Squash & Pepper Soup

Our first delivery of vegetables after our return from holiday contained two squashes. Jane mentioned that she loved these vegetables, this sparked me off to provide a delicious soup for my wife to enjoy at lunchtime. The question was what to put with it that she would like as well.

Red peppers to add some sweetness, potato for body and lentils for a bit of thickness. I also added cumin for additional flavour. Jane went got a baguette form around the corner and we were set.

Serves: 4

Approximate Calories: 623 (156 calories per serving) 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil (olive oil will do)
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 1 whole squash, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of red lentils
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 vegetable stockpots
  • Add hot water to (level 1 in the soupmaker the higher one)

Method

  • Put all ingredients in the soup maker and set to smooth
  • Alternatively put all of the ingredients into the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minute’s or so, then blend when done until smooth.
  • For a thinner soup add more water, for a thicker soup add less water.

Soup with a hint of Paprika

I have been away for a holiday over six days in Europe and really missed my soup making. We went to Prague in the Czech Republic, Vienna in Austria and Budapest in Hungary. What a brilliant trip! Everywhere we went we encountered Paprika. Smoked, Sweet and Hot. It seems to be a mainstay for them in their cuisine.

You can follow my emerging travelpod by clicking here

So as soon as I arrived back home I dived into the fridge to have a sort out. What emerged was a basic mixture of vegetables, so this is what I came up with. A vegetable soup with a hint of paprika running through it, lovely.

Serves: 4

Approximate Calories: 623 (156 calories per serving) 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil (olive oil will do)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • 1 medium  onions chopped
  • 1 medium potato , chopped
  • 1 celery stick chopped
  • .5 leek chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 splash of Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika (hot or sweet to your taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 beef stockpots
  • Add hot water to (level 1 in the soupmaker the higher one)

Method

  • Put all ingredients in the soup maker and set to smooth
  • Alternatively put all of the ingredients into the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minute’s or so, then blend when done until smooth.
  • For a thinner soup add more water, for a thicker soup add less water.

Black Bean and Cacao Soup

I like a challenge and my friend David provided me one. “What can I do with this fair trade Cocoa Powder” he said “It was given to me at Christmas and its full of proteins and is, apparently, really good for you so I want to use it so can we make a soup with it,” he carried on. “Yes of course” I said.

Well we had been having a great afternoon full of conversation, drinking the occasional libation and eating Sunday dinner. I said give me a few days and will see what I can up with. The rest is history…..

Serves: 4

Approximate Calories: 784 (196 calories per serving) 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil (olive oil will do)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1.5 garlic clove
  • 1.5 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 to 2 pinches of ground cayenne (add more or less to make it hotter or cooler)
  • 1 tbsp. of cocoa powder
  • 1.5 to 2 tins of black beans (El Paso do black beans)
  • a handful of chopped fresh coriander (save some for serving)
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen sweetcorn (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 vegetable stockpot
  • Add hot water to (level 2 in the soupmaker the lower one)

Method

  • Put all ingredients in the soup maker and set to chunky, however for a creamier finish pulse it a few times after the cooking process finishes.
  • Alternatively put all of the ingredients into the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minute’s or so, then blend when done until you have the correct consistency or creaminess for you.
  • For a thinner soup add more water, for a thicker soup add less water.
  • Optional – save some coriander to serve by sprinkling with fresh chopped coriander

Tomato & Basil Soup

In answer to a plea from my son I have put together a very basic tomato and basil soup. This one is light on the ingredients  but with some powerful flavours.

Also this is a planned attempt to get him away from Nandos, Wagamamas and Subways. As I have him working at 16, like any good Victorian dad should do, he has his own money to spend, so he tends to spend it on food.

Serves: 4

Approximate Calories: 520 (130 calories per serving) 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil (olive oil will do)
  • 2 tbsps of tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 splashes of worcester sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick of celery chopped
  • 2 peppers, chopped (any colour)
  • 1 potato medium, chopped
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 beef tomato, peeled (or 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 2 vegetable stockpot (any will do)
  • Add hot water to (level 2 in the soupmaker the lower one) or 1 litre in the pan

Method

  • Put all ingredients in the soup maker and set to smooth
  • Alternatively put all of the ingredients into the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minute’s or so, then blend when done until smooth.
  • For a thinner soup add more water, for a thicker soup add less water.

Mixed Pepper Soup

Another soup born out of the necessity to not put good food in the compost bin. So with a plethora of sweet peppers of all colours I started making up a recipe that would be overpoweringly peppery.

All you need to know about bell peppers

Going back to the basics about my love of soups I created this soup. Its batched up and ready for the fridge. By the way its a silky, gorgeous, lovely load of wonderment! Even if I do say so myself.

Serves: 4

Approximate Calories: 683 (170 calories per serving) 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (other types of oil will do)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped
  • 3 red peppers chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme

Fry the onions and the peppers in a tablespoon of the oil for about 12 to 15 minutes to soften them (like we did with the Soffritto Soup).

Then add to the soupmaker:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (other types of oil will do)
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 potato chopped
  • 2 knorr chicken stock pots (Chicken or Vegetable stockpots will do as well)

Then pour in the fried onions and peppers to the soupmaker

  • Add hot water to (level 2 in the soupmaker the higher) or 1.2 litres in the pan

Method:

  • Set the soup maker to smooth.
  • Alternatively put all of the ingredients into a saucepan when ready and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minute’s or so then blend when done until smooth.
  • For a thinner soup add more water for a thicker soup add less water.
  • Optional – add an extra green pepper to taste. Or some chilli for a bit of heat.