Red pepper and Wensleydale soup

Red pepper and Wensleydale soup

Red pepper and Wensleydale soup is a great idea to use basic and cheap ingredients to make something delicious. It is a deep red colour and feels really warming.

30 minutes. Serves 2. Easy

  • olive oil
  • onion 1, roughly chopped
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • red pepper 1, roughly chopped
  • chopped tomatoes 1 x 400g tin
  • tomato purée 1 tbsp
  • vegetable stock 200ml
  • Wensleydale 100g, crumbled
  • basil a handful, chopped

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large non-stick pan. Cook the onion, garlic and pepper on a gentle heat until softened. Tip in the tomatoes, purée and stock then bring to a simmer.

Cook for 20 minutes then blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until blended but with a little texture. Reheat with a splash more stock or water if needed to thin it. Stir in most of the cheese and basil before serving with a little cheese and basil sprinkled on top.

PER SERVING 331 kcals, protein 16.4g, carbs 17.2g, fat 22.4g, sat fat 10.8g, fibre 4.5g, salt 1.99g

Glazed apricot breakfast bread

This glazed apricot breakfast bread is a really delicious start to the day. Bake it at the weekend and you can have a great breakfast every day of the week.

4 hours (including rising). Serves 8. A little effort

  • strong bread flour 375g
  • golden caster sugar 50g
  • fast-action yeast 7g sachet
  • milk 100ml
  • eggs 4
  • butter 150g, very soft
  • cardamom seeds from 2 pods
  • light muscovado sugar 3 tbsp
  • fresh apricots 4, stoned and chopped
  • icing sugar and toasted flaked almonds to decorate

Put the flour, sugar, yeast, milk and 3 eggs into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix first on slow, then on medium until you have a smooth dough which will pop back when you poke your finger into it.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Using the dough hook, beat in the butter until fully incorporated. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly, then roll out to a rectangle about 16cm wide.

In a mortar, crush the cardamom seeds with the muscovado. Dot the apricot pieces down one side of the dough vertically, sprinkle on the cardamom and sugar mix, then fold the other side over and press down firmly.

Make 3 vertical cuts down the dough starting about 2cm from the top, then plait the 3 lengths together. Tuck both ends under and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with buttered clingfilm and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight until it is risen.

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the bread. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the loaf is risen and golden brown. Cool slightly.

To finish the loaf, mix the icing sugar with a little water to make a thick, just pourable icing and drizzle it back and forth over the top, then sprinkle with almonds. Serve warm.

PER SERVING 415 kcal, protein 415g, carbs 48.7g, fat 48.7g, sat fat 10.8g, fibre 1.6g, salt 0.4g

Breakfast Week: Quinoa porridge from Little H

A nice healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be boring. This quinoa porridge is from Little H on the New King’s Road. The base is really easy to make and then you can add your own toppings.

  • quinoa flakes 1/2 cup
  • porridge oats 1/2 cup
  • almond milk 1/2 cup
  • water 1/2 cup

Add all ingredients to a pan over low-medium heat. Slowly bring all to a simmer, whisking constantly, until it thickens.

Add whatever topping you like.  At Little H we love to add manuka honey, a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds, toasted hazelnuts, chopped dates, dried apricot and a dusting of cinnamon.

Breakfast Week: Brew melt

These delicious melts are the perfect way to celebrate Breakfast Week. Layers of melted gruyere cheese, tomato and ham topped with a runny egg make a melt in your mouth treat. Try this recipe from Putney’s Brew Cafe10940430_10152510463606537_8024432676569502990_n

  • pide (Turkish flatbread)
  • cooked ham 60g
  • eggs 2
  • gruyere cheese 2 large slices
  • tomato 4 slices
  • pesto
  • pea shoots to garnish

Cut the pide portion in half lengthways then toast face up in a sandwich press or under a hot grill for 30 seconds until lightly toasted.

Place the ham, followed by the tomato and then the cheese onto each half of the pide. Place the pide under a hot grill and allow the cheese to melt and bubble.

Whilst the cheese is melting, poach your eggs (don’t let the pide burn). Once the cheese is completely melted remove from the grill and cut into triangles.

Place onto a plate, top the pides with the poached eggs, a drizzle of pesto over and between the eggs then scatter with pea shoots.


Guide to Taste Portugal London 2015

Find out what’s planned for TASTE PORTUGAL| LONDON in 2015, and read Audrey Gillan’s quick review of Portal, one of the restaurants taking part.

It was responsible for the arrival of chillis in Asia and created and exported piri piri chicken, but these days Portugal is mostly associated with salt cod and custard tarts. TASTE PORTUGAL’s mission is to change that and to show the world more of the country’s culinary diversity.

At Portal (pictured above) – one of London’s finest Portuguese restaurants – a dinner of five courses, each made with Bisaro pork (a rare breed of pigs fed on chestnuts) was prepared by Ricardo Costa, executive chef at Porto’s Yeatman Hotel. There was belly of Bisaro suckling pig with cardinal prawn slices and a dessert of Abbey of Priscos pudding with a surprise sprinkling of cured Bisaro ham. Wines were matched by sommelier António Lopes from Conrad Algarve.

The event was a precursor to two TASTE PORTUGAL events at the Obsession Festival, hosted by Nigel Haworth at Northcote Manor, in Lancashire, and running between now and 7 February. Here a Portuguese wine masterclass on 29 January will be followed by a dinner cooked by five of the country’s finest chefs on 30 January: Dieter KoschinaMatteo FerrantinoMiguel LaffanVitor Matos and José Avillez.


TASTE PORTUGAL | LONDON: what else is on?

February 23: Texture Restaurant, Marylebone

Dégustation dinner with Portuguese wine harmonisation: featuring chefs AGNAR SVERRISSON & RICARDO COSTA and sommeliers ANTÓNIO LOPES, XAVIER ROUSSET & ADRIEN BUTKO

March 1428-50 Maddox Street, Mayfair

Dégustation Dinner with Portuguese wine flight: featuring chef MATTEO FERRANTINO and sommeliers CAROLINE BRANGÉ & ANTÓNIO LOPES

March 15: Brasserie Chavot, Mayfair

Degustation dinner with Portuguese wine harmonisation: featuring chefs ERIC CHAVOT & MATTEO FERRANTINO and sommeliers ANDREAS ROSENDAL & ANTÓNIO LOPES

Breakfast Week winners: Electric Diner’s avocado and poached egg

Avocado and poached egg is a healthy and delicious breakfast – the chives and chilli give it a nice kick.
Try it at Portobello Road’s Electric Diner or make it at home with this recipe:
serves 1
avocado 1, roughly diced
chilli  a pinch, chopped
olive oil a drizzle
lemon a quarter, juiced
granary bread a slice
egg 1
water 500ml
white vinegar 25ml
chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the avocado with the chilli, olive oil and lemon juice.
In a pot bring the water and vinegar to the boil, crack the egg into the water and bring down to a simmer — the egg should take about 4 minutes to cook.
Toast the bread, add the avocado mix on top and finish with the hot poached egg and a generous pinch of chives. 250271_10152505515886537_6419163276325572552_n
Casita Club

Cocktail hour: The Casita Club

Casita in Shoreditch like to use fresh fruit where possible over purées. The Casita Club is a twist on a Clover Club from the owner, Will de-Ferry Foster. He uses blackberries instead of raspberries as he thinks that the former are an under-used flavour in cocktails. Fresh and dangerously moreish, have a go at making this cocktail yourself or head to Casita in January for it’s Dry Ginuary £5 cocktail deal.

  • Beefeater Gin 50ml
  • blackberries 4
  • Crème de Mure 15 ml
  • lemon Juice 25 ml
  • egg white

In a Boston glass, add all the ingredients and muddle. Then, place the spring from a Hawthorn strainer in the glass and shake vigorously. This should create a frothy head on the mixture. Remove the spiring and add ice. Shake vigorously again then double-strain  (through a Hawthorn and a tea-strainer) into a chilled coupe.