Festive Recipes From Around The World

Words by Student Champion Lottie

The days are getting shorter and your fluffy socks have made a comeback for another winter season. You’ve just bought your first pack of mince pies since last year and all you can smell is your spiced apple scented candles. This is the perfect time to try out some traditional, cosy festive recipes from around the world. Here is a starter, main and dessert to get you into the festive spirit!


Let’s start in France with an easy festive soup, made with chestnuts. This recipe also involves ‘duck confit’, which is a traditional French dish where a duck is slow cooked until completely softened. It can be stored for up to a month in preserved fat.  

You can be pretty flexible here and use any vegetables which will add to the warm, winter feel of the foamy dish. Heavy cream and stock are also required. 

  1. First of all, fry your selection of vegetables with a knob of butter in a large pot, until they are tender. 
  2. Add a handful of chestnuts, some duck confit and a stock which covers all of the ingredients. Bring the pot to a boil and then allow it to simmer for 20 mi
  3. After 20 minutes, add a generous dollop of heavy cream. Allow the mixture to simmer for another 5 minutes and season to taste. 
  4. Transfer to a blender and purée the mixture until it has your desired texture.  
  5. Serve with a spoonful of maple cream and enjoy! 


Flying across the world to South America, it’s time for the main! Here is the recipe for the traditional dish, Bacalao Guisado, which is often served during this festive period. It consists of a salted cod, served with an assortment of vegetables in a tomato sauce. 

  1. Fry an onion, a clove of garlic and a red pepper in a deep pan until softened. 
  2. Add any desired spices, roasted tomato sauce and some water to the pan – just enough so that the vegetables are covered. 
  3. Add a diced potato to the mix and cover, allowing it to simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. After this, the potatoes should be semi-boiled and we can add the salted cod, gently folding it into the base and then leaving it for 5 minutes. 
  5. And we’re done! Serve with white rice. 


Finishing with a dessert, it’s time to try some classic Canadian butter tarts, often served around the time of thanksgiving. This easy recipe requires a variety of basic and accessible ingredients, such as pastry, eggs and sugar.  

  1. After pre-heating the oven to 180C, cut a sheet of pastry into the same shapes as you would for a mince pie and add the bases to a cupcake tin. 
  2. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and add a handful of raisins, a generous amount of sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, a knob of butter and a dollop of cream.  
  3. Heat this mixture in a bowl until it thickens.  
  4. After stirring in a handful of walnuts, add the mixture to the tart bases. 
  5. Cook until golden and you can eat these cold or heated up! 

Are you feeling festive yet? If you try any of these recipes, make sure to post a photo and tag the University of Bristol on Instagram! 

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