I was recently asked by the food editor of House and Garden magazine NZ to do some winter food recipes, having only just recently started to commit to the blog, I was very surprised and flattered they asked me, this has not only gave me a little insight into what it’s like to write, style and photograph recipes but to also work alongside my darling wife, who over the last 9 years I have worked with on her many book projects, so to finally get to work on something together was a real treat. During the weekend of cooking and recipe writing I have earned a huge respect for my fellow bloggers and publishers, don’t get me wrong, its great fun, but it was a challenge to make sure everything was just right, timing, props, recipe creation, plating and then styling the food, its not as easy as I thought, I’m not sure if this will be something I will be asked to do again, but it was a great experience none the less and a great way to see into the world of food blogging and recipe creation.

      The House and Garden feature is 6 recipes and the theme is Gatherings, so I created 6 winter dishes that I felt would be based on the same principles of my healthy and nutritious quest for optimum health at the same time tasty and easy to cook for the readers, I have added the pumpkin and saffron soup recipe to my recipe page and once the feature is available (July edition) I will post one a week.

      so give it a try and let me know what you think.


      [ingredients title=”Ingredients”]


      • 2 medium size butternut squash
      • 1 leek
      • 1 onion
      • 3 garlic cloves
      • 1 1/2 litre of chicken bone broth or vegetable stock
      • large pinch of saffron
      • tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds
      • 1 sprig of each of rosemary and thyme
      • knob of butter or ghee

      pumpkin seed dressing

      • 1/2 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds
      • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey
      • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
      • 1/2 cup of water
      • 1 garlic clove
      • thumb size piece of ginger
      • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin




      [directions title=”Directions”]

      1. Preheat the oven to 220c
      2. Slice your pumpkin in half (length ways) scoop out the seeds and coat with oil, chopped herbs, and season with salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet flesh side down and roast in the oven for 30min, they will be done when the skin can be pierced by a fork easily, remove and allow to cool slightly
      3. While the butternut is cooling, place the saffron in 1 cup of your hot chicken broth, and set aside, heat the remaining stock and set aside.
      4. Prepare and chop the leek, onion, and garlic and in a large heavy based pot with a knob of butter soften until golden.
      5. Carefully take the butternut and scoop out the now pureed flesh, add to the pot and turn up the heat and stir for 1 min, add the stock with the saffron and stir again, then add the remaining stock and simmer for 20 min.
      6. While the soup is simmering, take the pumpkin seeds and lightly toast in a dry skillet, allow to cool, chop the garlic, and ginger add to a Nutri-bullet or blender along with the cooled pumpkin seeds and blitz for 30 sec. then add half the water, blitz again and proceed with the remaining ingredients, taste and season, add a little more water till you reach the required consistency. The remaining dressing can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, it’s also great drizzled on roasted vegetable or salads.
      7. Once the soup is ready, using a stick blender or blender pulse the soup until it’s smooth and silky and has no lumps, you can add more water if you think its too thick.
      8. Place in a bowl, drizzle with the pumpkin seed dressing and sprinkle with the toasted seeds.enjoy