• Paula Brown

Quick, Easy & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes

We have had the heat waves, storms and cooler temperatures while catering for the carnivores; but here is an issue for the vegetarians. The sun and rain meant a rich harvest across our counties with produce proudly displayed in supermarkets and market stalls in our towns and hamlets.

Pumpkin Veloute With Chestnuts and Ceps

What you need:

400g pumpkin, 100 ml olive oil, 70g unsalted butter, ¼ Spanish onion, 700 ml vegetable stock, 200 ml of milk, 2 ceps, 12 chestnuts, 1 tbsp of parsley, 2 tsp of pumpkin seed oil

What to do:

1. Cut the pumpkin into chunks, place on a tray, drizzle in olive oil and bake in the oven for 1 hour at Gas Mark 3/160˚C.

2. Saute onions in butter for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and stock and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add milk.

3. Cool before blending in a food processor. Clean the ceps, slice and quarter the chestnuts. Heat a teaspoon of oil over a high heat and fry the ceps til golden, season with salt and pepper then add the chestnuts (roasted and peeled) and chopped parsley.

4. To serve pour the soup into large teacups or bowls, garnish with ceps and chestnuts along with a drop of pumpkin seed oil. Enjoy with a Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2012, an Aussie white wine.

Pimientos en Tomate y Ajo (Peppers in Tomato and Garlic)

This makes for a perfect second course.

What you will need:

2 yellow, 2 red and 2 green sweet peppers, 170 ml olive oil, 1 tbsp parsley, 2 tsp garlic, 225g chopped canned tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

What to do:

1. Deseed the peppers and cut into thin strips, then cook in oil for 3 minutes. Add parsley and garlic and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes and juices, season and simmer for 10 minutes until the peppers are tender. Remove the peppers while reducing the sauce for a further 6 minutes.

3. To serve place the peppers on flatbread or garlic bread and drizzle over the sauce; and enjoy with a South African Pinot Grigio Stormhoek.

Raspberry Fool

And lastly, for the final course a raspberry fool.

What you will need:

225g raspberries, 2 tbsp honey, 500g Greek yoghurt, zest of 1 lemon, hazelnuts.

What to do:

1. Crush the raspberries and mix with honey in bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl beat the yogurt with lemon zest.

2. Into glasses, layer 2 tbsp of raspberries and 2 tbsp of yogurt alternatively, and sprinkle hazelnuts at the top to finish. Chill for 15 minutes before serving. A glass of White Grenache is the perfect accompaniment.

About Paula Brown

A graduate of creative writing with a passion for writing competitions, literary and animation festivals for the last ten years; as well as an enthusiastic cook - French and Caribbean cuisine, my ultimate goal is to edit cookbooks for Michelin-starred chefs or research location shoots. I would like to retire to France at some point and work as a wedding caterer.