Tag Archives: Soup

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
image: alittlethoughtforfood.com

This creamy, hearty yet healthy soup, tantalised the tastebuds of my colleagues when I bought a batch to work for my lunch. at around 200 kcals per portion (without an added dash of cream) it makes a tasty and filling lunch.

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 kg Butternut Squash, peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2.5 cm root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onion, ginger and chilli. Cook on a low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the Butternut squash , ground spices, cumin seeds and garlic  and cook for a further 5 minutes until the aromas are released.
  4. Turn up the heat, then add the stock plus a good grind of black pepper and bring to the boil.
  5. Turn down to a simmer and allow to bubble slowly for 30 to 35 mins or until the squash is cooked (press against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon, it should be soft).
  6. Blend to a fine consistency with a stick blender, you might need to add some more hot water if the soup is too thick.
  7. Season to taste, then top with a swirl of single or soured cream (optional).

Serve with a hunk of home made bread like my Irish Soda Bread and enjoy…

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Advertisements

North African Style Chickpea Soup

North African Chickpea Soup
North African Chickpea Soup with Sundried Tomato and Olive Bread
image: A Little Thought for Food

Carrying on with the health kick I made a soup that definitely hits the mark on all counts, a tasty filling and healthy soup that weighs in at a lowly 150kcal (approx) per portion! Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

It’s worth taking the time to skin the baby broad beans, as the soup looks and tastes nicer without the white sheaf that surrounds each green bean

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Harissa
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 400g can chopped plum tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 100g frozen baby broad beans, skinned
  • zest and juice ½ lemon

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onion, celery and the carrot. Cook on a low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the cumin,  garlic, harissa and tomato puree and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes until the aromas are released.
  4. Turn up the heat, then add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas, plus a good grind of black pepper.
  5. Simmer for 8 mins.
  6. Then throw in the broad beans and add the lemon juice,
  7. Cook for a further 2 mins.
  8. Season to taste, then top with a sprinkling of lemon zest.

Serve with a hunk of home made bread like my Sun dried Tomato and Olive or Roasted Fennel and Olive and enjoy…

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Bacon and Lentil Soup

Lentil Bacon Soup with Roasted Fennel & Olive Bread
Lentil Bacon Soup with Roasted Fennel & Olive Bread
image: A Little Thought For Food

As January passes into  February and the weather stays we and wild down in the south east of England, my soon to be wife (Kim) and I started a bit of a health kick.  We both trying to eat less fat, more pulses and vegetables,  and soup seems the obvious choice for lunch, homemade of course! I quick check through the cupboards  and fridge, last weekend, led me to this recipe. It’s worth finely dicing the vegetables in this recipe as it gives the finished soup a better finished result.

A quick calculation of the caloric values of the ingredients suggests that it should be around 500kcals per portion

Serves 4 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 x 70g packs pancetta
  • 1 medium carrot (about 120g), finely diced
  • 1 stick of celery, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, sliced
  • 1.25 litres of fresh Chicken or Vegetable stock or 2 good  gluten free stock cubes in 1.25 litres of boiling water
  • 250g red lentils, rinsed

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add 1 pack of pancetta and cook until the fat starts to run,
  2. Add the onion, celery and the carrot. Cook on a low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the cumin, turmeric, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes until the aromas are released.
  4. Pour in the stock and add the lentils.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 mins, stirring occasionally to ensure the lentils aren’t sticking.
  6. Meanwhile, fry the remaining pack of pancetta in a small frying pan for about 10 minutes until golden and crispy. You don’t need to add any oil as plenty will run from the pancetta.
  7. Sprinkle of crispy lardons on top of the soup after serving.

Sit back and enjoy with a few slices of fresh crusty Roasted Fennel and Olive Bread or Irish Soda Bread

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Pea and Ham Soup

Pea & Ham SoupImage: bbc.co.uk/food
Pea & Ham Soup
Image: bbc.co.uk/food

This is one of those soups that bring memories of childhood in the cold British winter streaming back. It’s one of those warming comfort foods that my Mum used to cook to drive the cold from my little brother’s and my bones after playing outside. This Pea and ham soup is a really satisfying dinner, ready in 15 minutes, using simple ingredients you probably already have in the cupboard.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or butter if you prefer
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato (about 250g), peeled, cut into small cubes
  • 300g frozen petits pois or garden peas
  • 400ml chicken stock (use a gluten free option for a gluten free recipe)
  • 200ml semi-skimmed or whole milk
  • 100g thick cut, good quality ham (Smoked ham adds to the flavour)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 2 – 4 – Gluten Free*

Method

  1. Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan on low or medium heat, then add the onion and potato.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, then stir to coat the vegetables in the oil.
  3. Take a piece of baking paper large enough to cover the top of the pan, scrunch it up, wet it then unfold it. Lay the paper over the surface of the vegetables, sealing them in right to the edges of the pan (this helps cook the vegetables more quickly).
  4. Put a lid on the pan, cook on a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Remove the paper and add the peas and stock to the pan, then bring to the boil.
  6. Cook for a couple of minutes until all of the peas have floated to the top of the stock and are tender and bright.
  7. Take the pan off the heat. Using an immersion blender, process the peas until very smooth.
  8. Add the milk (or, if preferred, use more stock, water or cream).
  9. Tear in most of the ham.
  10. Bring the soup back to a simmer, then season to taste with salt and pepper, remembering that the ham is fairly salty.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls then scatter with the rest of the ham.

*Gluten Free – Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Panchetta

Pumpkin and Panchetta Soup
Pumpkin and Panchetta Soup

This is a gloriously golden and rich soup, Just the ticket for today, which has been a grey, wet and windy Sunday in November.

Serves 4 and it’s Gluten Free too!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (about 3 leaves)
  • 200g thin pancetta slices, roughly chopped
  • 2  medium Butternut Squash ( should be 1 to 1.5 kg), peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of Sherry
  • 1/8 th teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 litre of Chicken Stock (Use Gluten Free Stock for a Gluten Free soup)
  • 150 ml Double Cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Method

  1. Heat a the butter and olive oil in a large pan and lightly sauté the onion, garlic and sageuntil softened.
  2. Add the diced Butternut Squaash and saute for a further 5 mins.
  3. Add the sherry and sizzle for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol.
  4. Pour in the stock and Cayenne and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes until the the Butternet squash is tender.
  6. Fry the panchetta until it’s crispy and pop on a piece of kitchen towel to drain off the fat.
  7. Biltz the soup until it’s smooth, I used my hand blender, you can use a food processor but I’d let it cool a bit first.
  8. Stir in the cream and check for seasoning
  9. Serve the soup in bowls, sprinkle over some crispy panchetta and eat…

Eat with crusty bread (like my Irish Soda Bread), it’s perfect comfort food for a blustery day.

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

This is a classic Italian soup, full of many different textures and vegetables. But it’s also a little bit more than a soup – it’s almost a main course that you can eat with crusty bread for lunch. The idea behind most soups is to cook them as quickly as possible to keep all the freshness in. This dish is a prime example of needing to cook all the ingredients gently first in the oil and then adding the stock while it’s boiling. This way you’re not stewing it for hours and losing all the goodness out of the vegetables. The thickener of this soup, although it’s got tomato purée and all the vegetables in there, is the starch from the pasta, so don’t panic if the soup looks a bit thin at first.

Serves 4 and it’s Gluten Free too!

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 250g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small swede, peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 medium leek, trimmed and chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100g spaghetti (use you favourite Gluten Free spaghetti, for a gluten free version of this recipe. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly dependant on the time your particular brand takes to cook)
  • ½ a Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 400g Tin of White Beans in Water (ie Cannellinni or Flagolet)
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Pesto

Method

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and lightly sauté the onion, garlic and rosemary until softened.
  2. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook without colouring for 3-4 minutes until the fat begins to come out.
  3. Add the carrot, swede, celery and leek and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Season the vegetables while they’re cooking in the pan.
  4. Add the tomato purée, stir, and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  5. Add the hot stock. Turn down to a simmer and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Put the spaghetti into a clean tea-towel and roll it up so you’ve got a sausage shape. Hold both ends tightly, then tap it over the edge of a table or work top so the spaghetti breaks into small even pieces.
  7. Add to the soup and simmer until the spaghetti is tender – it should take about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, Beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes more.
  8. Check the seasoning, then serve the soup in bowls and eat…

To get that authentic Italian feel, top with a teaspoonful of pesto. Eat with crusty bread (like my Cheese Soda Bread), it’s perfect comfort food for a blustery day.