John Torode's beef stew

In honour of Eamonn’s mum Josie, John has made a version her famous stew! To make a great stew, the meat has to be cooked long and slow, but you want it to be moist and succulent, so only use chunks like shin, cheek or tail that have plenty of sinew and a little fat so the meat stays together and is moist, not dry and stringy.

Prue Leith’s pear and beetroot soup

Pear and beetroot soup with crispy pancetta

Serves 6


1 tbsp olive oil

2 small red onions, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

A pinch of ground cinnamon

600g beetroot, peeled and cut into 2-3cm (1in) chunks

2 ripe pears, cored and cut into 2-3 cm (1 inch) chunks

1.2 litres hot vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to season

To serve

12 thin slices of pancetta

6 slices of brioche


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, garlic and celery. Cook, covered, on a lowish heat for a good 15 minutes, until the onions and celery are soft. Stir through the cinnamon.

  2. Add the beetroot and pears to the saucepan and continue to cook, covered, for 10 minutes, removing the lid to stir halfway through. Pour over the stock, cover again and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beetroot is tender and cuts like butter.

  3. Use a hand-held blender or food processor to puree the soup, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and warm through. Season well with salt and black pepper.

  4. Heat a griddle or frying pan over a high heat and grill the pancetta until crispy. Remove from the pan and quickly do the same to the brioche, which won’t take a second to toast on a hot griddle.

  5. Serve the soup in bowls, each garnished with two grilled striped of pancetta. Put toasted brioche on the table.

Recipe taken from Prue: My All-time Favourite Recipes