Category Archives: Soups

Chickpeas and chard stew

I want to share one fact that I learned today, did you ever think about how chickpeas grow? This is one of the beans that I love the most… So good, so fleshy…  I definitively love them, however I never stopped to think about how they grow in a plant or how are they collected. So basically, the plant is pretty small (like the strawberry one), and the chickpeas grow one by one, each in a different pod. Somehow I have always imagined that the chickpeas were as fava beans, peas, or other beans, several seeds growing in the same pod. I believe that it would take a long time to harvest them in the old times. Nowadays, they are harvested with machines and let to dry for a long time. Later, the pod is removed and the chickpeas are packaged. This is a very short summary of what we read, so if you are more curious, check for more information and let us know other facts that you find in your search.

Today’s recipe is one of the traditional ways to cook chickpeas in Spain. It is known as chickpeas with sauce, literal translation for “Cigrons en salsa”.

Ingredients:

  • 250g of chickpeas
  • 200g of chard or spinach
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 4 garlic gloves
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika powder
  • salt to taste
  • optional: some bread and some potatoes

Procedure:

After keeping the chickpeas in water overnight, put them with the chopped chard or spinach in a pressure cooker with some water. If you never used a pressure cooker, check some instructions on-line to add the right amount of water. Later, in a frying pan with some olive oil add the almonds and the garlic and fry them until golden. Mash them in tiny pieces and add them to the pressure cooker. In the same pan, add the smoked paprika and the tomatoes and cook them for 4 min, and then add them to the rest of ingredients. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 25min. Some people add potato cubes or some bread crumbs to thicken the sauce.

Look at the huge size of the chick peas, they are about the size of my thumbnail. They are so fleshy and the texture is so great,  yummy …, usually I buy them in Spain because I never found this variety around The Netherlands.

Orange & carrot soup

Orange & carrot soup:

Ingredients:

  • 400g carrots
  • 1 onion
  • juice from 1 orange
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt

Procedure:

Start by frying the onion in a low fire until it caramelizes. Add water to a boiling pan and add the carrot grated previously and the onion. Leave it boiling for 15min and then add the orange juice with the salt and nutmeg (as you like) and leave it boiling 5min more. Blend it until you get a nice cream/soup, if you like the pieces of carrot blend it less. Add a bit of vegan-cream and some coriander as the soup is presented in the above photo.

With the soup it is always yummy to eat a nice bread to dip into it. A good idea is to bake a nice carrot scones (salty) to end the day full of vitamin A.

Carrot bread:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 grated carrots
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup of water

Procedure:

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl including the carrot and mix it well. Then add the water and until a nice dough comes out, perhaps you have to add more water. Then leave it for 30min in big piece. Later, mash the dough in a shit shape and with a glass make the little balls. Leave them rest for 25min. Then bake them for 20min at 180ºC.

Pia’s soup

Here goes Pia’s soup. It is one of the most common soups in P&P house and I tried several times in there. So always I have been curious to see whether I could do it as she does. I had the opinion of Matthijs and seeing that he got more soup several times, I believe that the soup was good.

(In the serving suggestion, there are crumb breads and some leaves of basil)

Ingredients:

- 3 potatoes (not really big)

- 1 onion

- 2 courgettes

- 1 cucumber

- oil, salt, pepper, oregano and  dill

Procedure:

This is an easy soup to make. Place water in a large boiling pan and cover it until boils. Later add all the vegetables cut in small pieces and cook them for 20-25 min or until the potatoes are done. Now, use a blender or a food mill (this is the traditional way and as P&P did most of the times) and mash all vegetables. Let it cook a bit more and add the oil, salt, pepper, oregano and dill  to taste. (Adding dill is my own innovation since Matthijs even did not know about the spice).

I like the cucumber in the soup, it gives a fresh raw taste.

Caldo verde

I will spend my summer in a lovely city: Lisbon. As most of you know already, Portugal is known as the soup country for their hundreds and hundreds of different soup recipes. Caldo verde is one of them and actually really simple and tasty. One of the key ingredients is collard, if it is hard to find in your grocery store I am sure that with kale (nl: boerenkool) it also tastes fine.

Ingredients:

- 6 potatoes

- 3 onions

- 4 cloves of garlic

- collard leaves thinly chopped

- olive oil and salt to taste

Procedure:

First bring water to boil and add the onion and potatoes without any salt or oil (I read some recipes and that is how the grandma in Portugal does it). When that is done, sprinkle salt, oil and add the cloves of garlic and blend it until it is smooth. Later, add the collard and boil it with the mix for around 6-8 min.  And your soup is ready to eat!

It is really simple soup but believe me, the raw garlic with the potatoes and the collard is an amazing combination.