Monday 30 November 2020

Broccoli and Blue cheese soup with coriander and tumeric soda bread

 During today's zoom meeting we made 

The recipes we used are listed below so that if you could not make the session,  you can try and make it at your leisure.

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup


1 large onion chopped
1 large potato chopped

·       1 litre vegetable stock

·       1 large head of broccoli roughly chopped

·       100g blue cheese stilton preferably

·       1 tablespoon vegetable oil

·       Salt/pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped onions, and cook gently until softened.

Add the potatoes broccoli and stock bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

 add half the cheese, and blend until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste

Serve with the remaining cheese crumbled on top.


For the Soda Bread


·       coriander seeds 2 tsp

·       Plain flour 450g, plus extra for dusting

·       ground turmeric 2 tsp

·       bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp

·       fine sea salt 1 tsp

·       butter 25g, diced and chilled

·       rolled porridge oats 75g

·       spring onions 4, finely sliced

·       kefir / yoghurt 375ml



Toast the coriander seeds in a small pan for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, then lightly crush using a pestle and mortar. Leave to cool while you make the dough.

·       STEP 2

Mix together the flours, turmeric, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt in a large bowl. Use your fingers to rub in the butter cubes until only small crumbs remain. Stir in the porridge oats, spring onions and coriander seeds. Pour the kefir/ yoghurt over and use a knife or  to quickly mix in. Tip everything out onto a lightly floured worksurface and use your hands to gently knead into a smooth-ish dough. Shape into a 20cm round loaf with a flat top, and lift onto a flour-dusted baking sheet. Use a small, sharp knife to score a deep cross into the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until crusty and the base of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack while wrapped in a tea towel to soften the crust.



Tuesday 24 November 2020

Spinach, Sweet potato and coconut stew on a bed of rice and roti.

 We have just finished today From Spade to Plate Zoom meeting. The link is the same every Wednesday from 5.15pm until 5.55pm  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 843 0211 8713
Passcode: Plate


Today we made spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew on a bed of rice and we also made some roti.

Lovely to see Meghan straight from the US, a new member Viola joined us from Berlin and always great to see our Cambridge Friends, Melendra, Bella, Naheed, Thomas, Mireia, Haruna,  too.

Monday 16 November 2020

Our first Zoom Meeting! Thai butternut Soup and Scones,

 Nervous but excited as today will be the first (hopefully of many) Zoom meetings with my friends.

As due to lockdown we cannot do From Spade to plate, I wonder if this may be a little alternative to see my friends and do some cooking at the same time.

First surprise:  We had  visitors from abroad, Seiko from Tokyo  and Karina from Bonn join us. Carmen, June, Julie and Consuelo joined in as well.

We made Thai butternut soup, with some cheese scones. The original recipe came from Alice, who used to do an English Tea and served fluffy home made scones with clotted cream and jam. I changed it to be savoury but still they come out fluffy and light. 

As today was not an oven day, I baked them in a pan on the stove.

Alice's Scones


225g plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoon salt

50g frozen butter 

1 small egg 

125ml plain yoghurt

150g crumbled feta cheese

2 spring onions, chopped, or herbs or chilli flakes (optional)

A little milk to glaze


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  3. With your fingers, rub in the grated frozen butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the crumbled cheese and chopped spring onion.
  5. Whisk the egg into the yoghurt with a fork. Make a well in the flour mixture, add the liquid and stir again with a fork, making a soft dough.
  6. Gather the dough in well-floured hands and knead very lightly. On a floured surface, press out the dough with a rolling pin to not less than 1.25cm thick.
  7. Using a 5cm glass or ring cutter, firmly cut out the scones. Gather up the scraps, kneading them together to more scones. 
  8. Transfer the scones to a well greased baking sheet. With a pastry brush wipe the tops of the scones with milk mixture.
  9. Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until well-risen and golden brown.
  10. Makes 6-8 scones depending on the size of cutter.
We also made some yoghurt. I normally do this using milk delivered in  returnable glass bottles so that we reduce plastic containers

How I make yoghurt 


2 cups  whole milk

2 tablespoons plain greek yoghurt


  1. In a saucepan, over low heat bring the milk to a simmer. It will take around 15-20 minutes. The freshest milk will yield you better yogurt.
  2. Once it starts to bubble turn off the heat and set aside. You notice a skin has formed on your milk, that is normal.
  3. Let it cool down to the blood temperature. You can test by place your finger in there and if you can’t feel the milk around your finger then it is at blood temperature.
  4. Once cooled whisk in the yogurt.
  5. Pour into a sterilized jar and tightly close the lid. Line a deep bowl with a thick tea towel and place in the jar of yogurt. Wrap the jar up well in the towel and let it sit out in a warm part of your kitchen over night.
  6. After this time, pop the jar in the fridge and let it get cold, roughly 2-3 hours. Once chilled your yogurt will be firm and thick in texture.
  7. Before you add anything, keep a couple of spoonfuls aside for the next batch. At this point you can add sugar, sweetener, honey, fruit and vanilla.
  8. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Monday 9 November 2020

Pumpkin Pie and a Kale and Cauliflower salad

Haruna making the pumpkin pie filling

 Last week we had a huge butternut squash that provided us food for 6 of us in the form of a soup. The other half was turned this week into a pumpkin pie. No bake as per our 3 cookery book. We thought it was a little too sweet, so would reduce the brown sugar to 1/4 cup rather than 1/2 cup

We also went to the allotment where we picked the kale for the  Kale and Broccoli salad we used Cauliflower instead of Broccoli and it tasted amazing. Who would have thought that raw Kale could taste so nice.

Manami cooking the pie ingredients    
Simone chopping the cauliflower

A sunny (but chilly) walk to the allotment

Bon Appetit
chopped up ingredients for the Kale  salad

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Pea and Parmesan Gnocchi

 With the last of the potatoes dug up, I used the not so good looking ones to make some of Gordon Ramsay's recipes. Gnocchi.   This is  great video too They turned out beautifully. I normally make ridges with a fork, but this time making the little pillows and a dimple in it made these fried delicate eats into a glorious meal.

I don't think I will ever go back to the original recipe. A great find.