Honeyed parsnip and lentil Soup

Honeyed parsnip and lentil Soup

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Hearty Soups are a must for January and the veggie box came with a bag of parsnips this week. This is a warming earthy soup where the honey takes the sharp taste that you sometimes get with a boiled parsnip.

Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe File
Prep: A heavy based soup pan to hold more than 1.5 litre.


  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 450g root veg (3 parsnips and a carrot) chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1.5l Vegetable stock


  1. Whilst your chopping the veg soak your lentils, I weigh the lentils and then add 250g water at same time. Not essential I just find they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Heat the oil and add the onions, celery, garlic and rosemary, gently sauté until the onions and celery soften
  3. Add the spices and turn over
  4. Add the honey and coat the onion mix
  5. Add the root veg and stir through
  6. Add the stock and the lentils
  7. Simmer gently for 25-30 mins with the lid on, stirring every so often
    If you like a smooth soup, blitz with a hand blender or mash and stir through

Table #9 – The New 2018 Year

2018-01-07 16.26.35Come on in, coffee is ready and there is a chilli on the hob. First week of 2018 in the bag, with a mix of renewal, some of the same and a bit of the old. A short working week, unpredictably cold wet and windy, I’ve managed to get into work dry, but the home slog wet and cold.

It’s that time of year the annual re-org of my head in relation to the cook books that have entered my life, the recipes that I’ve cut out collecting dust in my in-tray. The screen grabs from my iPAD taking up valuable iCloud space and the un-touched recipes from Granny’s black box…….you get the picture….something needs to happen!

So despite my no more cookbooks ever and then the one in one out rule it never seems to happen!……what can I say, I can’t help myself.

The four that entered my life over the last couple of months:

Christmas Chronicles – Nigel Slater (A cook who writes)

In the end I couldn’t resist. From the man who really brought me on and inspired me into the world of cooking a homage to the winter season, a diary, a bunch of winter facts and seasonal recipes.   This will be now be parked and put to bed for next winter.   Not quite into the decorations box as it starts in November.

The Mountain Café – Kirsten Gilmour (A Kiwi in the Mountains)

An early Christmas present, due to the fact I drive the boss bonkers, I was about to take it out of the library (to be fair I’d had it on the reserve list since August). Getting it early was a welcome godsend meaning I could do some cooking in the lead up to the big day rather than being given a book that I don’t have the ingredients for or can’t get because the shops are closed.   This has definitely got some miles in it.   In the lead up to Christmas I did both chowders, the veggie burgers, the pancakes a couple of times. A chunky sweet potato salad. This is before I get anywhere near the cake section that the café produces.

The Art of the Larder – Claire Thomson (The 5 O’Clock Apron)

A self bought Christmas Present (any excuse). I’m hoping to get some tips on store cupboard recipes. Used the Cavalo Nero recipe for New Years eve which worked a treat with the Stroganoff recipe from One Knife, One Pot, One Dish.

One Knife, One Pot, One Dish – Stéphane Reynaud (Villa 9 Trois in Montreuil)

Great inspiration for some cooking that cooks itself whilst you get on with life, the jobs, the garden etc. This will be my slow cook side companion and I’m pretty sure will be used throughout the year.

Typically at this time I choose 5 books for the year….from experience this doesn’t work….I get distracted, the season, a new discovery, a twitter link, instagram feed, the paper and the best browsing in a bookshop … so this year I’m going to work monthly and not kid myself.   The three above are in and then decisions, decisions…

Family Superfoods – Jamie Oliver

The cheeky chap from essex, who really grew on me when he started his philanthropy….cookery books for the masses the leading uk author. Can’t really avoid him or get away from his enthusiasm for food.   I’d love his new book….but really did I do his last one justice….no. So this is the one!

Two Kitchens – Rachel Roddy

A resident in the food section of the guardian. An expat who spends her time in Italy and the UK. I just love her language with food. The memories she evokes in her writing. Not just recipes…discoveries and life stories.

I expect I’ll carry them through the year, my thoughts here though are just to focus and concentrate on these books, use them to stay focussed and learn.

I’m also going to get back to my pet project of organising granny’s recipes from the black box. I managed to scan them all off the index cards and I struggle to read some of them. Others have been passed on and some are in the teenage writing of my wife. There recipes of a time, some are recognised and some are just aspirational hand me-ons from a friends perhaps post a dinner invite.   I hate the idea of them collecting dust and somehow I can bring them back into our time and our lives.  They bring granny and grandparents into the conversation at the dinner table and that has got to mean something

Thanks for joining me for #weekendcoffeeshare and a #DSFWeeklyrewind, in the background I’ve been playing a little bit of Pete Tong and I’m grateful for the warmth in my home. The cold spell that’s being shown on the tv across the northern hemisphere makes my heart sink.


Family Chilli

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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The Edinburgh Cooks take on a family chilli.

When is mince and tomatoes a Chilli or a Bolognese? Or when is a Bolognese a Chilli…….I think my definition would be when you add spice and kidney beans and in this recipe, a chilli and some peppers….no oregano or Mediterranean herbs.

This is a good chunky chilli, with no traditional aspect to it! It’s good for using up the spare chilli, onions and carrots in the fridge….makes use of the beans at the back of the cupboard and great for freezer prep.

Credit: The Edinburgh Cook Recipe File

Prep: This roughly covers 10-12 portions, Good sized casserole dish, heavy based pan. Don’t underestimate the chopping…..great thing to do on a cold wet January day with the stereo on.


  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 Onions, finely chopped….I added a red one that needed using
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1 tblsp Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 fresh Chilli, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 400g tins of Red Beans (I used a tin of Kidney and a tin of Aduki)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 200g of Mushrooms quartered
  • 3 Peppers (mixed adds a nice colour to the dish), seeded and diced


  1. Heat the oil, and add the onions, celery, garlic and fresh chilli and mince…..gently sauté, breaking the mince down with a wooden spoon until brown and the onions are soft.
  2. Add the rest of the veg to this, the chilli flakes, the tomatoes and puree and turn over
  3. Simmer on a low heat for 40 mins or so with the lid on, stirring occasionally
  4. To thicken up the sauce simmer without the lid off
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

The Table #6 – Get Back Running


Sunday morning, the frost has arrived, the tell tale sign on the car windscreens that I can see in the street. I’d told myself that this weekend was the weekend I was going to crack the fear of running that was building up in my head. Two weeks ago I ran a 10k and for days after I’ve been suffering. First it was the shock absorbing muscles and the movement of going down stairs really put my pain receptors into a fancle. Then when the muscle ache wore off my right knee seemed to be complaining of something a little more severe. I was feeling relatively fit for the run, I felt like I’d put the miles in, not quite enough to say I’d run 10k in one, but enough to know I could make it around the route. Which I did in 52 mins or so. I’m putting it down to the cold day and running probably at a pace I’m not used to…..however since then I’ve not been able to face the strides, the cold mornings the dark on either side of the working day.

Something however clicked, the boss got up and put her running stuff on and I was left there reading thinking how am I’m going to crack this…..the Christmas events are going to start, the comfort food is going to kick in and I’m going to appear out the end of February wondering what happened. Add to that the last few days has seen my mood change and I needed to do something about it. From my bedroom window at this time of the year the sun creeps up above the houses and I can see the chimney stacks basking in the sun whilst the rest of the houses are in the dark with expectation in the air that some warmth might come if only they could grow a little taller. The sky was blue and really there was no excuse, there was time and it was time.

By heck it was cold…..but I was moving and my legs still worked!

Welcome into the kitchen, we had a Venison stew last night. Funny we had one vegetable, an Aubergine, left over from last week and it dictated the main meal for the weekend. That and a Celeriac that turned up in the veg box. For me at this time of year Aubergines, belong in slow cooked stews and casseroles with a tomato and red wine based sauce. I’d intended to buy stewing lamb at the butchers and then I saw a tray of stewing Venison and a deal was struck.

Disappointed with last weeks cook section in the Guardian being solely dedicated to Pasta, this weeks is much more interesting with much more writing and thought for the food reader. Less is more from Sue Quinn…Love the name of her blog Pen and Spoon. A mushroom soup that’s definitely worth a shot from Rachel Roddy. And a Brownie Recipe that will put the chocolate lover in a spin.

My Indian cookery course covered off Chicken Tikka that the boys just wolfed down. I really need to get some of these recipes up on the site! This weeks blogging resolution!!

Highlight of the week was an early train ride through to Glasgow, a window seat, a coffee and Piano music on my phone. It was 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to me and my thoughts The Fields being laid for the winter rest, and the sun low in the sky. It was a nice change that I was grateful for and gave me the nod that I really need to get away from my desk at work to plan my time, think and feel.

Big shout out to Daisy Smile face who hosts the #DSFWeeklyRewind. Thanks for popping by and spending some time at my table.



Mathieson Butcher Edinburgh


This in my parlance is what I’d call a proper butcher.  With no airs and graces the guys in here do service with a smile, they know the locals and always quick with a joke.  The prices feel honest and true, and you get the feeling of family values and of a time when people always shopped locally.  I’ve been in the queue on Christmas Eve to hear that people have driven across town just to get to this butchers shop.

I looked for a website to share a link, in true form this butcher doesn’t have one and it pleases me to know that their reputation is enough.  With a bit of digging I came across the Grange Association website that makes a mention of the store setting up in 1902 by Andrew Mathieson, with a little history of Ratcliffe Terrace and how it came to be.  I wonder if the house I’m living in built in 1895 were customers of the same shop when it opened?

It’s only now as I write this that I realise you can smell the history when you walk in,  the floors are wooden and the little accounts office still sits neatly against the wall, sometimes with a man in it reading a trashy newspaper.   The signs have the old script painted with the various cuts labelled and a space for the chalk price.  Don’t come in with an idea of buying six thighs because the Sunday supplement calls for it.  The cuts here are traditional, if you want chicken pieces they are jointed there and then.   I don’t see this as a bad thing, more a nod to sustainability and staying true to one’s trade.  The exception I know of though is the chicken breast which I know they buy in to meet the demand.   Venison is kept in the freezer and so are the beef ribs (which I bought once…to try a recipe I’d seen in a supplement!)

Links: Grange Association

Earthy – Edinburgh Causewayside

2017-11-04 10.18.23 HDRThe weekend is here a chance to recoup and connect with my foodie drive.  I’ve kept myself local today and this feels very much a decadence.  Earthy the local foodie emporium.  I look up to see the lollipop pop lady who serves the nearby primary school, I know she lives closer than I so I shouldn’t feel to guilty!

I’ve been to the butchers across the road, stewing lamb for a Rogan Josh  (my Indian course on Tuesday) and pork chops for the Nigel dish I have planned for tea.  The boys are out sporting and amazingly I’ve carved out the morning to myself.

Earthy is one of those places that’s had to grow and adapt as it got more and more popular and sits in my if you do things right people will pay and come bracket.  It’s a ram shackled place off the beaten track so you would be forgiven for just walking by, maybe in a previous life a garage or warehouse from the 60’s.  Open brick and steel girders, reclaimed wood for the counters, solid wood tables and benches should give you a feel for the place.  The scones, the salads, the cakes, the quiches all look home made on the premises with a very relaxed wholesome and urban feel.

My wife always on the hunt for a good scone tipped me off that they were good here and today was my time to try (although I think I’ll be in trouble for trying without her!).  The humble flour, raisin and butter concoction is taken to another level here with addition of pistachios, chopped into wedges the size just shy of a small builders brick was something to behold.  It arrived warm …..enough said.  The coffee brewed by the Italian style Electra was good not to strong I only wish I’d gone large to keep up with the pace of the scone.

I’d love to linger longer, it’s quiet today, to have another coffee and while the morning away.  The home list is long and I promised I’d take care of lunch.  The beauty of this place is that I can now pop upstairs and get a few extra things.  I’m hoping to find a squash or pumpkin to roast.  The kind that smacks of good wholesome growing, not the kind that are engineered for Halloween!

Links:  Earthy Causewayside

The Scone is a monster! #coffee #scone #saturdaymornings

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Red Onion Squash for lunch

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Sweet Potatoe and Lentil Soup

Red Lentils

Saturday Morning and the main shop was done yesterday and we are walking around Bruntsfield and Morningside after dropping our bikes off for a service. Waitrose, the foodies supermarket usually calls out to us, to grab those last minute items and a free paper when you spend over £10. I love the Guardian on Saturday Food Supplement! They sell an ideal sized bag of sweet potatoes in their essentials range and apart from the addition of the weight in my rucksack I see no reason to add them to our extra swag for soup making purposes.

This is a lovely creamy style soup, great for those autumn nights.

Credit: EdinburghCook


  • 1.25kg bag of sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • Olive or Rapeseed Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 200g split red lentils
  • 1 tbsp bouillon powder


  1. Rinse and then soak the lentils in 500g/500ml or so in cold water for 30 mins
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into chunks, roast for 45 mins to an hour until soft
  3. Dice the onion
  4. Bring a tbsp of the oil to a soft heat in a heavy based pan that will hold a good 2litres of liquid.
  5. Add the onion and crushed garlic and soften until translucent
  6. Add the bouillon powder and stir in
  7. Add the coconut milk
  8. Then a litre of water, which I add boiled from the kettle, bring to a simmer and stir through
  9. You can add the lentils at this stage and cook in the broth
    1. Or cook separately in their own water to then add later
    2. I choose to do this as I didn’t want to blitz the lentils…preferring to keep them whole
  10. When the potatoes are ready, add into the broth mix and blitz using a hand blender
  11. Add the lentils if you cooked them separately.