Mushroom stoup with three-root mash


After watching back-to-back episodes of River Cottage Veg on Sunday evening, I was inspired to try Hugh’s mushroom ‘stoup’ (a hybrid of a stew and soup) along with a three-root mash. Time to dig out my favourite vegetarian cookbook again!

For the ingredients, I headed to a lovely little greengrocer shop on Stoke Newington Church Street, beautifully stocked with just about every type of fruit, vegetable, herb and grain imaginable!




I deviated from the original recipe for personal tastes but it worked out well for me!

Mushroom stoup ingredients (5 portions approx)
•2 tbsp olive oil
•small knob of butter
•2 onions roughly chopped
•2 carrots, peeled and sliced
•2 celery stalks, chopped
•4 garlic cloves, crushed
•500g mixed mushrooms; I used a variety of Dutch mushrooms, including shiitake, oyster, chestnut and button
•250g portobello mushrooms
•1l mushroom stock
•a handful of chopped parsley
•salt and pepper to season


1) Heat half the oil and butter, gently sautéing the onions for 2 minutes then add the carrots and celery, simmering gently.
2) In the meantime, heat the remaining oil and butter and simmer the garlic VERY gently-nothing worse than the bitter taste of over cooked garlic! Add the mushrooms in their batches, stirring gently each time.
3) Add the onion mix to the mushroom mix, followed by the mushroom stock and cook uncovered on a medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and parsley.
* The dish was very runny so I did stir in a small amount of cornflour. I might use less stock next time.

Now on to the root mash. This could be made with any type of root veg but I opted for parsnips, turnip and sweet potato. Yum!

INGREDIENTS (5 portions approx)
•2 parsnips
•1 small turnip
•1 VERY large sweet potato (or 2-3 small ones)
•A bay leaf
• A knob of butter
•100-200ml milk
•A few shavings of vegetarian hard cheese
•Salt and pepper to season

1) Peel and chop the veg, placing in a large pan with the bay leaf. Leave to boil for 20 minutes or until soft and tender.

2) Drain the water and remove the bay leaf. Add the butter and mash as much as physically possible! Stir in the milk bit by bit until you’re happy with the texture. Add the cheese and use a hand-held blender to eradicate those remaining stubborn lumps!
3) Add more milk if necessary, until you’re left with a thick and smooth consistency. Season to taste.

I served the stoup and mash with curly kale sautéed in shallots, topped off with a refreshing yogurt made by mixing creme fraiche and dried dill.

Make sure you have plenty of crusty bread on hand to mop up the stoup!


Roast Dinner at The Talbot


There’s nothing I love more on a Sunday than spending the afternoon in a lovely pub with a glass of wine, newspapers and a tasty veggie roast, of course! Finding a pub that serves an adequate veggie roast can sometimes be difficult and I’m usually slightly apprehensive, concerned that the food isn’t as strictly vegetarian as I’d like it to be…

My worries were eased yesterday when I paid a visit to The Talbot, a cosy pub situated on a quiet street by De Beauvoir Town, just a stone throw away from the craziness of Dalston. They offered what was described as a vegan roast, with the menu clarifying that the gravy was also vegan friendly. Fantastic-after all, what veggie/vegan wants to worry about the presence of animal juices in their food?!

Along with the vegan gravy and delicious vegetables, the centre piece of my roast were smoked tofu and almond sausages which were clearly homemade and so wonderfully flavoursome. This was all topped off with what could only be described as the biggest Yorkshire pudding that I’ve ever seen! At £12.50, this was quite reasonably priced compared to some places in the Hackney area.

The Talbot have a terrace/balcony area where we sat to eat, perfect to bask in the sunshine and watch the world go by. I’ll definitely be popping in again for a Sunday roast fix.

The Talbot
109 Mortimer Road
N1 4JY


Tomato & Red Wine Pasta Sauce


A simple and delicious pasta sauce recipe, perfect for a quick and lazy dinner!

INGREDIENTS (3-4 portions)
•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 crushed garlic clove
•1 can of chopped tomatoes
•200ml red wine
•2 tbsp tomato purée
•2 tsp sugar
•A handful of chopped fresh basil
•black pepper to season

1) Heat the oil and gently simmer the garlic for a minute
2) Add the canned tomatoes and stir through
3) Add the wine and stir in the tomato purée
4) Add the sugar and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes
5) Stir through the basil and season to taste

I served this with rigatoni and a slice of goats’ cheese on top. Delicious!