SOPHIE IS SYNONYMOUS WITH GREAT FOOD, often using new and exciting ingredients in simple, easy dishes. She has a natural ability to teach cookery in an informal and friendly way. Well known for her various TV series, books, magazine and newspaper articles, Sophie has put together some mouthwatering recipes for cabbage-online, using cauliflower and cabbage types as the main ingredient.
   We'll be featuring a selection of these on our recipe page, updated on a regular basis. Please try them out and enjoy.

 
SERVES 4 generously

1 Hispi cabbage, trimmed and quartered lengthways
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches caster sugar
110g (4 oz) cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon or so of roughly chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper

 
ROAST CABBAGE is something of a revelation - sweet and nutty, yet tender with a hint of a caramel edge. Add strips of sweet red pepper, some cute little cherry tomatoes, and lo and behold, you have a superb hot salad that can be served as a starter on its own with some good bread, or as a colourful side dish with grilled fish or roast chicken, perhaps.

PRE-HEAT THE OVEN to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Put the cabbage and red pepper into an oven proof baking dish with the strips of red pepper, whole cloves of garlic, and the olive oil. Season with the sugar, salt and pepper. Turn the bits and bobs over with your hands, so that they are all nicely coated with oil (the veg, not your hands, though they╠ll end up slippery as well).

ROAST FOR 40-45 MINUTES, turning once or twice so that the cabbage browns here and there in the heat. Now add the cherry tomatoes, and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or so to heat through. Spoon over the balsamic vinegar. Toss quickly, then taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle over the chives and serve hot or warm.

 
Serves 4-6

450g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
225g (8 oz) spring greens
110g (4 oz) chorizo, sliced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

 
IN PORTUGAL they use a favourite darkish cabbage called couve to make this soup, which must be one of the most popular dishes in the country. Here spring greens make a perfect alternative. It's very simple to make, but wonderfully good and comforting to eat. Serve small portions as a starter, or larger bowlfuls with plenty of bread for a light meal in itself.

CHORIZO IS A SPICED CURED SAUSAGE (like a perkier orange-red salami) that is made in both Spain and Portugal. There are both mild and hot versions. I prefer the hot, spicier version for this soup - it makes a great contrast with the potato and spring greens - but if you are not a chilli lover, the gentler version is just fine.

PUT THE POTATOES in a large saucepan with the garlic, onion, salt and pepper and enough water to cover generously. Simmer until tender. Pass through the fine blade of a mouli-legume, or mash into a smooth puree. Add a little more water if necessary to thin to a soupy consistency. Return to the pan and adjust the seasoning, adding plenty of pepper.

WHILE THE POTATOES ARE COOKING, cut any tough stalks from the spring greens, then roll up the leaves and shred very thinly - we're talking threads here, rather than ribbons. Bring the soup back to the boil. Stir in the spring greens (that's why you needed a large pan ) and chorizo and simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle into 4 soup bowls, pour a tablespoon of olive oil over each one and serve.