Tourin Blanche (Cream of Garlic Soup)

This is a combination of several French recipes and is served with crusty bread.

2 lge onions peeled and finely sliced
6 lge cloves garlic chopped
2 tble spoons duck fat if not (1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter)
2 tablespoons flour
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 pts chicken stock I use stock cube
Bouquet garni of thyme, tarragon and parsley
Half cup double cream
Half cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onions in either duck fat or oil and butter on low heat till golden brown, add chopped garlic, cook for 2 mins, sprinkle the flour over onions and garlic, stir with wooden spoon, add chicken stock simmer and cook for further 15 mins. Take off heat.
In a cup beat egg yolks with vinegar, take some of hot soup mix in cup with egg, then pour mixture back into saucepan beat well with whisk. Pour soup into liquidizer add milk and cream, I also add some dried tarragon. Pour back into saucepan reheat when required.
Serve with chopped chives.
It really is good if you can get duck fat, maybe at a Deli.
Serves at least 6 to 8 people you can adjust with more cream or milk.

Roasted Chestnut Soup

1.1lt (2 pints) Vegetable Stock or Water
450g (1lb) Chestnuts
110ml (4fl oz) Double Cream
2 Large Onions
2 Celery Sticks
2 Carrots
6 Large Garlic cloves
3 tbsp Dry Sherry
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Yeast Extract (Marmite)
2 tbsp Fresh Mixed Herbs
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Roughly chop the onions, chop the celery and carrots.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions.
Cook, until they turn golden brown, but do not burn.
Add two of the garlic cloves, the remaining vegetables, herbs and yeast extract.
Cook over a high heat for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add the stock and bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C: 400°F: Gas 6
Place the remaining garlic (unpeeled) and chestnuts on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until the garlic is soft to the touch and the chestnuts are lightly browned.
Cool slightly, remove the skins from the garlic cloves, peel away shells and inner skins from the chestnuts.
Place the garlic, chestnuts and stock in batches in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Pour into a saucepan, add the sherry and season with nutmeg.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Serve the soup in warmed bowls and top with a tablespoon of double cream.

Warm Chicken Liver and Grapefruit Salad

Lettuce selection of  rocket, lollo roso & lambs lettuce
2 pink grapefruit
6 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
8 oz chicken livers chopped
Salt and pepper
Tear leaves, mix together in salad bowl. Peel grapefruit making sure you cut away all the pith, segment it catching juices in a bowl, add grapefruit to lettuce bowl. Mix dressing with 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil, sesame oil, soy sauce seasoning and grapefruit juice.
Heat rest of oil in pan and cook liver until firm and brown stirring gently.
Arrange lettuce and grapefruit on plate pour over livers. This should be served at once.
This makes a good cheap starter, I sometimes add a little Sherry to the cooking of the livers to give them oomph.

Toad In The Hole (Gluten Free)

For the Batter
50g/2oz Rice flour
50g/2oz Tapioca flour
Large pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Large eggs
300ml/˝ Pint milk
2 tbsp/30g Fresh thyme leaves
8 Good quality Pork sausages
2 tbsp/30g of Beef dripping or white vegetable fat
2 tbsp/30g Dijon mustard (Gluten Free)
1.Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2.To make the batter, sift the rice flour and the tapioca flour into a large bowl.
3.Add the salt and pepper.
4.Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs.
5.Using a wooden spoon gradually beat the eggs into the flour then slowly beat in the milk until the batter is the consistency of double cream.
6.Strain and push any remaining lumps through a sieve.
7.Stir in the thyme.
8.Cover and leave to stand for 1 hour
9.Heat a large non-stick pan and cook the sausages over a medium heat until golden brown all over. If you do not have a non-stick pan add a little oil. Turn off the heat and brush the sausages with the mustard. Set aside.
10.Place the dripping or white vegetable fat into an oven proof dish and pop in the oven for 5 minutes or until the dripping is hot and hazy.
11.Add the sausages to the hot dish and pour in the batter. Immediately return the dish to the oven and cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.

Apple & Mint Jelly (Delicious with Roast Pork or Lamb)

1kg Cooking Apples
Sugar (see method)
50ml Fresh Chopped Mint
Roughly chop the apples and put in a large pan. Cover with water and simmer until the fruit is soft.
Strain through muslin overnight. Resist the temptation to force the liquid through the muslin or the finished jelly will be cloudy.
Measure the amount of liquid and add 400g of sugar for every 500ml of juice.
Gently heat the sugar and juice in a large pan until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil.
After 10 minutes, test for setting consistency by pouring about a teaspoon of the jelly into a saucer and leave to cool slightly.
If a wrinkle forms on the surface when gently pushed with a fingertip, the jelly should set.
Leave the pan to cool a bit and stir in the chopped fresh mint.
Pour the warm jelly into warm, sterilized jars and  seal immediately. Don't forget to label.
Store in a cool dark place for up to 12 months.
You can try substituting lavender for the mint, for a change.

Courgette Soup (6 portions)
1 kg Courgettes (If large, remove pith and seeds)
2 Onions
2 cloves Garlic
2 Potatoes
1 litre Vegetable or chicken stock
1 Teaspoon thyme and pepper to taste
3 portions of Dairylee or similar cheese spread
Wash and chop courgettes, potato and onion. Place in a large saucepan with crushed garlic and thyme.
Cover with stock and simmer. When completely cooked, place in a liquidizer and wizz until it is all dissolved add  3 to 4 Dairylee cheese spread portions and wizz again. Check seasoning.

Delicious and easy to make.