Spiced Chickpea and Lemon Soup

Spiced Chickpea and Lemon Soup

From 500 Soups.


• Olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger
• Two 400g (14oz) cans chickpeas
• 450g (1 lb) ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or canned if out of season)
• 1 litre (1 ¾ pts) chicken or vegetable stock
• 2 tablespons chopped fresh parsley
• Juice of about half a lemon,
• Salt and pepper.


• Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, and cook gently for 4 minutes.
• Stir in the cumin, cinnamon and ginger, then add half the chickpeas, the tomatoes and most of the stock, reserving about 200ml (7 fl oz). Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
• Meanwhile, process the remaining chickpeas and reserved stock to a smooth purée in a food processor or blender.
• Stir the purée into the soup. Stir in the parsley. Add salt and pepper, and lemon juice to taste, and serve.


Beetroot and Lentil Salad

Beetroot and Lentil Salad

From Community. I was missing some of the leafy herbs, and I cheated by using canned beetroot, but the great thing about salads is that you can usually get away with messing with the ingredients a bit. I have included the original recipe in full below, so you can see how it’s supposed to be done.


  • 300g lentils
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eschalots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ cup dill fronds
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 200g aged cheddar
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves

Pickled beetroot:

  • 6 beetroots (750g)
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves


  • To pickle the beetroots, scrub and clean the beetroots well. Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Stir and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours until the beetroots are tender. When cool, peel the beetroots and cut into 2cm cubes.
  • Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and cook for 20-25 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the eschalots, garlic, sugar and cumin and sauté until tender and starting to brown. While the lentils are still warm, stir through the eschalot mixture, along with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finely chop the parsley, dill and coriander. Break the cheddar into rough bite-sized chunks.
  • Spoon the lentils onto a plate and top with the pickled beetroot. Scatter over the spinach leaves, herbs and cheddar. Finish with a drizzle of oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

You can make these with any chocolate cupcake recipe, and add peanut butter frosting on top. This recipe uses my favourite cupcake base, but check out my cupcake page for other chocolate cupcake options.

Gluten-free vegan option: Make these GF/V by combining the basic GF/V chocolate cupcake recipe with the vegan peanut butter frosting listed on my buttercream post. 

Ingredients – cupcakes:

• 3 eggs
• 180g sugar
• 250g peeled and finely grated carrot
• 2 tablespoons strong coffee
• 120g rice flour
• 50g almond flour
• 40g cocoa
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 100g chocolate chips

Ingredients – icing:

• 100g butter, softened
• 65g smooth peanut butter
• 3 cups / 360g icing sugar
• 3 tablespoons 45ml milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 100g dark chocolate, melted

Method – cupcakes:

• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for five minutes until the mixture is quadrupled in volume and extremely fluffy.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
• Whisk the carrot and coffee into the mixture.
• When they are fully incorporated, add the flour, ground almonds, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Beat with an electric whisk or fold with a wooden spoon until well combined.
• Fold in the chocolate chips.
• Spoon into prepared muffin trays lined with paper cases, so the mixture reaches four fifths of the way up the sides.
• Bake for 25 minutes.
• Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then at room temperature for at least half an hour before icing. Make the icing while you wait.

Method – icing:

• Using an electric beater, whisk the butter until pale and softened.
• Add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

• Pipe melted chocolate into shapes onto a tray lined with baking paper. Leave to set, then garnish the cupcakes. Alternative options include drizzling melted chocolate over the icing, or sprinkling with dark chocolate chips.

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

Original recipe from http://chinese.food.com


• 1 tablespoon dry sherry
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 3lb / 1.5 kg boneless chicken breast

• 2 large eggs, beaten
• ¼ cup cornstarch
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• Vegetable oil

• 1 cup chicken broth
• ⅓ cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 lemon, sliced


• Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Cut chicken into finger-sized pieces, add to bowl and marinate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
• Combine eggs, cornstarch and baking powder in a large bowl; stir well. Dip chicken into batter, coating well.
• Heat oil in a large heavy skillet. Fry chicken over medium-high heat until golden, turning occasionally. Arrange on a serving platter.
• Fry lemon slices in oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir-fry for three minutes or until the sauce is thickened and clear. Pour over chicken.
• Serve with fried rice.

Pita Croutons

Pita Croutons

Make or buy pita pockets (GF vegan recipe here). Cut in half horizontally, then cut each half into six triangles. Brush with olive oil, and bake for ten minutes at 200°/400°F. Flip over and bake for another five minutes.

Let cool, then serve with your favourite dip (I like hummus!) and veggie sticks.



From Bake, a neat recipe book divided by various regions of the world. This is obviously from the (very substantial) French section. The name means “thousand leaves”, and consists of layers of puff pastry between vanilla cream. Prep time is 1 ¾ hours, with 45 minutes cooking time.


• 1kg / 2lb 4 oz puff-pastry
• Flour, for dusting

• Crème pâtissière:

– 2 tablespoons cornflour
– 125g / 4 ½ oz caster sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 500ml / 18 fl oz milk
– 2 egg yolks

• Icing:

– 2 egg whites
– 350g / 12oz icing sugar
– 100g / 3 ½ plain chocolate, broken into pieces


• Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Divide the pastry into 3 pieces on a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Roll out a piece to 5mm / ¼ in thick square. Transfer to the prepared tray, prick all over with a fork, then place another try on top to prevent the pastry rising.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the top tray, then return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining pastry. Leave to cool, then cut each pastry square in half to make 2 rectangles.
• To make the crème pâtissière, put the cornflour, caster sugar and vanilla extract into a saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and egg yolks and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
• Place a piece of pastry on a wire rack, spread with one fifth of the crème pâtissière, then place another piece of pastry on top. Spread with another fifth of the crème pâtissière and top with another piece of pastry; repeat until you have used all of the crème pâtissière, then top with the final piece of pastry.
• To make the icing, put the egg whites and icing sugar into a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and beat with an electric whisk for 5 minutes until thick. Pour over the top piece of pastry.
• Melt the chocolate and pour into a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle, and use it to draw wavy lines on the icing.
• Using the tip of a knife, draw perpendicular lines through the chocolate, from top to bottom then alternating bottom to top. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges of the millefeuille.
• Cut the millefeuille into 12 rectangles, chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Slow-Cooked Thai Kumara and Pork Curry

Thai Pork Curry

From Allyson Gofton’s Slow.


  • 1 kg lean pork for casseroling
  • 2 large kumara, peeled
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • Fish sauce (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 250g sugar snap or snow peas, blanched
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Rice to serve


  • Turn the slow cooker on to low to pre-warm while gathering and preparing the ingredients.
  • Cut the pork, kumara and carrots into chunky 3-cm/1-inch pieces.
  • Optional: Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan and brown the pork pieces over high heat. Brown the onion lightly.
  • Into the pre-warmed slow cooker put the pork, kumara, carrots, onion, curry paste, tomato paste, kaffir lime leaves and coconut cream. Stir to mix and cover with the lid.
  • Cook on low for 5-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Season with pepper and a dash of fish sauce if desired. Add the tomatoes, sugar snap or snow peas, basil and coriander and cover with the lid. Cook on high for 15 minutes before serving with boiled jasmine rice.