Thursday 1 December 2011

Spicy Carrot Soup with Paul Hollywood's Naan bread

Thursday's Soup of the Day is a real winter-warmer.

We have had a really good crop of carrots this year and let’s face it; they are a greatly valued and sometimes underrated but well-liked vegetable. They have been around since the 1400s, well in England anyway, longer in some countries. You can read all about these little orange beauties whilst you enjoy your soup by clicking here for The Carrot Museum (yes, that's right - the carrot museum.)  

Chef’s gone all metric today so if you don’t do metric, you’ll need to convert the amounts. Chef always makes twice as much soup as we normally do, especially of this one as he loves it with Naan bread and has been known to add a little chilli to the bread too.

So, in comes Chef with a bucket full of our home-grown organic carrots. We grow Autumn King and Chanteney and this bucket was full of Autumn King. In the role of Veg. Chef I started to wash and peel them. Chef’s knife skills are, well a bit scary actually, and very soon there was a good heap of chopped carrots, ready and waiting. A kilogram was required and a kilogram we had (that’s about 2lbs 4 oz for the Imperial fans.)  The knife then sliced into five celery sticks followed by a large onion.
The veg-heaps looked very pretty, one green, one white and one orange.

A large pan had a good slug of vegetable oil glooped into it and put on the heat to warm. In went the onion closely followed by three crushed garlic cloves (I didn’t see that coming.) This sizzled away for a while and then came the fun part – Tabasco.

Three or four teaspoons (that’s a good tablespoon) of the hot, red liquid was added closely followed by a tablespoon (or three teaspoons) of Mustard powder.

In one swift move the pan was whisked from the heat and the lid slammed on. Apparently if you don’t do that you get mustard vapour in your eyes and it really hurts.

After a minute or two the lid was removed and the carrots and celery heaped into the pan closely followed by two litres (about three-and-a-half pints) of vegetable stock. As you may know, here at Fancy Pants we keep a stock of stock in the fridge, but if you don’t (you might have more interesting things in your fridge like wine and chocolate) you can of course buy some ready-made or pour boiling water onto a vegetable stock cube. We then left le mélange to simmer for about twenty or thirty minutes – time for a nice cup-of coffee and some home-made flapjack. When the soup had bubbled for long enough and I was tired of “when shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?” every time I stirred  it, I took the largest hand blender we have and proceeded to joosh the soop.  Chef did the tasting, and adjusted the seasoning (that means salt) so that it was just flawless – absolutely flawless. 

So there you have it – Spicy Carrot Soup – enjoy with some gorgeous Naan bread which you can either buy or make yourself.  You can see Master Baker Paul Hollywood's recipe here.

Ingredient recap:

Vegetable oil – 3 or 4 tablespoons
2 kg carrots (or 2¼lbs or 36 oz)
5 sticks of celery
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 litres (3½ pints) vegetable stock
3 or 4 teaspoons Tabasco (15 – 20 ml)
3 teaspoons mustard powder

Naan Bread

Thanks to Mel for sharing this recipe

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Tomato Soup (with Paul Hollywood's Focaccia bread)

Wednesday’s soup of the day is another of my favourites – Tomato.

Here at Fancy Pans we like to grow our own produce wherever we can. 

Imagine this:  it’s a warm summer’s afternoon and you step into the greenhouse.  The greeting is a heavy scent of warm, damp earth which is laced with the fresh smell of ripening tomatoes, teasing its way through to draw you in.  When you take a glossy, ripe fruit and gently twist so that it leaves the vine, you can feel its warmth between your fingers.  Close your eyes and pop it into your mouth (if it’s a cherry tomato that is, don’t try this with anything larger).  The warm sweetness is a flavour unique to that moment and a tomato which left the plant some time earlier will not have that delicious, instant burst of mouth-watering satisfaction  – divine.

For the soup, you can indeed use fresh tomatoes, either home grown or shop bought, but you can also use the tinned variety if it’s winter and  fresh tomatoes are watery and flavourless.  Morrisons have a range of tinned, chopped tomatoes enhanced with various flavours: herbs, garlic, Basil, chilli, which are great store-cupboard  staples to have.

If you are going to use fresh tomatoes, you need to peel and de-seed about 2 pounds.  Put them into a large basin and pour on boiling water.  Leave them for about 30 seconds or so, then drain the water and pour on really cold water.   Drain the tomatoes and you will now be able to remove the skins easily.  Remove the seeds and chop the flesh.  Keep it to one side.  If you choose not to peel and de-seed the toms, you will need to put the finished soup through a sieve to remove all the nasty bits.   

Peel and chop a large onion (or two smaller ones).  Take a large carrot (or two smaller ones) peel and chop.  Lastly, chop up two rashers of lean, un-smoked back bacon – unless you are vegetarian in which case it’s probably best to leave this out. You will also need a sprinkling of herbs – I like thyme, but mixed herbs are fine too.  If you are using tinned tomatoes you could use the ones with herbs already in.   

Take a large pan and put about 1 – 2 ozs butter in to it (margarine is fine too or vegetable oil, but not olive oil.)  Heat the butter until melted.  You can add a little vegetable oil to prevent it burning.  Throw in the onion, carrot and bacon and leave to cook until the onion is soft.  Whilst it’s cooking, make up about a pint of stock.  Chef makes ours from scratch so we always have some in the fridge, but you can buy it ready made from the supermarket, or use a stock cube.  Chicken  or vegetable stock works best. 

When the onions, etc. are cooked, add the tomatoes (1½ lbs or about 750 grams, that’s a tin-and-a-half, - what the heck, put 2 tins in.)  Then sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar into the pan and add the stock.  Lastly add about ¼ teaspoon of white pepper then leave to simmer for a while – about 15 – 20 minutes should do it.  When the soup is cooked, take it from the heat and liquidise – either in a food-processor/liquidiser or with a hand-held blender. 

Mix a dessertspoon full of cornflour with a little cold milk. Measure half a pint of milk and warm it up then add to the soup.  Add the cornflour mix and heat until thickened.  Keep stirring so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan and to make sure there are no lumps.

The thickness of the soup is really up to you.  Add as little or as much milk as you want to.  You may prefer not to add any, in which case you probably won’t need the cornflour mix either.  The key thing is: taste, taste, taste.  Adjust seasoning to your preferance.  You can add ground black pepper if you like the flavour of it – the choice is yours.

I like Focaccia bread with this soup – once again Master Baker Paul Hollywood will show you how to make the perfect Focaccia (click here)– or you could just buy it from a patisserie or supermarket.   


Ingredient recap:

1½lbs tomatoes, skinned and de-seeded (or same amount of tinned tomatoes)
1 large or 2 small onions
1 large or 2 small carrots
2 rahsers of lean, un-smoked bacon
1 oz butta (or margarine, or veg oil)
1 pint stock
Sugar - about a teaspoon
Pepper & salt – to taste
Cornflour – dessertspoon full

For the Focaccia - click here 

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Tuesday 29 November 2011

Sweet Potato and Yellow Pepper Soup (with Paul Hollywood's Crusty Bread)

Our chosen soup for today’s menu is, as usual, a moveable feast.  By that I mean that the end result is entirely in your culinary hands.

With many of our soups, the basic ingredients are very similar and today’s isn’t an exception to the bendable rules.  You will need a good sized saucepan to make the full amount, but as with the quantities of ingredients and  flavourings,  this can be adjusted according to your choices.  Likewise, if you want the soup to be vegetarian, vegan or down-right carnivorous, then the choice is entirely yours.

I find that butta gives the best flavour, but I always put some vegetable oil with it to prevent burning if the pan gets a wee bit overheated.  Put a generous chunk of butter into the pan (unless you are vegan), preferably with a thick bottom (the pan, not you) and add some vegetable oil.  Don’t turn the heat on yet, wait until you have done some preparation.

Now we can really get stuck in.  Take a large unyun (or two small ones), peel ‘em and chop ‘em then put on one side.  Do the same with three karruts and two or three sticks of selleree.  Then, the clever bit (unless you are vegetarian or vegan) chop up two rashers of lean bakun.  You can now turn on the heat and when the butta has melted, put in all the chopped veg and bakun.  Give them a good stir making each little bit is well-coated.  Put lid on, turn down the heat and leave them to sweat it out for a few minutes while you do some more prep.

Peel and chop three sweet ‘tatas – that’s SWEET ‘tatas, not your Maris Piper  or Desiree.  Then get the cores and seeds out of two yella peppas – you can use orinj peppas if you want, but never green.   When you have done that, chop them up and leave with the sweet ‘tatas.  You will also need one of those long, thin sweet peppas – Romero by name, de-seed and chop that too.  Check that the sweating is going well and not burning then put lid back on for a tad longer. 


You can, if you wish, roast the peppas first and remove the skin, but I think it was Delia Smith who might have said that life is too short to skin a pepper (or was is mushrooms?)

For the next bit you have various choices and the decision is entirely yours.  You will need some stock.  You can either make your own, buy it from the supermarket or use stock cubes and boiling water.  I’m going to use stock cubes, but you can do what you like:  take a stock cube, either vegetable or chikin depending on your conviction, put it in a one-pint jug and pour on boiling water to about three-quarters full.  When it has dissolved, pour it on to the sweating, softened ingredients and then add the sweet ‘tatas and peppers.  Make some more stock, about the same amount and add that.  Leave it all to simmer until the vegetables are suitably softened.  Remove the pan from the heat and liquidise the contents.  You can either do this by using a liquidiser (food processor will work if you don’t have one) or a hand-held blender.  Then add one more ingredient – garam masala; anything between a dessertspoonful to a good tablespoonful, depending on your taste.  You don’t have to add any at all if you’d rather not.  You may have noticed there is no salt in this recipe.  That isn’t because it’s a health-conscious low sodium creation, it’s because there is enough in the bacon and stock cubes.  You can always add some at the end if it isn’t salty enough for you. 

If you didn’t remove the peppa-skin, you will need to push the soup through a sieve as there will be some tiresome little un-liquidised pieces which spoil the soup, unless you don’t mind a few unwelcome slivers – I do.

Return to the heat and you now have three more choices: add milk to make is thinner, mix cornflour with some milk and add to make it thicker (keep stirring if you choose this option) or leave it as it is. 

To enhance the enjoyment of this soup, you will need some fresh, crusty bread.  The expert is, of course, Master Baker Paul Hollywood and if you choose to make your own then click here to see his fantastic recipe – he’ll even show you how to make it. Just click here.

Sprinkle a little Garam Masala on when you serve it (because it looks nice and tastes good too).

All you need to do now is enjoy the soup (oh and wash up or load the dishwasher)

Ingredient recap

1 – 2 ounces butter
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion (or two small ones)
3 medium carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 rashers lean, unsmoked back bacon (optional)
3 sweet potatoes
2 yellow (or orange) peppers
1 Red Romero pepper
1½ pints stock (vegetable or chicken)
Approx 1 tablespoon Garam Masala

Possibly milk, cornflour.

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Monday 28 November 2011

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Ciabatta

There I was, bumbling round the supermarket, muttering under my breath that I hate supermarket shopping – a necessary irritation in the flow of an otherwise enjoyable morning – when I spotted a treasure chest of superb ingredients for a Soup of the Day at Fancy Pans.  Piled up in an area given the delightful name of Vegetable Dump was an abundance of juicy, red peppers.  I scooped up most of them, leaving a few for other lucky shoppers, and headed off to pick up the item I came for. 

Approaching the Vegetable Dump was a juddering trolley which was being pushed by a member of the supermarket staff called 'Here to Help'.  There was a small mountain of very ripe vine tomatoes threatening to tumble floor wards from the post-date load of fruit and veg.  I nodded towards the tomatoes, he shrugged and I transferred them from one wobbly trolley to another – mine.  

 Snatching up a buy-one-get-one-free bacon bargain, I headed towards the checkout with my collection of red.

“Did you get the quail’s eggs?” Chef asked when I plonked my bargain-booty on the work surface.  Damn, I knew I had gone to the shops for something.

“They hadn’t been delivered,” I lied, “due in later.”  Chef harrumphed and began to create something special from a salmon.

I tipped the red fruits into the sink and washed them thoroughly.  For one batch of soup I took two large red peppers and two of the Ramero type and took the hard stalk and core out making sure I scraped all the seeds from the flesh. When the peppers were sliced in half I popped them into the oven to roast.  I then took a couple of pounds of the tomatoes and put them into a bowl.  I noticed the kettle had just boiled so I poured boiling water over them and re-filled the kettle.  Chef wouldn’t notice I’d used the boiling water. I then ran cold water over the tomatoes so that I could easily skin them and take the pips out.  Having done that, I weighed them and there was a pound of flesh – Shylock would have been proud.  I did think that had I not been able to find such lovely tomatoes, a 500gm can of chopped would have been equally as good, and saved on time.  In fact, I have some Morrison’s chopped tomatoes in the food store, some with herbs, some with chilli, even garlic, plus one with Basil. 

I checked on the peppers – they were roasting nicely. 

I rummaged in the veg store and found a red chilli.  I didn’t want to touch this really as it’s so painful when you rub your eyes after chopping one of these red-devils.  I pulled on a pair of disposable gloves, the kind you see paramedics wearing, to perform this operation and kept them on to chop a large onion too – it’s so hard to get rid of the smell of onion once infused into your skin.  Likewise with a clove of garlic which I crushed.  Whilst in chopping mode, I diced a carrot and then chopped up a couple of rashers of bacon from the bogof packs. Into a large, saucepan I poured some vegetable oil and turned on the heat.  I then threw in the onion, carrot, bacon and garlic and left them to cook for a few minutes.  When the peppers were roasted  I was easily able to peel off the skin.  I suppose I could have just chopped them up without roasting them, but I would have had to put the end product through a sieve to make sure there were no residue nasty bits.  The onion and carrots were soft so I added the peppers, tomatoes and chilli and gave it a good stir.  From the fridge I took about a pint of vegetable stock, we are out of chicken stock at the moment, but that would have worked too.  If you do try this recipe, you can always use a stock cube and boiling water if you don’t keep stock in the fridge (who does?)

After about twenty/twenty-five minutes everything was cooked and I took the hand blender and jooshed the soup.  It did need a little more salt and I also added some freshly milled black pepper.  

Chef's salmon dish looked good, but I’ll bet my Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup will out-sell it.  I’m offering it with Ciabatta – just gorgeous.  Master baker Paul Hollywood will guide through it if you would like to make your own, but it is tricky so I would buy it if I were you.

I supposed I had better go and get those quails eggs – I wonder what delight Chef is going to create with them.

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Ingredient Recap

2 or 3 Red Peppers
2 Ramero Peppers
1lb tomato flesh (about 500gm)
1 large onion
1 or 2 carrots
2 rashers of lean un-smoked bacon
1 or 2 red chillis
1 clove of garlic
1 pint of stock
Black pepper


Sunday 27 November 2011

Italian onion and tomato soup with bacon and Paul Hollywood's crusty bread

Sundays at Fancy Pans are family days.  Newspapers, fry-up, Church, and – a lie in!  I always  have that satisfyingly-smug feeling when I turn off the alarm on the clock before going to sleep on Saturday night.

For Sunday, I wanted a soup which could be eaten as a starter if a full roast dinner was also  promised, or, if served with loads of crusty bread and olives as a light lunch or supper.  The first time I prepared this particular soup we had some friends over and they were of Italian heritage and I believe a similar broth originated in the Umbria region of ‘the boot’ (just north of Rome).  The Italians call it Cipollata (but it’s far from a small sausage).

As it’s Italian, I used olive oil instead of my usual butta, and glugged a good amount into a large saucepan – about 50ml (or three tablespoons for the less metric).  I checked the fridge for chorizo sausage - there was none so I decided to use bakun instead (one of my favourite basic ingredients), but of course it’s Sunday and we had the lean, back bacon for breakfast.  Then I spotted a pack of streeky bakun, checked that it wasn’t smoked (tick box) and decided that would do.  I chopped it up then turned on the heat to warm the oil.  Olive oil moves in glossy arcs as it warms – quite soporific really. In went the bakun, but I didn’t want it crisp and brown like this morning’s, so I cooked it gently whilst I peeled and sliced a load of unyuns.  I got a bit carried away and ended up with almost two pownds – it can be quite therapeutic slicing unyuns into thin slivers.  

They take ages to cook so I tipped them in with the bakun, put the lid on and left them to go all translucent.  I think, at this stage, a nice cup of coffee goes down well, especially if it has a good slug of whisky in – the brown milk!  Time to do the crossword before adding the tomatoes.  I could have skinned, de-seeded and chopped a pownd of tomatoes, but it’s Sunday, so a can of Morrisons chopped tomatoes with Basil worked a treat.  Mind you, I did need to stir the unyuns often as I didn’t want them sticking to the pan and burning as this would make the soup bitter.  Coffee break over and time to de-seed and chop a red chilli.  I suppose I could have used chilli powder or flakes, but as we have plenty of fresh, there’s no contest.  Paramedic style gloves donned (health and safety) the chilli was finely diced in no time.  

After about an hour the unyuns were gorgeous and looked as though they were melting.  In went the can of Basil infused tomatoes and the chopped chilli.  I noiced that the stock of stock was depleted, but there was just under two pints of chikin, so I claimed it and poured it into the saucepan.  This soup isn’t any good for vegetarians seeing as it contains a lot of bakun, so chikin stock it was.  After a quick stir I ground in some fresh black pepper and left it all to cook. 

Whilst the soup simmered, I seized a handy French loaf and cut some half-inch slices from it.  I decided to rub half of them with a garlic clove and leave the other half au-natural.  Diners can then choose which they prefer.  After about half-an-hour the soup is ready and seasoning (i.e. the salt levels) has been checked. To serve I warmed the bowls then put one slice of the bread in the bottom and ladled over the hot zuppa (that’s Italian for soup).  To see Paul Hollywood make white bread, just click here

A brilliant supper soup for cold evenings – enjoy.

Ingredient re-cap

Olive oil
Chorizo sausage or bacon
Onions – about two pounds
Chopped tomatoes (with Basil) - or with torn basil leaves
Chicken stock – about two pints
Garlic clove
French bread stick
Salt and pepper

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Saturday 26 November 2011

Leek and Potato Soup (with Paul Hollywood's crusty loaf- gorgeous)

Soup of the Day: Saturday - Leek and Potato

It seems that Leek and Potato soup is a firm favourite among those dining at Fancy Pans and as we have lots of leeks and have just harvested the potatoes, it’s on the menu today.  It’s  definitely a Saturday Soup as it’s substantial enough to be a meal in itself so is good at lunchtime or for supper (or both). If you can’t get to Fancy Pans to enjoy today’s delicious lunchtime treat, then I’ll share the recipe so you can make your own.

Firstly, get yourself some leeks, about three or four.  If they are a little spindly then you may need five or six.  Leeks are sneaky harbourers of the earth they have grown up in and are reluctant to part with it.  Don’t feel sorry for them, give them a good wash otherwise you will be spitting grit. Chop off that hard bottom bit and slice them lengthways, then chop them up.  You can give them another wash too, just to make sure.  Keep them to one side whilst you peel and chop a large unyun or a couple of smaller ones.  You can even use about six shallots – but that’s yer lot. 

Next you’ll need some potatoes – it doesn’t really matter what kind, just use whatever you have in.  How many you use it up to you.  I generally peel and chop about four good-sized ones, but if you like your soup to be more potato and leek, you  could use, say, six.  Alternatively, if you lean more towards the leek and potato, then only use two or three.  It’s a moveable feast.     

Find yourself a large saucepan – one which can easily hold five or six pints of likwid (that’s about three-and-a-half litres for you metric empathisers.)  Put about two ounces of unsalted butta into the pan (or salted if you prefer – it doesn’t really matter as you can adjust the seasoning later) and a small splash of vegetable oil.  If you are Vegan you won’t want to use butta, so more vegetable oil, or whatever your preference may be.  Melt the butta over a low heat then put the leeks , potatoes and unyuns into the pan and stir it up so that they are well-coated.  The oil should prevent the butta from catching and burning, but it’s still best to have a sneaky peek every so often to make sure all is well.  Put the lid on and leave them to cook, still over a low heat, for about ten minutes – just time for a quick cuppa.

Having boiled the kettle for your tea (or coffee) you can pour boiling water over vegetable stock cubes (or chikin, depending on whether you are vegetarian or not) – you’ll need about one-and-a-half to two pints of stock.  The one I use from the stock of stock in the fridge, is made from celery, unyun, carrot and herbs and the chikin one has had a carcass boiled in with the veg.  Tell you what, I’ll let you have the recipe another day.

Tea break over and the vegetables should be nice and soft (and hopefully not burnt).  If they aren’t soft enough, in your opinion, then leave them for a few more minutes.  Then pour in the stock and a generous sprinkle of white pepper (about half a teaspoon).  Leave it to simmer for about fifteen minutes.  Warm up about half-a-pint of milk when the fifteen minutes is nearly up.  If you are happy that all are well-cooked, take the pan off the heat and get ready to liquidise.  The trusty hand-blender is my preference, but you can, of course, pour it, a bit-at-a-time into a liquidiser, then, joosh.

The soup will be very thick so when it’s all back in the pan, pour in some of the milk and stir (or carry on blending if you are using the hand-blender) until you reach the thickness you desire.  Adjust the seasoning so that it tastes nice.

If you want to serve a posh soup at a dinner party, then you can let this go cold, in fact, chill it in the fridge, then stir in a splash of dry white wine before serving and call it Vichyssoise.

Personally, I prefer to drink the wine and have the soup hot with some warm, crusty bread, especially the kind Paul Hollywood makes. 
In fact, he’ll show you how to make it too if you click here:

Ingredient recap

Some leeks
Some potatoes
Onion (or shallots)
Vegetable oil
Vegetable stock, or chicken stock
White pepper
Salt if you want to

 For the crusty loaf ingredients, click here 

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Friday 25 November 2011

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup (and Ronnie Corbett's bread - yummy)

Butternut squash and Pear Soup

From this:
(Full list of ingredients at the end)

To this:


Soup of the Day today is my favourite so we shall be making extra portions just to make sure there’s enough for us later.

You’ll need quite a large pan – one which holds about six or eight pints – for this gorgeous soup.  Put about two tablespoons of butter into the pan and warm until melted.  You can use margarine if you want, or if you are Vegan, then the oil of your choice but olive oil doesn’t work very well . 

Peel and chop a large onion or two smaller ones then add them to the butter and leave them to cook until tender. 

Whilst the onion is cooking, grab yourself a butternut squash, peel it and throw away the seeds. You should have around a pound of squash, give or take an ounce or two.  Don’t ask me what that is in metric, you’ll have to work that one out for yourself.  Chop it up and put on one side.          
Then, peel, core and chop two pears, yes, pears and put them with the squash. 

You will also need some fresh thyme leaves (you can use dried if you don’t have fresh, but dried isn’t as good), white pepper – pot at the ready, and maybe some salt, but not necessarily.

When the onion is nice and soft you should add a pint of stock (that’s 20 fluid ozs or 2 cups) – chiken stock works best, but if you are vegetarian then maybe vegetable stock? You can either make your own, buy it ready-made from the supermarket, or, the easiest and most convenient way is to use a stock cube from the pantry and pour on a pint of boiling water.  These can be salty so don’t add any salt until you have tasted the soup when it’s made.

Stock added, you can then put in the squash, pear and thyme.  Sprinkle in about ¼ teaspoon of white pepper and whack up the heat until it boils, then turn it down again, cover the pan and simmer until the squash is tender, this should take about 15 minutes.

When it’s cooked, remove from the heat and liquidise. Then add about two teaspoons-full of garam masala, give it a good stir and taste. You can add more of the spice if you think it needs it.  You can also add salt if you like more seasoning.When it’s nice and smooth, add about half-a-pint of double cream (or, if you prefer something a little less rich in cholesterol, you can use single cream or milk even.)  If you are vegan, you will need your oat milk here.  You can make the soup as thick or runny as you so desire by adjusting the amount of white stuff you put in.

So there you have it, scrummy, yummy Butternut Squash soup.  You can also make it using a pumpkin which are plentiful around Halloween, especially after the event.  

I like this soup best with warm, stone-ground bread – try Ronnie Corbett’s recipe – it’s delicious.  He'll show you how to make it if you click here.

Ingredient recap:

1 large onion
2 tablespoons of butter or similar fat
1 pint stock
1 pound butternut squash
2 pears
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
White pepper
Garam Masala
Cream or milk

For stone-ground bread ingredients - click here 

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Sunday 25 September 2011

Derbyshire Delight - Morley Hayes

If you like golf

If you like food

You'll love this

You don't have to play golf, of course, Morley Hayes has two restaurants:

For fine-dining, the upstairs Dovecote Restaurant is plush and a little pricey, but hey, you get what you pay for, and for a special treat why not indulge yourself?  Click here to see the menu.

For a more informal meal, Roosters Bar offers the same quality of food, an abundant menu and is perhaps, a little more affordable.Click here to see the menu.
And here's what we had:
Fillet steak and chips

Hunter's Chicken

Fresh Fruit Salad (mine)

Sunday 11 September 2011

London to Paris - on a bike - Homeward Bound

From London to Paris, on a bike, nearly 300 miles in 4 days.  Today we shall let you know just how much Jacqui raised for the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The last chapter in Jacqui's amazing story:

Last night we stayed at the Hotel Concorde in Paris and ate the best dinner of the whole journey.  Terrific menu:

Everyone else had cheese soufflé, but I had smoked salmon with lime and salad 
At last - someone had listened and given me a wheat-free starter - thank you.

The main course was steak with dauphinoise potatoes and roasted tomatoes - yummy

What could be better than to end a meal with chocolate?
Chocolate mousse on a biscuit base - sublime.   
We all ate together; a wonderful way to end an incredible journey.  Mind you, the beers did cost 10 Euro each!

The next morning there was, on the notice board, a joke by two of the girls on the ride.  Each evening, at each hotel, the crew would write out instructions for dinner and breakfast (times/places etc) and give us a brief description of the day to follow.  Their favourite word, which we all learned to hate, was 'undulations' so, on the last night (and after a couple of beers) two of the girls wrote their own version.

We took a walk to Les Invalides; a fascinating place where Napoleon is buried (so are his two brothers and his son).  It was originally a hospital and retirement home for war veterans and is the final resting place of Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929) Allied Supreme Commander in the First World War, plus many other French military heroes. It houses the the military museum of the Army of France and the architecture is breathtaking.

We were heading for the Bistrot Du 7Ème  when Colette gave us her finely tuned Irish weather forecast: it was cloudy all morning with no rain then, all of a sudden she said, "let's go inside, it's going to tip it down," and the second we got inside the cafe, the heavens opened!  I joked with her and said "how did you know?" and she said "I'm Irish, we always know when it's going to rain."  Rain? - it was an absolute deluge so we stayed there and enjoyed the best hot chocolate ever (even though it did cost 6 Euros).

We needed to be at La Gare du Nord by 2.15 p.m. but had time for another quick beer in the hotel bar before a cab took us to la gare (luxury - we didn't have to use the metro).

Then homewards on the Eurostar, thoroughly exhausted, elated and, well, damn-well chuffed.

Grateful thanks to everyone who sponsored me, bought stuff, and donated.   Love Jacqui.

The final total?
A fantastic amount of:

£2,507 !!!!!!!!

Well done Jacqui

If you have missed any days of  London to Paris - on a bike - you can catch up by selecting 'London to Paris' on the right hand side of this page and re-living Jacqui's journey.