Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

A happy and healthy 2011 to everyone!  Wishing you many wonderful meals with your favourite people.

photo: SMH

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Festive gingerbread

Gingerbread men, modified from the Hummingbird Bakery recipe

We made these at the weekend to celebrate my little girl's first birthday. They went down really well, a whole batch were eaten within a few hours, despite gingerbread men easily outnumbering adults at the party! It was lots of fun decorating these too, but even a plain gingerbread man can put a smile on anyone's face. They keep really well, and definitely should be eaten outside Christmas time - too yummy to only eat for a few weeks of the year.

This makes quite a large quantity - approximately 24 gingerbread or more. Enough for your family and gifts!
400g plain flour
¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
180g unsalted butter, room temp
125g soft dark brown sugar or dark muscovado
1 egg
125g black treacle (such as Tate & Lyle - available in larger Coles in Australia)
Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt) in a large bowl and set aside.
Put the butter and sugars in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attached (or handheld electric whisk) and cream on slow speed until light and fluffy.  Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat in the egg and treacle, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Turn the mixer back down to slow and slowly add the dry ingredient mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time, stopping often to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Once an even dough has formed, take it out of the mixer, divide into 3 and wrap each piece in glad wrap. Leave to rest over night to develop the flavours. If you don't have the time for this, rest for as long as possible.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170C.
Take the dough out of the fridge and leave to soften for 5-10 mins.  Lightly dust a surface with flour and roll out the dough to about 4mm with a rolling pin. Cut out shapes with biscuit cutters. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking trays and bake for 10-15 mins. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, especially if decorating!
Royal icing
1 egg white
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
310g icing sugar, sifted
Beat the egg white and lemon juice together in a freestanding mixer (paddle attachment) or handheld whisk. Gradually add the icing sugar, mixing well after each addition to ensure all sugar is incorporated. Whisk until you get stiff peaks. If icing is too runny, add a little more sugar. Stir in a few drops of food colouring if  desired. Tip – if you don’t have a piping bag, place mixture in a sandwich bag and snip off the corner to pipe through. Works a treat.
No need to keep to any formula with decorating - I think personalised gingerbread really talk. There are some great animal biscuit cutting sets at IKEA that could really come to life if baking with younger kids. For our birthday gingerbread, with dipped the feet into melted chocolate and immediately placed into a bowl of hundreds and thousands. They definitely had happy feet!

PS a huge thank you to Sarah for helping me out with little girl's birthday - she spent hours with me baking on a 30 degree day, not to mention decorating every type of sugared birthday delight. thank you 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

divine decadence - chocolate fondants

Chocolate fondants are one of those desserts that get everyone ooooing and aaaahhing. Everyone I know at least.

They look a little like a souffle when done well, which gives a massive wow factor, and they are very versatile in what you can serve them with. There aren't many things that don't go with a goey chocolate pudding, are there?

I think I'll be trying poached cherries in liqueur and also some orange segments in the new few weeks. But then a dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream also won't go amiss. I made these last week in the middle of the week, and although it's not something I would normally do without lots of time, it was so decadent and fun even. Melting chocolate makes everything better, even a day of crying and high fevers.

I must apologise for the photography. Although I'm not exactly the presentation queen, they did look a bit better in the flesh. These are really simple and totally worth a go. I think the only tricky thing is timing - you just need to go with your gut when you pull them out of the oven. If they still wobble a lot, they're probably not ready. Don't worry about them deflating if you have to put them back in - they aren't souffle-like and will work out just fine!

The aim is a runny chocolate sauce interior that flows out of a cakey exterior. Chocolate perfection


200g dark cooking chocolate
60g butter, chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/3 cup brown sugar


Preheat oven to 180C and grease 4 small ramekins (125ml)

Melt chocolate over a saucepan of boiling water (double boiler). Stir until smooth and allow to cool.

Place butter, eggs, flour and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Then place in another bowl and slowly add the melted chocolate (cool) until combined.

Spoon into the four ramekins and cook for 15-20 minutes. They should be moulten in the middle, but be firm to the touch on the outside.

Leave in the ramekins for 5 minutes, then turn out of the ramekins and serve with a sprinkle of icing sugar or cocoa powder and your choice of accompaniment. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

my 5 favourite foodie things, right now

There have been a rash of these sorts of posts on blogs I love to read; Sarah Wilson, Laura Valerie's blog Life.Beauty.Laughter and also Lemon Butter's blog. I'm not too keen on picking ideas so directly, but them I'm new to blogging, and what's more they are some of the more interesting posts to read.

As this is a food-centric blog, I'll try not to get too far from the point, but obviously cook books are pretty essential too.

Book depository

My mecca. I love how simple they make it to browse and buy books. Not to mention knowing that you need to pay in AUD, and free postage. I've been buying way too many cook books - I make myself feel a little better about this by slipping in the odd children's book for my daughter.

My favourite purchase in the last little while has been Sophie Dahl's 'Miss Dahl's voluptuous delights' , and as you might expect of a multi-career gal, she has a lot to say about food, eating, being fat and being thin. The physical book smells so special too, it's printed on the most beautiful, but slightly coarse paper, and the photography takes me straight back to England.  So many recipes to try out - I'm loving her Dhal with saffron rice recipe at the moment.


Something I've been experimenting with only in the past few months. It's got a slightly nuttier flavour than either couscous or rice, but could replace either in your meals. The major benefit is that it's healthier - with higher levels of protein, and a lower GI than either couscous or rice. And it's gluten free, and although I don't have a particular problem with gluten or wheat, I've become much more conscious of how many foods contain wheat, and that our bodies can become overloaded with it when it is a 3-meal-a-day staple.

I've been eating it instead of couscous, warm, with salad leaves, mixed beans and goat's cheese. Or whatever else I have in the house to throw into a salad and give a bit of variety. It involves a bit more work than couscous (it is essential that you rinse it to get rid of the slightly toxic outer layer) and it needs to be cooked with water for about 15 minutes.

It also makes a wonderful porridge - just place half a cup of quinoa, apple (finely sliced), cinnamon and sultanas in a small pan for 15 minutes with a cup of water or milk and stir every now and again until the quinoa 'pops' open and softens. Yum, and a brekkie full of vitality.

Full cream milk
Duh, boring you'll probably all be saying.
But truly going back to the full fat stuff has really changed the way I eat.
There have been a few reasons for going to the full cream version - firstly, kids need the full quota of fat and protein that is only available in the full cream variety. My little girl has milk in porridge and cereal and loves it already. I'm looking forward to her first birthday when I'll be able to let her drink the stuff, unadulterated, instead of measuring out formula and all those hassles.

I'm also not going to be one of those mums who has 5 types of milk in the fridge - I just can't be doing with it.

I also had problems with my thyroid a few months back - I was on the hyperthyroid side a few months after giving birth. I'm back to normal now, more or less, but am keeping an eye on it, and also learning a bit more about it. Thyroid problems really can have so many knock on effects that are so undesirable - and I found about the link of thyroid problems to soy milk a few months ago. I'd drunk soy milk for a couple of years - that is a few large lattes a day, plus maybe on breakfast cereal. That's a lot of soy for your body to handle. I can't conclusively say it was a soy-related problem, but I thought it was best to drop it for now.

So I'm back to the good old-fashioned stuff. I can't tell you how creamy it makes everything it touches. um, full cream milk in tea feels so decadent and right.

Bring on summer. To me, they are the essence of Australian summer food.
I have previously eaten full crates of mangoes by myself - by mid-summer you can find these on the side of the freeway for about $15-20. At the moment they are still a bit on the pricey side, but still maybe $3 each.

The ones with that really deep, slightly pungent flavour, set my day off on the right foot. I have them with a bit of yogurt, and maybe some passion fruit or blueberries.
They also make for the best pavlovas - looking forward to that already.

Organic Bubs food

No, this isn't really for me. But I do eat a bit of them. It often goes a bit like this in our house; ' mummy try' - then I taste, then I can get my little girl to taste too. She's been a fussy drinker first, then eater, really this whole year. I think we're getting there, in that days of food refusal and the ever pleasant retching seem to have passed.

But mummy's food really wasn't smooth enough for my little girl - and I did have those aspirations of making delicious, organic and interesting food. I just wasn't worth it - and the added frustration of having made the food that is then refused was just too much. After all we all cook food to be loved for it, don't we?

Organic bubs has been a lifesaver. Great products, amazing combinations (Raspberry, apple and rosehip or Pumpkin, apricot and fig, or even Banana and apricot power porridge with quinoa!). The best part is that they have a 'lumps and bumps range' which get your child into more adult textures. I dream that one day we might even eat solid food!

What's even better is that they are local, in our postcode area in fact, in Brookvale. And now you can get them in Coles & Woolies. Thank you Organic Bubs.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

yellow kitchenaid love

Meet my new beautiful kitchenaid. Last majestic yellow one in the country, so I'm told. I just had to have her.
Think she is the new star in my kitchen, and definitely more shapely and decorative than anything else I've got.
A kitchenaid mixer has always been on my list for kitchen wants- but baking has suddenly become much much more important. When I was working for a baking products client we knew that taking up baking was mostly linked to having kids. So true. And more than ever I need to know what is going into my food. Until recently, I would happily buy baked products from a few different places in Sydney - but unfortunately I witnessed a huge delivery of cage eggs to one of these bakeries. The treats just didn't taste the same ever again.

Vanilla gets such a bad wrap, I really dislike that quote about people being described as 'very vanilla'. Bah, they are obviously talking about E numbers replacement for vanilla, as the real deal is such a sophisticated yet straightforward flavour.
I've baked four batches of vanilla cupcakes this week, with many different recipes. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when the first few either didn't rise, stayed soggy, or became balls of cooked butter. Surely this isn't supposed to happen when you have a kitchenaid as a helper?
The fourth lot turned out perfectly, thanks to a few tips from Jasmine...

The recipe is derived from the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York. I would love to go there one day, the cakes look amazing.
This makes 24 cupcakes - so feel free to halve if you aren't catering for a birthday party!

1 cup unsalted softened butter (240g)
2 cups caster sugar(400g)
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (210g)
1 1/4 cups plain flour (175g)
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

    Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
    Mix the butter and sugar until really smooth (no longer grainy), then add the eggs one at a time, and beat well.
    Then gradually add the flour and milk and vanilla, alternating between the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well.
    The batter will be thick but also fluffy, then spoon into the paper cases.
    Bake for 20-25 mins, or until the skewer comes out clean.
    Let the cakes cool for 10 mins then turn out on wire racks. Let them cool completely before icing.

    Cream cheese icing
    30g butter
    80g cream cheese
    1 1/2 cups of icing sugar (185g)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      Beat butter and cream cheese together then slowly add icing sugar til light and fluffy.
      Tip - make sure cream cheese and butter are not straight from the fridge.

      Another great tip for beginner bakers is - don't bother buying piping kits etc, just place the icing in a zip sandwich bag and cut off the corner. Saves a lot of washing and fuss too.

      Monday, October 4, 2010

      Sydney's favourite desert - Panna Cotta

      Terry Durack of the SMH declared in July this year that 'Panna cotta is taking over dessert lists and it's time we said enough's enough'

      Image: SMH

      At the time, this made me giggle. I'm slightly obsessed with panna cotta, and have been for a while. I'm one of those people who skips straight to looking at the dessert menu when sitting down at a table in a restaurant. Seeing a panna cotta, maybe with an unusual flavour spin that would make it worthy of paying $12, would make my heart flutter a little every time. Well, that and maybe a molten chocolate cake. Which by the way also makes Terry Durack's 'same old' hit list. Luckily I'm not writing menus for restaurants, I might get well and truly stuck in a rut.

      My obsession with panna cotta has taken me to dare to make this dessert for myself. Really, part of the reason for this is that I no longer get out to the sort of restaurant where it would grace the menu. There was a small problem with this - I searched numerous kitchen shops and none of them sold the silicon dariole moulds that make panna cotta achievable for novices like me. 

      Eventually I dared to buy the solid steel ones. Sounding more than a little smug, I'm really glad I did. My main concern was the texture, after all that is what makes panna cotta panna cotta. But I need not have worried too much. They turned out perfectly; silky, glossy masses, scented with classic vanilla pods and eaten slowly and contentedly without any restaurant style accompaniment.

      I think I'll be making these for my next dinner party. They completely take pressure off dessert making as they need to be made the night before to set properly. A seasonal fruit compote of your choice would add a beautiful touch, if you were so obliged.

      My recipe:

      3 cups thick cream
      1 vanilla bean
      90g caster sugar
      3 x 2g gelatine leaves ( I used platinum strength from The Essential Ingredient

      Heat the cream and whole vanilla bean together over a low heat. Once the cream is warm, halve the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and put these back into the pan. Then returning to the heat, stir in the sugar until dissolved.
      Whilst warming the cream, place the gelatine leaves to soften in cold water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the extra water and add to the warm cream mixture.
      Next divide the mixture between six 125ml moulds.
      Cover with plastic film and leave to set overnight.
      The trick to getting them to come out of a mould is to place in hot water for a minute or so, and agitating the mould where possible.

      Do you have any panna cotta flavour favourites? Or are you completely over them?

      Felicity Cloake - Guardian love

      I've been living away from England now for 8 years. It feels like a lifetime as I've re-set my mental positioning of what constitutes home, both geographically and culturally. No longer dry stone walls, subtle light, cosy houses and long winters, I've resettled in Sydney and have got used to cicadas, white hot summer days and easy going Australians. I think it's 'for good', as they say, but I try not to think about it too much. When I do I yearn for change, for stepping out of my comfort zone, and for re-awakening the senses as you do when you leave home.
      With more time to search the web, (in between sleeps, eats and chores that is!) I've been reading the british news, particularly the Guardian online. In terms of newspapers, we get fewer dimensions in Australia, and we miss out on much of the discussion that seems to be taking place so passionately in the UK. Sometimes it's the big current themes, such as looking back at Blair's decision to go into Iraq, what and who was involved, the facts that were known. Other days, I just need to see what Kate Moss and Cheryl Cole are up to!
      But for a country that's not universally known for its food, the UK really has a fabulous new culture. There are so many sites that re-invigorate my passion for food. The content BBC website alone would seed a lifetime of cooking.
      But the Guardian website, and specifically the food section really is something else. The comment on food and food culture makes my mind wander, and my taste buds melt.  The new vegetarian by Yotam Ottolenghi makes me feel that eating meat is unnecessary for me, and Hugh Fearnley-Wittingtall's name alone takes me straight back to posh English school.

      Image: Green Fence Farm Blogspot

      But it's Felicity Cloake who really makes me think about my cooking, and being more thoughtful about how I approach new recipes and ingredients, essentially dabbling in the kitchen. I seem to do a lot of that these days. Her blog examines the modern basics in cookery - the recipes that anyone interested in cooking, or just seeing for themselves, will probably have given a go. How to make the perfect shortbread, bread, brownies, thai curry.  The little touches that make something personal, and a taste of the past.  Her entry on pesto is fabulous.

      Image: Guardian UK

      Felicity is methodical and thoughtful like a scientist in her approach to trialing recipes. She goes back to the origins of food and recipes, questioning which ingredients should and shouldn't be included, and whether they would have been available in a given time and place. This also generates some healthy debate from her loyal readers.  Felicity has made me reconsider how you select a recipe that will work for you, not just my past stance of faithfully wading into anything that had managed to get into a printed book. You know, someone must have tested it if it got into print, right?  With some of the recipes that I've cooked at home, I really wish I hadn't bothered. Spending hours in the kitchen in preparation, cost of ingredients, not to mention the washing up, with the results only to be thrown in the bin, or maybe donated to my doggies.  Through these experiences I've learned to be more picky, and do my own research.
      Anyway, if pesto is your thing it's more than worth having a look. I've started omitting garlic - I know more than a few people who thoroughly dislike raw garlic, and I think it has its merits.
      Thank you Guardian, I miss you.

      Tuesday, September 7, 2010

      Veggie heaven: chickpea curry

      My spice cupboard is beginning to overflow. With spices that I'd never heard of before I started getting into curries. I really did think that Nigella was a made up name, like a female Nigel, but it turns out that there is a seed by the same name. Who knew.
      I've spent much of the Australian winter trying out different curry recipes, they are a wonderful comfort food, and really very healthy when you make them yourself. The curry paste jars are great for a very easy meal, but they require you to ladle in the cream and are very fatty and indulgent as a result.
      Last night I tried out a new chickpea curry - I liked the sound of having a slightly bigger bean as the core ingredient in this veggie curry.

      420g tinned chickpeas (or soaked chickpeas)
      1/2 cup ghee (I use a mixture of butter and canola oil)
      1 1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds (not ground)
      2 chopped onions
      6 cloves garlic
      1 tomato, chopped
      1 chilli pepper, finely chopped
      1Tbsp garam masala
      1 tsp turmeric
      1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
      1 cup water
      1/2 cup chopped coriander

      Heat a large pan and add in ghee (or butter/oil mix). Toast cumin seeds until they begin to spit.
      Add the onions until they have a little colour (5-10 mins). Then add and saute the garlic for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chilli pepper, garam masala, turmeric, fenugreek, salt, cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes.
      Next, add in the chickpeas and once stirred through, pour in a cup of water. Allow the spices to filter through for the next 20 minutes.

      Once ready, stir in the chopped coriander and serve with rice.

      Granola, queen of muesli

      Granola has always held a sort of mystery quality, like the unattainable queen of muesli, something more beautiful and delicious than all other types. Golden oatey flapjack treacle goodness that you can eat for breakfast. And worthy of being served in foodie cafes and restaurants.
      For some reason I let it stay this way in my head until today. My friend google made it a whole lot less scary, it really is manageable!  You may have to visit your local health food store to buy some of the ingredients, but that's the only drawback. It's baking for non-bakers, no technique, just measure the ingredients and go.
      Granola is the slow cooker of baking - so over a couple of hours you will get the most beautiful smell, and warmth pushed through you house. Cinnamon and honey, homey and delicious, and not sickly sweet. Just for this alone it's pretty much worth giving it a go.
      A luxury breakfast or a mid-morning snack. This makes about 6 portions. It's also more healthy than lots of the toasted muesli in the supermarket.


      3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
      ½ cup chopped raw almonds
      ½ cup sunflower seeds
      ¼ cup wholewheat (wholemeal) flour
      ¼ cup oat or wheat bran
      1 Tbs ground cinnamon
      ¾ tsp ground ginger
      ¾ tsp ground cardamom
      ¾ cup honey
      ½ cup unsweetened, unfiltered apple juice
      1 Tbs vanilla extract
      2 tsp canola or sunflower oil
      2 tsp grated orange zest
      2 Tbs fresh orange juice

      Preheat the oven to 120C
      Mix the dry ingredients (oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flour, bran, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom). Then mix the honey in thoroughly with the other wet ingredients. (If the honey is too cold place it in the microwave for a few seconds)
      Then lay out on a baking sheet covered in baking paper.
      The granola needs to be cooked for 2 hours, but it needs to be checked and turned to avoid browning or burning the edges every 15 minutes or so.
      Leave to cool down and crisp up. Store in the refrigerator

      Once cool serve with cold milk, fruit or compote and yogurt

      For variations try adding: dried cherries, sultanas, raisins, dried banana (do not bake these!)

      Friday, August 6, 2010

      Pesto, queen of pasta sauces

      Pesto is a comfort food to me, and one that works all year round. For years I've been very loyal to Sacla's standard (basil) pesto, but when I realised how easy it is to make it, I've converted. I was given a Magimix by my lovely mum as a wedding present, and for many of the creations I do regularly in the kitchen, it has changed my life.
      Basil, of course, is the king ingredient for pesto. If you're starting a herb garden or window box it would definitely be my number one. It's great in almost all italian dishes, and just the smell of it makes me happy. Unfortunately my basil has seen better days, I think the Sydney winter has got to it. To make pesto, you need a big bunch at a time, so it might be worth investing in a few plants.

      1 bunch of basil
      1 clove garlic, chopped in half
      50g pine nuts
      50g parmesan
      100ml extra virgin olive oil
      salt & pepper to taste

      Wash the basil leaves and pat dry.
      Place basil leaves (no shoots), garlic, pine nuts and parmesan into the food processor. You will only need the small bowl for this quantity. Pulse until everything is fairly fine.
      Then with the processor on, pour in olive oil until the pesto is the right consistency to add to pasta. I like it to be a bit oily, not only because I love the flavour of the olive oil, but it helps really cover the pasta.
      Taste, and add salt & pepper as necessary

      It really is a very easy recipe - cleaning up is very much the harder part here

      Last night I went for an extremely green look, using spinach pasta and tossing spinach leaves over the top. Green heaven.

      Saturday, July 31, 2010

      Flourless Chocolate Cake

      ah, chocolate, my beautiful friend.

      I'm addicted to the dark variety at the moment, sumptuous but not to sweet. I like to think I eat less of it than in the old days where I could demolish a 200g bar of Dairy Milk. I can't imagine doing that now. But if I decide to cook with chocolate, it really does have to be an ode to plain chocolate, and I only like to cook with the over 50% cocoa solids stuff, even the 70% is stunningly good when used in baking.

      This afternoon I'm having a couple of old girlfriends come over, so I wanted something delicious, a bit English high-tea style, so not everyday. This cake looked perfect. And I absolutely love Sophie Dahl, how elegant and well spoken she is, but fun too. I can imagine hanging out in her kitchen while she throws together some English goodies. So Sophie, I hope I do it justice.


      For the cake
      300g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
      225g caster sugar
      175ml boiling water
      225g salted butter, cut into small cubes, plus extra for greasing
      6 free range eggs, separated
      1tsp instant coffee powder
      2tsp vanilla extract

      For topping
      200ml creme fraiche, or whipped cream if unavailable
      200g of berries ( a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or just one of these)
      Chocolate and icing sugar to dust
      Preparation method
      Preheat the oven to 180C
        1. For the cake, grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in springform tin with baking parchment.
        2. Blend the chocolate and sugar in a food processor until a fine powder forms. The add the boiling water, butter, egg yolks, coffee powder and vanilla extract and blend until well combined.
        3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed, then, using a metal spoon, gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
        4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
        5. Allow cake to cool, then place in the oven for 2-3 hours
        6. To serve, place on a platter and smooth creme fraiche over the cake, before decorating with berries, chocolate and icing sugar

          Hoping to see Sophie Dahl's BBC show on TV in Australia before too long.

      Wednesday, July 28, 2010

      Yellow Soup (Pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot)

      Many of my friends might think that I would be the sort of person who would enjoy going to a naturopath. They could be right, but I would actually rather spend money on other things... like a massage for example. But a while back I decided that I would give it a go as I was having some problems with my skin. I found the whole set up very interesting, entertaining even, but not something that has changed my life, or my skin for that matter. Anyway, the point of all this is that the one thing I took away was that yellow & orange fruit and vegetables are good for my blood/personality type (however, not citrus). And I do crave yellow veggies in particular through winter.
      Cumin is really the hero here - a wonderful spice that adds winter warmth to anything it touches. not to mention that hint of sunshine.
      I've been making this yellow soup every week since it got cold really. I'm not very measured with what I put in, but I'll try to estimate for my first blog post:

      1kg pumpkin, chopped
      500g sweet potato, chopped
      4 carrots, chopped
      1 onion, chopped roughly
      100ml milk
      2 tsp cumin
      1 tsp hot chilli powder
      1/2 bunch fresh coriander
      500ml Vegetable or chicken stock (liquid or powdered)

      Fry the onion until translucent.
      Then add the pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots along with the stock. Bring up to the boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Leave on a low/medium heat for half an hour.
      Then use a stick blender in the pot to blend the soup to a thick consistency.
      Then add the milk, cumin and chilli powder and leave on low heat for another 5 mins.
      Next add the fresh coriander either use the stick blender to get the coriander through the soup, or just add as a garnish

      Serve with some greek yogurt and wholegrain toast.  Bon appetit.