Cream of Mushroom Soup

This is one of those recipes you’ve probably thought “I could do that at home, rather than opening a tin” but then you baulked at not knowing quantities, ratios, timings, or suggestions for additions.

Try this for a quick ‘n easy soup recipe, which is hearty, filling, and warming; and gives you oodles of suggestions for personalisation.

Serves: 4
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Portokalopita – Greek/Cretan Orange and Filo Pie

I did some research on portokalopita, and was delighted to discover an easier baking alternative to baklava.

It’s a Cretan-Greek traditional sweet treat, and actually is a totally delicious beauty, with raisins (or not) with an orange syrup soaked in. If you’ve cried over defrosted frozen filo, like me, it’s quite cathartic to be able to rip it up.

Serves: up to 24 depending on portion size
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Blackberry Upside-Down Chiffon Cake

You could use any soft fruit / berry that you like – it’s coming to the end of blackberry [bramble] season so I’ve used those, but blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots etc would all work [see Fruit footnote].

This zesty & fluffy gluten-free yoghurt & oil cake contrasts well with the spicy, darkly-sugared fruit. It’s not dairy-free due to the yoghurt.

Serves: 12 – 16 depending on portion size
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Carrot and Coriander Spicy Thick Soup

Everyone can make soup. This recipe is a stepping-stone to your own creativity: adding different spices ‘n herbs, & varying the texture to include both creamy and chunky bits.

I used a dried ‘Scotch broth mix’ (pearl barley, yellow & green split peas, blue peas, red split lentils, and dried veg [potato, carrot, leek, cabbage, swede, celeriac]), but you can ignore that.

Serves: up to 8 as starter, 4 as main course
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Blondies with White Chocolate and Cranberries

Amongst my usual tasting crowd there are a few folk who don’t like dark chocolate. Last week I re-made my Marbled Cheesecake Brownies for them, so this week, I’m using white chocolate.

Adam Byatt’s Cranberry Blondies recipe from the Great British Chefs website was a great starting point; I’ve made them gluten-free and added a few spices and darker sugar.

Makes: up to 30 depending on size
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