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Spicy celery soup

November 23, 2010

Light and delicate. Perfect for summer.

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients
1 litre veg stock
Roughly 100ml white wine
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed
About 1/2 head of celery, washed and thinly sliced (save the celery leaves)
1 small yellow, chopped
1 mild chili left whole
1 bay leaf
2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste
About 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method
Gently fry onion, garlic, celery and yellow pepper in a large saucepan until soft. Add the wine and simmer for a minute before adding the stock. Bring to the boil and add the whole chili, black pepper, bay leaf and parsley. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Rescue the chili and bay leaf and blend. Add salt and lemon juice to taste, bring back to simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve, garnishing with chopped celery leaves.

Tomato and butter bean soup

September 14, 2010

I wanted something nourishing to eat after a having some fillings at the dentist but not too taxing for my teeth. This is what I made and is it simple and delicious!

Serves 2

Ingredients
500ml tomato juice or 400g tin chopped tomatoes plus 100ml extra water
100ml water
100ml red wine
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin (about 200g) butter beans, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste

Method
Gently fry onion and garlic in a large saucepan until soft. Add the wine and simmer for a minute before adding the tomato juice (or tin of tomatoes) and water. Bring briefly to the boil and add the black pepper and basil. Reduce heat to gentle simmer for about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste and serve.

Tarka Dahl

September 5, 2010

Ingredients
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed
1″ fresh ginger chopped finely
1 fresh mild chili, chopped finely
2 medium, ripe tomatoes, diced
200g red lentils, rinsed
1/2l of liquid (combination of stock, water, a little wine)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
2″ stick of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp groundnut oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander for garnish (optional)

For the tarka spices
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp dried, crushed chili (not ground. If you haven’t got it, leave it out or use fresh chili)
1 tbsp olive oil

Preparation
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium flame. Add the chili, ginger, onion and garlic and fry gently. When the onion and garlic turns golden, stir in the liquid and add the lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and add the remaining spices and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. The lentils should break down and thicken the dahl to a consistency of a thick soup. You may need a little water to stir in if it gets too thick. When you are happy with the consistency, stir in the lemon juice and check for seasoning.

Heat a frying pan with the oil for the tarka spices over a medium-hot flame. Add the cumin, mustard and coriander seeds and stir until the mustard seeds start to pop. The spices should start to brown and become fragrant. Remove the frying pan from the heat and pour the tarka spices and the oil into the dahl. Stir the dahl to swirl the oil and spices in. Check for seasoning and serve as a side dish or with rice as a main dish. Garnish with fresh coriander if desired.

Variations
For a vegetable curry try adding a medium potato and a courgette, diced, and 1 tbsp tomato puree when adding the lentils and liquid. Throw in a handful of fresh, chopped spinach five minutes before you remove the dahl from the heat.

Simplicity celery soup

July 24, 2010

A simple celery soup recipe for four.

Ingredients
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 mild chili, deseeded and chopped finely
1 head celery, washed and sliced thinly
1 bunch fresh parsley, washed and chopped coursely
1 tbsp olive oil
1200ml stock or water with stock cube/powder
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Preperation
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion, garlic and chili for a couple of minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the celery and cook very gently for a further 10 minutes until the celery is softening. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add the salt and a few twists of black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon of course-ground) and reduce to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add most of the parsley, reserving some for garnish. Blend carefully and return to the heat, bringing back to a simmer for a couple of minutes.

Adjust seasoning and serve with the fresh parsely sprinkled on top with a couple of twists of black pepper.

Optional
When adding the parsley, add the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Falafel

June 27, 2010

Ingredients
1 tin chickpeas
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 a mild chili, finely chopped
2 tbsp flour (preferably gram flour)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp salt
Small handful fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp water

Method
Gently fry the chili, onion and garlic together until the onion is soft and translucent then pulse in a blender with all the other ingredients except for the flour. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the flour until well combined. At this point you should have a thick, sticky mixture but not wet and sloppy. If not, adjust consistency with water or flour.

Gently drop a golf ball size amount of the mixture either in a hot deep fat fryer for 2-3 minutes or into a wok or frying pan and shallow fry for about 2 minutes each side.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

Corn tortillas

June 15, 2010

Makes about six tortillas.

Ingredients:
125g Cornmeal
125g wheat-free flour (Doves wheat-free bread flour works well)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
About 200ml freshly boiled water

Preparation:
Heat a dry frying pan over a medium-hot heat. Cut a couple of pieces of baking paper about 12″ by 12″.

Method:
Mix all dry ingredients well. Add the water a little at a time and mix to form a soft but not sticky dough. If you get a good dough without adding all the water then do not add the rest — you do not want the dough to be too damp.

Take a lump of dough half-way between a golf ball and a tennis ball in size and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper until. Peel the top sheet of baking paper carefully away (you may need to tease it slowly off working from different sides). Place the tortilla paper side up in the hot frying pan for a minute and then peel the second sheet of paper off (this sheet should come off easier than the first). Cook the tortilla for a couple of minutes per side. Place the cooked tortillas on a rack to cool.

Freedom waffles

May 19, 2010

Coming soon! Recipe courtesy of @koreancelt, altered by me for non-wheat flour.

Nutritionists

May 16, 2010

I have personally used a wonderful nutritionist called Lorna Marchant. Take a look at her website for more info and contact details: www.optnutrition.com.

Recipe books

May 16, 2010

Two of my favourite recipe books are Madhur Jaffrey’s “Ultimate Curry Bible” and “Vegetarian Cook Book” from The Good Food Cafe. The “Ultimate Curry Bible” has two very important recipe sections – vegetables and pulses – which are filled with the most gorgeous food, most of which are easy to make with a little preparation. It also has some very helpful reference sections on techniques and spices. The “Vegetarian Cook Book” has a no-nonsense approach which I like. There’s a great variety of food ranging from dips, salads, lunches and deserts. Fantastic stuff and very easy to make. Lots of gluten-free recipes, too.

Spicy courgette and potato soup

May 16, 2010


Delicious, thick, comforting soup with a spicy kick. The rosemary, ginger and chilli go surprisingly well together.

Ingredients:
Oil
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Veg
3 courgettes, chopped into 1″ pieces
500g potatoes, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
2 medium onions (1 red if available), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1″ piece fresh ginger, chopped
1 mild fresh chilli, chopped

Herbs
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig rosemary

Liquid
1.2 litres water/stock
200ml any old white wine

Preparation:
Sweat the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger for about 6 to 7 minutes on a low heat, until soft. Increase to medium heat and add the rest of the veg. Fry for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine, if using, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the rest of the liquid and the herbs and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked but still firm. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig and blend. Stir in another tbsp of olive oil and serve. Top with fresh black pepper and a swirl of (soya) yoghurt.