Soups for the soul
We may be seeing the back of winter but it’s still an opportune time to indulge in the warm heartiness of a bowl of freshly made soup. Here are a few quick and easy recipes to make at home.
Butternut and chickpea soup Ingredients
• 800g butternut/pumpkin
peeled and cubed
• 1–2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion, roughly chopped
• 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
• Cayenne pepper
• 1 tin chopped tomatoes
• 2 tsp sugar (or coconut sugar, or alternative healthy sweet- ener)
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1 tin chickpeas in water, drained
• 1 small tin coconut cream (about 150–200ml)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 230oC.
Blot half the can of chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them before seasoning with a little salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until brown and crunchy. Then boil the butternut in a large pot of salted water until cooked through but still firm, then drain and set aside. Over medium to high heat, add the olive oil to a large pot. When it is hot, add the onion, turn down to medium heat and cook gently for about five minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further two to three minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and sugar, stir and simmer for three minutes. Add the cooked butternut, half the chickpeas and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, and then turn down to a simmer for a further 15 minutes. Stir through the coco- nut cream and check for seasoning.
Serve in warmed soup bowls and dress with the roasted chickpeas and parsley. Serve with fresh pita bread on the side.
Roasted tomato soup Ingredients
• 4kg tomatoes – variety of
mixed (baby, rosa etc.) halved
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 4 cans of tomato juice
• Olive oil
• Tabasco sauce
• Balsamic vin- egar
• Salt and pepper
• Fresh basil
Roast the tomatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, in the oven at 200oC for
Brown the garlic, add the tomato juice and leave to simmer gently. Stir in the roasted tomatoes and season with vinegar, tabasco, salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Pour into a blender and blend, then pass the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumps. Dress with fresh basil.
Split pea and bacon soup Ingredients
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
• 1 tsp each of ground cumin and coriander
• Pinch of cinnamon
• 1 heaped tsp fresh ginger, grated
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1ℓ chicken or vegetable stock
• 500g yellow or green split peas
• 250 grams bacon, fried and diced
• Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
• Sugar, to taste
• Lemon juice, to taste
• Spring onion, feta and pine nuts, to garnish
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium to high heat; fry the the onion and spices until the onions have softened but not col- oured, for about five minutes.
Add the chicken stock, split peas and half the fried bacon, stir and leave to simmer gently, covered, for 1.5 hours or until the split peas are cooked through. Add a little extra water to the soup if it becomes too thick during the cooking process. Add salt, pepper, sugar and lemon juice to taste. Remove from the heat and blend to your desired consistency, loosening with hot water or more stock if necessary.
Serve with a garnish of crumbled feta, fried bacon, pine nuts and chopped spring onion.