Category Archives: Soup

Spinach and Lentil Soup

Spinach and lentil soup (served with cheese muffins from The Pioneer Woman website)

1 medium grated onion
3 minced cloves garlic
1 tbsp oil
1 medium grated carrot
200g grated butternut squash
200g orange lentils
Sea salt to taste
Sprinkle of Pepper
1 teaspoon ground cummin
Pinch of chilli powder (optional)
1 bunch of fresh spinach washed and chopped
1.5 litres water or bone stock

Saute the onion and garlic until soft and then add the grated carrot and squash. (I use the cheese grater with box for this). Stir fry for a few minutes and then add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to the boil and then simmer until the lentils are soft. Top up the water level to desired thickness. You can make this quicker in the pressure cooker.

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Lentil soup

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp fresh, chopped coriander
  • 100g orange lentil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 1.5 litres water

Saut the onion until soft and then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to boil then simmer for about 45 minutes.

I like to blend the soup quickly for a smoother consistency.

Ramadan Day 4

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Felt rather tired today but personally I find keeping busy in the kitchen helps the time to pass quicker so I am happy to stay there making a few things.

Today there was Algerian shorba again, vegetarian as it was last time but this time with tiny Orzo pasta (or Tli-tli as the Algerians call it) instead of burghul or vermicelli. There were some leftovers as well as mini pizzas that came out soft as little pillows, vegetable samosas as I made a double batch yesterday and cheese and potato Borek. A tip for the potato borek that I picked up from my dear sister-in-law is to use instant potato! Yes… the powdered stuff in boxes – remember the adverts for Smash in the 1970’s or early 1980’s??! “For mash get Smash!” So, I used about 120g of Tesco instant potato and about 550ml of boiling water, stirred well with a wooden spoon and then added a knob of butter and about 150g grated cheddar. I used this to fill the spring roll pastry and folded into logs. I slightly over-cooked them as you can see in the photo. 🙄

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Dessert was Eve’s pudding but made with strawberries and raspberries instead of apples – this was served with rich chocolate ganache. It didn’t turn out quite as planned because I took a shortcut and used a supermarket cake packet mixture which was a bit too runny for this recipe. It was very tasty though with the tart, tanginess of the raspberries and the soft, sweetness of the cake. I didn’t think it really needed the rich chocolate sauce but my 15 yr old and 13 yr old daughters disagreed. Nice to have pleased someone!

Ramadan – Day 1

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Day 1 of Ramadan went smoothly alhamdu Lillah and I had minimal cooking to do since I had prepared nearly everything the night before. My 13, 10 and 7 year old children were fasting so I had to make something they would enjoy breaking their fast on on and I also kept it simple. Nothing greasy that would upset tummies on the very first day!

I made Algerian Shorba but I didn’t use any meat and instead of burghul (cracked wheat) I used a handful of broken vermicelli.

For main course I marinaded some chicken drumsticks in Nando’s garlic Peri-Peri sauce overnight and then grilled them for about 40 minutes just before iftar. These were served with shop bought coleslaw and potato salad and potato wedges with their skins left on and rubbed with olive oil, minced garlic, Italian seasoning and sea salt – they were baked in the oven on 190C for about 45 minutes.

All I managed to prepare for dessert was orange Jello! Hopefully, I will make some better desserts as the month progresses!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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Blended soups are so easy to make and so versatile. They hardly need a recipe as they are very forgiving – if too thick, just add more water, if too runny you can thicken up with a little cornflour and water. Butternut squash makes a great soup but if you roast the squash first, this adds another flavour dimension. I like to add a handful of quick cooking oats to my soups as I feel that they make the texture of the soup smoother and creamier once blended.

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash
1 chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 small potato thinly sliced
1/4 cup quick oats
1 tsp vegetable stock powder (I like Marigold Swiss Bouillon as it is all natural, no msg)
salt and pepper
1 litre water

Directions

  • Slice the squash in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven on 350F/180C/gas4 until the flesh starts to soften.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool a little.
  • Saute the onion in a tbsp of olive until translucent, add the garlic and stir well.
  • Scoop the flesh from the butternut squash from the skin and add to the pot along with all the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat simmer, cover and cook for 1/2 hour.
  • Using a handheld blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add more water if necessary.
  • Serve with a swirl of cream if desired and on the side, have some crusty bread ready.
  • Rustic Fish Soup

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    Fish soup

    I wanted to create something a little more rustic than the typical bouillabaisse so I looked to North African recipes for some inspiration for this soup or shorba as it is known in North Africa. This quick and simple soup is a modification of various fish soups I found in my recipe books.

    Click here for printable recipe

    Ingredients:

    1 grated onion

     2 cloves garlic finely grated

    1  white fish steak (i.e. cod/haddock… I used a local Saudi fish called Sha’our)

    150g raw, peeled shrimps

    1 squid sliced into rings

    1 tin  tomatoes, blended

    chunk red or yellow pepper, diced

    large pinch saffron

    1/4 teaspoon cummin

    1/4 teaspoon coriander

    1/4 teaspoon paprika

    1 tablespoon chopped parsley

    chilli to taste

    1 litre boiling water

    Finely chopped parsley to garnish

    Method:

    • Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes.
    • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, bring to boil and then cover and simmer until the fish is cooked.

    soup ingreds

    • Remove fish and break it up into smaller pieces and return to pan. Add more water if necessary.
    • Add some finely chopped parsley if desired and serve with crusty bread.

    Adass – Algerian Lentils

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    ‘Adass is a delicious, warming and very hearty Algerian lentil stew perfect for the winter months. It is tasty and satisfying yet has surprisingly few ingredients and is simple to prepare. Typically eaten with French baguette.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 finely chopped onion
    • 4 medium carrots, halved and chopped
    • 1 stick of celery, chopped
    • 1 turnip chopped into smallish chunks
    • 1 potato cut into 1 inch chunks
    • 2 1/2 cups green lentils
    • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate past
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 litres water
    • 2 tablespoons oil

    Place all ingredients into a pressure cooker, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to medium, screw on the lid and simmer for 1 – 1  1/2 hours but check water level regularly. Take care when stirring not to break up the vegetables.

    The lentils are ready when they are soft but not disintegrating. There should be some liquid remaining, giving the consistency of a very thick soup. Eat with bread and a little harissa if liked.

    If you have leftovers, you’ll find that some of the liquid will be absorbed overnight so be careful not to make the stew too dry.