750gms medium-size potatoes, peeled, washed, and cut into 1/2-inch slices,7 cups water ,salt, 500 gms rocket,½ cup day-old Italian bread, without crusts, diced, 4 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil, 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, ½ teaspoon crushed chilli flakes, ½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
In a deep, heavy pot combine potatoes and 7 cups water. Salt the water lightly and bring it to a boil. Adjust the level of heat to medium-high and cook the potatoes, covered, until they are tender, but still hold their shape, about 18 minutes.
Wash the rocket in cool water to remove all sand and grit, changing the water if necessary. Drain the rocket well and cut it into 5 cm lengths. Stir the rocket and bread into the pot. Continue boiling 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and chilli and cook until golden, about 3 minutes.
Scrape the contents of the skillet into the pot. Stir well. Season the soup with salt to taste. Serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with grated cheese.
Now for some thing sweet
Bread and Butter Pudding
75g unsalted butter, 75g sultanas, optional 3 tablespoons dark rum or other liquor of your choice, 10 slices bread approx, optional jam of your choice, 4 egg yolks, 1 egg, 3 tbsps caster sugar, 1 tsp spice of you choice - cinnamon, cardamom, anise etc, 500ml double cream, 200ml full-fat milk, 2 tbsps demerara or raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease a pudding dish with a capacity of about 1½ litres with some of the butter.
Put the sultanas in a small bowl, pour the rum over, and microwave them for 1 minute, then leave them to stand. This is a good way to soak them quickly but juicily.
Make sandwiches with the bread, with butter and jam if using , you should have some butter left over to smear on the top later.
Now cut the sandwiches in half into triangles and arrange them evenly along the middle of the pudding dish. I put one in the dish with the point of the sandwich upwards then one with flat-side uppermost, then with point-side uppermost and so on, then squeeze a sandwich-triangle down each side - but you do as you please. Sprinkle over the sultanas and unabsorbed rum that remains in the bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks and egg together with the caster sugar, and pour in the cream and milk. Pour this over the triangles of bread and leave them to soak up the liquid for about 10 minutes, by which time the pudding is ready to go into the oven. Smear the bread crusts that are poking out of the custard with the soft butter, mix the spice and demerara sugar together and sprinkle this mixture on your buttered crusts and then lightly over the rest of the pudding.
Sit the pudding dish on a baking sheet and put it in the oven to cook for about 45 minutes or until the custard has set and puffed up slightly. Remove, let sit for 10 minutes - and spoon out into bowls, putting a jug of custard, should you so wish, on the table to be served alongside.
So next time you go to throw out your stale bread have a think about how you can reuse it and make it into something much more tasty.