What inspired you to write your book?
This is in fact the 3rd in a series of ebooks I am writing on core recipes I have returned to again and again,both as a professional chef and at home,because they are not only quick and easy but are also remarkably good and very flexible.
About your Book:
This cookbook is a little different, it is part of a cunning plan!
All 50 of these delicious soup recipes are based on one easy flexible key recipe. Also included are instructions for stock making, guidance on adding herbs, spices and other flavourings plus additional recipes for roasted garlic, pepper coulis, frazzled leeks, compound butters and other garnishes and accoutrements.
The idea is that by using the key recipe and the helpful suggestions in the book you will soon be serving your own spectacular creations.
Recipes include …
~ Mushroom, Garlic & Clotted Cream Soup
~ Caribbean Callaloo
~ (Famous) Peanutty Sweet Potato Soup
~ Caldo Verde
~ Thai Style Pumpkin Soup
~ Cullen Skink
~ Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Cheese Soup
~ Fennel & Leek Vichyssoise
… and lots more but that’s just the start of it because who knows what you’ll come up with next!
Cuisine Style or Food Genre
Sample Recipe or Food Advice
(Famous) Peanutty Sweet Potato Soup
I call this “famous” not because it is, of course, but for this reason; I used to work for a retired vicar who owned a bar and restaurant in the Caribbean, as vicars do. He used to chat with other ecclesiastical chaps online, mainly, it seemed, about food. A lot of talk about cheese which, to be fair, is divine. He used to post details of things I had served in the restaurant and sometimes even asked me to provide the recipe. One day he received a glowing e-mail from Terry Waite who was delighted with this soup although it may just be that he had low soup expectations after his terrible ordeal.
1 x basic recipe but using only 1 potato
a finely chopped garlic clove
2 sweet potatoes the red skinned, pink fleshed ones – about 450g/1lb in weight – peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peanut butter or to taste
hot sauce – optional
~ Follow the basic recipe, adding the garlic a few minutes before you are completely satisfied with the onions.
~ Peel and thinly slice the sweet potatoes but, and here’s a handy tip, keep them underwater as much as possible or they will quickly discolour.
~ Add the sweet potatoes and the baking potato to the onions and proceed as usual.
~ When all the potatoes are tender, stir in the peanut butter.
~ Mash or purée the soup to your liking.
~ Adjust seasoning and add a little hot sauce if you have a chilli habit, as I have.
~ Serve garnished with coarsely chopped salted peanuts which you have tossed in a hot pan for a few minutes till toasty.
The above soup is for peanut butter lovers, if you are a touch arachibutyrophobic the following soup might be more to your taste.
What formats are your books in
How do you see writing a food/cookbook as different from writing other genres of books?
I think a huge difference is eveything has to be tested and re-tested so as well as sitting a lot there is also a lot of eating involved. What a life!
There is also a great deal of competition from celebrity chefs who I have nothing against but whilst lovely books and some great ideas I don’t feel are always useful for home cooks BUT they are so difficult to complete with!
Advice to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a food book or cookbook
I love food and I don’t just mean eating it. I like food shopping (and no other shopping!), planning, experimenting, cooking and feeding others (and myself) and I enjoy writing about it. I would love to make loads of loads of money out of the venture but as I have so much fun even if I don’t, well … I’m still happy!
Apart from that don’t nick other people’s recipes or photos, try to add some personality to the book and test your recipes before publishing them.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
A couple of years ago my first book, “The Leftovers Handbook: A-Z of Every Ingredient In Your Kitchen with Inspirational Ideas For Using Them” was properly published and I was very proud and excited. Soon after that I became irritated, upset and a bit cross! I had worked so hard on it and I feel it is full of really useful, unusual and creative ideas for leftovers. I also felt it was very timely with all the discussion of food waste currently on the media. When the book was edited I was aghast at the mess the editor made of it (some ludicrous changes which I changed back, some just weakened my writing), once published I found that the “artwork” was just clipart, the promotion was virtually non-existent and the sales, consequently poor.
In short I thought I can do better myself!!! So far my self published books are only available on kindle but I hope to get round to expanding their reach.
I would advise new authors to at least try going it alone.
I have been a somewhat itinerant chef for over 30 years. After 14 years in Cornwall I cooked in a ski resort in the French Alps, on a passage making yacht around Madeira and the Canary Islands, in New Zealand and on a catamaran in the Caribbean before settling in the BVI where I worked as a chef for many years. All this travelling taught me not only a great deal about different foods of the World but also how to make the best of what you have.
I have now stopped cheffing but am still strangely obsessed with food and cooking. I have therefore decided I’d like to spend my dotage passing on what I have learned.