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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Fajitas with Chicken, Veg, Spices and Herbs

This isn’t a recipe so much (other than making tortillas): It’s a stepping-stone for you to unleash your own creativity. Go wild with your choice of spices, herbs, and fillings (see footnotes).

Children will LOVE making the flatbreads and filling them with their choice of ingredients, spices, and herbs. This is a fantastic way to introduce them to new flavours, too.

Serves: 6 – 8 depending on appetite
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Pizzas – Individually Sized

This is the Great Italian Chefs’ pizza dough recipe although I changed the preparation to show you how to create 4 generously-sized individual pizzas with your choice of toppings.

I made this recently with children aged 5 to 12 and they loved participating in every step, kneading dough, smelling herbs, and deciding on their own toppings/presentation.

Makes: 4 (large-ish) pizzas
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Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Vegetable Tart

Pastry is easy, and this version using roasted parsnip is as easy as my other pastry recipes. There’s a crossover between the pastry and filling steps, but doing it all together means less preparation time overall.

The roasted parsnip pastry (thanks Steph!) is filled with layers of roast veg, chickpeas, spinach, and more, for a hearty and warmingly-spiced vegetarian main meal.

Serves: 10-12 as a starter, 4-6 as a main meal
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Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Big shout-out to The Curry Guy for the recipe. I’ve gone off-piste (who, what, me?) and used large chicken thighs on the bone for extra flavour, but I’ve kept to his recipe in most other ways.

Sri Lankan curries in my experience usually have a coconut element; here, it’s a tin of coconut milk, with green chillies, green bell pepper, and loads of spices.

Serves: 4-8
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Poussin and Wild Rice

A poussin is a young chicken, typically sold at 1lb (450g or so). I found one in the discount shelf at the supermarket, dug out some wild rice which needed to be used, and stumbled into a fab meal for two (or, one and 2 Airedales) using bits ‘n bobs of herbs & spices.

Serve this with steamed and buttered vegetables (broccoli, green beans, mangetouts, etc) or plain crispy lettuce leaves, for a hearty main meal.

Serves: 2
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