Warm and hearty chickpea and vegetable soup

Firstly a big thank you to everyone who came out to the Flea Market in THAT weather yesterday! It was a great success and all your support was much appreciated!

And since this cold, torrential rain and gale force winds never seem to cease here’s something to help warm you up a bit! I got this recipe from the Marie Claire recipe book, Lunch. Its actually a chickpea and vegetable couscous soup recipe, but I don’t particularly like couscous, plus the soup is already so hearty, so I leave it out of my recipe. I highly recommend the suggested serving of plain yoghurt and shredded mint on top, which is delicious and totally makes it by the way, but I left it out this time as I was making to freeze. This soup is so tasty with all the spices and chilli and is alot heartier than your usual soups. It makes for a perfect chilled dinner with friends and you can add some fresh crusty bread with olive oil if you like.

The recipe: Chickpea and Vegetable Soup
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon mild paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 large potato, cut into bite size pieces
1 large carrot, cut into bite size pieces
1 yellow courgette, cut into bite size pieces
1 green courgette, cut into bite size pieces
2 slender aubergines, cut into bite size pieces
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g tin drained chickpeas, rinsed
1 litre vegetable stock
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon shredded mint

Method:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and chilli over medium heat until the onion is soft. Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes, or until they start to soften.

Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 -30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

Remove from the heat and serve topped with the yoghurt and sprinkled with mint.

Unexpectedly delicious and comforting root vegetable soup

To be honest I wasn’t very excited at the idea of making this soup. But I had most of the ingredients in my fridge, and it was the end of the month, so I decided to give it a go. And… actually… I was really pleasantly surprised. Its so warm and comforting and the bright yellow colour made me feel like it was a bowl of sunshine. ( Thats what happens to you when you don’t see enough of it! : ) )

Anyways give this a go and see if you agree!

The Recipe: Avoca‘s Root Vegetable Soup
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 onion, peeled and chopped
50g butter
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 leeks, washed and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
4 teaspoons double cream or créme fraíche (optional – I didn’t bother))
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method:
Cook the onion in the butter for 10 minutes without colouring. Add the potato, carrot, celery and leek, and sauté gently for 5 minutes. Add the parsnip and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Allow to cool slightly and purée in a blender.

Reheat, check seasoning as you go, and serve with the cream and parsley.

Lentil and Chorizo Hotpot

This is one of my most favourite recipes ever!!! My good friend Nic who I used to live with, used to make this all the time for us… and every time we’d end up stuffing ourselves with double helpings because it’s so good!!! Anyways here is her recipe. It really is so quick and so easy….and more importantly sooooo tasty!

The Recipe: Lentil and Chorizo Hotpot
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
250g chorizo, chopped (be generous)
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
250g brown lentils, soaked overnight
2 stock cubes
1-1.5 litres of boiling water

Method:
Fry the onions, garlic, pepper, chilli and chorizo in a little olive oil until the onions are brown and soft. Add the lentils, carrot and potato, and cook for a further few minutes. Then add enough boiling water to cover everything…and a bit more…and throw in the 2 stock cubes. Stir well and simmer for 40 minutes. I would stir it a few times again while its simmering. Season to taste and serve.