Leek, potato & cheddar pie

Leek, potato & cheddar pie

If there was ever a time to bake a pie…


Leek, potato and cheddar pie
Serves 4-8 / Hands on time 1 hr 45 mins / Total time 2 hrs 15 mins  + resting  / V
You’ll need: 25cm flan tin (preferable with a removable bottom) / baking paper / rolling pin /
For the rough-puff pastry: 
250g strong white bread flour
250g cold unsalted butter
1tsp sea salt flakes
100 ml cold water
For the filling:
150ml tap water
½ vegetable stock pot or cube
250g potatoes, cubed
250g leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
½ white onion, peeled and chopped
100g mature vegetarian cheddar
1 egg, beaten


TIP: This recipe is split into 3 parts to give you the option of making the pie in stages – making a pie all in one day can be exhausting. I usually make the pastry the day before filling the pie and then refrigerate the pie over night before baking.


TIP: Alternatively, you can always use shop bought puff pastry.


PART 1:
Make the rough-puff pastry (Hands on time 45 mins + 30 mins resting)
1.
Mix the salt and the flour together in a large bowl before grating in a third of the cold butter. Using your hands, coat the butter in the flour before grating in another third of the butter and repeat with the last third. Adding the butter in batches makes it easier to incorporate.
2. Using your fingers, rub the butter loosely until it resembles breadcrumbs. This should take 10 to 15 mins so pop the radio on.
3. Make a well in the bowl and add 100 ml of cold water. Mix with a butter knife before using your hands to bring the crumbly dough together – being careful not to over work the dough.
4. Turn out onto a large piece of cling film and gather up the corners until you have a firm ball of pastry. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins. If making the filling the same day, use the next 30 mins to jump to PART 2. 


5. Once the pastry has rested, remove from the fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, mould the crumbly pastry into a rough rectangle (the pastry will be very crumbly but don’t let that scare you, it will start to come together at you roll it out). Flour your rolling pin and roll the pastry away from you in one direction only, until roughly three times the original length, flouring the surface as you go if needed.
6. Fold the top third of the pastry down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn to the left or right, flour the surface and your rolling pin if needed and roll out again to three times the length in one direction.
7. Fold as before, before wrapping well in cling film and refrigerating again for at least 20 mins. The pastry can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 6 months.


PART 2:
Make the filling (Hands on time 25 mins + cooling)
1. Chop 250g potatoes into cubes (I leave the skins on, but you can peel them if you prefer) and add them to a medium sized saucepan along with 150ml of tap water and half a stock cube or stock pot. Bring to the boil and cook over a high heat for 5 mins.
2. Add 250g of chopped leeks and half a chopped onion to the pan and simmer with the lid on for 8 mins or until the vegetables are tender and all the liquid has evaporated, stirring regularly.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool fully. The filling can be refrigerated for up to 5 days if you’re planning on assembling your pie another day.


PART 3:
Assemble the pie (Hands on time 30-35 mins + 30 mins baking time)
1. Grease the tin well and dust with flour before lining the base with baking paper. Put to one side.
2. Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut a third of the pastry off and put to one side (this will be your pastry top). Roll out the pastry until it’s a few millimetres thick and big enough to comfortably line the tin, flouring the surface and the rolling pin as you go.
3. Drape the pastry over the tin and carefully push the pastry into the edges and up the sides using your fingertips. You will need the overhanging pastry but trim off any excessively long pieces and put to one side (these will be used to decorate your pie later). Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and turn your attention back to the filling.
4. Grate the cheddar and incorporate into the cooled leek mixture. Season well with salt and black pepper before spooning into the tin. Spread the filling out evenly and put the pie to one side. Before you preheat your oven, line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch any melted butter. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7.
5. Mould the third of the pastry you saved for the top into a ball and roll out on a floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut out a circle, big enough to fit snugly over the exposed filling (this doesn’t need to be too perfect, if the pastry is slightly too big to sit comfortably in the tin simply trim more off).
6. Fold the excess pastry back in on top of the pie lid and crimp around the edges to give a decorative crust – again, this doesn’t have to be perfect.
7. Use any excess pastry you removed earlier to decorate the pie. I cut out leaf shapes but you can decorate your pie however you like. If you are planning on baking the pie another day, now is a good time to wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.
8. Egg wash the pie all over before making 2 small incisions in the centre to allow steam escape. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-35 mins or until the pastry is golden.
9. Allow the pie to cool for 10-15 mins before removing carefully from the tin and discarding the baking paper. I do this by placing a lightweight chopping board or plate over the top of the pie and flipping it on its head. This allows you to lift off the tin (do not do this when the pie is still hot as it may not hold its structure). Repeat the same trick with a cooling rack to get the pie right side up.
10. Serve warm or cold with a simple green salad.
The pie will last for up to 4 days wrapped up in the fridge.

Leek, potato & cheddar pie

Want more? Take your pie making skills to the next level by enrolling on the ultimate pie making course with River Cottage chef Tom Morrell. He will teach you all the skills necessary to make a variety of savoury pastry recipes – including shortcrust, rough puff, hot water crust and suet.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian



Three warming vegan soups for cold winter nights

Veganuary may be coming to an end… but that doesn’t mean we should start loading up on the bacon butties. Incorporating more plant-based meals into our everyday repertoire can only be a good thing, so let’s get started with these tasty vegan soups to warm the body and soul.


Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream

Carrot & ginger soup with cashew cream
Serves 4 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 50 mins + soaking
You’ll need: A food processor
1 tbs olive oil
600g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 large knob of ginger (roughly 50g), grated
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 ½ litre of vegetable stock, I use 1 ½ Knorr stock pots
Cashew cream
150g cashews
¼ tsp salt
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Squeeze of lemon juice
150ml water

Method
1. The night before, soak 150g of cashews in a bowl of water overnight.
2. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/400°F/gas mark 7. Peel and roughly chop the carrots and put them in a large roasting tray, along with the grated ginger, chopped onion, bashed garlic, nutmeg and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and give it all a good mix, before roasting in the oven for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. Rinse and drain the cashews and put them in a food processor along with 150ml of water, a crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blitz for around 5-7 minutes or until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Put to one side.
3. Once the carrots are roasted, carefully pour them into a large cooking pot before adding a litre of vegetable stock and a drained can of chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes before blending either in a food processor or with a hand blender.
4. Pour into bowls, top with lashing of cashew cream and serve with bread.


Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita

Winter ribollita
Serves 4 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 50 mins 

1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt
1 can plum tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 2 Knorr stock pots
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
100g cavalo nero or kale, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve

Method
1. In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, add 1 tsp of olive oil over a low to medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, parsnip, carrot and the salt. Give it a good stir, cover with a lid and leave to soften for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
2. Add a can of plum tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and the vegetable stock before upping the heat and bringing to the boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 mins before adding the cavalo nero and parsley. Give it a stir and cook for a further 5 mins.
3. Take off the heat, ladle into bowls and top with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread and good crack of black pepper.


Fragrant Coconut Soup
Fragrant Coconut Soup

Fragrant coconut soup
Serves 2 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 30 mins

2 cans light coconut milk
1 vegetable stock pot, I use Knorr
2 sticks of lemon grass, bashed (I use a rolling pin)
½ white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 medium sized red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 knob of ginger, roughly grated
2 tsp caster sugar
28g bunch coriander, chopped
145g nest of rice noodles
2 tsp miso paste or light soy sauce
5 chestnut mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 bulbs of pak choy, roughly chopped
3 Chinese leaves or a handful for kale, roughly chopped
Juice of a lime

Method
1. In a large saucepan, add the 2 cans of coconut milk, vegetable stock cube or pot, chopped onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, bashed lemongrass and sugar. Roughly chop the coriander stalks (saving the leaves) and add to the coconut milk. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook your rice noodles in small saucepan according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and cover in a stream of cold water until completely cold (this will stop the noodles from continuing to cook). Drain again and divide the noodles into two large soup bowls. Put to one side.
3. Turn your attention back to the soup and give it a quick stir. Roughly chop the remaining coriander leaves, Chinese leaves, pak choy and mushrooms.
4. After 15 minutes your soup should be well infused and fragrant. Over a large bowl, carefully pour your soup through a sieve. Discard the contents of the sieve and pour the remaining soup back into your saucepan.
4. Stir through 2 tsp of red miso paste and add the pak choy, mushrooms and Chinese leaf. Give it a good stir and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes or until the veg is tender. Take the saucepan off the heat, squeeze over the lime juice and stir. Finally, ladle over the cooked noodles and top with fresh coriander.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

 



Cheesy pasta bake

Cheesy pasta bake

As we’re not set to leave the house anytime soon, I don’t see the point in embarking on a silly new year diet. New year, new you? No thanks. I choose cheese. Our fridge is still overflowing with the stuff from Christmas, so what better way to use it up than in a deliciously indulgent, cheesy pasta bake. This is what cold winter nights are made for after all. So, grab a spoon and dive into my melty cheese dream, where Covid no longer exists and I can visit my mum anytime I like.


Cheesy pasta bake 
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20-25 mins / Total time 40 mins / V* 
You’ll need: A deep oven dish approx 25cm (5cm deep)
3 tsp rapeseed oil
1 aubergine, cubed
1 pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
½ red onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp sea salt flakes
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can chopped tomatoes
200g wholemeal penne
4 tbs red pesto
2 handfuls pitted black olives (optional)
100g soft cheese – I used goats cheese but stilton, camembert, mozzarella or even brie would work.
80g mature cheddar, grated
20g Parmesan* or vegetarian hard cheese, grated (optional)


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7. Roughly chop the red onion and the pepper and add to the baking dish along with the cubed aubergine. Sprinkle over the dried oregano and the salt before drizzling over the oil. Give it a good stir to evenly distribute the seasoning and the oil and bake in the oven for 15 mins.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions minus 2 minutes (this ensures the pasta doesn’t become too soft during oven cooking later. While the pasta is cooking, use this time to grate the cheddar, parmesan and chop/crumble your chosen soft cheese.
3. Remove the vegetables from the oven and give them a good shake before adding the cherry tomato halves. Mix well and return to the oven for a further 5 mins.
4. Drain the pasta and give it a quick blast of cold water (this will stop it from continuing to cook). Stir in a tsp of oil to prevent the pasta sticking to each other and put to one side to continue to drain.
5. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven (leave the oven on) and add the can of tinned tomatoes, red pesto and black olives. Stir until the sauce is evenly distributed before adding the pasta bit by bit to ensure it gets fully incorporated.
6. Finally, submerge the soft cheese throughout the pasta bake and top with the grated cheddar and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 15 mins. Switch the oven to a hot grill setting and grill for a further 2 mins or until the top is golden brown.
7. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving with a simple green salad.

Cheesy pasta bake

For more foodie blogs, recipes and courses, visit learningwithexperts.com.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Peppermint creams: The classic edible Christmas gift

A vintage classic and reminiscent of my school days, peppermint creams make the perfect and utterly delicious edible gift! So why not forgo the After Eight mints this Christmas and pass around a plate of homemade peppermint creams? My mini versions are dipped in dark chocolate and cut into bitesize rounds but it is Christmas, so get creative and dig out whatever cookie cutter you have and get stamping!


Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

Bitesize peppermint creams
Makes 20-30 mini rounds / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 40 mins + setting time / V Gf
You’ll need: Baking paper, rolling pin and a small round cookie cutter
300g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
¼ tsp peppermint flavouring
1 egg (the white separate from the yolk)
1 tsp of lemon juice
90g Green and Black’s Organic 70% dark chocolate


Method
1. Separate the egg yolk from the egg white in a small bowl and discard the egg yolk. In a large mixing bowl, sieve the icing sugar before adding half the egg white along with a ¼ tsp of peppermint flavouring and a tsp of lemon juice.
2. Mix slowly with a wooden spoon to avoid the icing sugar flying everywhere. The mix will seem very dry but keep mixing until the icing sugar comes together to form a firm dough. If you need more liquid add more egg white.
3. Once the dough has formed, remove the spoon from the bowl and knead the dough with your hands – like you would a bread dough. If the dough is too sticky you may need to add more icing sugar.
4. Line a large chopping board with a piece of baking paper and sprinkle with icing sugar, put to one side. Cut out another large piece of baking paper and place on a clean dry surface. Sprinkle with icing sugar and turn the dough out onto it before sprinkling with more icing sugar. Roll out the mixture with a rolling pin to roughly 1 centimetre thick.
5. Insert the cookie cutter into the dough, give it a twist and extract a little round of dough. Place the round onto the lined chopping board and repeat (gathering up and rolling out the dough if necessary). Cover the peppermint creams loosely with cling film and leave to set for at least 3 hours or preferable over-night.
6. Once set, it’s time to melt the chocolate. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, take off the heat and place a small heat-proof bowl over it. Break in the pieces of chocolate and wait for it to melt (try not to stir it until nearly all the chocolate has melted). Meanwhile, line a baking tray or cooling rack with baking paper sprinkled with icing sugar.
7. Once melted, tilt the bowl slightly to the side to allow a deeper pool of chocolate for you to dip your peppermint creams into. One by one, dip each peppermint cream into the chocolate, wait for the drips to stop and place on your newly lined cooling rack. Repeat until all of your peppermint creams are coated.
8. Leave in a cool dry place for the chocolate to set. Once set, carefully peel the peppermint creams off the baking paper before boxing up and gifting to a lucky family member or friend.

Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

For more Christmassy ideas visit my new Christmas page.


For more foodie blogs, recipes and courses, visit learningwithexperts.com.


 

Lebkuchen: The German festive treat

Lebkuchen
Lebkuchen

Okay, it’s time to give in. The first of December is rapidly approaching, accompanied by Christmas adverts and festive Instagram posts. Soon, highstreets will be twinkling with jolly festive lights and Christmas trees will go on sale in Sainsbury’s – there’s no escape. So, we may as well get into the swing of things with a spot of festive baking, and what better way to get the Christmas juices flowing, than a batch of Lebkuchen. These traditional German Christmas biscuits are cakey in texture, gently spiced and make a great introduction to the festivities.


Lebkuchen
Makes 16-18 biscuits / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 30 mins + cooling and icing / V
250g plain flour
80g ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp all spice
¼ tsp sea salt flakes
2 tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of half a lemon
200g honey
50g dark brown muscovado sugar
80g unsalted butter
110g icing sugar


Method
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with all the spices, cocoa powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and the zest of half a lemon. Mix until the ingredients are well distributed.
2. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, melt the honey, butter and the dark muscovado sugar together. Once melted take off the heat and pour straight into the dry mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until you have a wet dough. Leave to cool for a few minutes or until the dough is cool enough to handle. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
3. The dough will still be warm but easy to work with. Using your hands pick up around 35g of dough (about the size of a walnut) roll into a ball and divide between 2 lined baking trays, spacing out evenly to allow room for the biscuits to expand. Using the back of table spoon, flatten each ball slightly into a disk shape (although they should spread out slightly naturally on their own).
4. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins. Once expanded and golden in colour, remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 5 mins before twisting each biscuit carefully with your fingers to loosen it and transferring to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
5. To ice, mix 110g of icing sugar with 1 and a half tbs of water until you have a thick but loose paste. Place a sheet of cling film under the wire rack to catch any drips. Spoon 1 tsp of icing over each biscuit and using the back of the spoon, push the icing to the edges using a circular motion (don’t worry if these drip, that’s the idea). Grate over the remaining lemon zest (optional) and leave to set before serving. Store in a tin lined with a baking sheet for up to a week.


For more Christmassy ideas visit my new Christmas page.


For more foodie blogs, recipes and courses, visit learningwithexperts.com.


 

Marinated smoked carrot ribbons

Marinated smoked carrot ribbons

Bog off smoked salmon. This Christmas, why not try topping your cream cheese with my marinated smoked carrot ribbons? I mean, it’s not like we’ve got anything better to do than bake and peel carrots to top our breakfast bagels with, right? In fact, these delicate ribbons can be stuffed into sandwiches, stirred through scrambled eggs or strewn across smashed avocado on toast. I like mine draped over a bagel with lashings of cream cheese but each to their own.


Marinated smoked carrot ribbons
Hands on tine 15 mins / Total time 1 hr + 4-7 days marinating   / V Vn* Df
250g carrots (3 medium or 2 large)
Marinade:
250ml boiling water
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp smoked salt
To serve (optional)
Bagels, capers, fresh dill and cream cheese


*Vegan: Swap the cream cheese for a vegan alternative or hummus.


  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Wash and peel the carrots before placing them on a baking tray. Season with salt and bake whole for 45 mins.
  2. Once baked leave to cool slightly before handling and put a kettle on to boil for the marinade. Make the marinade in a tupperware box with a lid, stir and put to one side. Using a peeler, peel the strips of carrot until you can peel no more – this can be a little tough to do at first but once the carrot starts to come away the ribbons become cleaner and smoother. Repeat this process with all of your carrots. Any larger chunks left over that you cannot peel, simply slice them as thinly as you can.
  3. Submerge the carrots into the marinade and refrigerate for 4-7 days – the longer you leave them the softer the texture becomes. When ready to use, simply fish out your desired amount of carrot ribbons onto a couple of layers of kitchen roll and pat dry with another sheet of kitchen roll to soak up any excess liquid.
  4. Once marinated, keep the carrots in their liquid refrigerated for up to a week.

    Marinated smoked carrot ribbons

    If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


    V – Vegetarian.    Vn* – Vegan: Replace cream cheese for vegan alternative     Df – Dairy free



A squash is for life, not just Halloween

On my daily stroll around the block (gotta’ get those lockdown steps in) my route is surprisingly still peppered with shrivelled decaying Halloween pumpkins. Staring at me with their empty eyes from windowsills and porches got me thinking. After the 31st of October, do pumpkins and squashes get a little forgotten about? A squash is for life not just for Halloween… Well perhaps not for life, but this versatile ingredient can be baked, curried, squashed (literally) and stuffed – which is my favourite method, especially when it involves cheese. I opted for an onion squash for this recipe but feel free to experiment as you’ll be spoilt for choice this time of year.

Mini Squash Fondues
Mini Squash Fondues

Mini squash fondues
Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 mins / Takes 1 hour
2 mini squashes (roughly 550g each) I used onion squash
75g vegetarian Emmental
75g Gruyere or medium cheddar cheese
50g Parmesan
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
4 tbs white wine or prosecco
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Crusty bread and salad leaves to serve


Method
1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Finely grate the cheeses and mix them together in a large bowl. Put to one side.
2. Using a sharp knife carefully cut the tops off the squashes to create the lids and put to one side. Carefully hollow out the squash by cutting a hole in the top and then scooping out the seeds with a spoon.
3. Once you’ve hollowed out the squash, check to see if each squash stands up on its own. If they’re uneven and tilt, carefully level off the bottom of your squash with a knife, taking care not to cut too deep (if you do accidently create a hole, pop the bottom back on and make a little foil coat for your squash to sit in to prevent it from leaking). Alternatively, use foil to create a stable bed for your squashes to sit in.
4. Crush a garlic clove into each squash, followed by a small sprinkle of parsley and 1 tablespoon of white wine into each. Season well with salt and pepper.
5. Fill each squash with half the cheese and then add another tablespoon of wine to each squash. Season again and stuff the squashes with the rest of the cheese. Top with the remaining parsley, season with salt and pepper and pop the individual squash lids on.
6. Put both squashes on a baking tray and bake them for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the lids and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately with a simple green salad and stale for dipping and scooping.

Mini Squash Fondues
Mini Squash Fondues

For more foodie blogs, recipes and courses, visit learningwithexperts.com.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

 



Authentic hummus

Authentic Hummus

A dried chickpea is a thing of wonder and mystery. A small hard little bullet that requires soaking and boiling until it finally becomes edible. Sounds like a lot of effort to me. I’m the kind of gal who likes to shmoosh up a can of ready prepared chickpeas in 5 minutes and call it hummus –isn’t that what canned chickpeas are for? That being said, I have it on good authority that soaking and cooking dried chickpeas makes a vast improvement over my tinned version so was intrigued enough to try it for myself. Soaking the chickpeas overnight is the only step that makes the process lengthy but other than that, the task was relatively effortless and well worth it. My hummus was silky smooth, buttery and creamier than any I have ever made. Sprinkled with smoked paprika and drizzled with lashings of extra virgin olive oil, I served mine warm straight out the pot shovelled on top a hot pita bread. Nom nom. 


Authentic hummus
Makes approx 600g / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 1 hr 20 mins + soaking overnight / V Vn Gf Df 
You’ll need: Food processor or hand blender
250g dried chickpeas 
1tsp sea salt flakes 
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
For the hummus:
2 garlic cloves
2 tbs tahini 
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbs water (more if you like a looser texture) 
1tsp sea salt flakes 
To serve:
Smoked paprika, chopped parsley and a good quality extra virgin olive oil 


  1. Add the dried chickpeas to a large bowl and cover with twice the volume of cold water (filtered if you have it). leave to soak for at least 12 hours – I tend to do this overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well before transferring to a large saucepan. Cover again with twice the volume of cold tap or filtered water and add 1 tsp of salt and ½ a tsp of bicarbonate of soda and stir well.
  3. Place over a high heat and bring to a furious boil for 10 mins. Skimming off any foam that maybe produced. Turn the heat down to simmer and continue to cook the chickpeas for 50 mins. Your chickpeas should be soft enough to squish between your fingers. If they’re still little hard, continue to cook them until they are soft.
  4. Drain the chickpeas over a large bowl to reserve the water and leave to cool in a colander for 10-15 mins. Tip the warm chickpeas into a food processor or large bowl (if using a hand blender) and add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and 2 tbs of the reserved water. Blitz until you have your desired texture. If you like your hummus extra smooth, add additional chickpea water and blend for longer until you get your desired textured.
  5. Spoon into a bowl and serve warm topped with chopped fresh parsley, a dusting of smoked paprika and a good glug of good quality extra virgin olive oil.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian    Vn – Vegan     Gf – Gluten free     Df – Dairy free


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

 

Is that an aubergine in your pocket or are you … Oh, it is an aubergine

Aubergine & Chickpea Stew

At their best from July to September, now is the perfect time to get your hands on the nations favourite emoji. The aubergine. With its glossy purple skin and spongy centre, this vegetable loves nothing more than to soak up flavours and I have just the recipe! This aubergine and chickpea stew is warm with cinnamon spice but fresh with mint and yogurt, perfect to see out the last of the Summer nights before welcoming Autumn in all her golden glory.


Aubergine & chickpea stew
Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr / V Vn Gf Df 
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 aubergines, cut into large chunks
6 medium sized tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 can tinned chickpeas, drained
500ml vegetable stock, I use Knorr stock pots
3 bay leaves
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried parsley
100ml *vegan red wine
To serve 
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Greek or dairy free yogurt (optional)
Drizzle of Pomora extra virgin olive oil
Serve with crusty bread or couscous


Method

  1. Finely chop the onion and the garlic and add them to a large cooking pot with a teaspoon of oil. Over a medium heat, sweat the onions and garlic for around 5 minutes or until softened (if the onions are getting a little too much colour, add a dash of water to the pot to help them to steam).
  2. Add 1 tsp of cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika and 1 and a half tsp of cinnamon then give it a good stir. Add a little water to the mix if again it’s looking a little dry and to allow the spices to release their lovely aromas.
  3. Cook the spices for a couple of minutes before adding the freshly chopped tomatoes, 500ml of vegetable stock, 100ml red wine, the aubergine chunks, drained chickpeas, 3 bay leaves and 1 tsp of dried parsley. Give it a good mix and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil.
  4. Turn the heat down to a simmer, pop the lid a jar and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes, take the lid off, give it another stir and continue to cook without the lid for a further 15 minutes (this allows the sauce to thicken). Meanwhile, use this time to prepare your chosen accompaniment – I like to serve it with couscous or with a loaf of crusty bread on warmer days and mashed potato on cooler ones.
  5. Take the stew off the heat and carefully pick out the bay leaves. Divide into bowls along your chosen accompaniment, a generously sprinkle of fresh mint, yogurt (optional), and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

    Aubergine & Chickpea Stew
    Aubergine & Chickpea Stew


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Carrot cake loaf: A slice of seasonless happiness

Come rain or shine (and I think it’s fair to say we’ve had a lot of both recently) there is always a good time for carrot cake. Although bursting with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre we all know the healthiest thing about a carrot cake is its name and the minuscule amount of cardio that goes with grating carrots – which frankly is the worst part about making carrot cake. But there is a reason this sweet vegetable deserves its place in the cake hall of fame, and that’s because it’s utterly delicious and worth grating your finger nails for. So why not whip up this seasonless classic and enjoy slice after slice with numerous cups of tea, because that is how carrot cake should be gobbled up – by the wedge load. Although I’m pretty sure Bugs Bunny would have a few words to say about that and not all of them so savoury.

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf


Carrot cake loaf
Make 1 loaf / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 1 hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: 2 lb loaf tin, electric hand whisk
Juice of 1 orange
45g sultanas
150g carrots, peeled and grated
150g soft brown sugar
80g self-raising flour
80g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
50g pecans, roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
150ml rapeseed oil
2 eggs
For the icing:
130g cream cheese
30g soft unsalted butter
65g icing sugar


Method
1. In a small saucepan, heat the juice of an orange over a low to medium heat and add the sultanas. Warm through for 10 minutes before putting to one side to cool.
2. Meanwhile, grease the base and sides of a loaf tin with a bit of extra rapeseed oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side and preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4.
3. Peel and grate the carrot before weighing out the sugar, self-raising flour, wholemeal flour, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the roughly chopped pecans and give it a good mix before incorporating in the grated carrots using a wooden spoon.
4. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the rapeseed oil and the eggs until combined. Pour into the carrot mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese icing by whisking the butter and the cream cheese together in a bowl with an electric whisk. Fold in the icing sugar with a spoon before whisking again for a couple of minutes. Cover loosely with cling film and refrigerate.
6. Allow the carrot cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and topping with lashings of cream cheese icing.
7. To store, keep the cake refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container or wrapped in cling film. Ideally, allow the cake to come up to room temperature before serving.

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.