Summer is properly over. These last two days have been freezing (by Sydney standards). Today I wore a jumper and a scarf – all day – even inside the office! What a happy coincidence that this week we’re doing soups.
The first one we had last night, and Ash summed it up in one word, “restorative”. It’s a deep red, richly flavoured, chunky soup, and it had us each going back for seconds.
Then tonight – this was my favourite. Again seconds-worthy, a delicately spiced, fragrant and creamy soup of bright vegetables. With a little chilli-cayenne kick to help raise the body temperature.
Both were worth recording, and so instead of filing one away for later posts, I’ve decided to give you both recipes in tonight’s post. It just seems to suit the weather and my current soup craze. I do promise that on the weekend I’ll post something non-soup for you. And if you’re as much of a soup fiend as I am, let me know what your favourite soups are – I’m always in the market for new ideas!
Each recipe seems to have a long ingredient list, but if you’ve got a well-stocked spice shelf and some standard bits and pieces in your fridge (e.g. olives, sundried tomatoes), you’ll find that neither require too much grocery shopping. If you read my last post, you’ll know that we haven’t even done the grocery shopping this week. That’s why there’s no onion in either soup.
Spiced carrot soup (serves 2)
The spice mix in this soup came from one of our favourite cookbooks, Vegan Soul Kitchen. I’ve mentioned it before, and we actually bought the book because Ash made a recipe from it (Jamaican Veggie Patties) which was amazing. This soup is essentially a take on the filling for those patties. If you’re in the market for interesting delicious food, this cookbook has it. “Fresh, healthy and creative African-American cuisine” as it accurately describes itself on the front cover.
- 3 cups vegetable stock (I’m still enamoured with this paste)
- 2 small potatoes (170g), peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots (260g), peeled and chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes or minced chilli (perhaps 1-2 fresh chillis)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
- 1/2 cup frozen baby peas
- 1/2 cup tinned corn kernels
- Salt to taste (celery salt is even better)
- Place the stock, potatoes, carrots, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Lower heat, add the spices, garlic and thyme, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick (if using) and blend until smooth.
- Return blended soup to saucepan. Stir in the peas and corn and simmer over medium heat until the peas have defrosted.
- Taste and salt just enough to lift the flavours, without actually tasting ‘salty’. Otherwise serve with celery salt on the side.
Hearty Italian soup (serves 2)
This one would go well with garlic bread. Actually what doesn’t go well with garlic bread? Anyway, we’re not big bread eaters so that’s why you might notice bread rarely features here. But if you’re into your bread, serve up slices of sourdough with the soup, toasted, brushed with olive oil and rubbed with a cut garlic clove.
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 3 cups beef-flavoured stock
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped and smashed
- 1/2 tsp minced chilli (our tree is not bearing much more until next season – sad face)
- 8 pitted kalamata olives, chopped finely
- 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped finely
- 1 cup cooked mung beans
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp each of dried sage, thyme and oregano
- 2 cubes (~60g) frozen spinach
- 1 tsp dried basil (fresh herbs would be great, but as with the chilli tree, I’m giving the herbies a little recuperation time)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Heat wine in a saucepan until simmering, add the carrot and celery, turn the heat down and cover. Stir occasionally for a few minutes.
- When the wine is pretty much evaporated, add the stock, garlic, chilli, olives, tomatoes and mung beans and bring to the boil.
- Lower heat, add the tomato paste, herbs and spinach, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Taste and season with soy sauce.