Welcome to all about food. Happy New Year! A New Year means resolution for many and this is a perfect way to kick-start things if an improvement in your diet is part of the plan….or indeed if it’s not!
It’s that time of year again where I find myself guilty after the over indulgence of Christmas and my clothes are a little tight! Do you have any recipes for some nutritious, preferably meat-free meals?
I think we are all feeling a little more conscious about our diet at this time of year but the cold wintery nights make this a little more challenging. One of the simplest, tastiest options is homemade soup. I’m not a big fan of plain soups and I am certainly not a fan of adding cream, flour or milk – something I wish more chefs would take note of. I am however a big fan of the endless ingredients now readily available - lots of fresh herbs, spices, beans and pulses – a wander through some of the ethnic food shops dotted around will provide lots of inspiration.
Moroccan ‘beany’ soup
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
600ml of vegetable stock
400g can of chopped tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
100g frozen broad beans
The zest and juice ½ lemon
A large handful coriander
4 teaspoons of harissa paste
Flatbread, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then fry the onion, garlic and celery gently for ten minutes until softened, stirring frequently. Add the cumin and fry for another minute
Turn up the heat, add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas and lots of freshly ground black pepper . Simmer for ten to fifteen minutes. Add in the broad beans and lemon juice and cook for a further few minutes. Season to taste, top with a sprinkling of lemon zest and chopped coriander. Ladle into each bowl, adding a generous spoon of Greek yoghurt (low fat is fine) and a teaspoon of harissa paste. Serve with warmed flatbread.
Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.
Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.
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