Spiced Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Serves: 4 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 2 small fresh red chillies, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 350ml coconut milk
  • 475g peeled and diced pumpkin
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • Prep:10min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:25min 

    1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter over low heat. Cook garlic, shallots, chillies and lemon grass until fragrant (be careful not to burn the garlic). Stir in chicken stock, coconut milk and pumpkin; bring to the boil. Cook until pumpkin softens.
    2. In a blender, blend the soup in batches to a smooth or slightly chunky consistency, whatever you prefer. Serve garnished with basil leaves.

Classic Seafood Paella


  • 20-24 raw shell-on king prawns
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    500g monkfish, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion , finely chopped
  • 500g paella rice
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • pinch of saffron
  • ½ x 400g can chopped tomatoes (save the rest for the stock, below)
  • 500g mussels , cleaned
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g frozen baby broad beans
    handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped

For the stock

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • onion

    , roughly chopped

  • ½ x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • star anise


  1. Peel and de-vein the prawns, reserving the heads and shells. Return the prawns to the fridge.
  2. To make the stock, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and reserved prawn shells and heads. Cook for 3-4 mins, then pour in 2 litres of water and add the stock cube and star anise. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 mins. Leave to cool slightly, then whizz in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine sieve.
  3. Heat the oil in a large paella pan or an extra-large frying pan. Brown the monkfish for a few mins each side, then remove and set aside. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 mins until softened.
  4. Stir in the rice and cook for 30 secs to toast. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne (if using) and saffron, cook for another 30 secs, then stir in the tomatoes and 1.5 litres of the fish stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, stirring, for about 10 mins (the rice should still be al dente). Return the monkfish to the pan with the prawns, mussels, peas and broad beans.
  5. Cover the pan with a large baking tray, or foil, and cook on a low heat for another 10-15 mins until the mussels are open and the prawns are cooked through. Scatter over the parsley before serving.

Summer Rum Punch

  • 175ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 75ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 150ml good-quality golden rum
  • 50ml sugar syrup
  • dash of grenadine syrup
  • dash of Angostura bitters
  • ice cubes, to serve
  • generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 thick slices orange

    , to garnish

  • maraschino cherries

    , to garnish


  1. Pour the juices, rum, sugar syrup, grenadine and Angostura bitters into a large jug and give it a good stir. Pop into the fridge to chill for 1 hr.
  2. Serve over ice cubes, sprinkle over the nutmeg and garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry, speared with a cocktail stick.


Slow cooked Cuttlefish Curry



2 x medium cuttlefish (approx 500g each) prepared into tentacles and head

1 large onion, finely sliced
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2.5cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
400g can coconut milk
300mls best fish stock
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
A large handful of roughly chopped coriander
Squeeze of lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to Gas mark 2/160C

Prepare the cuttlefish. Wash the tentacles well to remove grit or ink, these can be sliced or left whole. Score the cuttlefish head finely in one direction only, then cut into thick strips. Refrigerate until required.

Heat the 2 tbsp of the coconut oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish, add the onion and cook over a low heat until golden brown. Add the chilli, turmeric, ginger and dry spices and stir over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. In a separate pan, fry the cuttlefish for a few seconds on either side and add to the casserole. Cover the pan and cook in the preheated oven for 90 minutes or until the cuttlefish is cooked and very tender.

Lift the cuttlefish from the pan and bring the cooking liquid to the boil. Bubble rapidly until the liquid is reduced and syrupy, stir in the yogurt, coriander and lime juice, season to taste. Replace the cuttlefish and serve with Dahl or chickpeas.

Slow Roast Salmon with Cucumber and Dill Salad


Cucumber Salad1 English (seedless) cucumber (about 1 lb)

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1 cup low-fat plain yogurt

2 tsp roughly chopped fresh dill (about 2 fronds), plus more fronds for garnish

1 pinch sugar

½ tsp finely grated orange zest

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

Fish1 ½ lb(s) center-cut salmon, skinned

¼ tsp ground turmeric

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Cucumber Salad1. Quarter the cucumber, lengthwise, and remove the seeds, but leave on the skin. Thinly slice the cucumbers and mix with the salt in a colander. Set in the sink for about 1 hour to drain. Meanwhile, place the yogurt in a coffee filter-lined strainer and set over a bowl to drain, about 1 hour.

2. Rinse the cucumbers with cold, running water. Press down on the cucumbers to extract as much liquid as possible and pat dry. Toss the cucumbers with the drained yogurt, dill, sugar, orange zest, cayenne, and season with pepper, to taste.

Fish1. Preheat the oven to 275ºF.

2. Cut the salmon lengthwise and then crosswise to make 4 equal squares of fish. Lightly sprinkle the salmon all over with a pinch of turmeric and rub in slightly to coat evenly. Season salmon with salt and pepper and place on a very lightly oiled oven-proof nonstick pan. Roast the salmon, turning the pieces carefully with a spatula after about 10 minutes, until just cooked through, about 20 minutes in all. (Slow-roasted salmon looks bright orange when done, and will be luscious in the center.) To serve, divide the cucumbers between 4 plates, top with the salmon and garnish with dill fronds.


BBQ Pork Ribs


  • olive oil
  • 2 racks of higher-welfare pork loin back ribs (about 1.6kg)
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150 ml unsweetened apple juice
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 heaped tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 100 ml low-salt soy sauce
  • 100 g soft brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Preheat your barbecue.
  2. Drizzle a little oil over the ribs, season with sea salt and black pepper and rub all over to coat.
  3. Make the marinade. Deseed and finely chop the chilli, peel and grate the ginger and garlic then place them all in a medium pan along with the apple juice, white wine vinegar, tomato ketchup, mustard, soy sauce and brown sugar.
  4. Whisk the ingredients together and place the pan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Put the ribs in a large roasting pan, brush with the marinade and cover with foil.
  6. Cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the meat pulls away from the bone easily. Baste the ribs with the marinade after 30 minutes. After 1 hour of cooking time remove the foil, baste and cook, uncovered, for the final 15 minutes, basting halfway through.
  7. Once your barbecue is hot, transfer the ribs to it. Cook over a medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer the ribs to a board and cut them up. Serve with handfuls of rocket and watercress, if you like.

Easy Flapjack


  • 250g jumbo porridge oats
  • 125g butter

  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp golden syrup
    Golden syrup

    (depending on how gooey you want it)


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixed, but be careful not to overmix otherwise the oats may lose their texture.
  2. Lightly grease a 20x20cm baking tin with butter and spoon in the mixture. Press into the corners with the back of a spoon so the mixture is flat and score into 12 squares. Bake for around 15 minutes until golden brown.

Pear and Almond Tart


  • For The Pastry:
  • 100g butter, cut into cubes
  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • For The Filling:
  • 175g soft butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 175g ground almonds
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1tsp almond extract
  • 6–8 ripe Williams pears, peeled, cored and halved
  • For Decoration:
  • apricot jam, melted and sieved, for glaze
  • 25g flaked almonds, toasted


  • If making the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the beaten egg and bring together to form a dough. If making in a processor, combine the butter, flour and icing sugar in the bowl then process until the mixture resembles ground almonds. Pour in the beaten egg and pulse the blade until the dough starts to form a ball around the central stem. Form the pastry into a smooth flat cake, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes or until manageable.
  • Make the filling in the unwashed processor. Cream the butter and sugar together, then gradually add the beaten eggs (do not worry if it looks curdled at this stage). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the ground almonds, flour and almond extract. Process for a few seconds until well incorporated. Leave this mixture in the fridge until required.
  • Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured work surface and line a flan tin 28cm in diameter, about 2.5cm deep. If possible, chill for a further 30 minutes.
  • Spoon the frangipane mixture into the pastry case and level the top using a small palette knife. Arrange the pear halves, cut side down, attractively on the filling. Be sure to leave enough room between them to allow the frangipane mixture to rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C, gas 5 and put a heavy flat baking tray into the oven to preheat. Place the tart on the tray and bake for about 45–50 minutes until the almond filling and pastry are golden brown.
  • OR to bake in an Aga, lift the tin on to a baking sheet and bake on the floor of the roasting oven until pale golden, about 15-20 minutes. Then transfer to the centre of the Baking Oven until set and golden brown, another 15–20 minutes. In a two-oven Aga, lift the tin onto a baking sheet and bake on the floor of the roasting oven for 15–20 minutes until pale golden. After this time, put the cold plain shelf on the second set of runners and continue to bake for a further 15–20 minutes until the almond filling is set and golden brown. If the pastry is becoming too dark, place a ring of foil around the edge.
  • Cool slightly, brush with hot apricot glaze and sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds. Serve warm with cream or crème fraiche.

Tomato and Lentil soup

A quick cupboard rummage one night turned up a packet of red split lentils, tinned tomatoes, sweet smoked paprika and chilli. Ta-da, a new soup was born! Quick and easy to prepare, this became one of our favourite new comfort foods. And thanks to inexpensive ingredients it’s not only kind on your body, but on your pocket too.

Store cupboard essentials should always include tinned tomatoes (great in curries, stews and soups) and red split lentils. Keep a variety of dried herbs and spices to hand, and, if you’re anything like us, there’s always garlic, onions and lemons knocking around – so no need to shop on the way home to get this meal onto the table.


Serves 8

  • 1 tbsp of ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 750g split red lentils
  • 1 can of tomatoes (or 1 tbsp of tomato puree + 400ml extra broth)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves or 2 tsp of dried thyme or oregano
  • 1 tbsp of ground sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 2-2½ litres of home-made bone broth or vegetable stock*
  • 2 large pinches of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of1 lemon


  • Chilli flakes

How To:

1. In a large saucepan, gently fry the onions in ghee/coconut oil for 5 minutes until softened, adding a little more ghee/coconut oil if you need to.

2. Add the garlic, thyme, cumin and paprika (plus chilli if using) and continue to fry for a further 30 seconds, being careful not to let the spices burn.

3. Rinse the lentils and add to the pan with the tomatoes/puree and bone broth.

4. Cover and bring to a medium simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

5. Add 2 large pinches of sea salt and black pepper to taste.

6. Turn off the heat, check for seasoning and stir in the lemon juice to serve.


Steak and kidney Pudding


  • 2 rashers of quality smoked streaky bacon , roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • ½ a whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 onions , peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 750 ml organic beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 500 g chuck steak , cut into 2.5cm dice
  • a little butter , for greasing
  • 250 g kidneys, pork or lamb , halved, trimmed and cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 carrots
  • 6 button mushrooms , wiped clean and quartered
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 50 g Cheddar or Stilton cheese
  • 350 g self-raising flour
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g Atora shredded suet
  • sea salt




  1. A steamed meat pudding is so traditional, so comforting and so completely British I just love everything about it. I’m revisiting the classic savoury combo of steak and kidney for this one.
  2. Put a large casserole-type pan on a high heat and add the bacon and a lug of olive oil. When lightly golden, add the nutmeg, allspice, bay, rosemary sprigs and chopped onions, turn the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. As the onions soften, add the marmalade, plain flour and Worcestershire sauce. Fry and stir until it is quite dark, then add your stock, tomato purée and diced steak. Simmer for 1 hour with the lid on.
  3. Put the self-raising flour, butter, suet and a couple of pinches of salt into a bowl and use your fingers to rub the fat into the flour. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add roughly 100ml of cold water to bring it together until you have a soft dough. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge. When the stew has had an hour, pour it into a large colander over another large pan, so the gravy drips into the pan below. Discard the herb sprigs. Tear off a large sheet of greaseproof paper and rub both sides with butter, then push and flatten it inside a 1.5 litre pudding bowl.
  4. Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out 80% of your dough so it’s about 0.5cm thick. Loosely drape it over the rolling pin, then unroll it over the pudding basin. Push and pat it in, letting a couple of centimetres hang over the edge. Gently mix the diced kidneys, carrots and mushrooms into the stew that’s in the colander, season with salt and pepper, crumble in the cheese, then pour that dense stew into your pudding basin – don’t worry if it doesn’t quite fill it. Put the pan of gravy aside. Roll out the last bit of dough, put it on top of the filling, fold over the overhanging pastry to seal and pack it down, then put a sheet of buttered greaseproof face down on top, followed by a piece of tin foil. Get 2 metres of string, wrap it round the rim of the bowl twice, tie it in a double knot twice, then attach the other end to the opposite side with a double knot to make a handle – this will make pulling the bowl out at the end much easier. Go to www.jamieoliver.com/how-to for a quick tutorial on this if you like. Put the pudding into a large pan that the pudding basin will fit inside with the lid on, then half fill it with water. Put the lid on, boil, then simmer with the lid on for 3 hours. Set a timer, and top up with water every now and then.
  5. When ready, carefully pull out the basin, cut away and discard the string, greaseproof paper and foil, and place a nice serving platter on top. Carefully and confidently turn over and leave upturned while you warm up the reserved gravy and get any veggies ready. When you’re ready to serve, carefully ease the basin off, peel away the paper and pour over a little of the hot gravy. Take to the table with your seasonal veg.