(apologies for the title, I couldn't resist!)
About this time of the year, I really start looking forward to the end of March and the arrival of Spring. This means that the next 3-4 weeks are the worst part of winter, because I'm definitely ready for it to be over. This bright trio of soups will help ease us all through the last few days of winter and enjoy the last of winter foods before we crack out the salads and the BBQ (I may be getting ahead of myself here...).
I'm also trying to get better at taking lunch to work with me (sooo hard with an excellent food market on the same street as the office), so I spent a very nice Sunday afternoon whipping up these chaps and listening to showtunes on my record player (I may be an old woman, yes).
Broccoli and stilton soup
You will need:
1 medium head of broccoli, chopped1 medium leek, chopped1 clove of garlic1 bay leaf300g stilton cheese, crumbledveggie stock cubesalt and pepper10g butter
1. Heat a medium saucepan over a medium flame, add the butter. Once melted, add the leek and the garlic and leave to sweat for 5-7 minutes, until soft
2. Add the broccoli and leave to sweat for another 3-5 minutes.
3. Cover with boiling water and add the stock cube. Leave to cook until the broccoli is tender (this should take about 10 minutes)
4. Take off the heat, add the stilton cheese and blend. Add salt and pepper to taste (do this after you add the cheese because it's pretty salty)
Cumin and lentil soup
You will need:
2 tbsp cumin seeds1 medium onion, chopped1 garlic clove1 chilli, chopped1 tsp cayenne pepper150g red lentils400g tin of chopped tomatoes400g tin of chickpeasveggie stock cubesalt and pepper
1. Gently toast the cumin seeds over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until you start to smell it!
2. Add some vegetable oil to the pan, and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Fry until soft- this will take about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cayenne pepper, the lentils and the tomatoes. Cover in boiling water and add the stock cube. Cook until the lentils are soft- around 15 minutes on a medium heat. Add the salt and pepper
4. Add half of the chickpeas, take off the heat and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the chickpeas to the blended mixture to heat, and serve immediately.
I'm a bit reluctant to label this as 'borscht' since there's so many varieties and so much debate about what it actually is. So let's stick to "beetroot soup"!
You will need:
4 medium sized beetroot peeled and chopped1 medium sized potato, chopped1 medium sized carrot, chopped1 medium sized onion1 tbsp white wine vinegarVeggie stockSalt and pepper
creme fraiche (or plain yoghurt) and gherkins
1. Add a small amount of oil to a pan. Gently fry the onions until soft and then add the beetroot, potato and carrot.
2. Cover with boiling water, add the stock cube and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft
3. Add the white wine vinegar (or a splash of vinegar from a gherkin jar)
4. Add salt and pepper
5. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth.
My favourite out of these three is the lentil and cumin chap. What are your favourite winter foods?