Spicy red pepper soup

red pepper soupINGREDIENTS:
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large red peppers, roughly chopped
1 large red pepper, finely shopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
chilli powder
spicy paprika
salt and pepper
vegetable stock
1 carton Greek yoghurt

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan or pressure cooker and soften the onion. Add the roughly chopped red pepper and fry for another 5 minutes or so.

Sprinkle over the chilli powder and the paprika and stir will.

Pour over the tomatoes and fry for another 5 minutes or so before adding the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper.

If using a pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. If using a normal saucepan, simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and blend the soup. Add the finely chopped red pepper and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Stir in the Greek yoghurt.

Sopa de Ajo – Spanish Garlic Soup

spanish garlic soup

Spanish garlic soup

Seeing as garlic soup is one of our all-time favourites and we are always happy when it’s included on the “menú del día”, I thought it was about time I learnt to cook it myself – especially as we’ve grown so much garlic this year and the chickens are still laying plenty of eggs.

I tried this recipe the other day and it came out well so am cooking it again tonight. Here is the recipe for 2 for a main meal or 4 for a starter. If there are four of you, I would probably double up on the bread and the ham. Some recipes use a ham bone instead of the diced ham but this is a quick alternative and can be rustled up in no time at all.

sopa5

INGREDIENTS:
8 cloves of garlic (or as many as you like), finely sliced
4 slices of French loaf
olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon spicy paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
25g chopped Serrano ham
salt
pepper
1.2 litres chicken stock
2-4 eggs

sopa3Heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a baking tray with foil. Slice the bread, arrange on the tray and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

sopa4Leave to cool for a while and then cut into cubes.

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and gently sauté the garlic until soft but not coloured. Add the ham and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the paprika and chilli powder and stir well before adding the fried bread.

sopa2Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down to a low simmer and crack the eggs into the soup. Cover the pan and leave the eggs to poach for 2-3 minutes and then serve.

Chicken Soup: Sopa de Pollo

chicken soup

Chicken Soup

We needed to kill a couple of the male, incubated chickens and so we decided to make a soup with the giblets (heart, lung, kidneys), necks, chicken bones, gizzard, feet, etc.

We boiled the chicken bits and one of our pork bones in plenty of water and with some salt.

The stock was simmered for about 45 minutes and then left until we needed it in the evening.

In the evening, we reheated it, adding fine pasta. I added the finely chopped yolks of 4 hard-boiled eggs. Shortly before serving, I added the chopped white and made some croutons.

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.