6 deliciously simple winter warmers


Beating the cold weather blues is a piece of cake when you've got a piping hot plate of tasty food to look forward to – and these toasty, kid-friendly dishes are just the ticket. Taken from Top Bananas! The best ever family recipes from Mumsnet, who says mealtimes can't go off without a hitch? You'll be giving Nigella a run for her money in no time

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Frog soup

(serves 4)

frog soup


Glug of olive oil
1 leek, finely sliced
1 celery stick, chopped
1 large potato (about 225g), finely chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
280g frozen petis pois or peas
Grated cheese (whatever you prefer, or have in the fridge) and/or crème fraîche, to serve
Salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan that has a lid over a medium heat. Add the leek and fry for five minutes until softened.

2. Add the celery and potato and cook for a further five minutes.

3. Pour the stock over the vegetables and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Check the potato is tender, then add the petis pois or peas and simmer for five more minutes.

5. Using a hand-held blender, blend the soup until smooth, then season to taste.

6. Top with some grated cheese or a swirl of crème fraîche, or both, and grind some pepper over if you like.

Thai sweet potato curry

(serves 2)



1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp flavourless oil, such as vegetable oil
2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
3 sweet potatoes, chopped (about 450g in total)
400ml tin of coconut milk
200ml vegetable or chicken stock
200g frozen peas


1. In a large saucepan or sauté pan over a medium-low heat, fry the onion in the oil until soft.

2. Add the curry paste and fry for another minute.

3. Tip in the sweet potatoes, give it a good stir, then pour in the coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

4. Five minutes before serving, stir in the peas.

Cowgirl Stew

cowgirl stew


3 large carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
6 good-quality sausages, each cut into 3
2 Polish kabanos, or 2 small chorizos, sliced
Handful of red lentils or pearl barley
400g tin of baked beans
2 × 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Couple of glugs of Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, sliced
400ml lager or vegetable or chicken stock, heated
Salt and pepper


1. Arrange the carrots on the bottom of the slow cooker. Arrange the onion, sausages and kabanos or chorizos over them, then sprinkle the lentils or barley on top. Spoon out the baked beans in a layer, then do the same for the tinned tomatoes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic and season fairly generously to taste.

2. Pour over the heated lager or stock (if the food is still not fully covered, top up with some water).

3. Put the lid on the slow cooker, set it to low and leave to cook all day, or for at least eight hours.

12-hour pulled pork

pulled pork


2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 boneless pork shoulder joint
100ml hot chicken stock
Apple juice, cider or water
Salt and pepper

To serve

6 soft floury buns
Apple sauce


1. Mix the sugar, paprika, chilli powder, cayenne pepper and garlic together in a small bowl (easy on the chilli and cayenne if your children are young), add 1 tsp each of salt and pepper and rub it on to the pork.

2. Set the slow cooker to low and pour in the hot stock or other liquid.

3. Place the pork on top, pop on the lid and leave to cook for 12 hours. Remove from the slow cooker. Shred the meat with two forks; it will just fall apart. Spoon off and discard the fat from the top of the juices and mix them with the shredded meat. Serve the shredded pork in buns, with apple sauce, as pulled pork 'sliders'.

Raspberry jam chicken

(serves 4)



3 tbsp raspberry jam
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp English mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 skinless boneless chicken thighs


1. Mix the jam, vinegar, soy sauce and mustard with the garlic in a saucepan and bring to the boil (careful though; boiling jam is super hot). Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the jam marinade to cool; it should be nice and gloopy.

2. When it is cool, tip the marinade into a non-metallic bowl (or into a sturdy freezer bag) and add the chicken pieces, rubbing in the marinade thoroughly. The longer you marinate it for, the tastier it will be, but don't fret if you only have an hour or so. If you have longer, cover the bowl – or seal the bag and put it in a bowl in case of drips – and place in the fridge.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and return the chicken to room temperature if it has been in the fridge. Line a roasting tray with greaseproof paper and tip the chicken on to the tray. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning once and watching closely towards the end of cooking time, as the pieces tend to catch if you are not careful.

Salmon español

(serves 4)



2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
400g potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
2 red peppers, chopped
200ml vegetable stock or water
400g tin of tomatoes
4 salmon fillets
Salt and pepper

To serve (optional)

Handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Lime wedges


1. Put the oil in a large pan or pot that has a lid and place over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and potatoes and fry for five minutes, until the onion is translucent.

2. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, red peppers, stock or water and the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for five minutes.

3. Season, then place the salmon, skin-side up, on top of the sauce. Cover the pot and simmer for eight to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully turn the salmon fillets skin-side down.

4. Scatter with parsley and serve with lime wedges, if you like.

*Price correct at time of publication