Three ideas for keeping your tummies full this winter.
Potato, Courgette & Cheddar Soup
- 500g potato, unpeeled & roughly chopped
- 2 Vegetable stock cubes
- 1kg courgettes, roughly chopped
- Bunch spring onion sliced- save 1 for serving
- 100g extra-mature cheddar or vegetarian alternative, grated, plus a little extra to serve
1. Put the potatoes in a large pan with just enough water to cover them and crumble in the stock cubes. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook for 5 mins. Add the courgettes, put the lid back on and cook for 5 mins more. Throw in the spring onions, cover and cook for a final 5 mins
2. Take off the heat, then stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Whizz to a thick soup, adding more hot water until you get the consistency you like. Serve scattered with extra grated cheddar, spring onions. Season. Or cool and freeze in freezer bags or containers with good lids for up to 3 months.
Easy Chicken Stew
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Bunch spring onions, slices, white & green parts separated
- 1 small suede (350g) peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 400g potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 500ml chicken stock
- 200g savoy cabbage
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the white spring onion slices and fry for 1 min to soften. Tip in the swede and potatoes and cook for 2-3 mins more, then add the chicken, mustard and stock. Cover and cook for 35 mins, or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken cooked through.
2. Add the cabbage and simmer for another 5 mins. If the stew looks too thin, mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and pour a couple of teaspoonfuls into the pan; let the stew bubble and thicken, then check again. If it’s still too thin, add a little more of the cornflour mix and let the stew bubble and thicken some more. Season to taste.
Rainbow Jam Tarts
- 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 250 g icing sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1 orange or lemon
- a splash of milk
- 30 heaped teaspoons of your favourite jams, curds, marmalades and jellies
1. Put the flour, sugar and butter into a food processor or rub together with a pinch of sea salt until you have a mixture that looks like breadcrumbs. Crack in the egg, grate in the zest from your orange or lemon and pulse/mix again, adding a little splash of milk to bring everything together, if needed. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out the pastry so it’s 0.5cm thick. Get yourself a few 12-hole jam tart trays (or cook the tarts in batches) and a fluted pastry cutter just a little bigger than the holes of the tray (normally around 6cm). Cut out rounds of pastry and gently push them into the wells so they come up the sides. Any leftover pastry can be gently pushed back into a ball and rolled out to make a few more tarts. Put 1 heaped teaspoon of filling into each jam tart, interspersing and alternating the flavours of jams, curds or jellies.
3. Pop the trays on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for around 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling. Remove from the oven, leave in the tray to firm slightly, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.