Easy Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon Brittle

I first made butternut squash soup with candied bacon last autumn, after watching a masterclass episode of MasterChef Australia in which Matt Preston shared his recipe for an easy pumpkin soup garnished with pepita (squash seeds) and bacon candied in brown sugar. I simplified his recipe further to come up with the version I shared last year.

Since then, I’ve changed the way I candy the bacon pieces for a crunchier texture; I think it’s more accurate to call this version bacon brittle. The recipe produces twice as much bacon brittle as you need for two bowls of soup but it’s very hard to resist adding more so the extra soon disappears. It will last a day in the fridge in an airtight container or feel free to halve the amounts.

Pete and I like the subtle warming flavours of the mixed spice, but you can certainly omit the spice if you like. I’ve made it both ways and we like both versions.

Vegetarians can substitute pumpkin seeds for bacon, toasting them gently before mixing them into the hot caramel and allowing the brittle to set.

This year, I’ve been able to use our homegrown butternut squash for the first time and just love them so we’ll definitely be growing more next year.


Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon Brittle

Serves 2 (with extra bacon brittle)

150 grams cubed pancetta/ lardons or chopped streaky bacon
100 grams caster sugar
1 butternut squash
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or bacon fat drained from cooking the bacon)
100 grams caster sugar
0.5 litres homemade chicken or vegetable stock (or water)
Salt and pepper
Optional: 2-3 tablespoons double cream


  • In a frying pan, dry fry the cubed bacon until it the fat starts to colour a little, about 5-8 minutes. I like my bacon to still have some chew, but you can cook a little longer for a more crispy finish if you prefer.
  • When the bacon is cooked to your liking, scoop out the bacon pieces and set aside. Optional: retain the bacon fat left in the pan, to use when cooking the squash.

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  • Before starting the bacon brittle, get a baking tray ready by lining it with greaseproof paper or a silicon mat.
  • In a clean heavy-based frying pan evenly sprinkle the sugar across the surface area and cook over a medium heat. Do not stir, and keep a continuous watch.


  • When most of the sugar has melted into a clear liquid, shake and swirl the pan gently to mix hotter and cooler areas and help the rest of the sugar to melt. Do not stir!
  • As soon as the melted sugar begins to brown, watch like a hawk.
  • Once the sugar takes on a decent caramel brown colour, remove from the heat and immediately add the bacon pieces. Mix thoroughly and quickly.
  • Immediately pour out the mixture onto your prepared baking tray and poke any lumps flat with a wooden spoon, if needed. The brittle will start to set very quickly, so you won’t have much time. Leave the bacon brittle to cool and harden.

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  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  • Peel the squash and remove seeds and fibres from the centre. Roughly chop the flesh into chunks, about an 3 cm or so in size and spread them out in a baking dish.

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  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of mixed spice (if using) and a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil or bacon fat (or a mixture of both) over the squash.
  • Bake until soft, 30-40 minutes.
  • Heat the stock in a pan or the microwave, or boil the kettle if using water.
  • Put the baked squash, stock (or water) and a little salt and pepper into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add double cream, if using, and briefly blend again.
  • Taste and add more seasoning if required.
  • Serve the squash immediately, with broken pieces of bacon brittle on top.



Looking for more inspiration? Try Nazima’s Winter Squash Veloute with Chipotle Lime Roasted Seeds & Apple, Camilla’s Spelt and Butternut Squash Cake and Becca’s Paneer Stuffed Butternut Squash.

I’m entering this into Ren’s Simple & In Season (hosted this month by Katie) and Michelle & Helen’s Extra Veg and Jo’s SuperSoup challenges.

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I made this soup using my lovely Froothie blender, which is fast becoming one of the most frequently used appliances in our kitchen. It’s so powerful and quick, it’s a pleasure to blitz fruit and vegetables. We also enjoy using it to blend and cook really quick soups from scratch, such as this recipe for courgette and blue cheese soup, and a simple tomato soup made with fruits picked only seconds before – making this in the Optimum 9400 resulted in an incredibly fresh tasting soup. It’s also a doddle to make custard from scratch, which is excellent news for ice cream making!

Kavey Eats received a review Optimum 9400 power blender from Froothie. All opinions are my own. Please see the right side bar for a special offer on buying the Optimum with an extended warranty via my affiliate link.

Quick Courgette & Blue Cheese Soup | Made in a Power Blender

I guess I’m like a kid with a new toy at the moment. Here’s another power blender recipe for you, made once again in my Froothie Optimum 9400 blender.

We’re in the midst of a courgette glut (something I’m very happy about as I love them and feel rather sad in those occasional years when our harvest fails). This quick and tasty soup recipe is a great way to use courgettes. It’s also the perfect choice for the courgettes you failed to spot and which grew a bit larger than you intended; of course, you can make it with smaller courgettes too!


Quick Courgette & Blue Cheese Soup | Made in a Power Blender

Serves 2

850 grams roughly diced courgette (weight after removing ends and scooping out seeds)
75-100 grams strong blue cheese
30-50 ml double cream
Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Place courgette into blender jug. Pulse until courgette has been liquidised. You may need to pause between pulsing once or twice to shake the jug, and help distribute the courgette to within the blade’s reach. Don’t be tempted to add water, as it’s not necessary (and you don’t want to water down the flavour of your finished soup).
  • Once the courgette has been liquidised, add the blue cheese and cream and switch on the blender, ramping it up to the highest speed.
  • Leave it running for 6-7 minutes until the soup is piping hot.
  • Taste and add seasoning, blend for another few seconds and taste again.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Great with fresh bread or toast.

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Check out these posts for more great power blender soup recipes:


Kavey Eats received an Optimum 9400 blender from Froothie. Kavey Eats is a member of the Froothie brand ambassador programme, but under no obligation to share positive reviews. All opinions published on Kavey Eats are 100% honest feedback.

Special Offer: For an additional 2 years warranty free of charge on any Optimum appliance purchased, follow this link, choose your Optimum product and enter coupon code “Special Ambassador Offer” on checkout.

Norwegian Fish Soup Recipe

In December I was invited to a seafood cookery class hosted by my friend Signe Johansen (blogger, food writer and food anthropologist) on behalf of the Norwegian Seafood Council, to showcase the quality of Norwegian seafood and share some ideas for how to make the most of it. Having cooked several different dishes with the skrei they sent me last year – miso marinated cod, fish and egg pie, fish and chips and a cod and chive dish, I was keen to try some of the other seafood available.

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Signe and Hannah (her sous chef for the class)

Sig’s menu included prawn and crisp bread canapés, smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraiche, beetroot and pickled cucumbers, some deep fried cod fritters, a warming Norwegian seafood soup and a fantastic rice pudding with whipped cream and berry compote. There was warming gløgg too!

The recipe I’m sharing below is for the seafood soup, which Sig called a Norwegian chowder, in recognition of the American side of her family background. Unlike the American chowders I’ve had, it’s not thick – the soup is broth-like in consistency – but it does have a great depth of flavour and plenty of richness from the cream. Sig recommends serving with crisp bread but I enjoyed it with regular white bread to soak up the liquid.

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Signe’s Norwegian Fish Soup

Serves 6-7 as a starter, 3-4 as a main

For the chowder base
200g Norwegian cold water cooked prawns, shell on
1 small onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 small fennel, finely diced (keep the fronds for garnish)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
2 litres fish stock
2 star anise
2 parsley stalks
2 threads saffron
5 allspice berries
For the soup
500g Norwegian salmon, sliced into bite-size chunks
300g cooked new potatoes, sliced in half
300ml double cream
100ml good cooking brandy
1 large leek, thinly sliced
Chives for garnish
300ml crème fraîche to garnish at the end (optional)
Salmon roe to garnish (optional)

Note: We didn’t have any prawns on the day, so these were omitted (which meant we didn’t need to strain the stock-flavouring vegetables out). We used a mix of salmon and other fish. We didn’t garnish with crème fraiche or salmon roe.


  • Start by making the chowder base. Sauté the onion, carrot and fennel in a skillet or frying pan over a low heat until soft and translucent. This should take about 5-10 minutes depending on the pan.
  • Peel the prawns and keep the shells, adding the latter to the pan with the sautéed vegetables and fry for about 5 minutes (keep the prawns to one side to add as garnish to the chowder).
  • Transfer this mixture over to a medium-large saucepan along with the fish stock, allspice berries, star anise, parsley stalks, bay leaf and saffron. Simmer for 30 minutes until the stock turns a pale orange from the shells and saffron, and then sieve the stock into a slightly smaller saucepan. Throw away the prawn shells and other flavourings, as you don’t need these anymore.
  • Flambé the brandy or cook off the alcohol in a small saucepan and add this to the stock. Boil this soup base until it has reduced by half; if the base tastes bland at this stage, keep reducing until the flavour takes on a concentrated seafood note. Every fish stock is different, so judge to your taste.
  • Meanwhile sauté the leek in a little butter until soft and add to the stock, along with the double cream. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add all the salmon. Allow to cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the fish is pale pink and opaque.
  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary then add the cooked, sliced new potatoes, the prawns and serve while warm with a chive, fennel frond and salmon roe garnish. Rye bread complements this tasty chowder perfectly and a dollop of crème fraîche is an indulgent optional topping.

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Kavey Eats attended this cookery class as a guest of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Easy Butternut Squash Soup with Candied Bacon

Although I find our Masterchef series has become dull and formulaic I really enjoy Masterchef Australia, hosted by Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston. Although the occasional over-the-top sycophancy of some of the contestants can be a little grating, mostly they are just exhuberant and gung-ho in a way we seldom embrace in the UK but ought to a little more; it’s energising! I like the range of challenges the Masterchef Australia contestants are given; so much more varied than our trio of stints in professional kitchen, random staff canteen and cooking for the judges. I also like the masterclasses given by the presenters and guest experts.

One recent evening, we ploughed through a few episodes stacked up on the DVR, including one featuring a masterclass by Matt Preston. I loved the simplicity of his recipe for “pumpkin soup with a twist”, and we made a further simplified version for lunch the very next day, using the organic butternut squash we had in the fridge.

I particularly liked his idea to garnish the soup with bacon and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) candied in brown sugar. Although I have, in the past, carefully saved the seeds from a squash, washed them clean of all the fruit clinging to them and roasted them in the oven, I decided to skip the pepitas this time. I also simplified the overall recipe quite a bit more, skipping the apples, onions, garlic in the soup and the fried sage leaves on top.

It was ridiculously easy and it was rather good; ideal for those who love sweet-savoury combinations.


Butternut Squash Soup with Candied Bacon

1 butternut squash
1 tub of home-made stock (beef, chicken or vegetable), approximately 1 litre
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
150 grams cubed pancetta, lardons or chopped streaky bacon
3 tablespoons Demerara sugar


I’ve updated this recipe, turning the candied bacon into more of a bacon brittle; the caramelised sugar solidifies to a satisfyingly crunchy texture. Please see the updated recipe here.

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  • While the oven preheated to 180 C, we cut the butternut squash into thirds, sprinkled a teaspoon of mixed spice and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over it and baked in its skin for approximately half an hour.
  • In the meantime, we defrosted a tub of home-made beef stock we had in the freezer.


  • We fried the pancetta until cooked before adding 3 the brown sugar. We cooked these together for a minute or two until the sugar dissolved and darkened. We realised afterwards that it could have done with a minute or two longer in the pan to add a touch more crunch, and may also have benefited from draining some of the rendered bacon fat before adding the sugar. We poured the candied bacon onto a silicon baking sheet to cool.

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  • When the squash was roasted, we peeled the skin away and added it to the stock.


  • When both were hot we blended the soup till smooth and then seasoned to taste.
  • We served the soup with candied bacon and fresh, soft white bread.


With so few ingredients, the quality of the organic produce we used gave the finished dish wonderful flavours.


Kavey Eats was sent a selection of organic produce by Organic UK Food as part of the Organic Naturally Different campaign.

Pete’s Home-made Cream of Tomato Soup

When I’m feeling poorly I always long for the foods of my childhood. Suddenly the familiar holds a much stronger appeal; there’s deep comfort to be found in the things we’ve loved the longest, and that applies tenfold to food.

My shortlist is an assortment of my mum’s home-cooked Indian food, typical English school-dinner comfort stodge and big brand ready-made favourites. A good example of the latter is a steaming hot bowl of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup with buttered slices of pappy processed white bread.

But surely a home-made version, made from home-grown tomatoes and served with home-baked bread (and really good butter), would be even better?

Having grown our own tomatoes for many years, I set Pete the challenge of creating a soup in the Heinz style, but made with a shorter, simpler set of ingredients. Heinz’ soup contains modified corn flour, dried skimmed milk, milk proteins… nothing particularly scary but not ingredients we’d use at home either.

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To my delight, Pete nailed his home-made version on the first try! He completely failed to write down the recipe back then, but when he made it again recently (with the last frozen batch of last year’s tomatoes), I insisted he keep a record.

His delicious soup consisted of tomatoes, onions, fresh cream, home-made chicken stock and seasoning. That’s it.

I have never been a huge soup lover, usually preferring something more solid. And it’s rare I lose my appetite, even when poorly. But occasionally I yearn for a light meal, something simple, something tasty and fresh, something comfortingly familiar, something warming that soothes a sore throat as well as a fractious soul…

For those occasions, I can thoroughly recommend Pete’s Home-made Cream of Tomato Soup.


Pete’s Home-made Cream of Tomato Soup

1 medium onion, finely diced
600 grams whole tomatoes
800 ml chicken stock
100 ml double cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, for cooking


  • Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the onion until golden.
  • Add the tomatoes, peeled if you have the patience and fry until they break down.
  • Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour to reduce.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Blitz in a blender or food processor and sieve to remove seeds and skin.
  • Warm through again on a gentle heat, stir in cream and continue to warm until piping hot.
  • Taste, season and serve with fresh bread and butter.


What are the foods you long for when you’re feeling poorly or sad? Do you turn to childhood favourites too?

Mamta Reviews: Cuisinart Soup Maker

The idea behind the Cuisinart Soup Maker is an all-in-one cooking and blending machine for making soups and sauces.

When Cuisinart offered me one to review, I asked my mum, Mamta, to put it through its paces, as she regularly makes soups at home.

It looks like a regular jug blender, but has a number of extra features including a heating element with low, medium and high settings, a non stick cooking plate, a thermal glass jar with 1.4 litre capacity for hot liquids, stainless steel blades with 4 speeds settings and pulse and a stir button for mixing ingredients during cooking. The RRP is £139 but you should be able to find it for under £100 if you shop around.


Of the design, mum judged it a “sturdy, attractive” item but mentioned that it’s large, and would “need a fair bit of space” on your work surface or in the cupboard. (It’s footprint is 20 x 22 centimetres).

First, mum read through the instructions and recipe booklet. The instructions are “fairly well written” but do not make it clear that the jug has to be lifted, not unscrewed, off the base. She points out that as many jug blenders require a twist and lift action to remove the jug, it might be worth making this clearer so  there are no unfortunate accidents with hot liquid.

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For her first trial, mum used the sweet potato and red pepper soup recipe provided, though she used yellow pepper instead of red.

She found the instructions “easy to follow” and “the result was tasty“.

But I was expecting to put everything in it and go away, not stand doing things step by step. You have to heat the plate of the bowl first with oil, then add and fry onion garlic etc. stirring from time to time (there is a stir button for this), then add vegetables and stock, then bring it to boil, then simmer and then blend. So you have to be watching it most of the time and have to be around. I can do this when making a soup in a pan. The only difference with pan method is that it has to be blended by a hand blender or poured into a blender, so a tad more washing up to do.”

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She also found that the simmer button didn’t make things simmer, and she had to use the medium and high settings to achieve this.

For her second trial, she made prawns in tomato sauce, a pasta sauce recipe also from the recipe booklet.

She found it “easy to make, partly because I already had chopped onions.”

Again, her main comment was that “you have to be standing there to add onion garlic, stir, add tomato puree, stir, add tomato, cook, stirring off and on, and then finally add prawns. It isn’t much harder to cook in a pan.”

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Over the next couple of weeks she made a number of different soups.

Too much faffing about for a simple soup!“, she said. “The only time it has an advantage, may be, is when you are making a blended/smooth soup.”


Her last experiment was to use it to make dal-palak (chana dal with spinach).

The dal got stuck to the bottom hot plate, which was a hell of a job to clean, I had to use a toothbrush to get under the blades. It is possible that the glass bowl screws off from the base of the jar, but my old hands could not unscrew it. It is too heavy anyway.”


After over a month of extended use, here are her final comments:


  • Attractive design.
  • Easy to use.
  • Makes good soup.
  • It might be useful for people living in bedsits or studio flats“, with limited or no kitchen facilities; “they could cook a lot of things in it, once they got the hang of it.”


  • Large. Takes up “precious space in my kitchen“, whether “on the table top or inside the cupboard“.
  • You have to be around to go through the steps of the dish you are making (stirring, blending etc.). You can’t put the ingredients in and forget about it. So there is very little advantage over a pan. Even for a blended soup, you can cook it in a pan and use a stick blender” to make it smooth.
  • When food gets stuck to the cooking plate, it’s very difficult to clean.
  • At the low and simmer settings, things just sit in the bowl, nothing seems to happen, no simmering at all. Only the medium and hot settings seem to work.”
  • The timer keeps running out before before things are ready and when you come back to the kitchen, you find that it has switched itself off. You then have to start again, never knowing how much time to put in.”
  • The glass bowl is very heavy for a person like me to lift in and out of the base socket.”
  • It’s “more difficult to keep an eye on it and adjust for taste” than when using a regular pan on the hob.

In summary, mum feels that, whilst it sounds like a good idea on paper, if you have a stove top, a large pan and a stick or jug blender, it’s simply not necessary and delivers no advantage. Rather, it’s one of those “white elephants that you get carried away into buying.”

Kavey Eats was sent a complimentary soup maker for review by Cuisinart.

New Covent Garden Company’s Soup of the Month

The New Covent Garden Soup Company have recently launched an idea to community source a new soup each month. The winning soups will be sold nationally as Soup of the Month specials.

Recently, they asked me to get involved in trying the shortlisted soups for their first such soup, which will be on sale in August. The competition theme was "Fetes, Festivals & Shows" and they asked people to submit soup recipes which celebrate British summer time, something they would be proud to present at any local fete, festival or show.

Once the entries were all in, they started by narrowing down the entries to 5 or 6 which were made up in their test kitchens to the consumers’ exact recipes. These were then narrowed down to the three with the most potential to appeal to their customers, and the recipes were tweaked to ensure good quality results when made in the factory, in larger volumes. They tasted their own versions against the submitted recipes again, to ensure they were true to the originals, and then sent them to me to review.

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Tim Doran’s Summer Heat soup combines roasted red peppers with tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, onion and stock with a whole scotch bonnet chilli to add heat. Crème fraiche, basil, lemon juice and seasoning are also included.

Lisa Aimal’s Courgette & Camembert soup adds onions, chicken stock and crème fraiche to the two signature ingredients of courgette and camembert.

Abbie Eales’ Fezziwigs Coconut Shy soup includes sweet potatoes, ground coconut, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, cayenne and paprika.


I enjoy Tim’s Summer Heat, but for me, it’s something best suited to cooler months, when the heat from the scotch bonnet can help warm me up. That said, the red peppers and tomatoes are reminiscent of warm Mediterranean sunshine.

Lisa’s soup combines two of my favourite ingredients, but lacks punch in terms of flavour. Neither the courgette nor the camembert really shine; perhaps they are a little too watered down by the onion, stock and crème fraiche. Almost there, but not quite.

My favourite is Abbie’s entry, which is, as she describes, "sweet and spicy and exotic enough to bring up images of sunnier climes". I also really like her note that it works well both hot and cold, and indeed I tried and enjoyed it both ways. Today’s Britain is multicultural, and many ingredients from around the world have found a place in our regular repertoire.

Abbie’s original recipe, as submitted to New Covent Garden Soup Company, is below.


The New Covent Garden Soup Company are now calling for entries for their October soup of the month, the theme of which is Halloween. The deadline for entries is May 10th and you are encouraged to get creative with the name of your soup as well as the recipe!


Abbie Eale’s Fezziwigs Coconut Shy Soup

500 ml chicken stock
3 large sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
1 large onion, finely chopped
100 grams ground coconut
100 mls hot water
1 inch of root ginger, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking instructions

  • Put the ground coconut in a bowl and add the hot water to rehydrate it. Leave for 20 minutes.
  • In a pan heat the sunflower oil and lightly fry the onion until it becomes translucent.
  • Add in the chopped garlic, ginger, cayenne and paprika and fry quickly.
  • Add in the coconut and water mixture, and stir for a minute until it thickens slightly.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and heat until it starts to simmer.
  • Add in the cubed sweet potato. Leave to cook until the potato is nice and soft; about 15-20 minutes.
  • Use a hand blender to blitz your soup. I like it with a bit of texture still, so you can tell there is ground coconut in it rather than coconut milk.
  • Serve hot or cold.

Kavey Eats received samples from the New Covent Garden Soup Company. Recipe reproduced with permission.

Happy Halloween + Indian Pumpkin Recipes

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The majority of my friends are real killjoys when it comes to fancy dress, so I seldom indulge. But last year, I went to town with hair dye, skeletons, cobweb scarf, spooky jewellery and green nails.

I think I got the “demented witch” look down pat!


You can learn more about the origins of halloween in my pumpkin carving post from last year.

Happy Halloween from Kavey Eats!

If your interest in pumpkins veers more to the eating than the carving, here are some great Indian recipes for pumpkin from Mamta’s Kitchen, my mum’s website:

And lastly, a recipe that’s also perfect for Diwali celebrations:


Glorious Soups!

Two reasons why I hadn’t come across Glorious Food‘s soups:-

1) I’m not a huge soup eater.
2) They aren’t (yet) stocked in my nearest supermarket.

The main reason for the first is that I often find soups to be quite dull. Whilst the flavours are often great, the lack of texture, bite, chew makes me feel like I’m eating baby food and regularly relegates soup to the role of get-well-soon food or the occasional winter warmer.

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I came across Glorious when they generously offered me complimentary tickets to the Taste Of London 2010 festival where they had a colourful and welcoming stall.

I was a little nervous about accepting – after all, what if I didn’t think much of their products? Regular readers have worked out by now that I’m not one to recommend anything I don’t genuinely like and I won’t hold back from negative comments if I think they are warranted.

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Luckily, Glorious manage to counter the baby food problem by including generous chunky bits of meat, pasta, vegetables which make their soups vastly more satisfying than the various posh, fresh soup brands I’ve tried before.

I really like their soups! Phew!

My favourites so far are Tuscan Chicken & Orzo (which includes proper mouthfuls of chicken not to mention that lovely orzo pasta), Toulouse Sausage & Bean Cassoulet (nice, firm beans, proper bits of sausages in a lovely rich saucey soup) and Sunny Thai Chicken (which is lifted by the addition of lovely sweet potato).

I’ve also tried their Big Easy Chilli Cream Sauce which we used with chicken and pasta. In retrospect, given it’s Thai-like flavours, it would have been better with rice, but even with pasta it was delicious!

The soups last well in the fridge and are quick and easy to heat.

I’m really hoping they will be available in my Waitrose soon, as I’ve been thinking longingly about that Chicken & Orzo soup on a number of occasions, especially during some of the drizzly days spent in the Lake District recently!

Hand on heart, I’m happy to recommend these soups to anyone looking for a simple, tasty and hearty meal… even better with some fresh, crusty bread!

Variation on Angela Nilsen’s Carrot and Coriander Soup

On the way to somewhere else we passed a farm shop and popped in for a quick look. We ended up buying a huge bag of carrots for £2. I think about 4 or 5 kilos!

Coincidentally, last weekend we picked up The Ultimate Recipe Book by Angela Nilsen, featuring a rather handy Carrot and Coriander Soup recipe!

Since we also had a large bunch of coriander leftover from last weekend’s Indian feast we decided to make the soup and also to try Nilsen’s soda bread (to compare it to the recipe I use currently).

The soup was delicious! I absolutely loved it and Pete really liked it too.

We did adjust the recipe. As per the recipe we stripped the coriander leaves from the stems and put the stems in with the carrots, potato, stock etc. The rest we were meant to half; chopping one half to sprinkle over/ stir in to the soup after blending and blitzing the other with some olive oil into an oily paste to drizzle over the finished soup (with some single cream) once in the bowls, for presentation. Since we were freezing more than half of the soup we decided to put all the fresh coriander leaves into the soup at the blending stage giving us a beautiful greeney-orange soup rather than the bright orange one we would have got otherwise.

Ingredients (adjusted)
• 25g butter
• 1 tbsp sunflower/veg oil
• 1 medium onion
• 3 plump cloves of garlic
• 40-50g coriander, including stems
• 500g carrots
• 100g potatoes
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1.5 pints vegetable stock

Instructions (for adjusted version)
1. Peel and dice onion
2. Peel and chop garlic
3. Peel (or just scrub for young, fresh carrots) and slice or dice carrots
4. Peel and roughly dice potatoes
5. Heat butter and oil in large pan/ stock pot.
6. Gently fry onion and garlic until soft, at least 5 minutes, probably longer.
7. Add carrots, potatoes and coriander stems (don’t bother to remove leaves completely from stems, just chop off and throw in the visible stems below the leafy tops) and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Add cumin seeds and coriander powder and stir/ mix well for a minute.
9. Pour in stock, bring to boil, lower the heat and cook, covered for about half an hour until carrots and potatoes are soft.
10. Turn off heat and leave to cool for a while.
11. Once cool enough to easily handle stir in coriander leaves and blitz in blender or food processor, in batches if necessary.
12. Season to taste and serve or freeze!

Did I say GORGEOUS?! This is definitely one we’ll be making again!

The soda bread was nice enough; lighter than my existing recipe since it had no oatmeal in it at all. But I think I like the oatmeal one a little more and will stick to the recipe I’ve already been using.