Pumpkin and sweet potato soup combines two of my favourite things for a taste sensation.

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup


2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

700g (1/b 6oz) pumpkin flesh, roughly chopped

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

1.2 litres (2pts) water or vegetable stock

200ml (7fl oz) Alpro Soya Original alternative to milk

4 tbsp Alpro Soya Alternative to cream

For the breadsticks:

4 assorted part baked bread sticks

2 tbsp olive oil


1 Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes to

2 Add the pumpkin and sweet potato and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the water or stock. Season with salt and ground black pepper, cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 mins until the pumpkin and sweet potato are really tender.

3 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan, Gas 6). Cut the bread in half lengthways, then make several cuts one third of the way up the length to look like broom bristles. Repeat with the other bread, put onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 5-8 mins until becoming golden.

3 Stir the Alpro Soya Single alternative to cream into the soup, whiz everything together in blender or processor in batches until smooth. Return to the pan, gently warm through to
serve. Pour into bowls and finish with a swirl of Alpro Soya Alternative to cream.

Pumpkin And Sweet Potato Soup

Cuddle Fairy

Oozing Eyeballs with Spaghetti Worms


Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

500 g minced turkey

3 tablespoons pesto sauce

25 g fresh white breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

salt and freshly ground black pepper

50 g Mozzarella cheese, from a block, cut into thin sticks

350 g jar Newman’s Own Basilico sauce

4 extra large pitted black olives, sliced into 12

300 g dried spaghetti

1.Preheat the oven to 180˚C, Gas mark 4. Place the minced turkey in a mixing bowl, with the pesto sauce, breadcrumbs and egg. Season and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Shape into 12 meatballs and place on a non-stick baking tray.

2.Make a hole through the centre of each meatball with the handle of a teaspoon, but not all the way through. Drizzle in a little of the Basilico sauce then poke a mozzarella stick into each, so just poking out the top. Top each with a slice of olive.

3.Bake for 20- 25 minutes until cooked through and the cheese has melted and is oozing.

4.Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of slightly salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti, cook for 8-10 minutes or according to packet instructions and drain well. Return to the pan to keep warm.

5.Place the remaining Basilico sauce in a small pan, heat gently until hot, then pour over the spaghetti and toss well.

6.Divide the spaghetti worms between 4 bowls and top each with the oozing eyeballs. Serve immediately.

Oozing Eyeballs With Spaghetti Worms


This classic vegetable tart recipe combines fresh and colourful vegetables, a creamy filling and a delicious sauce that makes for a splendid supper to enjoy outside on a warm summer evening!

Vegetable Tart

quiche and pesto1

Serves 4 – 6
Level of difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 35 to 40 minutes

Butter for greasing
1 sheet of puff pastry
1-2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings
2 peppers, de-seeded and cut into small cubes
1 head of broccoli, divided into small florets
1 large tomato, cut into quarters, remove seeds and dice the flesh or 7 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
300g of single cream
3 medium eggs, beaten
5 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese

For the sauce:
2 garlic cloves
50g pine nuts
200g of basil
150g grated Manchego cheese
200ml of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Green salad to serve

Lightly grease a 16cm springform flan tin and line with the pastry.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic, onions, peppers and broccoli and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until they are just starting to soften. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl and allow to cool
Add the tomatoes, cream and eggs and mix all together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then spread the mixture over the pastry.
Sprinkle with Manchego cheese and place the tart in the oven at 195˚C for 25-30 minutes.
To make the sauce, lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan and then place in a food processor with the garlic, basil and Manchego cheese. Continue to blend whilst slowly adding the olive oil until smooth. Place the sauce in a small bowl to serve with the tart.

Nutritional information per serving (based on 6 servings) with 1 tbsp of sauce

Per serving
8g sugar
43g fat
17g sat fat
0.9g salt

What are your favourite tart or flan recipes?

If you want to ring the changes I have a beautiful fruit tart recipe for you.

Vegetable Tart Recipe

Almond Brittle Cake recipe

Calories per serving: 623 Fat per serving: 35.5g

Serves 12

Rachel Allen Almond Brittle Cake


150g (5oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
175g (6oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
150g (5oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g (3oz) ground almonds
2 tsp milk

Almond Brittle
vegetable oil, for greasing
100g (4oz) granulated sugar
100g (4oz) whole almonds (unskinned)

Almond Butter Icing
225g (8oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
450g (1lb) icing sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

2 x 18cm (7 inch) deep sandwich tins or cake tins


Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5.

Grease the cake tins with a little Kerrygold butter and line the bases with baking paper or greaseproof paper.

Beat the Kerrygold butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition.

Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then add to the creamed mixture with the ground almonds.

Stir in the milk.

Divide equally between the prepared tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

While the cakes are cooking, make the almond brittle.

First, grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil.

Next, combine the sugar and almonds in a heavy saucepan.

Put over a medium-low heat until the sugar turns caramel colour, carefully rotating the pan until the almonds are covered – this will only take a few minutes.

Very carefully pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Cool. (TAKE GREAT CARE when making caramel and NEVER touch it – it reaches an extremely high temperature. Keep a watchful eye on the pan as you make it – don’t just leave it to cook).

Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing, beat the Kerrygold butter until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar, using a hand-held electric mixer.

Beat in the vanilla extract.

Chop half the cooled almond brittle finely and stir it into the icing.

To assemble, spilt each cake in half. Spread with butter icing, then sandwich the two cakes together with more icing. Spread the rest of the icing around the top and sides of the cake.

Break off some shards of almond brittle and arrange on top of the cake. Coarsely chop the rest and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Alternative: Use whole unskinned hazelnuts instead of almonds for the brittle.

Do you have a favourite almond recipe to share?

My Random Musings
Twin Mummy and Daddy

Caramelised red onion and sherry Christmas gravy recipe


Perfect gravy

You will need:

100ml sherry

500ml good quality liquid chicken stock

3 tbsp The English Provender Co. Caramelised Red Onion Chutney


Place the sherry in a pan and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the stock and reduce on a high heat until you are left with about 100ml. Stir in the chutney and serve.

How do you make gravy?

As with most things food-related I have strong memories of my mother’s kitchen. If you had asked her what the secret to her luscious gravy was, she would have said to always use meat juices and add plenty of onions. Gravy was thick and thin gravy was a novelty when I grew up and went out and about.

I confess that I tend to take the easy option if I am making gravy and use gravy powder. I do add in the meat juices and these days frozen diced onions make everything a lot easier.

Him Indoors is very creative when it comes to sauces and gravy. He likes to experiment. This means sometimes you are in for a real treat and sometimes it does not quite work.

Gravy Recipe With Red Onions And Sherry