Monday, June 21, 2010

Super Solstice Soups

The weather has taken a decidedly wintery turn recently, which means soups are a great meal. These are two of my favourites, both of which I made last week. They're both from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat. The ingredients can easily be modified to taste. I've tried the chickpea soup with tinned and dried chickpeas, and I have to say that the extra work of soaking the dried chickpeas was worth it.

Chickpea and Pasta Soup
Soak two cups of dried chickpeas in water with 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tbs salt and 2 tbs flour overnight (or longer). Drain, rinse and put in a pot with 3L of stock and a muslin bag (or other retaining device!) containing 8 cloves of garlic and 3 rosemary sprigs. Add a couple of tbs of olive oil (I don't add as much as the recipe advises) and simmer and simmer and simmer for hours (about 4?) until the chickpeas are soft. Remove the garlic and rosemary, and add about 750mL tomato puree (I use tomato pasata or tinned diced tomatoes). Boil about 10 minutes, check seasoning, add about a cup of small pasta, boil until the pasta is cooked. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Nigella's Slow Minestrone (not to be confused with her Minestrone in Minutes)
Finely chop 3 onions, 2 celery sticks, 3 zucchinis, 1/4 cabbage, 5 carrots, 100g green beans, 300g potato and heat in butter and oil over a low heat, gradually adding each vegetable. Add 1.5L stock and the rind of a piece of Parmesan cheese, and simmer about 2 hours. Rinse 1 tin of cannellini beans and add, simmer another 10 minutes, then add about a cup of small pasta. Simmer until pasta is cooked, and serve with lots of grated Parmesan cheese. It's not a good-looking soup, but the flavours blend together to make an amazing, warm dish. It freezes pretty well, too, so I have stashed some away in freezer bags for quick dinners for the boys

1 comment:

Maxabella said...

Yum yum... I think the chickpea number could be a winner!

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