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Soup of the Month

A series of simple soup recipes – a new one every month. All the ingredients for the soups will be available in the shop in the month it’s published.

JUNE

ETHIOPIAN SPICED VEGETABLE SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

2tbsp olive oil
25g butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
Salt and black pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1½ tbsp Ethiopian berbere spice blend – we use Steenbergs
200g split red lentils, rinsed
1 x 400g tinned plum tomatoes
250-300g potatoes, peeled and diced
200g baby spinach leaves

To serve: Greek yogurt and lemon wedges

METHOD:

Warm the oil and butter in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat, add the onion, and season with 3 good pinches of salt. Cook for 10 mins or until the onion softens, then stir in the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the berbere and cook for a minute before adding the lentils, tomatoes, potatoes and a litre of water. Season well, then bring to the boil and cook at a rapid simmer for 20-30minutes, until the lentils are very soft and the potato tender.

Stir in the spinach and cook for about a minute until wilted. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.

Serve with Greek yogurt and a wedge of lemon.

MAY

WATERCRESS

With chickpeas for extra body.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced
Salt and black pepper
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1litre vegetable stock
3 bunches watercress (roughly 350gms)
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1½ tsp garam masala
3tbsp plain yogurt – plus extra to serve

METHOD:
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the watercress for 2 minutes, until the tougher stalks are just tender. Drain and plunge into iced water. Leave for a minute and then gently squeeze out the excess water and roughly chop.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 10 mins until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook gently for another 2 minutes.

Add the stock and chickpeas. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Blitz with a hand blender or food processor until smooth.* Stir in the garam masala and add the chopped watercress. Blitz briefly again until the watercress is finely chopped. Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper if required. Stir in the yogurt just before serving.

Serving suggestion:
Top each bowl with a spoonful more natural yogurt.

*Watercress is usually available April to October. In the summer months you could serve this chilled by chilling down the chickpea mixture before adding the watercress.

APRIL

ZINGY VEGETABLE & LENTIL

Simple, healthy, tasty and filling.

INGREDIENTS:
25g butter (or coconut oil for vegan version)
1tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
1 large parsnip, diced
1-1½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
100g red lentils
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1litre vegetable stock
1tbsp lemon juice

METHOD:
Heat the butter/oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 mins or until soft then add the carrot, parsnip and celery and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or so. Stir in the curry powder for another minute.

Add the stock and lentils. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Blitz with a hand blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and chutney if used. Check the seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serving suggestion:
Top each bowl with a spoonful of natural yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle with chopped coriander.

MARCH

MINESTRONE

Our take on the classic Italian country vegetable soup.

INGREDIENTS:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 carrots, diced into 1cm pieces
2 sticks celery, diced into 1cm pieces
200g winter greens – discard stalks (e.g. cavolo nero/savoy cabbage) or other veg of your choice
1 medium sized potato, peeled and diced into 2cm pieces
1.5 litres chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
400g tin cannellini or borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
Bay leaf
Good pinch of thyme (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Grated parmesan (or hard cheese substitute) to serve

METHOD:
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Soften over a medium to low heat until soft and lightly coloured – 15 minutes or so. Add the potato, garlic, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the beans. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the potato is tender.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the greens for two minutes then drain and refresh them in cold water. Squeeze dry and then chop coarsely.

When the potato is tender stir in the greens. Return to simmer and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Serve with a good drizzle of olive oil and some grated parmesan.

FEBRUARY

COLCANNON

Simple to make, tasty, filling and wholesome – just add some fresh, crusty bread for a simple lunch or supper.

INGREDIENTS:
30g butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
250g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1litre chicken stock
1 bouquet garni
1 bag of curly kale or head of cabbage, de-stalked and shredded
250ml double cream, plus extra to drizzle if wanted
Salt and pepper

METHOD:
Heat the butter in a large pan, add the onion, garlic and potato and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the stock and bouquet garni. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the kale or cabbage and bring back to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Take out the bouquet garni and then blitz the soup with a blender (hand or table top).  Put back on the heat, add the cream and check the seasoning.

Serve piping hot with a drizzle of extra cream if desired.