Tag Archives: vegetarian

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.


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


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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A long relationship with a bar

It all started with a skinny little bar called North Bar. Leeds had no decent bars back in the day ( pubs yes, but not bars) North was one of the first to open (alongside arts, oporto and Normans). It sold interesting beer but also a great gin and tonic – this was the dark days when gin and tonics came in wine glasses with an ice cube and a slice of lemon from a jar. North was my first experience in Leeds, of lots of ice and a squeeze of fresh lime. We would all pile in – they would do table service (this was a shocking level of service, they even let you set up a tab!!). But as I got older North got busier and louder – I needed somewhere quieter to sip wine and maybe have some food with friends.

Ahh lovely North bar opened a sister bar down the road called the Reliance in 2001. Here my relationship developed from casual lover to committed relationship. Just four months after Reliance opened we got married there (me and my husband, not me and the bar). Joss (owner manager) had never done a wedding at Reliance (we had never got married) but between us we managed to get a band (thanks to the bargirls boyfriend – she said they were good I believed her and they were) get a cake (thanks to the frustrated chef who always wanted a chance to do some fancy spun sugar work) and order in crisp white linen and silver cutlery (thanks Joss)

The pub was closed to the public, the florist and the chief usher (Mark now creative director for World Events) worked all day decorating the bar with flowers  (using vegetables as flower containers)help move furniture, lay tables. As it was October, the food needed to be hearty and welcoming. We chose sausages – five different types plus two vegetarian and three different types of mash all with gravy. How were we to know that come the wedding day the temperature was 25c instead of the expected 14c.

Thank God we had opted for Tapas and cava for the evening guests. The day was wonderful (might be biased) the staff were lovely and we all had a great day. As a wedding present the bar gave us the cctv footage of the evening – hmm bit like being in the big brother house.

The Reliance continued being a favourite bar – we always had birthdays and anniversaries there.

Then they opened another bar Cross keys, this is the sophisticated business sibling. All grown up gastropub with fabulous interior. This is the perfect work meeting spot, after work drinks, or Sunday lunch. It is in the Round Foundry a complex made up of architects, design agencies, new media agencies (and another brilliant bar Midnight Bell) . Have taken mum to Cross Keys on Mother’s Day where she got a free glass of Champagne ( how sweet).

It doesn’t stop there last year the latest family member, little sister Further North  was opened- which is on my doorstep in Chapel Allerton, it is tiny has great olives and means I don’t have to pay for a taxi to get there or back! I love North bar and all the rest of the clan.

Now I want them to open somewhere with a lovely big beer garden. Will take some photos this weekend and post them up.

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Filed under Bar, food, leeds, Restaurant, Uncategorized, vegetarian