Four Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

I just can't seem to give up on soup, even though spring is on it's way. It must be the bite of snow in the air that is stopping me from embracing salads yet! Either that or it has become an addiction!

Four Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
24 cherry tomatoes
6 ripe medium tomatoes on the vine (or any full flavoured tomatoes) chopped in half
6 sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 red bell peppers, quartered
1 onion, quartered
1 clove garlic
1 pint vegetable stock
1 handful basil
1 handful coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes, vine tomatoes, red peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil and season. Place on a heated oven tray under the grill and cook until starting to brown at the edges.

Pour tomato mixture into a blender, along with the sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. Whiz until smooth.

Pour the soup into a pan and add the vegetable stock. Heat gently and taste for seasoning.

This soup is also delicious served cold.


This is the tastiest soup I have had in a while and that is saying something, because I have eaten a lot of soup recently.

You may have noticed?

Here are a few other tomato soups to try out:

Coconut and Tomato Soup with Horseradish by Nami-Nami

Tomato Soup with a Twist by Running With Tweezers

Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Seasonal Herbs by Fatfree Vegan Kitchen

Peasant Cabbage Tomato Soup by A Veggie Venture

Pesto & Peas

I have gone very green with this pasta topping, to compliment some unusual spring onion tagliatelle I bought from the Herb Kitchen.

Pesto & Peas on Spring Onion Tagliatelle


handful basil
handful pine nuts
1 clove garlic
4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
5-6 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

Whizz up all the ingredients in a blender. I quite like to toast the pine nuts first, to give them a bit of extra flavour.

Cook the tagliatelle until al dente. Add the peas to the pan a few minutes before the pasta is ready.

Drain the pasta & peas and toss in the pesto. Season and top with some grated parmesan.


Raspberry, Carrot & Basil Smoothie


There are just too many colds and viruses floating about just now, so I am trying to make sure my intake of fruit and veg is quite high.

Smoothies are the perfect way to supplement your daily portions, so without further ado, here is my latest effort!

Raspberry, Carrot & Basil Smoothie

2 carrots
3 cups frozen raspberries
1 apple
1 handful fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 cups water

Peel and chop the carrots and apple. Add all the ingredients to a blender and whizz until smooth. If you are using fresh raspberries, you probably won’t need so much water. The frozen raspberries make the smoothie into a very thick thickie, so add the water as you need it.

This smoothie has the tartness of the raspberries and is lovely and rich. The carrots and basil are very understated, but they are there! And, what a gorgeous colour it is!

I was sneaky and passed this smoothie to Graham, pronouncing it as a raspberry smoothie. There is no way he would have considered trying it if I had listed all the ingredients. It worked a treat and he loved it! I did tell him later and I think he will be happy for me to add carrots from now on. Yay! A success!


Curried Parsnip & Sweet Potato Soup

Curried Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped,
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 heaped tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp hot mango chutney
6 cups water
juice of 1 lime
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a small pan and dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds then roughly crush in a mortar and pestle.

Heat the oil in pan and when hot add the spices and allow to sizzle for 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, on a medium heat until softened.

Add the parsnips and sweet potatoes and cook for another few minutes. Add a splash of water before adding the turmeric to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir well and then add the mango chutney and the water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the parsnips and potatoes are tender. Stir in the lime juice.

Spoon out a few of the vegetable to decorate the soup with and then whizz the rest of the soup until fairly smooth.

Serves 4-6 (I think, but I wasn't counting!)

Happy Soup Making!

Banana and Custard Tart

And easy recipe for Banana and Custard Tart from Delia Smith's book How to Cheat.

banana & custard tart

Whoop! Whoop! There is a new series starring Delia Smith, will be aired and there is a cookbook to go along with the series. This banana and custard tart is from the book.

Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking

How to Cheat at Cooking is Delia's first book for five years and I am sure it will be well worth the wait!

The recipes from the series and in the book aimed at when you don't have much time on your hands. I thought, well if it's good enough for Delia, it is good enough for me!

Banana and Custard

Bananas and custard work so well together. For some of us it reminds of of nursery food as it is often served as pudding to babies and toddlers.

And yes it's comforting and tastes so good together.

Delia is onto something.

pin it for later

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It's kinda healthy

Well there is some sugar and fat in there, but it is pudding so what do you expect. However it does contain lots of banana and they are good for us and definitely one of our five a day.

Bananas, which are botanically a berry, I know that's nuts right, are high in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6. They are also a good source of potassium and magnesium.

They also contain protein and fibre. So lets concentrate on that!

Banana and Custard Tart

Yield: 8
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 10 M
An easy recipe for banana and custard tart with shortcuts.


  • 320g chilled ready rolled shortcrust pastry
  • 400g  fresh custard (veggie or vegan)
  • 3 bananas
  • juice of half lemon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp melted butter (or dairy-free spread
  • icing sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 180c/160c fan/350f/gas mark 4.
  2. Brush a loose bottom flan tin with a little melted butter. Carefully unroll the pastry and lay over the flan tin. It if breaks up, don't worry, just gather it together and roll out until it is a little larger than the tin. Fit the pastry carefully into the edges and cut off any excess.
  3. Cut a circle of greasepoof paper, again a little bigger than the flan tin, place on top of the pastry and weigh down with ceramic baking beans. Bake blind for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160c. Remove the beans and paper, then bake again for another 10 minutes. Remove the pastry from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Pour half of the custard into the pastry case and smooth over the base. Slice the bananas and toss in a little lemon juice. Cover the custard layer with the sliced bananas and top with the rest of the custard. Drizzle with a little maple syrup. 
  5. Place back in the oven for another 40-45 minutes. If it looks like it is starting to brown, then cover with foil.
  6. Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool. The custard will firm up as it cools.
  7. Dust with icing sugar.
  8. Enjoy!
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pie, tart, banana pie, banana and custard pie, banana tart, banana and custard tart, pudding, nursery pudding
dessert, pudding
Created using The Recipes Generator

Disclosure: I bought this book myself and used my own quantities to replicate Delia's recipe as close as possible after watching the programme.
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