My Vichyssoise or Delicious & creamy cold soup

VichysoisseSWhen the weather is getting hotter, I recommend you spend an evening making a large batch of this beautiful soup. It is both healthy and tasty, and well loved by all family members. I like to use vegetable stock, this means the dish is completely vegetarian and all my friends can enjoy it as well.

The soup can be served hot or cold. I would cool the soup for at least 4 hours before serving. That’s why I like to make this dish a day in advance.

This soup is also beautiful als a small course at a dinner party or for a high tea. Just serve the soup in a dainty tea cup or a small glass instead of a large plate.

Vichyssoise (6 portions)

  • 2 leaks, sliced and thoroughly cleanVichyssoiseMed, including the green part
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 500 – 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 150 ml cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • To serve:
    • Greek yoghurt or sour cream
    • Chopped spring onion or chives
  1. Fry off the potatoes, onion, leaks and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add vegetable stock until all ingredients are submerged.
  3. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Blend the soup to a smooth puree, add stock if you want a thinner soup.
  5. Stir in the cream and season to taste. Remember that cold soup will need stronger seasoning.
  6. Serve your soup with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or sour cream and some chopped chives or spring onions.


On hot summer evenings I enjoy a plate of this cold soup with some fresh bread. The best thing is that all you have to do is serve it up, no mess or fuss, just a cooling and healthy dinner.

Tasty chicory boats

I like making this salad as a starter for a dinner party. It is full of strong flavors, but very well balanced. There is also a great variation in textures. I can guarantee you that this will definately intrigue your dinner guests.

This dish also makes a great lunch salad. When combined with a piece of leftover chicken it is very filling.

Chicory taste explosion

  • 3 chicory
  • 1 apple, finely sliced (no need to remove the skin, this adds color)
  • 1 handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 75 gr blue cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil, generous sprinkling
  1. Remove the 4 outer leaves of each chicory. Keep them whole for serving the salad.
  2. Remove the cores and slice the rest of the chicory in 5 mm strips.
  3. Mix your chicory strips with the other salad ingredients. Dress the ingredients well as both the apple and the chicory will discolor without the dressing. Season to taste.
  4. Devide your salad over the chicory leaves for perfect tasty boats.


This iBreadstick3s the perfect thing for dinner parties. It makes a great side dish with starters like soup or salad. It is also a great way to finish pastry leftovers.

I like to serve bread sticks in a pretty glass, which makes them a decorative item as well.

You could also serve these tasty sticks with a good dip.

To make the bread sticks, simply brush strips of puff pastry with egg, then sprinkle with pepper, salt and any toppings you like, such as grated cheese, seeds and spices such as paprika, thyme or rosemary.


Read more soup recipes or salad inspiration.

Simpel Starters : Brussel sprout cappuccino

SpruitjesCap1I learnt this recipe at a cooking workshop. It was such a simple recipe, but it is a major showstopper for dinner guests. It celebrates the flavor of the sprout, complementing it with fluffy cream, crunchy salty bacon and zingy fresh spring union. It’s secret for me is the diversity in flavors and textures.

What I like most of all is that this luxury treat is easy to make for any starting cook.

For a vegetarian option replace the bacon with homemade garlic croutons.

You can serve this starter in a cappuccino cup, or a stylish glass cup.


Brussel sprout cappuccino (serves 4)

  • 250 gr brussel sprouts
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 150 ml (whipping) cream
  • 75 gr bacon cubes
  • 2 spring unions

Clean your sprouts. Boil the sprouts in the stock for about 10 minutes, until tender. Turn of your heat. Place a lid on the pan while you prepare the other ingredients.sprouts2

Fry your bacon cubes until they are crispy while the sprouts are cooking. Slice the spring union in thin slices. Divide the bacon cubes and spring unions over your cappuccino cups.

Whip the cream into stiff peaks.

Blitz the sprouts and vegetable stock until smooth.

Add a spoonfull of whipped cream to the smooth sprout soup. Add the soup to the whipped cream and fold the mixture in until combined.

Gently spoon your fluffy soup in each cup and let your guests dig in.

Simpel starters: salmon salad

Salmonsalad2This salad is a great way to make the most of slices of smoked salmon. This salad is inspired on carpaccio. It is an easy way to impress your guests without too much fuss. If you buy good quality salmon, you just need to bring the ingredients together to create a beautiful harmony of flavors and textures.

I like making 4 individual servings, but if you want you can make a large serving platter.

Salmon salad (4 servings)

  • 200 grams smoked salmon
  • 2 handfuls of your favorite lettuce leaves
  • 1 (spring) onion finely sliced
  • 1 handful of pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon. Use half for dressing the salad and cut the rest in wedges for presentation.
  • parmesian
  • Optional: sliced tomato and cucumber


After slicing your ingredients, assemble your salad. Dress your leaves with olive oil and lemon juice and divide them over the plates. Spread your ingredients over the leaves. Finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt.

This salad also works great with slices of fresh tuna.

Pea Puff Pies

This is a recipe that I invented in order to finish our leftovers. Feel free to use any form of leftover vegetables and meat for this recipe. I have also made similar pies using cauliflower, broccoli, spring union or asparagus.

You can also make a delicious vegetarian version by replacing the meat with some tasty nuts or maybe a stronger cheese.

I serve these pies in individual ramekins, this way I can accommodate everyone’s busy schedule. But you could easily make one large pie, just increase your cooking time slightly so the pie is cooked and warm in the middle.

These pies are a simplified version of a soufflé. The egg makes them puff up beautifully and creates a light texture. The measurements below are an indication. Feel free to adjust them to your taste. Add more egg for more rise and a more “eggy” flavor.

This recipe only needs stirring and measurements are not crucial so you could easily make these together with your toddler. For more toddler cooking tips, read this post.

For a simple dinner, serve your Pea Puff Pies with some HP sauce and a tasty salad. You could make these pies as a starter, especially if you use a more fancy vegetable like asperagus.


Pea Puff Pies (for 4 small pies)

  • 150 gram of mashed potato
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 100 grams of grated cheese (keep some aside for on the top)
  • 100 grams of shredded chicken
  • 150 gram of peas (or any other veg you like)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Simply warm mix your ingredients and spoon the batter into the greased ramekins. Sprinkle some cheese on top.

After preparing your pies you can keep them for a few days in the fridge until you are ready to eat them.

Bake your pies in a 220 degrees C oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until puffed up and golden.



4 principles for a tasty salad

A good salad is about balance and contrast. If you keep the following 4  principles in mind, you can make special salads every day of the year.

  1. Don’t combine too many ingredients, the best salads have around 5 main ingredients. This ensures you taste every ingredients shines.
  2. Make a simple dressing that compliments your ingredients. If you insist on using a complex dressing like a ceasar dressing, keep your salad even more simple: using up to 3 ingredients. For more information on ceasar salad read about my dutch ceasar salad here.
  3. Balance your flavors. Make sure you have a sharp/spicy, sweet, salty, sour, savory and bitter component in your ingredients and dressing.
    Sparpness can come from unions, chili or pepper.
    Sweet can come form honey in your dressing or some fruit or sultanas.
    Salty can come from some cheese, bacon,salty nuts or even sea salt.
    Sour can come from sertain lettuce leaves or butter milk in your dressing.
    Savory kan come from nuts, croutons or bacon.
    Bitter notes can come from your choice of leaves, cheese or fruits like grapefruit.
  4. Balance your textures. Make sure you have a variety of textures. Croutons or nuts for some bite, soft cheese or pears, creamy dressing and crunchy lettuce or cucumber.


The other day I made a tasty well balanced salad using endive leaves, feta cheese , union, tomatoe and bacon with a simple honey mustard dressing. For the honey mustard dressing combine equal quantities of mustard and honey. For a more runny dressing add water of (butter) milk to this mixture.

Simpel starters: courgette soup

GSoup1In the summer I find myself overwhelmed my the bounty of produce. One vegetable that grows in abundance in the summer is the courgette. When I have a large surplus, I like to make this soup. It can be eaten warm or cold, my favorite! When it is cold you really appreciate the smooth texture and the subtle flavors.

Courgette soup

  • 2 courgette
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • Fresh herbs to your taste
  1. Dice your courgette and finely slice your onion.
  2. Gently fry your courgette and onion in the oil for five minutes.
  3. Add the stock and let this mix simmer for 15 minutes until the courgette is soft.
  4. Blend your ingredients to a smooth soup and add in the Greek yogurt.
  5. Mix in some finely sliced fresh herbs like dill, basil or mint.
  6. Season to taste. If you plan to eat the soup cold, season you soup well as cool soups need intenser seasoning.

Gsoup2Combine with some carrot soda bread for a healthy vegetarian lunch!

Barbecue side dish: beetroot carpaccio

Beetroot is a vegetable I had to learn to appreciate. Beetroot carpaccio always does the trick for us and our guests. I make it on a festive and large dish, this recipe serves about 2 people. In these fotographs I used yellow beetroot.Beetroot2

I make this dish very often, so I like to vary the ingredients depending on the contents of my refrigerator. Just discover your own favorite set of ingredients and let me know how it turns out!

Beetroot carpaccio

  • Three boiled beetroots (boil in water for 75 minutes and then peel)
    Use mixed colors of you can.
  • 200 grams white cheese – my favorite is soft goats cheese, but feta cheese works as well. On occasion I have use crumbled Boursin as well.
  •  Generous sprinkling of fresh or dried herbs. I like using mint, basil and/or dill.
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced – although your plain onion would work as well.
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar or other sweet vinegar
  • Optional extras:
    • Ribbons of smoked salmon
    • Capers

1. Make fine slices of beetroot and arrange these on your plate.

2. Crumble your cheese on the beetroot. I like a generous cover of cheese.

3. Sprinkle on the herbs and onion. (And optional extras.)

4. Drizzle with honey, vinegar and a generous helping of olive oil.

5. Season with freshly crushed black pepper.


Tip: This salad tastes great on a piece of fresh bread too.

Simpel starters : Bruschetta


We love eating dinner al fresco. But not every food is equally appropriate for this. This snack makes perfect finger food with a glass of wine in your sunny garden.

Combined with a pasta salad and some veggies it makes a lovely summer meal or a great starter at a barbecue.

You can make the garlic oil by simply finely slicing the garlic and covering it with olive oil. After half an hour the oil will have a lovely garlic flavor. You can keep this oil for a few days.

Rockin Bruschetta (about 12 servings)

  • 1 jar of Rockin Rocket pesto
  • 12 slices of mozzarella
  • Cherry tomatoes in different colors
  • Slices of old bread
  • Garlic olive oil
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar


Brush the bread slices with the garlic oil, then grill or toast them. Season the slices generously with salt and pepper while they cool. I quartered all bread slices to create the right bruschetta size.

Halve the tomatoes, dress them with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season the tomatoes and toss to dress them.

Spread the Rockin Rocket pesto on each slice. Layer the mozzerella and a few tomatoes on each slice. Take your bruschetta and enjoy.