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VEGAN BONFIRE NIGHT FAYRE

VEGAN BONFIRE NIGHT FAYRE

Bonfire Night (aka Guy Fawkes Night) has long been one of the last opportunities for friends and family to get together before all the Christmas shenanigans get underway and the Bonfire also allows for the disposal of any refuse etc on the bonfire before we start refilling the house with the next seasonal decorations.

Tasty, home-cooked food, good company, and gorgeous pyro are the perfect recipe for a great night. Here is one of my favourite soup recipes and it’s deliciously filling and warming, especially on a late autumn night under the stars.

LA RIBOLITTA (BEAN AND VEGETABLE SOUP)

Ingredients:

4 Tbs Olive Oil

2 Large red potatoes

1 small savoy cabbage

2 large carrots

2 onions

Celery

1 bag baby spinach

2 tins of cannellini or mixed beans (red kidney beans can be used)

2 tins chopped tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

2 sprig rosemary

2 sprig thyme

Sea salt

Pepper

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

3 litres of water

La Ribolitta with Nut Parmesan

Method:

Start by finely chopping all the potatoes, carrot, onions, and celery and then finely shred the savoy and baby spinach and put it to one side. The herbs need to be removed from the sprig and finely chopped.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan (I use a le creuset) and add the carrot, onion, and celery and cook till softened for a couple of minutes and then add the potato and again, cook for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes, spinach, and cabbage, herbs, chilli flakes, water and season. Cook on medium-low heat for 45 minutes and its ready to eat. Delicious and hearty.

JAMAICAN JERK SEASONED TOFU (VEGAN) OR HALOUMI (VEGETARIAN) KEBABS

Ingredients:

2 X 250gm pack extra firm Tofu (or haloumi if not vegan)

2 red peppers

2 red onions

20 chestnut mushrooms

2 courgette

For the rub:

2 spring onions

3 cloves of garlic

2 tsp all spice

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground pepper

2 tsp dark brown sugar

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

2 tsp olive oil

20 skewers

First and foremost, blitz all the ingredients of the rub together and set it aside.

Cut the tofu or cheese into cubes (2x20) and set in a bowl. Cut the onions, courgette, and peppers into pieces and set aside. Marinate everything and then thread onto the skewers, making sure you get them packed full of loveliness.  Once ready, they can be grilled on the BBQ, cooked in the oven. Can be eaten alone from the skewers like street food or with basmati rice and red kidney beans. Delicious (oh… and its carb-free!)

One of my comfort foods is a delicious bowl of dhal (curried lentils) and nothing could be nicer when you have been out on a cold, autumn evening. This recipe was given to me by my ‘aunty’ and is nothing short of scrumptious.

You will need:

A BIG pan and a smaller pan

Ingredients:

Red and green lentils (total 1 kilo) these should be soaked for around an hour and then rinsed several times before cooking (as you would with rice)

2 litres water

2 tablespoons of oil

1 large onion finely chopped

2 inch piece of Ginger peeled and finely chopped

2 full bulbs Garlic peeled and finely chopped

2 hot Chilli finely chopped

2 teaspoons Cumin seeds

2 tablespoons Turmeric

1 bay leaf

Vegetable stock cube

2 teaspoon Garam masala

Coriander to serve

Salt to taste

Put the water on to boil in the big pan and add the washed lentils and stock cube (this is the seasoning so be careful not to add any salt as this will result in hard lentils) and cook for around 20 minutes.

Whilst the lentils are cooking, in a smaller pan, warm the oil, add the cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, chilli, and onions and cook gently until the onions are softened (around 10 minutes) but do not burn as this will affect the taste. Once softened, add to the pan of lentils with the turmeric and stir gently – bear in mind this is not rice, it’s a curried lentil thick soup so taste. Season to taste and before serving, check if it needs more seasoning. 

There is no hard and fast rule to the cooking time of lentils as each different variety and the age of them will change the cooking time so just keep tasting and trying until the lentils are cooked and the dhal is thickened. At the very end, add the garam masala and the coriander. I would add that lentils taste better with a little salt, but this is at your discretion.

Serve with chapatti straight into bowls or with cauliflower, tossed in a little oil and curry powder, and roasted in the oven. Simply delicious.

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