If you're inviting friends around to your place for dinner during the week, the food needs to be simple and quick. The three recipes below are just that. You can even cook the carrot and coriander soup the night before and pop it in the fridge for the next day.
Carrot and Coriander Soup
>2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
>1 medium onion, diced
>3 cloves garlic, minced
>500g carrots, washed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
>2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
>1 litre chicken stock
>Salt and freshly ground black pepper
>Fresh coriander, to garnish
>Heat oil and sauté onion and garlic together.
>Add in carrots and cook for 8 minutes.
>Add coriander along with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
>Season generously, simmer for 15 minutes.
>Cool, then transfer to a food processor to pulse.
Chicken, tomato and potato braise
>4 tbsp butter
>3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
>Salt and pepper
>8 whole chicken legs
>2 leeks, cut into 1.5cm pieces
>4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
>1½ cups chicken stock
>3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
>3 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
>2 cans chopped tomatoes, drained
>1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
>Preheat oven to 425°F/210°C.
>Heat the butter and oil in a casserole dish, season chicken well and brown chicken in batches, about 4-5 minutes per batch.
>Turn off heat when browned and move chicken breasts from the pan to a bowl.
>Reheat the pot and add the leeks and potatoes. Cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes, add the chicken stock, vinegar, parsley, tomatoes and chilli flakes.
>Stir, bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper.
>Place chicken back into the pot and cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Then serve.
Chocolate dipped shortbread bars
>300g bitter-sweet chocolate
>8 shortbread biscuits
>Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.
>Heat chocolate in a bowl for 20-second bursts in a microwave until melted.
>Dip half of the biscuits into the chocolate and place on the parchment paper.
>Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set.