat according to the packet and set aside.
  3. Take a small bowl and mix the tahini and the tablespoon of water together thoroughly. Initially, it may look like it has separated but keep stirring and until they combine and the liquid thickens a little. Then add the lemon and do the same until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour in the olive oil, parsley, and mint into the bulgur wheat and mix.
  5. Take your dish of choice and start assembling all the components. Start with the bulgur at the bottom and then the courgette and halloumi, distributing both evening around the plate. Finally, drizzle over the tahini dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Black Bean & Mushroom Barley

I can never understand why Pearl Barley doesn’t get as much love as other grains. Sure, it takes a bit longer to cook but its flavour is insane! It can hold its own against the earthy combo of the Black Beans and Mushrooms and the little kick at the end completes it perfectly. If you’ve never tried out Pearl Barley (or even if you have) then this is definitely worth a go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 closed cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 100g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1 dsp Worcestershire sauce

Method:

  1. Start by frying the mushrooms for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally on medium heat.
  2. Then, pour in the olive oil and add the garlic and fry until the garlic starts to lightly brown.
  3. Add the black beans and the seasonings, mix and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the syrup, Worcestershire sauce and stock, mix well, cover and drop the heat. Leave to cook for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the barley has softened but still has a bite to it.

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Peach Salad

Who said that fruit can only be eaten in a sweet setting? The baked peaches in this salad go amazingly well with the salty feta and peppery rocket. An easy lunch or something to bring along to a picnic if you’re in the mood for something different.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 peaches, stone removed and quartered
  • 120g feta, crumbled
  • 1 handful rocket
  • 70g fennel, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C (fan), gas mark 4.
  2. Place the peach pieces on a baking tray and place in the oven; bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Using a small bowl, mix the olive oil, golden syrup and season with a pinch of salt and leave to one side.
  4. Then build the salad starting with the rocket, spread the leaves making a green base.
  5. Distribute the fennel evenly along with the feta. Add the peach quarters and drizzle over the syrup dressing and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Black Olive Dip

It’s another warm weekend here in London. Keeping food light, healthy and not too heavy is the way to go.

Ingredients:

  • 12 pitted black olives
  • 2 tbsp natural Greek yogurt
  • 215g butter beans, drained
  • 1 tsp water
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 dsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

1. Using a food processor, blitz all ingredients together until smooth. Serve with some dried oregano a drizzle of olive oil and a few olives.

Enjoy ☺️

Baked Aubergine with Halloumi & Tomato

There’s nothing better than veggies that are in season! The colour, the taste and texture wakes up your senses and wonders how something can look and taste so good. This recipe celebrates two incredible ingredients that are in season at the mo – aubergine and tomato. Roasting the aubergine whole brings the flavours out best – the insides slowly steaming in its own juices. If you aren’t lucky enough to have your own tomato vines at home, I would: 1) 100% recommend you try next year and 2) go out of your way to buy the freshest and best ones you can get your hands on. Paired with the salty Halloumi this dish is quintessential summer; you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 170g halloumi, patted dry with a kitchen towel and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 sweet on the vine tomatoes
  • 1 dsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 dried oregano
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • Chilli flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 or Gas Mark 6.
  2. Using a knife, pierce several holes in the aubergine. Place on a baking tray in the centre of the oven and leave to cook for 40-45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked remove from the oven, scoop out the tender aubergine and discard the skin and leave to one side.
  3. In a frying pan, start by cooking the garlic in the olive oil for a couple minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the juices start to release.
  5. Add all the seasonings and the tomato puree and cook for a minute, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add in the shredded aubergine and mix well.
  7. Pour in the water, mix and leave to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened.
  8. Using a separate pan, fry the halloumi on both sides until lightly browned- golden.
  9. Upon serving, add the lemon to the aubergine mix and stir. Then assemble your dish with the halloumi on top and a sprinkling of chilli flakes (optional).

Enjoy 🙂

Borlotti Bean Curry

That’s right guys, you read correctly bortlotti bean curry, tasty, full of flavour and a little summin different to indulge in during the week or at the weekend.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 large vine tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 ground cumin
  • 120ml water
  • Salt
  • Natural yogurt (optional)

Method:

  1. On medium heat start by heating the beans and the bay leaves for a couple of minutes.
  2. Then add the oil, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, all the seasonings including the salt and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Put in the puree and fry for a minute, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour in the water and leave to simmer for 8-10 minutes and then serve.
    Optional: upon serving add a spoonful of natural yogurt for added creaminess and to balance the spiciness.

Best served hot with some rice and poppadoms 🙂