Category Archives: soup

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

It is cold and wet and horrible – you need nourishment. Now Jade Goody thought that chickpeas came from chickens but they don’t, kidney beans however are the kidneys of small dogs so be warned.

Ingredients

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 Onion diced

Clove garlic chopped

2 celery sticks diced

2 tsp cumin

1 can of chickpeas

1 can of tomatoes

100g frozen broad beans

1 tsp harissa

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp tomato puree

Directions

Heat oil with spices, add onion and celery and sweat for 10 mins, add all the other ingredients except broad beans and simmer for 8 mins. Add broad beans and lemon juice (optional) serve with chopped coriander

Health benefits

Chickpeas like most of the other pulses are fantastic for you as they lower your heart attack risk (lots of magnesium and folate), provide lots of fibre which is very good for avoiding Irritable bowl syndrome, lowers cholesterol which when combined with a bit of garlic and turmeric (which this soup does) can lower your cholesterol level by 9%. Help your body balance it blood sugar so you don’t get highs and lows and instead have sustained energy release. Iron which loads of women are short off which can make you feel weak and lethargic and finally loads of protein which makes you feel full up without the saturated fat of meat or dairy.

Canned tomatoes have many health benefits. The magic word is Lycopene. This has been shown to help protect not only against prostate, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when consumed with fat-rich foods, such as avocado, olive oil or nuts. (This is because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body along with fats.) So you could have a few nuts with this soup if you want to increase your absorption of lycopene.

Did You know…

The word restaurant was first used in France in the 16th century, to describe a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors called restaurer, that was advertised as an antidote to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in restaurers. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant to describe the shops.

 

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Pirate soup

This soup is hot, so I hope you can all cope you bunch of landlubbers. Ever dreamed of being a pirate, sailing round the Caribbean sitting in a hammock under a blue sky sun beating down on you all around you can hear the crying of macaws ahh lovely . This soup has all the elements from roasted red peppers for warmth, sweet potatoes for silky velvety texture, roasted chilli for a fiery kick, coconuts to calm it down and lime to add a bit of zing. I want to hear tales of you behaving like a pirate and drinking rum after you have eaten this soup.

Ingredients

Vegetable stock

4 sweet potato,

3 red pepper

tin coconut milk

fresh chilli,

onion

lime

fresh coriander

Directions

Roast the peppers and chilli until blackened. Heat a little oil in a pan and add onion and sweet potatoes cook for 15 mins . Peel and deseed the chilli and peppers and add to the vegetables . Add the coconut milk and 500ml of vegetable stock , cook for ten minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and lime juice

Health benefits

Chilli contains natural pain relief, it lowers cholesterol and clears congestion by stimulating secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffed up nose or congested lungs. (which is why you should have a curry if you have a cold) In addition Chilli peppers’ bright red colour signals its high content of beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. The anti-infection vitamin A is essential for healthy mucous membranes, which line the nasal passages, lungs, intestinal tract and urinary tract and serve as the body’s first line of defence against invading pathogens. And finally chillies help you lose weight – All that heat you feel after eating hot chilli peppers takes energy–and calories to produce. Even sweet red peppers have been found to contain substances that significantly increase thermogenesis (heat production) and oxygen consumption for more than 20 minutes after they are eaten.

Sweet Potatoes are orange which means they contain beta carotene or pro-vitamin A which as I have just said is the anti infection vitamin so no more colds or flu.

Did You know…Pirate joke

Q – What does a pirate take for indigestion?

A – Yo ho ho and a bottle of Tums!

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Carrot and Cardamom soup

Inspired by the cooking of southern India. Carrots are gently infused with cardamom and fresh curry leaves. It is a fragrant soup and quite delicate in taste – Enjoy

Ingredients

Onion diced

1 kg carrots diced

1 stick of celery

25g butter

4 green cardamom pods

4 stalks of curry leaves fresh

2 litres of stock

Olive oil

Directions

Melt butter and oil in a pan and add carrots onion and celery, sweat for 15 mins with the lid on until all is soft and fragrant. Heat the cardamom pods in a dry frying pan for two mins. Split the pods open and add the seeds to the carrots with the stock and the curry leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes and blend until smooth. Just prior to serving add a knob of butter and season to taste.

Health benefits

Cardamom is a fantastic ingredient as it helps detoxify the body of all that caffeine you drink to keep you stimulated. It is also a key ingredient in love potions so watch out who you look at whilst eating your soup or you might fall in love with them!

Carrots are incredibly rich in vitamin A which is important in maintaining healthy skin and helps the body to resist infection – no more days off sick

Did You know…

The French court of Louis XI subsisted mainly on soup because they believed that chewing would cause them to develop facial wrinkles

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Tomato, lentil and caraway soup

Born from the Kasbahs of Turkey. Smokey, mysterious and beautiful with the ability to take your breath away.

Recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove chopped
1 green pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 dried red chilli
1 tsp caraway seeds
500g passata
tin of plum tomatoes
salt and pepper
500cl vegetable stock

 

Directions
Heat the oil and add the chopped garlic, the caraway seeds and crumble the dried chilli, heat till fragrant.  Add the onion and green pepper and cook for 10 mins or until till soft .  Add the tin of tomatoes and the lentils stir for 2 mins.  Add the passata and the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 40 mins. To serve, you could add some grated cheese or/and some finely chopped fresh parsley

Health benefits
Lentils are so good for keeping you full for a long time as well as cleaning out your insides with all that fibre.

Canned tomatoes contain lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant and has cancer-preventing properties, these cancers now include colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. Prevention of heart disease has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene.

Did You know…
In one of the short stories in Dubliners by James Joyce, a character eats caraway seeds to mask the alcohol on his breath.

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season and spice

Trialing the season and spice monthly box selection. This month got elderflower heads, long pepper to make strawberries with elderflower and pepper cream. Saffron, rouille mix, soup mix to make a bouillabaisse and some cajun powder for bbq’s.

Strawberry with elderflower and long pepper was amazing will make again and turn into ice cream I think.  Bouillabaisse was a triumph though would adapt recipe a bit in future (one niggle this is a seasonal recipe and it tells you to put mussels in which are out of season – remember only buy mussels in a month with an R in it).

I used the cajun powder on a chicken which I roasted – similar to what I normally put onto my chicken fennel, cayenne, salt, pepper and thyme.

I love getting a monthly selection – it makes me cook things I wouldn’t normally cook which is always a good thing, I get to try out new spices and understand how they work and the recipes are very simple.  looking forward to next months selection.

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Smoked salt

Latest supermarket strange reduction maldon smoked salt – normally £1.99 for a little box reduced to 49p – have a look in sainsbury’s maybe they are discontinuing or changing the packaging. Well I had to get some.

So far have added it to my spicy north African prawn dish, some cajun pork and a courgette soup. It smells great,  like a bbq on a beach would smell salty and smokey – no idea if it is having much effect on the food, life is too short to cook the dish twice one with smoked salt one without! bet it is lovely on its own with some unsalted butter and fresh bread though – yum

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Soup Journey

How did this happen?
One day I was busy running a digital and design team, the next thing I know I am writing about soup.
 
It started with me giving my job up. I was searching for inspiration and creativity. I felt I needed to start a new journey, and I needed nourishment. After the initial buzz of freedom, I began to look at what I should do, nothing seemed to interest me.  As I had more time, I began a pottery course hoping it would keep me busy whilst waiting for inspiration to strike, but no inspiration struck. I also began to dedicate more time to my first passion cooking.

I decided to start make fresh soup, for my husband, for lunch. I knew how hard it was to eat healthy food at work and how dull sandwiches can get.  Always spotting an opportunity, our friend Ally asked if I could make her soup too.  All three of us ate soup every day for lunch and were amazed as we started to lose weight, feel healthier, and enjoyed the variety of a different lunch every day. Before I knew it word got out and everyone wanted some of my magic soup and I found myself making large vats of soup every day.

So I would like to thank all my Soupies who have tried, tested, commented on and refined these soups. Big kisses to Paul, Xtine and Ally, and much love to Alex Heaton, Karen Lewis, Karen Boswell, Ian Rossin, Christine Osborne, James Wheatley, Harriet Hughes-Payne, Caroline Skipsey, John Morgan, Angela Friscuolo, Lynn Haynes, Helen Collier, Charlotte Moody, Leah Kayles, Claire Robinson, Leanne Elgy, Jodie Richmond, Andrew Brown, Julie Hanson, Ruth Holgate,  Claire Thackray, Anne Kelly, Gaby Ferry and everyone else who has given me such lovely feedback and encouragement.

All the photos, recipes and some of the pottery featured in this blog were created by me (so the pottery is coming in handy).   I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I enjoy creating it. I never thought I would be doing this! Not sure if this is my new journey but it is a great experience.

Finally three top tips:
1) Get yourself a stick, hand blender. There is nothing more annoying than forever pouring boiling soup from pan to jug to pan    – nightmare. Instead buy a good hand blender and stick it straight into the pan, see how easy is that.
2) Cheat and use Marigold vegetable stock. It is natural, tasty and very easy.
3) The soups all feed four hungry people, or six not so hungry.

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