Christmas Menu – Sweet Potato and Pear Soup


That over priced time of year has arrived, no sooner than having paid for the last one, the next arrives, oh joy. But hey brighten up your Christmas day by cooking something a little different, go on make a statement and change tradition. Ask yourself – why do we have turkey every Christmas day? You can eat turkey all year round, why pay more for one at Christmas?

So try my roast fillet recipe and have something really different this festive time. If you are one of those who choose not to eat meat, try my nut roast instead ‘tres delicieuse’. All that said have yourselves a great Christmas and Prosperous 2016!

Sweet Potato & Pear Soup

We use this soup as a special occasion soup, and especially as a treat on Christmas Day for our hotel guests.

It is really easy to make and is full of flavour.

For four generous portions you will need:

  • 25 g butter
  • 1 – onions – chopped fine
  • 900 g sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 750 g pears – peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 500 ml home made vegetable stock
  • 250 g crème fraîche


Natural grey sea salt and mixed peppercorns to taste

  1. Melt the butter slowly in a saucepan add the chopped onion and simmer for about 3 minutes until the onion is opaque. Stir frequently to prevent them from burning.
  2. Add the potatoes and pears and cook for a further 2 minutes stirring to prevent sticking and burning. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the pears tender.
  3. Use a hand held food blender to chop it all up, add a little of the salt and mixed peppercorns and process until smooth. Return to the heat and stir in the crème fraîche. Find out more info here.
  4. If you don’t have a hand held blender, allow the soup to cool a little then put into your liquidiser, in small amounts, add a little salt and mixed peppercorns and process until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan, return to the heat and stir in the crème fraîche.
  5. Sprinkle a little ‘crompton’s kitchen’ winter spice mix over the top as you serve the soup. Top of page

Fillet of Beef with a Mustard Sauce

This is a fantastic main course for Christmas day. It makes a change from over farmed and pumped with water turkey, which is so readily available all year, it has little flavour and is quite frankly becoming boring so it is a special treat to eat fillet, and a whole fillet tastes very special. You will probably need to see a proper butcher to source the best cut.

For 5 to 6, depending how generous you want to be!

This recipe is designed to cook in a frying pan that can go into the oven, so no plastic or wooden handles or namby pamby non-stick pans. A cast or black iron pan is the best to use. And don’t forget that when the pan comes out of the oven it will be extremely hot. DO NOT touch the handle without a thick oven cloth. George an old kitchen porter of mine took hold of the handle on one occasion, ouch, and very easy to do in a busy kitchen.

  • 1 beef fillet, about 1.25kg
  • 2 tbs oil, ½ & ½ good olive and sunflower
  • 2 tbs crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tbs red balsamic cream
  • 2 tbs Armagnac
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 150 ml crème fraîche