Spooky Soupy……

Ok, so this is a really tenuous halloween recipe.

I was going to make you guys pumpkin muffins or pumpkin pie or pumpkin and sesame autumn salad or something else appropriately pumpkin-y, but the tooth (or rather the gap where my tooth used to be) is still really sore and I’m feeling really quite sorry for myself, so all I want to eat is soothing, nutritious, no-chewing-required, soup.

Why not pumpkin soup? Because l already did that here. Dagnammit, I should have planned ahead!

So you’re going to have to make do with this recipe instead, but you’ll see that I’ve given it a halloween twist with the delightful spider web cream topping:

Yep, that really is the best I’ve got.

Sweet potato and chestnut soup

Serves four

  • 3 mid-sized sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 litre good quality strong vegetable stock
  • 200 grammes chestnuts (Yes, you can roast and peel your own. No, I didn’t: I used Merchant Gourmet pre-peeled and packed chestnuts)
  • 2 onions peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (more or less according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Soya cream to serve (Alpro Soya Single Cream)


  1. Place the sweet potato, onion, garlic, chilli and ginger into a pan with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for ten minutes. Add the chestnuts (reserving two or three for serving) and simmer for a further five minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Blitz everything in a blender (add extra stock if the texture is too thick for your liking).
  3. Serve with a spiral of soya cream and trail a knife through the cream to create a spider web effect and a dubious link to halloween. Chop up the chestnuts that you reserved and sprinkle to finish.

Another super easy soup – Happy halloween everybody!

A note on recipe credits

A lot of hard work, time and effort goes into creative cooking and so I strongly believe in crediting recipes properly and only reproducing other people’s recipes with the creator’s consent. All the recipes I have posted so far on this blog have been my own.

This soup is one that I’ve been cooking for about five years, the original recipe came from a Sainsbury’s christmas magazine which I have long since lost. I’ve certainly veganised the recipe and I suspect I’ve actually adapted it quite a bit over the years, but if it is uncannily similar, then my apologies that a full recipe credit hasn’t been given.


Got my appetite back : English breakfast muffins with thyme portobello mushrooms

Whilst I still feel like the back of my jaw is trying to crawl out of my face via my ear, nothing keeps my appetite away for long, not even the removal of a wisdom tooth: My husband (affectionately) calls me The Gannet for my ability to  guzzle down vast quantities of food no matter what the circumstance.

So this morning we’ve had toasted english breakfast muffins, with lashings of vegan spread and portobello mushrooms fried in olive oil with an inordinate amount of sea salt (don’t judge me, sometimes you just got to embrace the bad stuff) and a good two handfuls of thyme. Yum! I would post the recipe but really there is no need, you have everything you need in that first sentence.

So here is me circling for breakfast:

Where’s my breakfast?!
Photo credit : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gannet

And here is the finished product:

English breakfast muffins with portobello mushrooms and thyme – done

Happy Sunday everyone!

The unexpected luxury of a wisdom tooth extraction….

Well, after several months of waiting, the day has finally arrived.

This afternoon I will walk the flourescent lit corridors of the Queens Medical Centre, attend upon the maxillofacial surgeon and say goodbye to my left bottom wisdom tooth. Hopefully a very quick, pain free, goodbye.

It’s been a two year journey of denial to this point, of various bouts of antibiotics and pain that I have shrugged off with an ‘anything is better than going in to hospital to have it removed’.

Because, dear reader, I am a complete and utter chicken.

I am scared of hospitals, scared of needles, scared of maxillofacial surgeons (even though I hadn’t even heard of them until my appointment two months ago), scared of pain, scared of being so scared that I turn into a wreck and have to be escorted from the building jibbering.

So scared that even now, typing this some six hours ahead of my surgery, my hands are shaking (just a little tiny bit).

And yet……..

There is a silver lining, because knowing that I was going to be next to useless today, I decided not to put my colleagues through the misery of having to hear me whimper all morning and have taken the morning off.

Reader is there anything more luxurious than a lie in with the husband on a Thursday morning, a cooked breakfast, an almond milk latte and tapping out a blog post whilst still in pyjamas?

This is my kind of Thursday morning. I’ll worry about the afternoon later.

Sunday Shortbread

It’s been busy, busy, busy these last few weeks. We had friends to stay one weekend, went to Norfolk last weekend for my sister’s birthday and we’ve been to the Cotswolds this weekend with some of my uni friends……phew, fun but tiring!

Tough times at the Cotswolds Water Park

There has been little time for long leisurely cooking but now it’s Sunday evening and therefore time for me and Mr HFTB to relax. We’ve just polished off a roast dinner and felt like a cheeky little pudding might be in order but I didn’t want to spend an age baking. There was only one thing for it:

Sunday Shortbread with Strawberry Jam

Serves Two for a Treat


  • 50 grammes good quality buttery vegan spread (I think I’ve already espoused my

    Sunday Shortbread with cream and jam

    personal preference for Vitalite)

  • 25 grammes golden caster sugar
  • 80 grammes plain flour

To serve :

  • Strawberry Jam
  • Soya Cream


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 190 c. Grease a baking tray.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat together until fluffy. Add the flour and beat for another 30 seconds until well combined, this should give you a mixture which is almost a breadcrumb type texture. Knead into a dough.
  3. Now if you are being good and patient you should wrap the dough into clingfilm and chill in the fridge for twenty minutes. This allows the fat in the mixture to harden and prevents the dough from relaxing too quickly in the oven, you will get a crumblier less gluteny texture to your shortbread if you do this. If it’s Sunday evening and life is too short to make perfect shortbread, then skip this step and go straight to 4.
  4. Roll the dough out on your work surface with a rolling pin until approx 1 centimetre thick and cut out using the cookie cutter of your choice. Place on the baking tray.
  5. Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until pale golden brown. You can either place these on a wire rack to cool or serve them straight from the oven with a dollop of strawberry jam and some vegan cream.Tuck in!