Tag Archives: chilli

Souperstar: Joanne Gray

Joanne has been involved with Brighton Soup since December 2016 (almost two years!) and regularly cooks up a delicious soup for our events. Ahead of our next Soup at  Community Base on the 30th November (tickets here!), we caught up with Joe to find out all about her cooking…

What are your favourite things to cook? 

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I love love love Indian food, so I tend to cook a lot of different Indian curries and street food – my husband recently bought me the most amazing cookbook called Fresh India by Meera Sodha. Its all vegetarian recipes that are super easy to make and all of them so far are delicious.  I basically like cooking food that I really enjoy eating, so that does usually involve recipes with a bit of a kick as I am a bit of a spice and chilli fan!  My most memorable and favourite soup for a Brighton Soup event was Joe’s Split Chickpea, Spinach & Masala Soup – as you’d expect, it was nice and spicy and seemed to go down well amongst those who tried it!

How did you first get interested in cooking? 

I’ve been cooking since I was young. My parents always encouraged my sisters and I to help make dinners, and my passion for food and cooking has continued throughout my life.  I actually remember ‘outsourcing’ my mincemeat pie making skills at Christmas when I was about 10…a friend of my mums didn’t have the time to make them herself so I baked them for her and she paid me nicely (probably only about £2 but it felt a lot back then!)

What has been your most complicated/ interesting cooking to date? 

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In terms of interesting dishes, I’d say making our own halloumi cheese from scratch and then cooking with it has to be up there.  Homemade halloumi is delicious, really light and airy and full of flavour – 100 x better than the shop bought stuff!  We made all sorts of recipes with it, including coating in breadcrumbs and having it with portobello mushrooms and spinach in a toasted brioche bun, with some sriracha mayo for a bit of a kick!  My ethos with cooking is that it doesn’t need to be overly complicated, using good fresh ingredients and trying out new recipes with them is what its all about for me!

How did you first get involved with Brighton Soup?

My sister lives in Folkestone and had been involved with Folkestone Soup, so when I happened to see an advert one day for Brighton Soup I decided to go along and find out what it was all about.  I absolutely loved the event, I think it is wonderful on so many levels, from encouraging the community to get together, to find out about the issues and opportunities in our community to of course helping so good causes with some financial support to help their sustainability.  So I decided to become a regular Soup go-er!  I think it was on my 2nd Soup event that I got chatting to one of the organisers and somehow managed to sign myself up to making soup!!  The rest is history, I now go regularly to Brighton Soup with my husband, daughter and parents – who all love it!  My Dad has now also become a regular bread maker!

Where are you from? Are there any delicacies/ regional dishes we should try?
I am originally from Scotland but grew up in the South of England. My Scottish roots still influence my soup making. My Gran made the best soup ever with barley, lentils and split peas being her favourite basis for her different soups – so I often adapt versions of my Gran’s old recipes.  My Gran also used to make a meal called ‘Beef Olives’ which is thinly cut steak filled with either sausages or haggis and slow cooked in a onion gravy. Its comfort food at it’s absolute best, served with mash and greens! My daughter loves it too, so it’s one that we’ll make on a winter’s Sunday!

Sounds delicious!

Joe runs her own business consultancy called The Progress Lab  which specialises in organisational change, people development, sales and marketing. She is also a Pilates instructor and regularly hosts Women’s Well-Being events in Hove with a Nutritionist friend. She also runs a Lifelines Pilates class for those who are 50+ in Portslade.

If you fancy tasting one of Joe’s delicious soup recipes, don’t forget to book your tickets for the next soup!

Team Soup