Melissa’s Soup Toppings you’ll love

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  As a self-confessed soup lover, I am always looking for ways to add extra flavour, crunch and excitement to my soup. So here are 5 ways you can spruce up yours: 1. Halloumi Croutons:   not technically “croutons” as there’s no bread involved but these are delicious cubes of crispy fried halloumi. Simply chop, fry in a little butter or oil & cook to your desired crispiness.  Get the recipe. 2. Make a fridge raid herby drizzle:  Whizz up any herbs or left over salad leaves you’ve got that need some love with some olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice & a little salt in a blender & drizzle on.  Try this recipe. 3. Roast some veggies:  Depending on what soup you’re making, you might like to roast a little of what you’re using for ultimate texture & flavour on top. I love roasting kale or any discarded cauliflower leaves for extra crunch.  Try this. 4. A drizzle of olive oil/yoghurt/kefir:  I love adding extra swirls to my soups and particularly

Christmas With Jasmine

12 days to go!!!! How does it go from “too early to think about Christmas” to “bloomin’ heck it’s just around the corner!” in a heartbeat?! Check out how I’ve prepped for this party season and the big day itself.

In the run-up to Christmas 2019 I’ve created a brand new recipe for the Christmas table: a colourful roasted sweet potato wreath decorated with rosemary and cranberries that makes an impressive centrepiece, tastes amazing and is so versatile — just pop your favourite festive filling in the middle! I’ve also gathered together the rest of my celebration recipes here if you need a little inspiration.

I’ll be serving the stuffed sweet potato wreath with pickled red cabbage, toasted hazelnuts and griddled apple for a delicious balance of tastes and extra crunch.

I’m also getting down with some bake-off therapy and gifting delicious little baked bites in ribboned jars to friends as an eco gift that I know will go down a treat! I’ve got two new festive recipes, one for all-things-spice carrot biscuits and one for chai spiced cranberry cookies — all vegan and gluten-free.

Botanical cocktails are the way to go during the party season and if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to overdoing the booze. I’ve just taste-tested a full range of alcohol-free and low alcohol alternatives, from gin alternatives to herbal ferments, to turn a teetotal drink into something totally worth drinking.

If you’re still on the hunt for a thoughtful present for your loved ones, I’ve put together a list of ethical and sustainable gift ideas, including beautiful objets d’art and homemade gifts. For something that gives back, I’d love if you would consider one of my charities – the Women for Women International programme Sponsor a Sister, which allows you to support a woman survivor of war through a year-long course to build up essential skills for a brighter future, in your name or on behalf of someone on your list. You can learn more about it here.

With all that preparation, things can get a bit overwhelming, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too. Have a browse through my party season tricks to get you through and have a truly merry Christmas!

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