Mark Moriarty’s minestrone, lamb boulangère, and classic fruit tart

The chef shares three recipes from the second series of Mark Moriarty: Off Duty Chef, which begins next week

Mark Moriarty aims to help you get the most out of your weekly food shop

Next week, chef Mark Moriarty returns to RTÉ One for a second series of Off Duty Chef, his popular home cooking show. As he did in series one, he will focus on the key cooking techniques and skills you need to get the most out of your weekly food shop.

To get a flavour of what’s to come, try these three recipes – all of the dishes feature in the new series, with the minestrone featuring in episode one.

Minestrone is a healthy, tasty classic


Ingredients, serves four

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

1 courgette, diced

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 heaped tsp tomato paste

1.2 litre chicken stock

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin butter beans, rinsed

1 tin black-eyed peas

100g frozen peas

Spinach leaves

Handful cabbage

Handful spaghetti

Handful thyme

Splash tabasco sauce


1. Place a heavy-based pot on the heat and add some plain oil. Go in with the carrot, onion, thyme and courgette and begin to cook until it starts to colour.

2. While that’s cooking, slice your garlic thinly. Add this in after about two minutes with the chilli flakes, and season the mix with salt.

3. Add in your tomato paste and mix through, then cook out for a minute before adding the chicken stock and a tin of chopped tomatoes.

4. Allow this to simmer slowly for ten minutes before adding the butter beans and black-eyed peas. Snap the spaghetti into small sticks and add this in. Cook for a further 10 minutes until the pasta is soft.

5. Finish the soup with the greens, allowing the frozen peas and spinach leaves to warm through. Adjust the seasoning with tabasco, a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper and salt. Serve warm with some crusty bread.

Lamb boulangère is an easy alternative option for a roast dinner

Lamb boulangère

Ingredients, serves six

1 leg of lamb (2kg approx weight)

8 large rooster potatoes

2 brown onions

Handful fresh thyme

Handful fresh rosemary

100g butter

6 cloves garlic


1. Pre-heat the oven to 150C.

2. Peel your potatoes and slice about 2 cm thick using a knife or mandolin, then place in a bowl. Peel and slice the onions to the same size, then set aside.

3. Melt the butter and pour onto the sliced potatoes, season heavily with sea salt and black pepper. Tear the thyme leaves off the stalks and add those to the potatoes before mixing, make sure the potatoes are covered in the seasoning and butter.

4. Layer the potatoes across the base of a large ovenproof dish. Follow this with a layer of onions, then more potatoes, continuing until the tray is filled.

5. To prepare the lamb, stab six holes across the surface using a small knife, then fill the holes with a whole garlic clove and a sprig of rosemary. Season the meat with salt and place on top of the potatoes in the tray.

6. Cover with tinfoil and roast in the oven for 3.5 hours at 150C. Remove the tinfoil and increase the heat to 230C for a further half an hour to caramelise the meat and potatoes. Carve the lamb and serve alongside the potatoes with a green salad.

This classic fruit tart makes a lovely, light dessert

Classic fruit tart with sweet pastry

Ingredients, serves six

450g plain flour

150g icing sugar

220g butter, diced

2 eggs

250ml milk

250ml cream

1 vanilla pod

30g cornflour

6 egg yolks

100g caster sugar

Ripe raspberries

Mint leaves

6 tsp raspberry jam


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place the flour and icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with the paddle until a crumb texture is formed.

2. Add the egg and mix until the dough just comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge.

3. Roll the pastry on a floured surface until it’s 2cm thick. Cut using a cutter into small discs, then chill these in the fridge.

4. Once cold, roll again until the pastry is very thin, then line the tart mould with some overhanging pastry. Place another tart case inside to wedge the pastry, then chill in the fridge.

5. Once cold, cut the excess pastry using a small knife using the tart case edge as a guide. Bake for 15 mins until golden brown.

6. To make the pastry cream, place the milk and cream in a pot with the scraped vanilla seeds and pod, warm slightly. Mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl, scorch with the milk and cream, then return to the pot.

7. Whisk over a high heat until the mix thickens and bubbles before placing in the fridge to cool. Once cold, mix lightly before using

8. To assemble the tarts, place a spoonful of jam in the base, top with the pastry cream and then the fresh fruit. Garnish with mint leaves, icing sugar and some strands of vanilla pod

Mark Moriarty: Off Duty Chef begins at 8pm on April 26 on RTÉ One, and is sponsored by M&S Food