I have tried to choose recipes which every family member loves – anyone responsible for family cooking understands what a God Send this is! I try to be accurate with my recipes but really I tend to use in ingredients that I have in the house and very rarely measure or weigh anything unless I am baking. I think we should all cook like this when we have three children talking to us and a yoga class to teach in half an hour! Also, I think that if you don’t have the right amount of something it might put you off a recipe, whereas if you don’t know, it doesn’t matter! You can just add other things to taste and see how it goes – one week the soup is more leeky, the next week it is greener. Variety is the spice of life after all! I hope you enjoy them!

Leek, potato and chick pea soup

Try to buy organic potatoes if you can. I have seen the chemicals that go into potato farming. Jamie Oliver inspired. This is also delicious with spinach instead of leeks – I normally add a bit of both.

5 leeks
2 large potatoes
2 cloves garlic or more
250g dry chick peas soaked the night before and cooked before hand or 2 tins.
Grated vegan parmesan / vegan yeast flakes

Sweat the leeks and garlic in vegan butter or olive oil in a large pan with lid on low heat til soft.

Meanwhile peel and chop potatoes into cubes. Stir them into the leeks and add 2 pints of vegetable stock. When the potatoes are soft you can either add the chick peas and serve as it is, or add chick peas and blend til smooth. Or our favourite way is to half blend it leaving bits of leek and potatoes and then add the chick peas. It looks very professional with parmesan shaved on top and is totally delicious and makes a fulfilling meal.

Minestrone soup as a hearty meal

2 Onions
2 Garlic
2 Tin tomatoes
Peppers, Courgettes, Green beans, Celery and Carrots
White beans (or baked beans if haven’t any white ones handy)
Veg stock 2 pints – or whatever suits you as you are cooking
You can add smoked paprika if you want the bacon smoky flavour without the meat. I just add normal paprika to make it rich without the smokey flavour that the younger kids aren’t so keen on. But you can add it to your own bowl in you wish. And herbs of course.

Macaroni or fresh bread.

The tomato sauce can be one that you made at the beginning of the week to use in various meals throughout the week if organised! Or start with onions, celery & garlic in olive oil until soft. Then add the other veg and fry for another five mins. Then add tinned tomatoes and stock and simmer until the vegetables are not too soft but ready to eat. Add the beans and seasoning and serve in bowls with vegan cheese or yeast flakes, with macaroni stirred in or on its own with fresh bread.

Easy sweetcorn & cashew chowder 

Veg/olive oil
55g cashews roughly chopped
30g vegan butter

2 onions chopped
2 celery chopped
1½ tbs flour
720mls veg stock
1 large potato cubed
1 sweet potato cubed
4 large fresh sage leaves chopped (optional)
4 cobs sweetcorn kernels scraped off or frozen/tinned corn easier!

Fry cashews in tiny bit of oil til brown. Remove nuts (put aside), add vegan butter to pan and stir in onions and celery and cook til soft. Stir in flour cook for 1 min til pale brown. Add stock (and some plant-based milk if you prefer) and turn up the heat. Add potato and cook for three mins and then add sweet potato and sage and corn and cook til soft. Serve and sprinkle with cashew nuts. Eat with fresh bread.