Feasting, feasting


A little weekend bonus for you…food recipes for bonfire parties (or indeed, just a cosy weekend in) by the wonderful David Herbert, Food Editor (currently Food and Homes Director at Your M&S Magazine), author of The Really Useful Cookbook, wonderful gardener, host-with-the-most and all-round good egg.

David’s Bonfire Night Feast

As much as I love the magic of the bonfire (and the excitement of the fireworks), bonfire night is always enhanced with a mug or two of hot soup and a chewy chocolate biscuit to dunk into coffee. This foolproof tomato soup is perfect for a bonfire celebration as can be made a day or two ahead, then reheated and transported in a trusty thermos. Paper napkins and a few mugs are all you need. If there is a kitchen nearby, I usually make the simple ‘all in one’ sausage roast; its great served with bread rolls and a little mustard.  There is also a recipe for a small-but-perfectly-formed chocolate biscuit; crispy on the outside, a tiny bit chewy on the inside and completely wonderful all the way through. I’m going to take a little stash with me to dunk into my thermos of coffee.

Tomato soup

2tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

1 cloves garlic, crushed

750g ripe tomatoes, quartered

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1litre chicken or vegetable stock

1tbsp chopped basil, to serve

Extra virgin olive oil, to serve


Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Add the tin of tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little, then purée the soup in batches in a blender or with a hand-held blender. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot garnished with the basil and a drizzle of oil.

Sausage roast

This delicious dish is full of autumnal flavour and couldn’t be easier to prepare – it’s simply a case of putting everything in one roasting tin, popping it in the oven and sitting back to relax. Within the hour you’ll have a tasty, comforting meal. Good served with rolls and mustard.


8 large sausages

2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks

2 medium red onions, peeled and quartered

1kg winter squash, such as butternut, deseeded and cut into wedges about 2.5cm thick

3 sprigs rosemary

2-3tbsp olive oil

Heat the over to 200C (fan 180C). Put the sausages, peppers, red onions and squash in a large roasting tin. Scatter over the leaves of the rosemary sprigs, along with a generous pinch of salt. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir the sausages and vegetables until coated. Roast for about 40 minutes until the sausages are cooked through, and the vegetables are tender and browned.

Chocolate biscuits

125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

125g unsalted butter, chopped

1 large egg

185 light brown sugar

185g self raising flour, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C). Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of hot water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and sugar with a wooden spoon until combined.

Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add the sifted flour and mix until smooth and thick. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Roll teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on the oven trays, allowing 5cm between each for the biscuits to spread while cooking.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the biscuits are firm to the touch and the tops have wrinkled slightly. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight


Makes about 30


Image: Deviant Art; Pinterest here and here.

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