- 3 red peppers, halved and seeded
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, skinned and chopped
- 1lb/450g vine tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 1 long, red chilli, finely chopped or 1 chilli flakes
- 1 pint/500ml chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt, pepper and 1/2tsp sugar
Place red peppers, skin side up, on a lined baking tray, under a hot grill until the skin has black blisters
- Put hot pepper halves into a polythene bag for 15mins. The skins should now peel easily. Cut peppers into chunks.
- Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onions until soft and transparent.
- Add tomatoes, peppers and chilli and cook for a further few minutes, then add stock.
- Simmer, never boil, the soup gently for approx. 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly, liquidize, then sieve to remove any excess skin or pips.
- Taste and season accordingly.
Reheat to serve. Then spoon a dollop of crème fraiche into each serving and scatter snipped chives on top.
Leek, brie and pinenut tart (Croustade)
- 10oz/275g brown breadcrumbs
- 1-2 cloves garlic, to taste, skinned and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 medium leeks, trimmed and washed
- 1 large egg and 2 egg yolks
- ½ pint single cream
- 2 oz pine nuts, seasoning and nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Mix together base ingredients thoroughly, and then press firmly around the sides and base of a 9inch/23cm oven proof flan dish. Bake for 20mins, or until crust is slightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
- Make the filling. Heat the oil and sauté the sliced leeks until soft. Allow to cool slightly.
- Spoon leeks over tart base, arrange Brie among them evenly.>
- In a bowl beat the eggs, cream and seasoning together, and pour over the leeks and Brie.
- Scatter with the pine nuts, and then bake for approx. 25 mins, or until centre no longer wobbles.
- Serve warm with lightly dressed watercress.
- This tart may be reheated at a gentle temperature
Chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms and shallots
- 1tbsp olive oil/2 shallots/8 small mushrooms finely chopped
- 25g/1oz cream cheese
- 6 thin slices of Streaky bacon
- 2tbsp chopped parsley/1tbsp chopped basil
- 125g/4oz soft butter/ squeeze of lemon juice
- 4 chicken breast fillets, with skin
- White wine for cooking
- Gently fry shallots in the olive oil until softened, but not browned. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until reduced and softened.
- Remove from heat, allow to cool, adding cheese and half of parsley. Season and mix well.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Now make herb butter. Beat 2oz butter until soft, and then add remaining parsley, lemon juice, basil and season.
- Transfer onto a sheet of greaseproof paper; shape into a cylinder in the paper. Chill until firm.
- Carefully cut a pocket in the side of each chicken breast.
- Spoon the chilled stuffing in the pocket. Secure the stuffing by wrapping a piece of streaky bacon tightly around each chicken breast.
- Lay the chicken, in a roasting dish, pour a little white in the base of the dish.
- Brush with remaining butter, cover with grease proof season and roast at 180C for 20-25 mins, until cooked right through.
- Cut herb butter into thin slices and place on top of chicken breasts. Garnish with fresh parsley and basil. Delicious!
Rhubarb is in season now and is fantastic as a classic crumble or why not try poaching it and spreading inside a Victoria sponge with some delicious double cream!
Asparagus is only in season for a few weeks of the year so enjoy it while you can – try it with creme-fraiche, parmesan and garlic and pour over tagliatelle for a quick and tasty supper!