Serves 6
50g butter
1 onion, chopped
100g good quality bacon (ends are ideal)
1 Tablespoon chopped sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
450g potatoes
2 good size leeks
About 1 litre chicken stock
A little cream (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in large pan, add the onion, bacon and sage, then cover and sweat for about 10 minutes. Add the leeks and potatoes and stir well. Add enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Take a few cups of the soup and puree them in a food processor, then stir back into the rest of the soup and mix well. This should bring the soup together.
Add a dash of cream if you like (it will give the soup a silky, creamy finish). Taste and season appropriately and enjoy!

BACON CROQUETAS (Spanish style)

Makes 40
For the béchamel (white sauce)
500ml whole milk
2 bay leaves
4 teaspoons good quality light olive oil
80g slightly salted butter
125g small dice or strips of bacon (ends are ideal)
70g plain flour
Pinch salt

For the breadcrumbs

1 small loaf of good quality white bread or some good quality bought crumbs are okay
4 free range eggs

For frying

500ml vegetable oil

Make the béchamel a day in advance if possible! Pour milk into a saucepan, add the bay leaves and slowly bring to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to infuse. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan, add the bacon and cook over a medium heat for 3- 4 minutes. Add the flour and salt, mix well and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves from the milk, then add it little by little to the roux mix, stirring constantly for 10 minutes. Once all the milk is added and the béchamel is smooth and thick. Pour on to a large plate or tray, allow to cool, then cover with glad wrap and refrigerate over night if possible.

If you are making your own breadcrumbs, simply remove the crusts, either roughly chop or tear up and dry overnight. Break up the bread and whiz to fine crumbs in food processor.

To crumb the croquetas you will need a bowl with the 4 eggs broken into it, lightly beaten. You will need a dish to put your bread crumbs in and a tray to put your finished croquetas on. Arrange the béchamel, eggs and breadcrumbs from left to right.

To shape the croquetas, using 2 dessertspoons scoop the béchamel between the spoons and shape into about 4cm in length. One at a time drop into egg mix, then remove and coat in bread crumbs. Finally place carefully on the tray until all the mixture is finished. Chill in fridge until required.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180`c and cook the croquetas, 4 or 5 at a time. Carefully immerse in the hot oil and deep-fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper serve them immediately.


2 ¼ cup cream
3 lemons, juiced, and zest
1 Tablespoon honey

Place the cream, lemon zest and juice into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Strain the cream through a fine sieve into a clean pot and return to heat and bring back to a gentle boil. Add the honey and stir. Boil gently for 5 minutes until the cream starts to thicken.
Leave the cream to cool slightly then pour into 6 ramekin dishes or glasses etc, (only 2/3 full). Leave to cool then chill in the refrigerator until set (about 2 hours).

Macerated Blackcurrants
200g blackcurrants
2 dessertspoons caster sugar
Crème de cassis or brandy

Place half the blackcurrants in a bowl with half the sugar and the cassis or brandy. Mix well and leave to macerate. Put the rest of the fruit in a pan with the remaining sugar and 1 dessertspoon of water. Heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. When cool, mix with the other blackcurrants

Drizzle the blackcurrants over the Posset. Also delicious with Greek yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.

A quick relish to serve with terrines, duck, lamb or game.
Serves 4
1 Tablespoon blackcurrant jelly/jam
1 Tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon crème de cassis
125g cooked beetroot, finely diced
55g blackcurrants
A handful chopped mint
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the blackcurrant jelly/jam, vinegar and crème de cassis in a pan and heat gently until smooth. Add the beetroot, blackcurrants and some seasoning and heat through. Stir in the mint and check the seasoning. Serve either warm or chilled.