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Carrot and Coriander Soup


3 large onions, sliced

3 oz butter

2 cloves of garlic, crushed with salt

2 lb carrots, thinly sliced

salt and pepper

1 tbsp coriander seed

2 sherry glasses of sherry

20 fl oz stock

20 fl oz milk

cream and parsley to garnish


Peel and slice the onions, and sweat them gently in the butter until soft.

Add the crushed garlic, the thinly sliced carrots.

Season with salt and pepper, then add the coriander seed and the sherry.

Now cover tightly and cook gently for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Add the stock and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Liquidise the soup, add the milk and reheat.



Serve garnished with a swirl of cream and parsley.


Roland Soup

A Blue Peter soup for the winter. Very easy to adapt to what you have available!


Bacon fat or sunflower oil

Onion or leeks, chopped

Parsnips, chopped

Carrots, grated

Barley and lentils

Tinned tomatoes

Salt, pepper, mixed herbs

1 tbsp sugar

3 chicken/beef stock cubes in 30 fl oz water

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.

Put the bacon fat or oil into a dish. Add onion, parsnip and carrot, mixing thoroughly.

Add the barley, lentils and tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

Add the sugar and stock. Now cook for about 3 hours.

Serve with rice, peas, bacon or ham. Alternatively put slices of bread on top with grated cheese, and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt and turn golden.


Celery, Leek and Walnut Soup

A Mary invention!






A few walnuts


Sweat the celery, leeks, onion and potato in a saucepan. Add the stock and a few walnuts. Simmer until the vegetables have softened.

Now liquidise the soup.


Pumpkin, Sweetcorn and Potato Stew

A Sophie Grigson recipe.

For 8 servings.


1 large pumpkin (you need 2 to 3 lb pumpkin flesh overall)

1 oz butter

1 oz muscovado sugar

1 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp dried oregano / marjoram

1 dried red chilli / teaspoon chilli powder

2 large onions, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 tbsp sunflower oil

14 oz tin of tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp Worcester sauce / Yorkshire relish

tabasco to taste

pint apple juice

1 pint water

14 fl oz coconut milk

1 lb potatoes

1 lb sweet potatoes

12 oz tin sweet corn

1 small marrow / large courgettee, peeled, deseeded and cit into 1 " cubes

30 prunes / mixed dried fruits

4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.

Firstly, cut lid off pumpkin, scoop out seeds, excavate 1 to 1 lb flesh for chopping roughly, leaving a good wall of pumpkin. Smear butter over the inside of the pumpkin. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon, and spread inside. Bake for 20 minutes until slightly softened but still sturdy.

Reheat when needed…

For the stew itself, first dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds over a moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add chilli and oregano and dry-fry for a further 30 seconds.

Tip into a bowl, and when cool, grind to a fine powder.

Fry the onions and garlic in the oil in a large casserole or pan, without letting them brown. When tender, add the spices and stir for a minute.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, Worcester sauce, Tabasco, apple juice and water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and the pumpkin flesh.

Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the pumpkin has dissolved to thicken, and the potatoes are just tender. Add the marrow / courgette, prunes, sweet corn and coconut milk.

Stir well, and allow to simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Adjust seasoning.

Shortly before serving, reheat the pumpkin in the oven for 15 minutes, and reheat the stew. Nestle the pumpkin in a bowl that will support it and fill with stew. Scatter coriander leaves over the top.


If you prefer, use all your pumpkin flesh (about 2 lb) in the stew mix, and serve in a normal bowl.


Priory Pancakes


Based on a delicious meal we had at HDRA’s Restaurant at Ryton, this mixture may be used as a pancake filling or may be eaten with a jacket potato or pasta.

The original trial of this used:

680g courgette

940g pumpkin total 1620g of fleshy vegetable

520g green sweet pepper total 520g of peppers

255g red onion

270g shallot total 525g of onions

Olive oil

Tarragon, thyme, basil, salt and pepper

Aim for proportions 3:1:1 of courgette/pumpkin : peppers: onions


Chop the vegetables quite small, around 1 cm cubes.

Cook the onion and shallot in a little olive oil until softened and starting to go golden. Add the rest of the vegetables, and warm through before adding the finely chopped herbs and placing in a very hot oven ( gas mark 9) for about an hour. You should stir the mixture several times during the cooking period. Season lightly to taste.

When cooked, cool down then freeze until needed.


If being used as a pancake filling, place some of the mixture on half the pancake, then fold over the other half to cover. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and melt it under the grill or in the microwave. Serve with a mixed salad, or with seasonal vegetables such as mange toute, potatoes, carrots or cauliflower.


Mary’s Veggy Pie


Mary’s invention, to focus your palette on the delights of fresh home-grown vegetables…




Broad beans


Chives and a few herbs.

pint milk + pint of the water used to cook the carrots and turnips, made into a cheese sauce


Cook the carrots and turnips until tender, but not quite fully cooked. Brown the courgettes. Cook the broad beans. Make a cheese sauce using the liquid as stated above. Place the vegetables in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle on the chives and herbs and pour the sauce over. Cover with a puff pastry lid and cook for about 35 minutes at gas mark 7.


Mushroom Bake

Another Blue Peter dish!

Serves 4


8 oz mushrooms, sliced

9 oz soft breadcrumbs

6 oz grated cheddar cheese

3 oz butter

Small onion, very finely chopped

Juice and rind of half a lemon

1 lb skinned tomatoes

Salt, pepper

Parsley to garnish

Cook the sliced mushrooms in a little butter for 5 - 10 minutes.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, butter, onion and lemon rind.

Put half this mixture into a casserole dish, and push down firmly.

Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Add the second half of the mixture to top it off.

(They suggest doing this by rolling it into a ball, flattening it, and lifting it carefully onto the dish using a fish slice!)

Put into the oven for 30 minutes at gas mark 5.

Garnish with parsley before serving.


Savoury Flan

This savoury flan may be varied to include leek, corn or mushrooms.

Makes 2 x 6" flans


2 cooked flan cases 6" diameter

1 large onion

Tinned tomatoes

3 eggs

A little butter

8 oz grated cheddar cheese

A pinch of herbs

Salt and pepper


Prepare the two flan cases, baking them blind, and leave to cool.

Chop the onion finely.

In a pan, cook the onion in a little butter until translucent.

Add the tomatoes (not their juice, though).

Add the grated cheese, herbs, salt and pepper.

Beat the three eggs and pour these into the pan too.

Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, adding a little tomato juice if too thick.

Now pour the savoury filling into the prepared flan cases.

Bake for 20 - 30 minutes at gas mark 4.

Serve hot or cold.

You may vary the ingredients to include leek, sweet corn or mushroom.



Cheese & Onion Crumble

A Blue Peter recipe, simple to make, and nice served with hot jacket potatoes and sweet corn.

Serves 4


2 onions, chopped finely

4 oz grated cheese

4 oz fresh breadcrumbs

10 fl oz milk

Salt and pepper


Parsley, tomato slices or watercress to garnish


Place the chopped onion in the bottom of an ovenproof dish.

Mix together the grated cheese, breadcrumbs, milk, salt and pepper.


Add to the onions, and spread out evenly.

Sprinkle with a little paprika.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes in the oven, at gas mark 8.

Garnish with watercress, tomato or parsley, and serve with hot jacket potato and sweet corn.


Cheesy Beany Crunch

A Blue Peter recipe.

Serves 4


1 medium onion, sliced

5 mushrooms, sliced

Tomato puree

Garlic, crushed

1 tin of baked beans

Cooked red kidney beans

Small can of sweet corn

2 slices of bread

Grated cheese


Soften the onion in a pan for a few minutes.

Add the mushrooms.

Mix in some tomato puree, garlic, baked beans, red kidney beans and sweet corn.

Allow to heat up for about 8 minutes.

Pre-heat the grill.

Put the mixture into a large flameproof casserole dish.

Top with the bread, broken into bite sized pieces.

Sprinkle a generous layer of grated cheese over the bread.

Now place the dish under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and started to turn a golden colour.

Serve with jacket potatoes for a filling meal.


A special cheesy light meal, delicious with a mixed salad.

Makes about 28 oz of mixture


10 fl oz milk

2 oz butter

3 oz Gruyere cheese, cubed

5 oz plain flour

4 x size 3 eggs, beaten *

Pinch of salt

Melt the butter into the milk.

When it boils, stir in the flour and salt, all in one go.

Beat rapidly for 30 seconds until the mixture forms a ball.

Put this ball into the processor bowl.

Switch on the motor, and add the beaten eggs a little at a time, until the mixture forms a dropping consistency. * You may not need all four eggs.

Add 2 oz of the cheese and mix briefly.

Grease a baking tray.

Spoon out the mixture into a ring shape on the tray.

Dot with the remaining cheese.

Brush with beaten egg.

Cook in the oven for 45 minutes on gas mark 5.


Winter Veg & Walnut Gratin

Serves 4


1 lb parsnips, cut into 1" chunks

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 oz butter

Half a head of cauliflower florets

1 lb spring greens, cut into1/2" ribbons

A large slice of bread, torn into small pieces

2 oz chopped walnuts


For the sauce:

10 fl oz milk

11/2 oz plain flour

11/2 oz butter, softened

A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6.

Boil the parsnips for 15 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking water.

Mash the parsnips, season, add the mustard and use to line the base of a gratin dish.

Boil the cauliflower, simmer for 5 minutes, and arrange in the dish.

Cook the spring greens in water for one minute, then arrange on the dish.

Make the sauce by warming the butter, adding the flour and stirring until smooth. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Add the nutmeg.

Then add the milk and 5 fl oz of the reserved liquid, a little at a time, stirring continuously over a low heat. Allow to thicken.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables.

Sprinkle the bread and walnuts over the top.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.



Assorted root vegetables (Original recipe used 3 salsify, 2 Jerusalem artichokes, 2 carrots, 1 leek and 4 mushrooms)


1 orange

1 tbsp plain flour

1 teasp mixed herbs

Black pepper

Puff pastry

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.

Chop the vegetables, and boil them in a saucepan until just soft. Drain them, then add the juice and rind of the orange, the flour, herbs and black pepper. Mix well.

Make cuts from the edges, about one third the width of the pastry, coming in from each side. These pastry fingers will provide the strips you will plait shortly….

Put the vegetables down the middle, and then plait the pastry across the middle, using water on the edge so it will stick. Put on a baking tray and brush with milk.

Bake for 30 minutes.



From Delia's Summer Collection. Delicious with a focaccia to mop up the juices!


1 aubergine, cubed, with skin left on

2 red, yellow or green sweet peppers

small onions, or large one cut into pieces

2 courgettes, sliced thickly, with skin on


2 cloves of garlic

basil leaves

salt and pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to gas mark 9.

The original recipe suggests salting the aubergine and courgette before using them, but we have not found this necessary.

Put into a roasting tin the vegetables, herbs and seasoning.

Pour the olive oil over them.

Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, turning the ingredients around part way through.

For a larger quantity allow up to 1 hour cooking.

The ratatouille should come out of the oven roasted and tinged brown at the edges.

Serve with warmed focaccia to soak up the olive oil and tomato juices.

Freezes well.


Cooking Beans

Beans are very nutritious, so why not cook a fair quantity and freeze them.

Keep the light beans separately from the dark ones.

For 1 lb dried beans

Either use a mixture of light beans:

Black eyed beans

Chick peas beans

Flageolet beans

Haricot beans

Pinto beans

OR a mixture of dark beans:

Aduki beans

Black beans

Red kidney beans



Soak the beans overnight, keeping the light ones separate from the dark ones.

Drain off the soaking water.

Using at least 2 pints of fresh water to each 1 lb of beans, cook the beans in the pressure cooker.

This will take 20 minutes (but allow 30 minutes for haricot beans).

Reduce the pressure slowly.


For the dressing, crush 1 teasp rock salt with 1 clove of garlic.

Add a rounded teasp of mustard and some pepper.

Pour in 1 tbsp wine vinegar or cider vinegar

Mix together thoroughly.

Finally add 3 tbsp of olive oil and shake hard.

Pour the dressing over the beans while they are still warm.


Saffron Rice

A Delia Smith recipe, which makes a very special rice.

Use Basmati rice if you have it, but long grain if you haven't.

Freezes very well.

Serves 4


Basmati (or long grain) rice to 10 fl oz level Chicken stock and boiling water to 20 fl oz level in a jug.

Always use twice the volume of water/stock to that of the rice.


1 tbsp groundnut oil/olive oil

1 oz butter

Small onion, chopped finely


1/2 teasp saffron, crushed

3/4 teasp cumin seeds, crushed

2 cardamom pods, crushed

A bay leaf



Heat the oil and the butter together.

Soften the onion for 5 minutes.

Stir in the spices, the bay leaf and salt, and heat through for 2 minutes to release the flavours.

Add the rice and stir round. When well coated pour in the boiling water (or stock and water).

Bring to the boil again.

Stir once, then put on a tight fitting lid.

Simmer gently for 15 minutes; try to resist the temptation to peep!

When the time is up, check that the rice is cooked and that the liquid has been absorbed.

Fluff gently with a skewer.


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