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Contribute a recipe

We welcome interesting recipes, particularly those that suggest ways of using the seasonal glut of certain vegetables that occur whenever growing conditions are favourable. If you would like to contribute a recipe that you think would interest others, please use the form below 

Green Pea, Lettuce and Fennel Soup

Leek and Stilton Soup

Natasha's Simple Beetroot Soup

Rhubarb and Ginger Conserve

Viv’s Curried Parsnip Soup

Mark's Broad Beans

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Beetroot Baked in Cream and Lemon

Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry

Beetroot and Horseradish Pie

Cream of Turnip Soup

Lamb and Turnip Pie

Raspberry Jam

Courgette Soup

Red Currant Jelly

Pumpkin Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Green Tomato Chutney

Elderflower Cordial

Radish Leaf Pesto

Rocket pesto

Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb Wine

Greens and Cashew Nut soup

Courgette and Pamesan Soup

Beetroot and Walnut Dip (Hummous)

Chilli Tomato Jam (delicious with jam)

Runner Bean Chutney SWEET

Beetroot Chutney

Green Pea, Lettuce and Fennel Soup

Contributed by Cathy Hyslop

  • Nob of butter

  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped

  • 2 large Shallots, chopped

  • Lettuce (as much as you like)

  • 250g Peas

  • 750 ml Chicken or Vegetable stock

  • Small teaspoon fennel seeds

  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Lightly sautee the shallots fennel and fennel seeds in butter Add the stock lettuce & peas, cook for a few mins until the lettuce is wilted Puree, and season to your liking. Serve warm or at room temperature

Leek and Stilton Soup

(Serves 4)

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 3 leeks, chopped

  • 2 pints of stock

  • 5oz cream

  • 2oz stilton, crumbled

  • pepper


Lightly fry the onions, add leeks and sweat for a few minutes.

Add stock and simmer until vegetables are soft.

Liquidise then add the cream and stilton, and season with pepper.

Bon Apetit!

Natasha's Simple Beetroot Soup

(Serves 3)

There are many recipes to enjoy beetroot and to detox yourself. There are for example dozens of ways to make borsch depending on taste and season. A summer variant is cold 'svekolnik'.

  • Tennis-ball sized beetroot

  • 1 tablespoon Italian double concentrated tomato puree

  • 1 pint water

  • Sprig or two of coriander 

  • Seasoning


Boil or steam the beetroot until it is nearly soft throughout. Cool, peel and grate. Boil the water and dissolve the tomato puree in it. Add a sprig or two of coriander and season. Combine all in a saucepan; bring to the boil, stir, cover and leave to cool. Keep in fridge and serve cold after removing the coriander.

It looks stunning in a white bowl and tastes stunning too!

Rhubarb and Ginger Conserve
  • 1lb Rhubarb

  • 1lb Granulated Sugar

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice


Wash the rhubarb and cut into chunks. Stand with the sugar for several hours. Cook gently with remaining ingredients until it sets.

Chef's Tip

For a good sweet, eat with meringues, double cream and some chopped, preserved ginger!

Viv’s Curried Parsnip Soup
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced, take care to discard any woody bits

  • 2 medium chopped onions

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2oz butter

  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil

  • Fresh ginger, small cube, grated

  • Half teaspoon of…

    • Coriander

    • Cumin

    • Turmeric

  • 1½ pints of stock (I use chicken)

  • 1 Cox’s apple

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Fry the onions until soft. Add the parsnips and spices and gently stir on a low heat for another 10 minutes. Add stock and simmer for an hour before liquidising. Season to taste and serve with a garnish of grated apple. Delicious!

Mark's Broad Beans

This takes about 20 mins to cook and 5-10 mins to prepare. We always eat it with homemade chips as there is a lovely juice to mop up.

  • Broad Beans (2 good handfuls for 2 of you)

  • Packet unsmoked bacon (approx 6 rashers) - chopped

  • A big onion - chopped

  • Olive oil glug

  • Spinach – 500g washed, don’t dry it

  • Big fat clove of garlic

  • Red chilli or teaspoon of lazy chilli

  • Lemon to serve


Cook in a big pan which has a lid on hob.

Add a glug of oil and soften bacon and onion.

Add Beans and approx ¼ pt water.

Lid on and simmer 10-15 mins.

Add crushed garlic and finely chopped chilli.

Add spinach until wilty (1-3 mins).

Salt and ½ lemon juice squeezed all over to taste.

Chef's Tip

Serve with chips, if that’s what you fancy. Have ¼ lemon each on your plates to squeeze over if you want more.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This is an ideal way to use up the thin asparagus shoots (sprue) that appear in mature asparagus beds. These tend to have more flavour per ounce than the plump juicy shoots that are favoured for use as a vegetable. Use milk if diet conscious, or cream for a rich luxurious soup.


(Serves 3)

  • 12 oz (350g) asparagus

  • 3 large spring onions, chopped

  • large knob of butter

  • one stock cube (chicken or vegetable)

  • water

  • cream and/or milk

  • salt and pepper 


Snap off the tough base of each shoot and discard for composting.

Chop the shoots and set aside the tips.

Sweat the spring onions in butter in a medium saucepan.

Add chopped asparagus, stock cube and sufficient water to cover.

Simmer until asparagus is just tender.

Blend then add the cream and/or milk.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finally add the tips and reheat, ensuring that the tips retain a slight crunch.

Alternatively the soup can be allowed to cool and then refrigerated for reheating later.

Beetroot Baked in Cream and Lemon

If you should happen to be counting calories you can substitute natural yoghurt for the cream in this recipe. It will give a rather drier result but is still good. Beetroot goes with all things gamey, and I think its spectacular colour dresses up the contents of a dinner plate like nothing else can.


(Serves 6)

  • 2lb (1kg) cooked beetrrot

  • grated rind of 1 lemon

  • ¼ pint (150ml) single cream

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 rounded tablespoons breadcrumbs


Butter a shallow ovenproof dish. Slice the cooked beetroot eveningluy – about 3mm thick. Arrange the slices in the dish, overlapping each other. Sprinkle the grated lemon rind over, pour in the cream, and season with salt and pepper.

Bake in a moderate oven, 350F (180C) / Gas mark 4 (bottom right-hand oven in a 4 door Aga) for 20 minutes, then remove, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and put under a hot grill to toast the crumbs.

This dish keeps warm very well for about 30 minutes.

Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry
  • 400ml can coconut milk

  • 1 tbsp yellow or red Thai curry paste

  • 350ml fish stock, (I use boiling water and a slug of Benedicta Touch of Taste, Concentrated Fish Bouillon, but cubes would do)

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce

  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • 3 lemongrass stalks, each cut into three and bruised with the flat of a knife

  • 3 lime leaves, de-stalked and cut into strips

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1kg pumpkin, (or butternut squash), peeled and cut into large bite-sized chunks

  • 500g salmon fillet, preferably organic, skinned and cut into large bite-sized chunks

  • 500g peeled raw prawn

  • pak choi, or any other green vegetables of your choice

  • juice of half a lime, to taste

  • coriander, to serve


Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined.

Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.

As I mentioned, you can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). Either way, when you’re about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.

So, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you’re using the prawns from frozen they’ll need to go in before the salmon). When the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn’t take more than 3—4 minutes, stir in any green veg you’re using — sliced, chopped or shredded as suits — and tamp down with a wooden spoon.

When the pak choi’s wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving. Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

Beetroot and Horseradish Pie

This is my absolute favourite recipe for beetroot. The beetroot and horseradish go really well together. I also add some chillies to the onions to give it some extra bite. Can be eaten warm or cold. (Marisa)


(Serves 4-6)

  • 500g shortcrust pastry

  • 5 tbsp creamed horseradish

  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 500g cooked beetroot, sliced

  • 1 medium egg, beaten, to glaze


Pre-heat oven to 200C, gas mark 6.

Roll out the pastry and use to line a 20cm flan dish, making sure that you have enough pastry left to cover the pie.

Spread 1/3 of the horseradish over the pastry, then spprinkle 1/3 of the grated cheddar. Add 1/3 of the chopped onions, then 1/3 of the beetroot. Repeat twice, using all of the ingredients.

Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg, cover with a pastry lid and press down the edges to seal. Trim off excess pastry with a small, sharp knife. Brush the top with beaten egg and make a steam hole in the centre. Bake for 25 minutes then leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This is good with fondant potatoes (potatoes cooked slowly in stock until all of the liquid is absorbed), along with parsnips seasoned with lots of black pepper, and savoy cabbage. In the summer the pie is delicious with minted new potatoes and a green salad

Cream of Turnip Soup

A good recipe if you have a lot of turnips. The watercress gives the soup a lovely peppery flavour. (Marisa)

  • 4 large turnips, scrubbed and diced

  • bunch watercress, roughly chopped

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 4 tbsp double cream

  • 1 1/2 pints water

  • seasoning

  • grated nutmeg, fresh if possible

  • extra cream

  • chopped chives to garnish


Melt the butter in a large saucepan.

Add the onion, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the turnips and watercress and cook, covered, for a further 5 minutes.

Pour in the water, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Liquidize the soup thoroughly and return to the saucepan.

Heat gently.

Stir in the cream, seasoning and nutmeg to taste.

Serve garnished with cream and chives.

Lamb and Turnip Pie

Lamb and turnip go so well together and this is an absolutely delicious pie - and very easy! (Marisa)


(Serves 4-6)

  • 1kg lamb neck fillet, cut into rough 2cm pieces

  • 2 tbsp plain flour

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • 600-800ml chicken or lamb stock

  • 400g turnips, peeled and cut into rough 2-3cm chunks

  • 250g puff pastry, rolled to about 1/2cm thick

  • 1 egg, beaten


Season the pieces of lamb and dust generously with the flour. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the lamb and onions together in batches, for 3-4 minutes each. Add the rosemary and 600ml stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until the lamb is soft and tender and the sauce is thick. If it is too thick, add a little more stock. Skim the stew occasionally and discard the fat. Cooking time may be a little longer - it is difficult to be exact with braising cuts.

Add the turnips, cover with a lid and add more water if necessary to cover the turnips. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the turnips are cooked. Remove from the heat and season to taste. Leave to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6. When the lamb mixture is cool, transfer to a 1.5-2 litre pie dish. Cut out a pastry lid to fit the dish, allowing an extra 2cm all the way round. Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the egg and lay the pastry brushed-side down on the dish, pressing it on with a fork. Cut a 2-3cm slit in the centre to let the steam out, or for larger pies, place a pie funnel in the centre of the dish surrounded by the filling, then lay the pastry over it with the funnel poking through. Decorate with any scraps of pastry. Brush the top with the remaining egg. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden

Raspberry Jam

Very easy and quick to make.


(Makes 3 x 200ml jars)

  • 450g raspberries

  • 450g granulated sugar


Pre-heat oven to 170C, gas mark 3.

To sterilise the jars, place 3 thoroughly clean 200ml jars on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn off the oven, leaving the jars inside until the jam is ready to pot.

Place 2-3 saucers in the freezer to chill.

Rinse the raspberries. Place in a pan and cook over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes until the juices are just beginning to run.

Add the sugar and stir over a gentle heat for 1-2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Then increase the heat and bring to a vigorous boil for 5-10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and test the jam by dabbing a little on one of the cold saucers. Cool for a few seconds, then push the jam with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, it has reached setting point. If not, boil for a further 2 minutes then test again.

When the setting point is reached, spoon the jam into the jars. Cover the surface with a disc of waxed paper and seal with a lid.

Label and store in a cool dark place for up to 3 weeks.

Courgette Soup

My favourite soup - the sherry and consommé give it good flavour, although garlic can also be added. (Marisa)


(Serves 6)

  • 25g butter

  • 2 large chopped onions

  • 750g courgettes, chopped

  • 2 x 400g cans consommé

  • 2 tbsp dry sherry

  • 1 bouquet garni

  • salt and pepper

  • 150ml double cream

  • croutons to garnish


Melt the butter in a pan, add the onions and cook gently for 5 minutes.

Stir in the courgettes and cook gently for 10 minutes.

Stir in the consommé and sherry and bring to the boil.

Add the bouquet garni and seasoning, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the bouquet garni and cool slightly.

Sieve or work in an electric blender until smooth.

Return to the pan and heat through.

Stir in the cream and serve garnished with croutons.

Pumpkin Soup

Contributed by: Michelle

  • 1 onion

  • 1 largish pumpkin

  • 3 chicken/vegetable stock cubes

  • 2 large floury potatoes

  • Nutmeg for grating (optional)

  • Spoonful of crème fraiche, plain yoghurt or sour cream

  • Snipped chives

  1. Sauté onion till it is soft.

  2. De-seed and peel the pumpkin – you can cut it up and soften it in boiling water to making peeling easier (keep the water for stock and cooking the pumpkin in after it is peeled).

  3. Put the pumpkin back in the saucepan, add the cooked onion plus the chicken stock cubes (or vegetable stock if you prefer).

  4. Peel and cut the potatoes and add to the saucepan.

  5. Cook all of the above till soft.

  6. Blend the soup till smooth – taste for seasoning – it should be a thick soup – if too thick, add a little milk or more water.

  7. Grate a small amount of nutmeg into the soup (optional).

  8. When serving, ladle into a bowl and add a spoonful of crème fraiche, plain yoghurt or sour cream and finally top with snipped chives.


You can use any sort of pumpkin so long as it is one that is not too watery, butternut pumpkins add a bit of sweetness.

Butternut Squash Soup

Contributed by: Jon Lock

( Serves 4 )

  • 25g butter

  • 2 small onions, finely chopped

  • 450g butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

  • 1.2 litres chicken stock

  • 225g potatoes, cubed

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 25ml chopped fresh chives

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.

  2. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.

  3. Add the squash, stock, potatoes and paprika.

  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft.

  5. Pour into food processor or blender and process until smooth.

  6. Return to the pan, season and reheat gently.

  7. Stir in the chopped chives just before serving.


If you like a creamy soup, stir in 100ml single cream when re-heating.

Green Tomato Chutney

Contributed by: Liz

( Serves about 8lb )

  • 2.5lb green tomatoes

  • 2lb onions

  • 2.5lb cooking apples

  • 1lb seedless raisins

  • 6 large garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tbsp salt

  • 2 level desert spoons ground ginger

  • 1lb 6oz soft brown or Demerara sugar

  • 1oz pickling spice

  • 3 pints genuine malt vinegar (\'cos there\'s some evil con artist vinegars out there

  1. Wash the tomatoes and cut into quarters; peel the onions and quarter them; quarter and core the apples, leaving the peels on and keeping them in water to prevent browning.

  2. Using the medium blade of a mincer, mince the tomatoes and place them in the pan; next mince the onions, then the raisins followed by the apples, adding them all to the pan. Now add the garlic, the cayenne, salt, ginger and sugar, blending everything thoroughly. 

  3. Next tie the pickling spice in a small piece of double thickness gauze and attach it to the handle so that it hangs down into the other ingredients.

  4. Now pour in the vinegar, bring to simmering point, remove any scum from the surface, then let it simmer very gently for about 3.5 hours without covering. Stir now and then, especially towards the end, to prevent sticking. It\'s ready when the vinegar has almost been absorbed, the chutney has thickened to a nice soft consistency and the spoon leaves a trail. Do be careful not to overcook, and remember it does thicken up quite a bit as it cools.

  5. Poor the hot chutney into hot jars, filling them as full as possible. 

  6. Cover with waxed sealing discs and seal with a tight lid at once.


Notes: can use a food processor instead of a mincer. 

Can also cheat and use pre-spiced vinegar rather than faffing about with muslin. 

DON\'T start this just before you have visitors; it stinks while it\'s cooking!!

Elderflower Cordial

Contributed by: Graham (GRE 16)

  • 30 medium elderflower heads (The hedgerows are full of elderflower blossom in June, but pick on a warm sunny afternoon when the flowers are rich in pollen and aroma. Choose heads that are fully open but reject any that have brown flowers. Also better to choose a site away from main road pollution.)

  • 1 Kg sugar (granulated or caster)

  • 1.5 litres water

  • 4 wax free lemons (usually available at Waitrose)

  • 55 grams citric acid (standard size pack stocked by the Henley Pharmacy in Bell Street)

  1. Place the sugar and citric acid in a pan large enough to contain all ingredients. Add some of the water, heat and stir until dissolved. 

  2. Add the remainder of the water and set aside to cool.

  3. Thinly peel the rind of the lemons using a potato peeler. Slice the remaining parts, discarding the ends.

  4. Check the elderflower heads and remove any insects and the thickest stems. Add the heads to the cooling liquid, then add the lemon rind and slices and push down until covered, Cover the pan and set aside in a cool place for 48 hours.

  5. Filter through a fine muslin bag and bottle the cordial using a funnel. The bottles I have are stone-like ex-Brakspear Christmas beer bottles with a corona type stopper (swing top). If you are fussy, sterilize the bottles before using. Keeping qualities will be improved.


Elderflower cordial mixed with plain or fizzy water makes a very refreshing Summer drink. Alternatively, it can be used to flavour ice cream. The strength and sweetness can always be adjusted when it is used, so the exact mix of ingredients is not important. The cordial can be kept in sealed bottles in a cool dark place for a month or so, but does not have enough sugar for longer storage. Once opened, the bottle should be kept in a refrigerator. If plastic bottles are used these can be kept in a freezer

Radish Leaf Pesto

Contributed by: Pippa Hare

  • Radish Leaf Pesto

  • 2 large handfuls of good-looking radish leaves, stems removed

  • 30 grams (1 ounce) hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, grated or shaved using a vegetable peeler

  • 30 grams (1 ounce) nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, or pinenuts (avoid walnuts, which make the end result too bitter in my opinion)

  • - 1 clove garlic, germ removed, cut in four

  • - a short ribbon of lemon zest cut thinly from an organic lemon with a vegetable peeler (optional)

  • - 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to get the consistency you like

  • - salt, pepper, ground chili pepper

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender or mini-chopper, and process in short pulses until smooth. You will likely have to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. This produces a thick pesto; add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer. 


Delicious mixed with white beans or pasta or even in a sandwich

Rocket pesto

Contributed by: Pippa Hare

( Serves 4 as main or 6 as starter )

  • 40g walnut halves toasted

  • 40g rocket

  • 4 tbls walnut oil (substitute extra virgin olive oil)

  • 1 tbls lemon juice

  • 1 small shallot roughly chopped

  1. Combine the rocket (reserve some leaves for garnish), oil, lemon juice, shallot, and salt in food processor or in a mortar. Process until mixture forms a pastelike dressing. (I make it thick and then dilute with more oil as necessary).


I mix this dressing with dried white beans,new potatoes or chicken salad or even as a sandwich spread.

Rhubarb Recipes

With one kilo of rhubarb you can make 2 rhubarb treats: 800g for the Rhubrȗlée, 200g each for either the Baked Rhubarb Custard, or the Rhubarb Brioche, or the Rhubarb Breakfast.

So, planning to make 2 puds, 1 of them being the Rhubrȗlée, take...

  • 1 kilo rhubarb

  • 3 lumps finely chopped stem ginger

  • 1 tablespoon organic honey

  • Juice quarter orange

  • Small knob unsalted butter

  • 50g Demerera sugar


Preheat oven 180/gas mk 4 and cut the rhubarb into 4cm chunks. Mix ingredients roughly by hand, then transfer into an ovenproof dish, cover with greaseproof paper, then tin foil, then place on high shelf for 20 mins. The trick is DO NOT STIR!.. Remove from oven and check that the rhubarb is soft- it may need 5/10 more mins but don’t let it lose it’s form and become mushy. Allow to cool completely, (it’s surprising how much more liquid drains from the rhubarb after a couple of hours). Use roughly 800g for the recipe below, keeping 200g for any of the others. The juice left over is delicious as a drink, especially when mixed with crushed ice.

To make the Rhubrȗlée, heat the grill to high setting, 5 mins in advance.

For the topping, mix...

  • 300g Rachel’s Greek yoghurt

  • 300g Extra thick organic cream

For the brȗlée, mix...

  • 100g Demerera sugar

  • 100g Soft brown sugar

Draining excess juice from the dish, smooth the cream/yoghurt mix over the cooled rhubarb and carefully shake the mixed sugars over the top, right to the edge of the dish. The dangerous bit…place the dish under the grill and let the sugar bubble for 5 to 6 mins. When it’s cooled the caramel will set firm, creating a crunchy topping, contrasting perfectly with the flavoursome rhubarb.

To make the Baked Rhubarb Custard...

  • 200g rhubarb

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 2 whole med eggs

  • 300ml double cream

  • 300ml whole milk

  • Half tspn vanilla essence

Heat oven 160/gas mk 3. Using 200g cooked, well drained cooled rhubarb, place in an oven proof dish. Mix ingredients together then sieve mixture over the rhubarb. Place in a bain marie and bake in the oven for 20 mins - the rhubarb will magically rise to the top during cooking.

To make the Rhubarb Brioche

Carefully heat 200g rhubarb, plus juice. Cut a brioche loaf into thick slices, butter and toast.

Pour rhubarb over individual brioche slices and top with organic double cream!

To make the Rhubarb Breakfast...

Spoon Rachel’s Organic Yoghurt into breakfast bowls, spoon cooled, drained rhubarb over yoghurt and sprinkle Jordans Country Crisp - delicious!

Viv Greenwood

Rhubarb Wine
  • 2lb freshly picked rhubarb

  • 1 gallon of cold water

  • 3lb white sugar

  • Dried yeast

  • 1-2 oz Root ginger


Wipe rhubarb clean and cut into 1 inch-long pieces.

Put into a large bowl containing 1 gallon of cold water.

Add small level teaspoon of dried yeast.

Cover bowl (I use a newspaper) and stir 3 times a day.

After 3 days put 3 lbs of sugar into a demijohn, strain off the rhubarb pieces and put the liquid into the demijohn with the sugar.

When half full shake well to help dissolve the sugar.

Cut the root ginger into small cubes and add to demijohn.

Insert fermentation lock.

Swill the liquid now and again, until all the sugar has dissolved. It usually takes me 4-5 days.

Allow to ferment in warm place, I keep it in our kitchen.

When fermentation stops put demijohn in cool place.

Rack off into bottles when time permits and drink when thirsty.

You can keep it for a year or two if you wish.

 Greens and Cashew Nut soup


  • 2tbs oil

  • 1 med onion

  • 1 garlic clove

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • 1tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 large leek

  • 1 med head of broccoli in florets

  • 1 courgette

  • 1 large handful of curly kale/chard etc. (anything green but not cavallo nero or strong flavour)

  • 1 bunch fresh mint or basil

  • Handful cashew nuts

  • 1 litre veg stock

  • Salt and pepper


Saute onions, add garlic, saute another 1 minute. Add turmeric, coriander, cumin. Add broccoli, kale, courgette, stir to mix, add stock and cashew nuts. Bring to boil and simmer until veg are soft. Add herbs, salt, pepper etc. and liquidise.

Jane Gray


Courgette and Parmesan Soup

Very simple and quick, no onions and delicious!


  • 1kg courgettes chopped

  • 1tbsp chopped garlic

  • Handful basil leaves

  • Sea salt

  • white pepper

  • 750ml stock (I use the swiss vegetable bouillon)

  • 2 fl oz single cream

  • Handful flatleaf parsley

  • 2oz parmesan


Cook garlic, basil, salt, pepper, courgettes for 10 mins till soft. Add stock and simmer for about 8 mins. Blend.

Add cream, parsley and parmesan.

Jane Gray



Beetroot and Walnut Dip (Hummous) (serves 4-6)


  • 50g walnuts

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds

  • 25g stale bread, crusts removed

  • 200g cooked beetroot (not pickled), cut into cubes

  • 1 tbsp tahini

  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed

  • 1 lemon, juice off sea salt, to taste

  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • a little olive (optional)


Preaheat your oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Place the walnuts in one layer on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant.

Remove from oven and leave to cool.

Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dry-fry them. You need to keep moving the pan around or stirr the seeds constantly.

What you want is for them to release their aroma, but not burn! It should only take a minute or so.

Transfer the seeds to a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder and crush them well.

Break the bread into chunks and add them to a bowl together with the walnuts.

Using a stick blender, process them until you have fine crumbs.

You can do this in a food processor also. Add the beetroot, tahini, the garlic, a good pinch of the cumin,

half the lemon juice, a little salt and a good bit of pepper, then process until you have a thick paste.

Taste the mixture and adjust it by adding a little more cumin, garlic, lemon, salt and/or pepper until you like the taste.

You can add a splash of oil if you think the dip is too thick.

Jane Gray

Chilli Tomato Jam (delicious with cheese)

Makes about 3 normal size jam jars


  • 500g tomatoes (these can be very ripe or some can be green)

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 4 large red chillies (seeds left in if you want your jam hot

  • 6cm-7cm piece of ginger root, peeled and roughly sliced

  • 300g golden caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce

  • 100ml red wine vinegar


Blitz the tomatoes with garlic, chillies and ginger in a food processor. Pour into a heavy-based saucepan. Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and bring to the boil, stirring slowly. Reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 30-40mins stirring from time to time. The mixture will turn slightly darker and sticky. Store in warm, dry sterilised jars and seal

Jane Gray

Runner Bean Chutney (SWEET)


  • 2 lb. runner beans     (when trimmed and sliced)

  • 11/2 lb. onions  (when chopped)

  • 1 heaped tablespoon cornflower 

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric

  • 1 heaped tablespoon dry mustard

  • 1 lb. Demerara sugar

  • 1 lb. soft brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 pints of vinegar


Cook sliced beans in well salted water until tender.

Cook chopped onions in 1/2 pint vinegar.

Mix dry ingredients to smooth paste with vinegar

Strain cooked beans, then add to rest of vinegar and cook for 10 minutes.

Bottle and cover.

This is an excellent recipe that keeps well

Louise Webb

Beetroot Chutney


1 1/2 beetroot (avoid earthy tasting beetroot)

1 lb. apples

1 pint vinegar

1 1/2 lb.onions

1 lb. sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger— if desired


Boil beetroot.

Peel and chop the onion and apples and boil until tender in half the vinegar.

Add the chopped beetroot and the rest the vinegar, sugar, salt and ginger.

Boil for about half an hour, stirring well. Allow to cool and pot in the ordinary way.

 If ginger is not used, slightly more sugar may be added, about half an ounce.

Louise webb

Plot Holder Recipes

Leek and Stilton Soup
Rhubarb and ginger
Cream of
Beetroot lemon
Green Pea
Courgette and Parm
Beet and Walnut
Chilli Tom Jam
sweet chutney
Beetroot chutney

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