Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

finished soupIt seems that I am going through a bit of a cooking fad and making lots of soups. Maybe because they are quick and easy to make and perfect for wet, cold and miserable UK winters day.

I’ve also had a nasty cold – actually it’s manflu, which of course is a lots worse :-) and I needed to make a healthy soup. One that is high in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin c, to help combat this stupid cold.

As with all soups this is very easy to make and I will never understand why people buy them, when it so simple. It’s also a good way to get children to get confidence in cooking

I also like a bit of a bite in my soup, so I don’t add all the chickpeas before I blend and add them just before I serve the soup

  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 400g chickpeas
  • Bunch of parsley, washed and chopped
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to season
  • (serves 4)

Place the extra virgin oil into a pan and gently heat.

Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stirring occasionally to ensure the onion and garlic do not burn

Place in the sweet potato, and half the chickpeas (keep the other half to one side) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to mix all the ingredients together.

sweet potato cooking

Add in the chopped parsley, mix together. Once mixed, pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Allow to cool a little bit and then blend together until you have a smooth liquid. If too thick add some more water until it’s at the consistency you like

Add in the remaining chickpeas and simmer for 5-10 minutes

Season as required and serve with hot crusty bread.

Posted in recipe, starter, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Potato Boulangere

Complete DishI love potatoes, but I always end up having them as mash, so it’s always nice to prepare potatoes differently. This is similar to dauphinoise potatoes but instead of using cream it uses stock, so a lot less calorific, a lot less fat, but still very tasty with lots of flavour and very simple to make.

All the versions of this recipe I have seen ask you to peel the potatoes. I disagree and prefer to keep the skins on as it adds more fibre and adds a bite to it. Although I use vegetable stock, chicken stock is also fine.

I thinly slice the potatoes using a knife, but if you have a mandolin then I suggest you use it. To be honest mandolins scare the hell out of me and that I am going to lose top of a finger or 10.

  • 600g potatoes, thinly slice
  • 200g onions, sliced
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to season
  • (serves 3-4)

Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350c/gas 4

Take a oven proof bowl and place a layer of potatoes on the bottom, then place a layer of the onions and repeat until you have used up all the potatoes or onions or until you’ve reach the top of the bowl

Layering of potatoes and onions, before adding the stock

Layering of potatoes and onions, before adding the stock

Pour in the stock, until it reaches the top. Place tin foil over the bowl and cook for 1 hour.

After 45 minutes remove the foil, serve hot with any main recipe.

Posted in side dish, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Onion Soup

onion soupI have a few varieties of onions in my fridge and some had a seen better days. I really hate throwing food away and as it is cold, grey and miserable in the UK at the moment, a soup is a perfect pick me up.

Soup is one of the easiest dishes to make and I never understand why people buy them. Of course the excuse of it is easy to open the can and then stick in the microwave, but they don’t taste the same. Although this does take a little while to create it’s still better than any canned version.

As I said I am using a different variety of onions of brown, baby onions (which were left over from pickled onions we made) and red Spanish onions. But you can just use one variety, as I said I didn’t want to throw anything away.

  • 25g butter
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg thinly sliced onions
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1 litre of beef stock
  • (serves 4)
  • Place the butter and oil into a pan and gently heat.

Once the butter has melted add the onions and stir into the butter. Gently cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the sugar and let it gently stew for 10 minutes, to allow the sugar to caramelise. Stirring occasionally making sure the onions do not burn.

Add the garlic and again, gently stew for 10 minutes ensuring nothing burns.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir into the onion mixture for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the white wine and again, stir into a mixture and cook for a couple of minutes.

Then add all the beef stock, turn down the heat and cook for 10-20 minutes.

Serve with croutons or toast two slices of sliced baguette with cheese and serve on top.

Posted in starter | Leave a comment