Butternut, brie and cranberry tartlets with rosemary shortcrust

Butternut and brie tartlets with cranberries and shortcrust pastry

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (hint hint) and this week I am teaming up with Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts to bring you two brand new recipes to spoil your mum with this Sunday. Today we are starting off with something savoury in the form of these rustic butternut, brie and cranberry tartlets with rosemary shortcrust pastry… ooh la la!

 

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Coconut Thai curry with chickpeas (vegan)

Thai vegetable curry with butternut

 

A few posts back I mentioned a fantastic new recipe book I had bought for myself. “Deliciously Ella” by Ella Woodward is a must have for your collection if you are following a vegan diet or simply looking for more plant-based inspiration when it comes to your meals. The book is filled with tons of tasty ideas and her recipes are simple and easy to follow  Although I have only had a chance to try a handful of her recipes this simple vegan Thai curry with chickpeas is definitely my favourite so far!

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Creamy butternut soup

Creamy butternut soup with cinnamon.

I don’t think I could have chosen a better day to share this recipe. The rain is (finally) coming down in buckets outside as Cape Town gets pummelled by a monster storm and right now I can think of no better lunch than a steaming bowl of delicious soup. Preferably followed by a nap. Local schools have been closed for the day due to the storm so there is not much chance of the latter but I will settle for soup!

Aerial shot of butternut soup with cream.

I enjoy all kinds of soups, but I tend to favour the classics – for me nothing beats good old tomato soup or a creamy butternut soup. I have kept this recipe fairly simple with a touch of warming spice to complement the veggies. This is an easy soup to throw together and the best part is that you can make a big batch and freeze it, ready for those cold winter days.

For more soup inspiration please check out these recipes for french onion soup, mushroom soup with chevin and thyme toasts, and carrot and coriander soup. What is your favourite soup when the weather turns chilly?

Butternut soup with spices and cream.

Serving suggestion – top the soup with toasted flaked almonds, flat leaf parsley, a swirl of cream and some freshly ground black pepper. Add a few slices of toasted ciabatta and you are good to go!

Make ahead tip – make a batch of soup and freeze in single portions for soup anytime you feel like it.

 

CREAMY BUTTERNUT SOUP

  • Servings: 6 (Makes 6 cups)
  • Print
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 baby leeks, sliced
  • 4 celery sticks (about 10cm), sliced
  • 500g peeled and cubed butternut
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • large pinch of sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 150ml cream
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • cream / parsley / black pepper / flaked almonds to garnish (optional)
  • toasted ciabatta to serve (optional)

1.) Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over a low heat. Add the onion, leeks, celery, butternut and potatoes. Cover the pot and leave the vegetables to sweat for 10 minutes. Shake the pan regularly to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.

2.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the salt, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon and stir for a minute or two. Add the stock and stir well. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20-25 minutes.

3.) Set the pot aside to cool for a few minutes. Use a food processor or stick blender to puree the soup until smooth.

4.) Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream and sherry. Heat through over a low heat. Check the seasoning and serve.

 

Sweet potato, butternut and chevin Tarts

Sweet potato puff pastry tarts.

“Paddington thought for a moment. ‘I think I’ll start in the kitchen,’ he said. ‘I may make some pastry. Bears like pastry.’ “

Excerpt from Paddington and the Busy Day – Michael Bond

I cannot make anything pastry related without thinking of good old Paddington Bear. At the age of one my daughter decided he was the best thing ever – so much so that he was the theme for her second birthday party. (You may remember these marmalade sandwich cookies from a while back.) Her younger brother, now almost two, has followed suit, and we would not dream of tucking him in at night without at least one Paddington adventure to send him off to sleep.

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The Knorr Flavourful Goodness Experience

Last Thursday I was invited to attend the Knorr Flavourful Goodness Experience at the SA Chef’s Training Academy in Observatory. Food bloggers, nutritionists and members of the media were invited to “rediscover the joy of simple family cooking” along with familiar face Chef Wendy and the Unilever team.

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Roasted butternut and rice pizza

This week we got back to basics with a new challenge in the Freshly Blogged campaign. Round 7 saw us presented with a list of some of my favourite kitchen staples – butternut, leeks, tinned tomatoes, fresh thyme, rice and a baguette. I almost always have these ingredients on hand, they are the building blocks of many of my favourite meals. The challenge here would be to combine them in an interesting and creative way. And including rice, baguette and butternut in one delicious carbo-loaded dish was going to require some thought!

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