Although vegetarian this book would suit anyone who wants to add some low fat glamour to vegetables and grains. There are some imaginative and exciting ideas here - steam -roasted potatoes, steam-roasted stuffed mushrooms, fabulous vegetable curries and stews, deeply flavoured foil roasted caramelised vegetables, lentil 'Bolognese' sauce for pasta, and some truly splendid polenta, kasha, and couscous dishes.


The rich sauce for this curry is produced by puréeing some of the spice-infused vegetables, very simple to do with a blender or a food processor.

2 large mild onions, each cut into eight wedges

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon each of ground cumin, ground coriander and paprika

1/2 teaspoon each of ground allspice, ground cardamom and ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)

about 1 pint (600 ml) stock

3 medium peppers, seeded, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped 

3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

12 oz (350 g) button mushrooms, halved or quartered

2 medium white turnips, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces

1 large cauliflower, separated into florets

1 small parsnip, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces

1 fennel bulb, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) slices 

3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) slices

juice of 1/2 large lemon

3 medium courgettes, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) slices 

8 oz (225 g) runner beans, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces

1 Combine the onion pieces, garlic, spices and 1/2 pint (300ml) stock in a heavy bottomed pan. Cover and boil for 5-7 minutes. Uncover and stir in the peppers, carrots, and mushrooms. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer, stirring frequently until the vegetables and spices are "frying" in their own juices, and the vegetables are tender. Leave to cool slightly.

2 Purée half the mixture in a blender or food processor, then return the purée to the pan.

3 Add the turnip, cauliflower, parsnip, fennel and celery. Stir together very well. Add enough stock to almost cover the contents of the pot. Season with salt and bring to a boil.

4 Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover, squeeze in the lemon juice, and add the courgettes, and beans. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes more, or until all the vegetables are tender. Serve in deep soup bowls, each serving garnished with a dollop of herb sauce (low fat yogurt with chopped parsley and coriander folded in).