Nutribullet gazpacho

I think I am fairly late to the Nutribullet party. I bought one this summer, long after people started telling me how good they are. I’ve been happy with my juicer and blender, so I wasn’t sure I needed one.

Fool me. This thing is awesome. It’s both nifty and neat. Nifty, with patented powerful blades that make light work of hard vegetables and nuts. Neat, due to its ergonomic design. Thankfully you don’t need to consider a kitchen extension to accommodate all the gear that comes with it.

I can’t step away. I’ve been trying out new recipes every day, including fruit and yoghurt based breakfasts to leafy green lunch drinks.

This golden gazpacho is a complete doddle and absolutely perfect if you’re after a light and healthy summer lunch.

Gazpacho_3

For 2/3 servings you will need:

  • 500g tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 1/2 a white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 small sweet peppers, chopped (I used a mixture of colours
  • 1/3 of a large chunk cucumber, sliced
  • Sea salt and white pepper
  • 100 ml water

Simply:

  1. Place all the ingredients (excluding water) in a baking tin and roast for 30 mins on a moderate heat. This just ensures you to get the best flavours, especially from the tomatoes.
  2. Once cool, add the ingredients to the Nutribullet along with the water. Whizz up for a few seconds until the soup is smooth.
  3. Allow to settle in the fridge overnight, or at least for a few hours. This is important to ensure the flavours develop.
  4. Serve by adding whatever toppings you prefer. It’s traditional to add cucumber, peppers or tomato. But the toppings vary in different parts of Spain.

Make the soup your own, by tweaking the ingredients to your own tastebuds. Just make sure that the vegetables are in good condition and taste good before you begin. With so few additional ingredients, this one really does need robust flavours from fresh vegetables.

Delicious and very virtuous.

Enjoy x

Curried squash and roasted chickpea soup

I appreciate it’s a verbose title, but “Curried Soup” didn’t do it justice. I can’t even begin to tell you how good this smells, let alone tastes. Each stage of the process creates a new fragrant layer and the end bowl smells truly sensational. It is a gloriously golden and extremely inviting bowl of soup.

Curried soup_5

For the soup I used:

  • 1 x white onion
  • 3 x garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons curry powder (mine was a hot powder and I used a generous teaspoon, for medium powder use 2)
  • 250g carrot
  • 700g butternut squash
  • 700 – 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 3 teaspoons oil
  • Seasoning

For the chickpeas I used:

  • 250g chickpeas
  • 4 – 5 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoons oil
  • Seasoning

The process is simple:

  1. Chop the vegetables and fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes till covered in the oil.
  2. Add the spices and dry fry them for 3 minutes before adding the vegetables and stock (just enough stock to cover – no more or it will be too thin).
  3. Cover and simmer for around 20 – 25 minutes till the vegetables are soft enough to blitz.
  4. Whilst cooking, pop the chickpeas, cumin and oil into a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until they brown slightly (I had the fan oven on 150 degrees Celsius).
  5. Blitz the soup and top your bowl with the crispy cumin and chickpea mix.

This makes around 1500 ml, giving 5 servings each with approximately 175 calories per serving.

The chickpeas pre and post cooking (yes minus a few I tasted along the way):

Curried soup_1    Curried soup_3

Check your spices

Have a quick check on your spice dates and/or how long they’ve roughly been open. Just because they have long dates, spices still fade and deteriorate once opened. There are also differing intensities to spices depending on where sourced. I have a spice tray that we bought from a lady called Prett Tejura. I sent Alex on an indian cookery course last year as a Christmas present. He came back armed with a tummy filled with curry, loads of new tips and techniques, a cookery book and an amazing spice pot. They are the best spices we’ve ever had.

Curried soup_2

Choosing an oil

One tip when cooking Indian food is be careful on the oil you pick. Don’t automatically pick up the olive oil. Olive oil is derived from olives – not at all relevant to Indian cuisine. Try safflower oil, sunflower oil or failing that vegetable oil.

Final word on the squash that keeps on giving

I used up the last of the giant butternut squash from the weekend for this soup. Further to the original salad, it made an appearance in a sticky salmon bake, some chicken stock and today’s fragrant soup.

Salmon - sticky stock

This soup is such a must to try, it is simply divine.

Enjoy.

Big red pepper and tomato soup

Pimiento rojo grande!

I picked up some fabulous peppers yesterday. I’ve made a gorgeous soup, BIG ingredients and BIG on flavour. It’s both incredibly tangy and deliciously sweet.

This soup really does live or die on the ingredients. I think tomato soup in particular is pretty disappointing with watery, flavourless tomatoes.

Red pepper 6

To make the soup I used:

  • 3 large red peppers
  • 3 large beef tomatoes
  • Lots of fresh rosemary – as much as you like, I used about 2 very large sprigs
  • Lots of fresh basil – I used about 10 large leaves
  • A splash of balsamic
  • A splash of olive oil (up to a tablespoon)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Small white onion
  • Seasoning
  • A little stock – volume depends on how much liquid your vegetables creates and how thick you like the soup, I added around 200 ml.

Red pepper soup_3

To make:

  1. Place the peppers on an oven tray and pop into the oven as they are, at around 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Also put in a separate tray of sliced tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic, some seasoning and lots of fresh herbs.
  3. Remove from the oven after about 20 / 25 minutes when the peppers are starting to char a little.
  4. While cooling fry up the onion and chopped garlic in a splash (maybe 3 teaspoons of olive oil).
  5. Then remove the pepper skins and seeds. The skin should just slide off.
  6. Add all the flesh, the tomatoes and any juices into your onions and garlic, add a little stock to cover the vegetables and keep on the heat (with a lid) for around 20 minutes until everything is soft (and smelling by this point delicious).
  7. Then simply blitz up, taste and season as you like.
  8. I serve mine with a ruck load more chopped herbs on top and very very hot.

Red pepper 3

This makes around a litre. I pour around 300 ml servings (each with around 100 calories) into jars, so that I can just pull out one at a time when I want to eat. If you don’t want to eat them all in the same week, just pop a jar or two in the freezer.

Red pepper soup

It’s incredibly good for you and seriously makes you want to lick the bowl.

Enjoy

Souper Greens

Soup glorious soup!

The beauty of soup is that you can use what you have. This soup was originally going to be a pea and mint one, but I ended up getting some gargantuan courgettes from the Spanish supermarket and needed to blitz them into something good.

Soupergreens1a Soupergreens3

To create 3/4 servings, you will need:

  • 150 g onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (we are garlic monsters and always add plenty)
  • 300g chopped courgette
  • 500g frozen peas
  • About 15 mint leaves
  • 400ml – 500ml vegetable stock (add around 300ml then add more at the end if you like a thick soup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Simply soften the onions and garlic in the oil, then add the other vegetables and stock.
  2. Simmer for a good 15/20 minutes with the pan lid on until all the ingredients are soft.
  3. Blitz up with the handheld or food processor
  4. Season as you like it and enjoy really hot
  5. This one is great with some shaved parmesan and ripped mint leaves on top

A 300ml portion contains approximately 125 calories (before any parmesan or extras)