Soup- again?

I always seem to be making and photographing soup. I love it. It’s a great way to get lots of nutrients and now that it’s finally turned cold here in England, it makes the perfect lunch, and this recipe is no exception. Not only does it taste great, it has a really interesting texture. I’m not sure how authentic it is; as I’m never been to the Caribbean, but I can always dream! Continue reading “Soup- again?”

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Spicy Stuffed Peppers- Serves 6

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I have boxes of recipes that I have torn out of magazines over the years, probably enough to wallpaper my entire house and more!  This dish is inspired by one of those recipes.  It is by Vicky Bhogal, but I’m not sure which magazine it originates from.

It makes a very easy and economical supper. 

6 Yellow, orange or red peppers
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
75ml sunflower oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 onions, chopped finely
1 ½ tsp. chilli flakes
1 tsp. grated rot ginger
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Handful fresh coriander, chopped

  • Gluten free naan bread and cucumber raita to serve.
  • Preheat oven 200C, fan180C or gas 6.
  • Boil the potatoes until soft (around 10 minutes), then drain.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan with the cumin seeds, 
  • When they are sizzling, add onions and fry gently until soft
  • Add chilli flakes, ginger, salt, garam masala, lemon zest and potatoes. Mix well.
  • Turn off the heat and mash roughly in the pan.
  • Add the coriander and mash again. Set aside.
  • Slice a small slither from the bottom of each pepper so that it will stand up right in a baking tray.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers and gently scoop out the membrane and seeds.  To get any stubborn seeds out, tap the peppers on the palm of your hand, cut side down.
  • Do not discard the stalks.
  • Stuff the peppers with the potato mixture, using your fingers to press in as much as possible. 
  • When they are full, pop the tops back on, so that they look like a whole pepper again.
  • Stand them upright in a baking tray or dish and drizzle with oil.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.

Serve with gluten free naan bread and cucumber and mint raita.

Red Pepper, lentil and rice soup- Serves 4

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Another warming soup. Adding the rice makes it very filling.

200g red lentils
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. chilli flakes
1 tsp. hot smoked paprika
4 red peppers, deseeded and diced.
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp. caster sugar
200g cooked rice
4tbsp. natural yogurt
Horseradish sauce to taste (approx 2 tsp.)

  • In a sieve, rinse the red lentils and then leave them to soak in a bowl of cold water. Set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat the oil gently and fry the onion until it is soft.
  • Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook gently for 2 minutes.
  • Add the smoked paprika, with a splash of water (to stop it burning) and cook gently for a further minute.
  • Add the peppers to the pan and pop the lid on. 
  • Cook gently for 10 minutes until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain the lentils and add to the pan with the stock. 
  • Cover and bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  • Remove a piece of pepper, cut into slithers, and set aside for garnish.
  • Leave the soup to cool a little before blending in a food processor (or use a hand blender) until smooth.
  • Reheat the soup and then add the vinegar and sugar.
  • Add the cooked rice to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes to make sure that the rice is cooked through thoroughly.
  • Mix the horseradish into the yogurt.
  • Divide the soup between four bowls and swirl with the yogurt mixture.  Top with slithers of pepper.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

Butternut Squash Soup- serves 8

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People have been making soup, for as long as anyone can remember; combining ingredients in a pot to make a nutritious and filling meal.  Soup is a meal enjoyed worldwide, for example America has Chowder, Spain, a chilled soup known as Gazpacho, Italy-Minestrone, China-Won Ton, Russia- Borsht, Greece-Avgolemono and in Britain we have Mulligatawny Soup, a spicy dish inherited from the British Raj of the early 19th century. The list is endless.
Of course, as well as the ‘traditional’ soups, there are many variations, and what could be better on a cold winters day, than a bowl of warm deliciousness?

2 red onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. chili flakes (more if you like it really spicy!)
1 butternut squash (around 1.2kg), peeled deseeded and cut into chunks
1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
A few rosemary sprigs
1.25 litres gluten free chicken or vegetable stock (either homemade or Knorr do a good one called ‘Stock Pot’)
100g streaky bacon, finely chopped
Natural yogurt to garnish

  • Put all ingredients, except the bacon, in a large pan.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a splash of oil until it is crisp. Drain on some kitchen paper.
  • Cool a little and then blend in a food processor until smooth (this can be done with a stick blender, but be careful that it is not too hot as it may splash. You may need to do it in batches).
  • Reheat.
  • Ladle into bowls.  Swirl in some yogurt and sprinkle with crisp bacon.