Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

news: Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

Lantern soup

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: less than 30 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins to 1 hour


1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

675g/1 ½lb pumpkin flesh, cubed

450g/1lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tsp mixed dried herbs

1 tsp chopped sage

1.5L/2 ½ pint vegetable stock

400g/14oz canned haricot beans, rinsed and drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes until softened and starting to colour.

2. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato and herbs and cook for a further five minutes.

3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and tender.

4. Add the haricot beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, then serve hot with crusty bread.

Spicy toffee apple ice scream

Serves: 4

Preparation time: over 2 hours

Cooking time: 30 mins to 1 hour


290ml/ ½ pint full cream milk

300ml/10fl oz double cream

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

6 medium free range egg yolks

175g/6oz caster sugar

450g/1lb dessert apples, peeled cored and chopped

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice (optional)

75g/3oz vegetarian toffees, cut into pieces

Mint leaves and lemon zest curls to garnish


1. Put the milk, cream and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave the flavours to infuse for 15 minutes.

2. Strain and discard the vanilla pod and seeds.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Then whisk in the vanilla cream and pour the mixture into a clean saucepan.

4. Cook over a very low heat, stirring all the time, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

6. Place the prepared apples in a saucepan with the lemon juice and cook over a low heat until soft. Mash and leave to cool. Stir in the spices if using.

7. Stir the toffee pieces and apples into the custard and pour into a shallow polythene container. Freeze for 30 minutes, then beat with a fork. Repeat this process then freeze until hard. (Alternatively use an ice cream making machine, following the manufacturer’s instructions).

8. Take out of the freezer for 30 minutes before serving. Scoop into sundae dishes and decorate with mint leaves and lemon zest curls.