Souped up soup

Create a gourmet surprise with the lunch soup. Serve soup in oven-proof dishes, cover with a lid of readymade puff or savoury short pastry, brush with a milk or egg glaze and bake according to packet instructions.

Pasties
Fold rounds of puff pastry over a cooked filling - feta and vegetables, leftover mince or stew, or stewed fruit - crimp edges together with a fork and bake. Serve with a good chutney for the savoury, or a dollop of cream or yoghurt for the fruit.

Cheesy twists
For a fast nibble with drinks when you have unexpected guests, layer rolled out puff pastry with a strong sharp cheese (parmesan is good), and a sprinkle of smoky paprika or hot cayenne pepper. Slice into fingers, twist into straws and bake. Moreish.

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