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Sweet potato & butternut squash soup with lemon & garlic toast

by on Jun.24, 2015, under Food and Lifestyle, Recipes

Sweet potato & butternut squash soup with lemon & garlic toast

Delicious and easy to make for those frosty winter nights, snuggle up warm and enjoy this winter soup recipe hearty meal with warm crusty bread

Sweet potato & butternut squash soup with lemon & garlic toast

Ingredients

For the soup

  • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1l vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100ml double cream

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the sweet potato and butternut squash on a baking tray and add the honey and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 40-45 mins until soft and starting to caramelise at the edges, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft, then add the garlic, chicken stock, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 5 mins.
  3. Remove the sweet potatoes and butternut squash from the oven and add to the pan with the stock. Blend everything until smooth using a stick blender. Stir in most of the cream and bring back to a gentle simmer, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To make the lemon & garlic toasts, gently warm the olive oil and garlic in a pan over a low heat for a few mins; the garlic should be softened but not browned. Remove from the heat and mix in the butter and lemon zest until smooth. Leave to cool, then stir in the chives and thyme.
  5. Toast the ciabatta slices, and top each with a spoonful of garlic butter. Serve with the soup, drizzled with the remaining cream, and some black pepper.

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Get creative this Christmas time

by on Nov.13, 2014, under Food and Lifestyle, Recipes

Make & mature Christmas cake

Easy fruitcake recipe

Make this Christmas Cake which is quick and easy – start early to avoid the Christmas rush, make your cake whilst hanging Christmas decorations, adding some brandy or whiskey to keep it flavoursome.

Prepare this fruit cake in advance and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build the flavour and keep it moist.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg mixed dried fruits (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g pack butter, softened
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
  2. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  5. To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.
Decorate the top of the cake with marzipan, white icing and cute Christmas decorations
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