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Quick Spicy Tomato & Lentil Soup recipe

Posted by on Tuesday 9 November 2010 in cooking, recipes | 1 comment

Spicy tomato and lentil soup is a great, hearty soup, which can be made quickly & simply – and from cheap, store cupboard items. As a result, it’s one of my favourite emergency soups when we need something quick and warming – it only takes about 30mins from start to finish.

The observant may notice a pattern with the things I cook. What can I say, we love spice-inspired endorphins. ;) Again though, like with the spicy butternut squash soup from a few weeks ago, for us, this is more flavourful than highly spiced – easy to add more for head-exploding spiciness though.

Quick spicy tomato & lentil soup

Yield: 6-8 decent size servings – a whole lot of soup!

Total cost: Using stuff from the store cupboard, but less than £2 overall


1 onion – half finely diced, the other have a bit bigger
oil for frying
2 cloves of garlic (or equivalent puree)
3tsp cumin seeds
1 red pepper – finely diced (this is the only non-store cupboard item and is completely optional)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
4tsp of tomato puree
2litres of hot vegetable stock
150g-200g of red lentils (depending on quite how thick you want it), rinsed

2tsp ground coriander
2tsp mixed herbs
half tsp dried chilli flakes (or 1tsp of chilli powder)
salt + pepper to taste
2 bay leaves

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Spicy butternut squash soup recipe

Posted by on Wednesday 27 October 2010 in cooking, recipes | 2 comments

I made this spicy butternut squash soup for lunch for John, Strowger and me yesterday; Strowger liked it so much that he wanted the recipe so I thought I’d put it on here :)

For us spice fiends, it’s more flavourful rather than head-exploding spicetastic – if you’d prefer the latter, just add more dried chilli flakes. The flavour comes more from the cumin & ginger than from the chilli.

If you don’t have a blender or stick blender, using a potato masher to squash the … squash when it’s ready. The resulting soup won’t be quite as smooth but it should break down easily to give a chunky soup consistency.

Spicy Butternut Squash soup recipe

Makes: 5-6 decent size servings
Total cost: the butternut squash was £1 so probably about £1.50 in total


1 large onion
25g of butter
2 cloves of garlic (or 2tsp of garlic puree)
2tbsp of cumin seeds
1 large butternut squash (it weighed about 3lb before any prep)
1.5ltr of hot veg stock (ish)
2 large pinches of dried chilli flakes (add more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
2tsp of ground ginger
Black pepper
Salt (to taste)

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Simple spicy smoked mackerel kedgeree recipe

Posted by on Thursday 7 October 2010 in cooking, recipes | 4 comments

We had some reduced-to-clear smoked mackerel in the freezer so I decided to make some kedgeree for a quick but tasty dinner on Monday evening.

It’s a bit buttery, pretty spicy and quite, quite fishy – basically yum on a plate. And it’s easy to make too.

Easy spicy kedgeree recipe

  • Makes 3 large portions – and extra egg and a little more rice would easily make four medium size ones.
  • Takes about 15 minutes
  • Cost – about 80p per portion (although with our reduced-to-clear fish and homegrown eggs, ours was about 30p the other day – win!)


  • Two large knobs of butter (25g)
  • An onion
  • Garlic – a clove or equivalent puree
  • 200g (basmati) rice
  • 500ml of veg stock
  • 200g (ish) smoked mackerel
  • 2 (or 3) eggs – hard-boiled
  • Fresh coriander leaves to taste


  • 1 decent fresh red chilli or 1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 2tsp of curry powder
  • 1tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1tsp of whole coriander seeds
  • 1tsp of yellow or brown mustard seeds
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Spicy plum chutney recipe: plum & chilli jam

Posted by on Friday 24 September 2010 in preserving, recipes, wild food | 5 comments

With the last of the plums from the wild tree next to our house, I made a delicious spicy plum and chilli chutney.

The plums are slightly smaller than cultivated ones but highly flavoured – both sweet & tart at the same time. Yum!

My Spicy Marrow Chutney recipe uses flavours inspired by the Indian sub-continent but this spicy plum chutney uses flavours from further east than that.

It’s not a thick jelly-ish jam but is delicious spread thinly on a cracker and topped with a piece of tasty cheese. Mmm, cheese.

Spicy plum and chilli chutney recipe


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Spicy marrow chutney recipe

Posted by on Thursday 16 September 2010 in cooking, preserving | 19 comments

Here’s the first recipe from my preserving marathon on Tuesday: spicy marrow chutney.

With all the different spices, it’s got a very full taste rather than a one-note blast of chilli heat.

It’s not the texture of either smooth jelly-like jam nor chunky like Branston — although it would be possible to make it like that – just cut the marrow a lot smaller to start with, blend the onions etc and skip the mashing stage. I did it my way because I wanted something more spreadable for sandwiches. Plus chopping up so much marrow into teeny-tiny pieces? yawn.

It’ll be amazing with ham and beef.

Spicy marrow chutney recipe


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