A Book & A Bite: Exclusive Recipes from Prue Leith

Posted on 31st August 2018 by Martha Greengrass

As we celebrate The Great British Bake Off returning to our screens, we're eagerly looking forward to Pruethe new cookbook from judge and best-loved cook Prue Leith - her first in twenty-five years. Here we present some bonus recipes, exclusive to Waterstones, to whet your appetite.

Mushroom and Parsley Soup 

Veggie, vegan and gluten-free

Big, black fully open mushrooms have the most flavour. This soup freezes well and keeps for 4–5 days in the fridge. Add the parsley at the last minute to retain the colour. 

Serves 4

8 large black mushrooms, sliced

a good splash olive oil

2 tsp crushed garlic

600ml vegetable stock

1 tsp ground coriander

salt and pepper

2 large handfuls of parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan over a medium heat, fry the mushrooms in the oil, stirring until soft and reduced. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the stock and coriander and bring to the boil. Season well with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, reheat and stir in the parsley. 

Tip: For a more elegant version (but one that’s not vegan), blitz the soup in a liquidizer and serve each bowl with a dollop of cream or yoghurt on top. 

Bad-For-You Cheese Sarnies 


In South Africa, we used to have these toasted on the braai (BBQ) on my Uncle’s farm or on the beach. But now I make them either on a ridged griddle pan or in one of those miracle plastic sleeves that go into the toaster. Or you can just grill them on both sides. 

Serves 2 

4 slices bread (I like wholemeal or sourdough)

2 slices strong Cheddar, roughly the same size as your bread slices

2 tbsp mango chutney (I like Mrs Balls best), or apricot jam

melted butter, to taste

Cover two of the bread slices with cheese, and spread the top with chutney or jam.

Top with the remaining bread slices and press down. 

Brush each side of the sarnies with melted butter and either dry-fry on both sides, or use the toaster-friendly plastic sleeves.  

Tip: My aunt used to take a damp cloth in a plastic bag for sticky fingers, or send us into the sea to rinse our hands. More boringly, at home I serve them on a plate with a green salad and a knife and fork.  

Mediterranean Chicken Traybake 

Serves 4–6

8 chicken thighs or drumsticks, skin on and bone in 

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 red pepper, pith and seeds removed and cut into chunks

1 yellow pepper, pith and seeds removed and cut into chunks 

1 large onion, sliced

handful of black olives 

1 medium-hot chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

½ tsp salt

8 twists of the black pepper mill 

2 tbsp olive oil 

8–12 cherry tomatoes

a few fresh basil leaves

Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C /gas mark 6. 

Put all the ingredients except for the tomatoes and basil into a big bowl and turn them with your hands until everything is coated in oil. Tip the mixture into a deep roasting dish or ovenproof shallow dish. 

Turn all the chicken pieces so that they are skin-side up. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are both tender and brown. Take the pan out, tuck the tomatoes into the gaps and return to the oven for 10 –15 minutes. Serve from the dish with a few basil leaves on top. 

Better Than Eton Mess

Eton Mess is that classic summer mix of meringue, strawberries and cream. But here’s a version for winter. 

Serves 4  

8 Amaretti biscuits, roughly broken up

3 tbsp rum 

1 x 400g tin apricots

250ml crème fraîche or mascarpone

250ml plain yoghurt

handful of almonds, skin on

Put the crushed biscuits into the bottom of a glass bowl.

Sprinkle over the rum and add enough of the juice from the apricot tin to wet the biscuits without making them completely soggy. 

Mix the crème fraiche or mascarpone and yoghurt together and spread half of it over the biscuits. 

Arrange the apricot halves on top, then cover with the rest of the yoghurt mixture and sprinkle with the almonds.


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