Halloween soup

This post is my entry into the 1st Edition Tiendeo cooking competition  for Seasonal Recipes! Find out more about them at: http://www.tiendeo.co.uk/Winchester.

I’m a big kid and will always carve a pumpkin on Halloween night, despite living in a place where we don’t even get trick or treaters. I just love doing it, how often do you have an excuse to carve a face into a vegetable?! Even though I’m not all that good at pumpkin artistry I still attempt it every year…


This year’s attempt!

My other tradition for Halloween night is to use some of the pumpkin flesh to make a batch of soup, something I also loving doing. Soups are so simple but often so satisfyingly tasty. Here’s a snap shot of this year’s Halloween soup, served with toasted pine nuts, buttered granary bread and a side of garlic stuffed mushrooms…


This year’s Halloween soup

It was a really tasty soup, if I do say so myself! It was lovely and thick, perfect for the wintery weather we’ve been having. For anyone who’s interested in recreating my Halloween soup, here’s a rough recipe….


  • Roasted pumpkin and/or Butternut squash (I used both)
  • Roasted pepper (I used an orange one – mainly for the colour, red or yellow would be fine too)
  • Carrots and Parnships steamed in butter
  • Chopped red onion sweated in butter
  • A clove or two of chopped garlic
  • Chicken Stock
  • Low fat/single pouring cream
  • Garlic Salt
  • Mixed herbs
  • Toasted pine nuts for garnish

As you can imagine with soup, you essentially just chop and blend the ingredients in a food processor and add a little cream to taste. I kept the consistency fairly thick so that the pine nuts would float on top nicely.

So that was my Halloween. Hope everyone else had a good one and that the trick or treaters were fewer than expected – leaving you with a plentiful supply of sweets!



Great British Bake Off Withdrawal…

I must be missing the Great British Bake Off because I’ve been thinking about baking, frequenting bakeries and even actually baking far more than than ever before. I  baked this last week….

Filo Pie


Yes, it’s a filo pastry pie! I’ve been craving filo pastry ever since  Kimberley’s filo pie on the Great British Bake Off.  Okay, so it’s made with shop bought filo. I’m not  exactly GBBO standard and I couldn’t risk my dinner going wrong so I had to use the pre-made filo pastry. However the filing idea was all my own – seasoned chicken and stir fried vegetables with roasted red pepper, feta, spinach and cous cous, kind of a Moroccan flavoured theme. Next time I may leave out the cous cous though as it did dry out quite a bit in the baking process.

I was surprised at how easy filo pastry was to work with and how simple it was to make a pretty design. If you fancy having a go, the above is made by simply laying out sheets of pastry and adding a line of filling, then simply rolling this up into a sausage shape, placing in  a round tin and repeating the process. So easy!

Tonight I think I’m actually going to bake bread to go with my home made Halloween pumpkin soup. The GBBO mourning continues!