Pork stew

NOTE: If you are using dried butterbeans, you will have to soak them overnight. You can add any vegetable you have to this stew according to what’s in season (courgettes, carrots, aubergines, etc.).

NOTE: You should only start timing the stew once the pressure cooker has reached pressure.

INGREDIENTS (serves 6):
pork ribs, cut into pieces
4 or 5 medium potatoes: 2 grated, 3 cut into chunks
250g dried butter beans, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic
2 green peppers, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
a pinch of chilli pepper
olive oil
salt and pepper
stock or water

Heat some oil in a large pressure cooker and fry first the onions, then the green peppers and then your other vegetables until soft. Add the tomatoes and fry for another couple of minutes and before adding the pork and potatoes. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

Cover well with water and bring to the boil. You will probably need about 1.2 – 1.5 litres of water/stock. The beans will absorb some of the water so it is important that you have enough liquid in the pan. If you bring the mixture to the boil before putting on the lid, you can see whether you need to any more liquid. Generally speaking, there needs to be about an inch of liquid above the level of the stew.

Cover the pan with the lid, engage the mechanism and bring to pressure.

Once the pan has reached pressure, cook for 30 minutes before turning off the gas.

You can either let it return to normal pressure or run it under the cold tap to lower the pressure quickly.

DO NOT OPEN THE LID UNTIL THERE IS NO LONGER ANY STEAM COMING FROM THE PAN.

Cauliflower and marrow soup

cauliflower soup

Cauliflower Soup

INGREDIENTS (serves 8):
1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets
2 large potatoes, diced
1/2 marrow, diced
1 very large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 stock cubes
3 cups of water
ground pepper
3 bay leaves

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.
Add the mustard, cumin and cayenne pepper and mix well.
Add the potato, marrow and cauliflower, stock and water to cover the vegetables.
Add the bay leaves:
If you are using a pressure cooker, cook the soup for 10 minutes once the pan has been brought up to pressure. If using a normal saucepan, simmer for 30-40 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
Remove the bay leaves and purée the soup until smooth.
Serve with ricotta or grated cheese and bread.

Gazpacho: cold, Andalusian tomato soup

Recipe for gazpacho: cold, Andalusian tomato soup

tomato gazpacho recipe

Tomatos are now ready: let the tomatofest begin

One of the highlights of my year is when we get the first tomatoes and I can start making gazpacho. I first tasted gazpacho on my year abroad in Sevilla. In the oppressive Sevilla heat, gazpacho was a refreshing interlude and we would go to a bar where you could order it by the glass. Bars serve a slightly watered down version in long glasses with ice cubes that you can drink. Restaurants, on the other hand, serve a thicker version in a bowl and served with finely diced garnishes (hard-boiled egg, cucumber, green pepper, onion, tomato, croutons). When I first saw gazpacho being made by a woman in Seville, I was sure she cracked an egg into the mix before blending. Later at another person’s house, she admitted to adding a spoonful of mayonnaise to the mixture.

There are literally hundreds of ways of preparing gazpacho and each person has their own recipe. Here is mine. You can make it as fine or as chunky as you like. If you prefer, you can sieve it after to remove the seeds and skins. If you would like to serve it as a drink, then add more water. I like to add a spoon of mayonnaise as well as I think that this improves the texture and taste but it’s entirely up to you.

The quantities are approximate and really depend on how many people you are preparing it for. The important thing is that the tomatoes must be red and ripe as the flavour really does depend on the ingredients you put in.

For more facts and information about tomatoes check out this page.
There is a thicker cold tomato soup called Salmorejo click here

INGREDIENTS:
1-2kg ripe tomatoes
1 Spanish cucumber (or about 15cm of a long cucumber)
1 large Spanish green pepper or 1/2 Italian green pepper
5 cloves garlic
salt
pepper
2 capfuls of balsamic vinegar
a good slug of olive oil
1 dessertspoon mayonnaise

Blend all the ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Add as much water as you like.

Taste and add more salt, vinegar, garlic, etc. if necessary.

 

 

 

Red pepper and white bean soup

This soup is made in the pressure cooker. It can either be completely vegetarian or you can add a ham bone or some chopped Serrano ham to make a meatier version.

INGREDIENTS:
200g white beans, soaked overnight
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
400g can of tomatoes
vegetable or chicken stock

Fry the onion in olive oil until soft in the pressure cooker. Add the red pepper and fry for another couple of minutes.

Add the beans and tomatoes and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil. Give it a final stir before closing the lid and bringing up to pressure. Cook for 30 minutes once the pan is at pressure.

Courgett and lentil lemony soup

INGREDIENTS:
1 onion, finely chopped
2 handfuls of green lentils
2 handfuls of red lentils
courgettes, roughly chopped
lemon juice
vegetable or chicken stock

Fry the onion in olive oil until soft before adding the courgettes and frying for another couple of minutes.

Add the lentils. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Season with salt and pepper and squeeze in the lemon juice.