James St Cookery School: Warm Potato Salad with Green Beans and Carrot and Lentil Soup

Potato Salad with Green Beans
Niall McKenna

THIS week's recipes are perfect for a quick and easy lunch. When you are working it is easy to fall into the habit of grabbing a quick sandwich and a packet of crisps – however, it is simple to create balanced meals that not only take up little of your time but also taste great.

Warm potato salad with green beans is a recipe easily made with ingredients that most will already have in the house: an ideal combination of speedy and healthy for those who don't have time to worry about meals.

Carrot and lentil soup with a spicy twist will keep you warm and fill you up on cold days. It is also a great one to make in bulk so that you can have it for the rest of the week.

Warm Potato Salad with Green Beans (Serves 4):

400g of small potatoes halved

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon of salt for seasoning

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

400g of green beans, trimmed


1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of pomegranate juice

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of thyme leaves

4 tablespoons of chopped parsley

1 pinch of fine salt

1 pinch of ground black pepper

Start by roasting off the potatoes in a preheated oven at 220C. Place the potatoes in a baking tray and drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. Cook for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked.

Place the beans in a pot of water on the hob and bring to the boil, add in the salt and cook until al dente. Remove from the pot and place in iced water for 5 minutes.

Make the dressing up and, for ease, you can use the old Jamie Oliver trick of placing ingredients into a cleaned jam jar (with lid) and shaking vigorously. Place the potatoes with the beans in a bowl, coat the ingredients with the dressing and serve.

:: Carrot and Lentil Soup (Serves 6):

1 tablespoon of cumin seeds

1 pinch of chilli flakes

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1kg of carrots, peeled and grated

200g of red lentils

1.5 litres of vegetable stock

150ml of semi skimmed milk

To serve: a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt

Start by heating a large pan on the hob with the cumin seeds, chilli flakes and the olive oil for one minute and when the heat is making the seeds jump, remove half of these from the heat and set aside in a bowl.

Add in the lentils into the pan with the carrot and after a minute add the stock. Cook out for at least 15 minutes and once the lentils have increased in size add in the milk and cook for a further 5 minutes, then blend with a stick blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, portion out the soup into bowls and serve with a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt and dress with a sprinkling of the toasted cumin and chilli flakes.

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