Monday, November 23, 2009

Souper Supper

Firstly, a massive thank you to those who racked their brains for Last Supper suggestions. You all really know how to make me ravenous!

I have picked out a delicious 3 course meal from your ideas (open to debate if any more come along) but I am not going to give anything away just yet. Only when I have all the ingredients together, will I let slip what will be sizzling away in my oven...

Due to Mattie's 'Season is all' comment, I have chosen a menu which satisfies the Winter taste buds - something wholesome and warming as the months begin to freeze up...But enough with that - I've said too much already!

This week's blog is dedicated to my own last supper starter, but instead of a taster for meals to follow, I intend it to be a Sunday-Night-Supper, or the perfect Autumn/Winter lunch.
The recipe is taken from the Real Island Food Company - a fantastically friendly duo, Jackie and Rachel, who deliver to-the-door fresh goodies from local producers on the Isle of Wight.*

This recipe is SO delicious and unbelievably good comfort food. We added scrumptious Oak Roasted Tomatoes from The Tomato Stall, which give it an added smoky flavour to complement the nutty sweetness of the butternut squash - along with a hunk of still warm toasted soda bread.

You must must must try it!

Roast Tomato and Butternut Soup

Creamy, full of flavour and very warming - this seasonal soup is perfect to serve at a Bonfire party, or team it up with a Graces Bakery French stick and you've got a great lunch!

1 kilo of ripe Isle of Wight tomatoes (Cherry toms have the best flavour)
1 medium Butternut squash from Ben Browns farm in the Arreton Valley
2 cloves Isle of Wight (The Garlic Farm ) garlic
fresh thyme leaves
300 ml Coppid Hall farm double cream
300 ml good quality vegetable stock (water will be fine too)
1 tsp Demerara sugar
freshly ground sea salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

Place the tomatoes on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil, season well with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the peeled garlic cloves and mix in with the tomatoes. Roast in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until softened and starting to colour (20 – 30 minutes)

Peel the Butternut, and cut into chunks. Place on a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roast in the oven until soft and easy to squash with a fork. (approx 30 mins)

When cooked, place the tomatoes and Butternut in a large saucepan. Add the water or stock and sugar and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 5 mins. Using a hand held blender, liquidise until smooth (until you can’t see or taste any tomato skin in the liquid). Add the cream, season to taste and warm through for serving.

Enjoy with a chunk of fresh bread and butter.

A real winner! INDULLLLGE.

* delivery on hampers and gifts is now available off the Isle, so check out to get your hands on some delicious real island food! I HIGHLY recommend...

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I'm sitting at the head of a table. Around me are 7 other chairs, (I'd prefer to provide for 8 than 13), and I'm holding the perfect dinner party for those whom I would most like to cook for.

On my left we have Nigel Slater - my all time food hero. And on the other side, constantly topping up my glass, the legendary Keith Floyd. I think two chefs are quite enough - too many cooks spoil the broth and all that. If criticism were needed, then Giles Coren may come, but he'd have a place at the other end of the table, so I could see his mouth moving but hear nothing come out.

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.

For the wit we'd have Bill Bailey. I think he'd eat what I put in front of him without fuss and we all need a good laugh.
Funnily enough, I was flicking through the November's Observer Food Monthly and who was writing about their last supper but none other than the drop dead gorgeous, ex-Blur guitarist, cheese-maker extraordinaire, Alex James. As I came across the words that read something like, 'I crave anything that costs less than three pounds', there was no doubt in my mind that A.J would almost certainly have to sit at the Rose Cottage table, and woo me with his curdles and whey.
So, there's the cheap date for the serenade. Why not! We'll have Seasick Steve, for some post-dinner jigging.

I seem to have omitted the female sex apart from myself and there must be eight at the table. So, Judi Dench, please. There. That's that. 8 WONDERFUL GUESTS TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER!

Now for:

I certainly have a few of my own ideas
...butternut squash and oak roasted tomato soup with soda bread...fresh ravioli stuffed with walnut and ricotta, drizzled in butter...ginger ice cream with bitter chocolate sauce...
But I need more inspiration...
I would like all those in favour to raise your spoons and answer me this:

'What would be your last supper?'

I will then endeavour to cook a starter and main, and perhaps pudding from my favourite suggestions and blog them. Please write your thoughts on the Rose Cottage Blog Facebook Group or down below so I can start choosing!