chickpea and vegetable soup

Nothing special here, just what was in the cupboard.

  • onion, peeled and chopped
  • carrot, peeled and chopped
  • potato, peeled and chopped
  • garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ghee or oil for cooking (I used grapeseed oil this time)
  • tin of chickpeas, hulled
  • ground cumin, coriander and chilli
  • water or stock
  • plain yoghurt, lemon and freshly ground pepper at the table

Obviously you can vary this at will or convenience. I used two medium carrots, maybe half a kg of potatoes, one onion. The key question may be how sweet you want it – and what colour.

On medium heat sauté the onion until it is softening, add the other vegetables and fry stirring for maybe 5 minutes. Turn heat down and add the garlic – no burning the garlic – and the ground spices. When the spices are thoroughly mixed in, add the water or stock along with the chickpeas. It doesn’t take long to take the skins off, you can do it while the vegetables are frying. It makes a big difference to digestibility, which is a literal pain for some people.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes covered. After the mixture has cooled a little you can puree it. It won’t be best on day one.

Serve alone, with toast or maybe a Middle East bread and with the accompaniments listed in the ingredients.

Roden’s spinach and chickpea soup revisited

When I went to make this much loved recipe, I discovered that I had a couple of issues. Firstly, the only vinegar I had was so woosy that one could scarcely tell it was vinegar at all. It was a Coriole sweet aged red wine vinegar, to be precise. Secondly, I had no stock, either chicken or vegetable, so water had to do.

I thought I had free rein at this point to vary it as I pleased, and instead of cumin and paprika, I added ras el hahout.

Worked a treat!

5 minute Japanesy soup noodles

This was so nice at a moment’s notice, from the cupboard.

Ingredients

  • water
  • tamari (or Japanese soy sauce of choice)
  • sesame oil
  • stock cube (I used vegetarian chicken)
  • rice vinegar
  • chili oil
  • noodles, I used udon
  • green vegetables, I used broccoli and asparagus, stems of asparagus cut into about 1.5″ lengths and longwise into about quarters
  • spring onions chopped into fine rounds, though in retrospect these were unnecessary

 

Method

Bring water to boil, add all ingredients except noodles. Cook for a couple of minutes, don’t overcook the vegetables. Quantities are to taste. As usual with this sort of thing, err on the side of not enough to begin with and adjust.

If using soft udon noodles, put in boiling water to separate, do this gently so you don’t break them. Place in bowls and add the stock and vegetables. Garnish with spring onions if desired. If using other noodles, cook as indicated by the type.

Tailor this to your cupboard, but I really felt like it was the chili oil that added a special touch.

Carrot soup

The very best thing about leaving home when I was a teenager was not having to eat cooked carrot anymore. I truly hated the overcooked stuff whether boiled or roasted. Ugggh. Sweet mush.

But you grow up, don’t you? And although I still grumble about it, I do cook it one way or another. Not to hardsell the following.

Roasted carrot soup, after trawling the internet for opinions

Ingredients

about 750g carrots, peeled, cut into chunks and roasted at 180C with butter dotted here and there. It’s ready when it is starting to caramelise – or to taste.

2 onions chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

2 sticks of celery chopped

ghee or olive oil (or your preferred something or other for frying)

generous amount of ginger – at least a tablespoon chopped

chicken stock

a tin of coconut milk (optional)

Snipped spring onion greens and finely chopped chilli on top when serving

Method

Fry the onions on medium heat, add the other uncooked vegetables, keep frying, add the carrot towards the end of that process. Add the water/stock. Simmer until you feel like it is all cooked enough. Puree.

Add coconut milk or more water to desired thickness.

This is enough for a soup course for at least six people.