Today’s recipes are ones that are easy to make and will last you a lifetime. Teaching children to cook is very much on my mind these days, as I have been delighted to be involved in the Bord Bia Zoom Cookalong – a competition for children aged eight to 14 (with a parent or guardian).
You can check out “Learn to Cook with Neven” on the Bord Bia website. When I last looked, we already had over 1,000 entries and it is running until June. That is a lot of cooks-in-the-making and I am thrilled. We will be focusing on local in-season produce and on learning what I see as an important life skill – cooking.
My mother taught me and I am so glad she did.
The honey parsnip & carrot soup is a delicious lunch. I made the porridge bread recently and I had almost forgotten how good it is. This is a recipe given to me by my friend and colleague, Orla Broderick, who has worked with me on lots of my books and TV shows. Thank you, Orla. I particularly like Killowen Farm yoghurt and for oats, you won’t ever do better than Flahavan’s.
Honey, parsnip & carrot soup. \ Photography: Claire Nash. Food styling: Janine Kennedy
Honey, parsnip & carrot soup
Serves four to six
2 large carrots
2 small leeks
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
900ml (1 ½ pints) vegetable stock (from cubes is fine)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
porridge bread, to serve (see the following recipe)1 Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut into even-sized chunks. Trim the leeks and finely chop.2 Heat a saucepan over a medium to high heat. Add the oil and butter and swirl until the butter has melted. Tip in the leeks and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until softened.3 Add the carrots and parsnips, then season with salt and pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the thyme, honey and vinegar, stirring to combine, then pour in the stock. Cover with a piece of parchment and then a lid. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the vegetables for 20 minutes, until tender.4 Carefully remove the lid and parchment and using a hand blender blitz the soup until smooth. 5 Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve with some porridge bread, if liked.
Makes two loaves
500ml (½ litre) carton natural yoghurt
1 large egg
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus little extra to grease
2 x 500ml (½ litre) cartons porridge oats (375g/13oz)
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp porridge oats (for sprinkling on top)
butter, for spreading 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.2 Put the yoghurt in a bowl, scraping it all out, then rinse out the yoghurt carton.3 Make a well in the centre of the yoghurt and add the egg and oil. Stir until mixed. 4 Use the carton to measure out two cartons of the oats and mix them in with the bicarbonate of soda and salt until evenly combined. 5 Lightly oil 2 x 1lb loaf tins and divide the oat mixture between them. 6 Sprinkle some additional porridge oats on top, if desired.7 Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. 8 Remove from the oven and go around the sides with a table knife to loosen out the bread and tip out on to the work surface. 9 Return the loaf to the oven and put straight on the oven shelf without any tin or baking sheet for another 3-5 minutes to dry the crust out. 10 Leave the cooked loaf to cool down on a wire rack and then cut into slices. 11 Spread with a little butter to serve, if liked.