Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Spicy chickpea soup

This is my favorite soup, especially when I think I'm getting ill. It's full of vitamins and the chili gives a spicy kick.

Serves: 4

Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 celery sticks, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 can (400g) chopped plum tomatoes
1 can (400g) chick peas, washed and drained
1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 pint vegetable stock
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful coriander, chopped

F: Handful pre-cooked prawns

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and celery and fry gently for about 8 minutes or until soft, stirring often. Add the garlic and chili and fry for a few more minutes before stirring in the cumin.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and stock and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes, adding the broccoli for a further 4 minutes.

F: Divide the soup. Add a handful of prawns to the non-vegetarian portion/s, heat for 2 minutes.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and season to taste. Add a sprinkle of fresh coriander to each bowl.

Serve with crusty bread.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Warming Winter Soup

A quick and easy soup to warm you through on a winter's day.

Serves: 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 cans (800g) chopped plum tomatoes
1 can (400g) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Handful chopped corriander
2 pints vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sweet paprika
Salt and pepper

M: 3 rashes streaky bacon, chopped

Optional: 1tbsp plain flour, 1tbsp butter

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, pepper and celery and cook over a low heat for 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, cook for a few more minutes and mix in the paprika until it evenly covers the mixture.

Increase the heat, stirring in the tomatoes and stock. Add the tomato puree and sugar and bring the mixture to the boil before turning down to a simmer for 10 minutes.

The soup might need thickening and a little trick my mum taught me was to mix a tbsp of butter and flour into a paste, adding a little at a time to the soup and making sure each bit dissolves before adding
the next.

M: Meanwhile, heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a small frying pan and cook the bacon over a medium heat until crispy.

Add the cannellini beans and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season, sprinkle with parsley (and bacon) and serve immediately with crusty bread.