Posted in blogging, lifestyle, recipes

Easy Peasy Autumn Pumpkin Soup by Katie Cadman

I am so excited to be sharing this post by Katie Cadman, also known as The Spicy Bean. As her pen name suggests, Katie loves cooking and her blog is packed with recipes and other good stuff. The very first blog post by Katie that I read was this one about bake off and I was immediately hooked – I laughed out loud at the antics with pistachios.
Katie is one of my blogging friends from Twitter, and she is such a lovely person to know. She is very supportive and encouraging, and I have found that we have quite a lot in common – like both wanting to organise our group with spreadsheets for everything 😉
This collaboration was a way of us sharing our favourite easy recipes. I am bringing back my Friday Favourites posts and this is the relaunch … Ta-dah!


My recipe was a complete cheat compared to this from Katie because mine doesn’t require actual cooking. Katie’s recipe involves some chopping and stuff, but it also has the option of putting cream in so I will definitely like it! I am a fan of pumpkin actually (but not in a latte), and I think this recipe would also work with Butternut Squash.

Here’s Katie’s recipe:

Soup is such a perfect meal for this time of year, it’s so warming and so easy to make! We visited a Pumpkin Patch for the first time this year and I got a bit carried away, returning home with four pumpkins. Now Halloween is over I’m eating pumpkin for virtually every meal! No food waste here!

This was the perfect opportunity to bring out my trusty pumpkin soup recipe, which has a slightly different twist every year. This year I’ve decided to keep it simple, using herbs and spices sparingly to bring out the taste of the pumpkin. Many pumpkin foods are more spice than pumpkin, so I thought it was about time the pumpkin got to have its own party!

After the prep this soup pretty much cooks itself, so you can get on with whatever you want while it’s cooking, though don’t forget to set a timer!


Serves 4

Cooking time 2 hours +prep



1kg pumpkin cubed

2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp Rosemary, dried or fresh

Salt  and pepper

1 large onion

1 tbsp cumin

1.5 litres vegetable stock

Optional: 50ml of cream



1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/160°c fan/gas mark 4 Toss your pumpkin cubes in 1 tbsp of the oil and the rosemary and place in a roasting tin. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for around 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is crisp on the outside.

2. While the pumpkin is cooking slice up your onion – I have a really handy tool for this which I call the onion comb, but it’s really just a thingy with a load of metal sticks on it to make cutting easier and safer.

3. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and set aside to cool a bit. Meanwhile heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan and fry the onion with the cumin until soft. Stir a lot to prevent burning and sticking.

4. Add the pumpkin and stir until it is well mixed and coated in the cumin and onion mixture.

5. Pour in your stock, give it a stir and put the lid on. Leave to simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

6. Using either a stick blender or food processor, blitz your pumpkin and onion mixture until it is smooth. Alternatively you can leave in some chunks of pumpkin if that’s what you like.

7. You can either enjoy it like this, or be a bit more indulgent and stir in some thick cream. If you’d like to freeze it, it’s best to leave the cream until you’re serving it at a later date.



You will find my post for Katie here – I recommend you go and read her blog anyway, even if you don’t want to cheat at making chilli 🙂



Posted in lifestyle, recipes

Easy Coffee Ice Cream

I have had lots of people ask me about this since I commented on a Twitter poll started by my lovely friend Emm.

I originally got the recipe from Nigel Slater on BBC television and I have made it several times. I find his recipes always work out and I have many in our family recipe book.


  • one tub of fresh luxury custard from the supermarket eg Sainsburys Taste the Difference
  • half a cup of cooled coffee – I use one heaped teaspoon of instant coffee diluted with hot water in the same way as if I was making a drink and then allow it to cool

You will also need a bowl or other container suitable for the freezer, big enough for all of the custard and allowing room for mixing.


Pour the custard into the container and add the cooled coffee and whisk together. Cover with some cling film and place in the freezer.

Check every hour or so and give it a little stir to break up the ice crystals. The ice cream should be ready to serve the same day, so you could make it in the morning for dessert that evening. Remove the container from the freezer a few minutes before serving to allow it to soften slightly, making it easier to scoop out.

Other flavours

Not everyone likes coffee, but don’t worry as this method should work with other flavours too. You could try adding a frozen smoothie mix for instance, or fresh fruit. Experiment with different flavours and please do let me know if you design a new favourite!