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Whew we have got through a week of extreme temperatures and one that makes me turn to food for comfort.  I have been making casserole after casserole and many pots of hearty, warming soup have been filling our bellies.

This week at the market I am keeping it simple with lots of fantastic winter vegetables which I love playing around with as their unique robust flavours add a natural depth to your dishes.  This week Brydone Organics yams not only get roasted with maple syrup, they are then turned into a gorgeous soup. I am also making that beautiful warm salad which is yet another way I love to devour these winter morsels.  I also have leeks, spinach, eggs, honey, apples and freshly baked breads to finish.


This is one of my most popular soups. It only requires a few great ingredients and yams provide a comforting unique flavor to this memorable soup.

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Serves 5

1.5 kg yams 2 onions, sliced thinly 1 clove garlic 1 fresh bay leaf

5 sprigs fresh thyme

75ml maple syrup

½ cup water Oil Chicken or vegetable stock Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat your oven to 200C

Put the washed yams, sliced onions, garlic and water into a baking dish and drizzle over the maple syrup, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper give the pan a shake to coat all the yams. Roast until the yams soften and caramelize, (10-15 minutes). When the yams are tender and slightly caramelised, carefully tip them all into a suitable size pot.  Pour a little stock into the oven dish which the yams were cooked in and give it a scrap to ensure you get all the yummy bits off the pan. Pour all the liquid into the pot with the yams and onions. Add some more stock to just cover the yams along with the thyme and bay leaf if using. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook gently for at least 30 minutes so that the flavours have time to develop. When the yams are soft and mushy and the soup has taken on a cloudy appearance. It is ready to puree, either in a food processor or with a stick wand. I personally like this soup quite smooth.

Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. If it is too thick add a little more stock or water to loosen the soup to your desired consistency.

Serve in warm bowls, it does go well with a little fresh cream drizzled on top to soften the flavour!



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Makes 8


For the fritters

4 large leeks, pale green and white parts only

2 shallots, sliced thinly

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

Freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

Pinch of cayenne

1 egg

2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying



Cut the leeks into thin rounds, wash well in cold water, drain.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the leeks for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are softened but not limp.

While they are cooking, whisk together the flour, baking powder, a few grinds of black pepper, cumin and cayenne.

Drain the cooked leeks and pat dry.  Make sure to get rid of as much water as possible.

Transfer the leeks to a large mixing bowl and add shallots.  Add the flour mixture to the leeks and toss to coat.  Add the egg and stir until it is incorporated with the mixture.

Heat a baking tray in the oven to 200C

In a large heavy based fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer.  Scoop heaping tablespoons of the batter into the fry pan.  Using a spatula, gently flatten the fritter. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until it is golden brown.  If they are cooking too quickly, lower the heat.  Flip fritters and cook until the other side is golden.  Drain on paper towels and transfer to oven.

Repeat with remaining batter

While they are in the oven, continue until all fritter mixture is used. Serve warm with sour cream.



baked eggs

Brunch time indeed! Baked eggs served with soliders (toast) is a delightful way to start the day!

Serves 4


40g butter

500g spinach, stalks removed

50g parmesan or tasty cheddar

4 Tbsp cream

Freshly grated nutmeg

4 eggs

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Add 1 Tbsp butter to a pan and heat until melted, add the spinach and cook until wilted (1-2 minutes).

Place in a sieve and push out excess moisture.

Lightly grease the four ramekins with a little butter and then place equal amounts of the spinach.

Sprinkle over a little cheese on the spinach, leaving a little for the top.

Break one egg in each ramekin.

Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Pour over the cream, sprinkle with remaining cheese and finish with a grating of nutmeg and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Bake in preheated oven 180C for about 20 minutes or until the eggs are just cooked.

Serve immediately, but do remember the dishes are hot



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These moist little muffins are easy to make and are a family favourite especially on these cold weekends. Also great for lunch boxes!

Makes 12-18 medium sized muffins


1 cup whole meal flour 1 cup flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt 1 Tbsp cinnamon 120g unsalted butter, at room temperature ¼ cup runny honey ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 190C.

Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the honey and ¼ cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Mix in the buttermilk/yoghurt gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.)

Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 170C, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.



Warm salads are always a pleasing addition to your winter menu.

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Serves 4-6


1 kg yams,

2 red onions, cut into wedges

2 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp honey

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 sprig rosemary or thyme


1 tsp grain mustard

3 tsp red wine, cider or balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

100g feta cheese


Preheat the oven to 190C

Place a roasting tray in to heat up. This will get the yams and onions cooking immediately!

Toss the yams with 2 tablespoons of oil, honey and sprig of herbs.  Season with salt and pepper and mix.  Carefully remove the hot roasting dish and tip the yams and all juices onto the tray.  Bake for 20 minutes or until tender and caramelised, you may need to turn them throughout cooking to evenly cook.

Meanwhile mix together the mustard, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, season lightly and pour over the hot yams.  Combine lightly, crumble over the cheese and serve on a platter in the middle of the table.





BEANOS BAKERY – fresh baked goods

BRYDONE ORGANICS – yams and spinach

BLUESKIN BAY HONEY – local honey

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