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.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Bacon

I made up the recipe for this soup combining bits of various other lentil or lentil and bacon soup recipes and I must say I think it is pretty damn good!! Just remember to soak the lentils overnight. I put them out into a bowl of water before I leave for work and they’re ready by the time I get home. Don’t worry if you forget, it just means your soup will take a little longer to cook.

If there are any requests for any specific soup recipes or you are looking for a recipe for a soup with a specific ingredient please let me know and I will see what i can do : )

The Recipe: Lentil and vegetable soup with bacon
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 courgettes, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
250g brown lentils, soaked overnight
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Method
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the chopped bacon until the fat begins to run. Add carrots, courgettes, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add the lentils, cook for a few more minutes until they are mixed in well. Add tomatoes and stock to pan. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for around 45 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are soft.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and season with freshly ground black pepper.