yellow savoury rice

This rice dish has a sort of Indian theme, using turmeric, curry leaves and cumin for flavour and colour. Instead of beans, you could substitute peas or soya beans. Great with baked or grilled chicken, maybe some meaty white fish. And green tabasco. Enjoy …

Serves six.


2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 red onion
1 white onion
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp turmeric
12 frozen curry leaves
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups boiling chicken stock
17 string beans

The turmeric stains pretty much everything it comes into contact with, so be warned.

Peel and chop the onions and garlic, fry in a heavy pot in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin seed, rice and turmeric and coat everything. Then add the 4 cups of hot stock, add the rest of the ingredients and bring back to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook very gently for about 20 minutes until all the stock is absorbed.

I suppose if you wanted to make a meal of it, you could add in some finely cut carrots at the onion stage or maybe some courgette. And a few cardamom pods or cloves.

curried cauliflower & potato soup

A warming soup for late Autumn. Not the most attractive soup you’ve ever seen, but blessed with restorative properties like its counterpart, Chicken Soup. The turmeric is an attempt to make its colour a little less wan.


  • half a cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium/large potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 1 head of garlic, roughly chopped. Yes, a whole head.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each of coriander, cumin & fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp each of turmeric & chilli flakes
  • 1 heaped tsp hot curry powder (or to taste)
  • 1.5 litres good quality stock


In a large pot soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, then add the cauliflower florets and potato. Throw in the various seeds, turmeric, chilli flakes and curry powder and allow to cook for a few minutes more before adding the stock. It should smell amazing. Bring up to a slow boil and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are all cooked through. Then pass the soup through a blender to pulverise the lumps (but not to the extent that it’s creamed) and return to the heat.

Serve in white bowls with hunks of bread.

And for those of you brave enough, you could try adding a bit of stilton or gorgonzola, something a bit blue from the cheese department for that extra bite.

Roast Fennel & Tomato Soup


A fantastic soup with a great colour and flavour.


  • 1 large bulb fennel, sliced
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 750 ml stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar



Roughly chop the fennel, carrot and garlic and throw into a roasting tin along with the tomatoes and olive oil. Roast in a medium oven for about an hour. Burning a little won’t do it any harm.

Then transfer all these ingredients into a pan with the stock and herbs. Make sure to scrape off any burnt bits stuck to the pan as these will augment the flavour. Add the balsamic and simmer for ten minutes. Liquidise thoroughly and pass through a fine sieve. Check the seasoning and serve immediately.

Feeds 4.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the leftover pulp – I’ve made the soup without straining it, but it’s very heavy and definitely works better as a broth. I’ve used the pulp to pad out pies the next day, which is moderately successful, especially in the winter.

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