Chipotle & Chickpea Soup

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After spending the last couple of weeks eating like there’s no tomorrow I woke up the first day of the new year thinking that I have to put an end to all the overindulgence. To revel in homemade Christmas treats is fine over the holiday but there’s an end to everything and I have finally started craving for things less sweet.

This soup was simply thrown together by some things that I was able to find in the pantry and the refrigerator. We woke up just in time to eat lunch (!) so the supermarket didn’t seem like an appealing option. But, I have come to realize that my best recipes are often invented this way and this soup is no exception. I love the smokey flavor of chipotle combined with the sweet butternut squash and the fresh cilantro. The soup is bursting with flavor and is perfect for any occasion. Festive enough to invite your friends to and simple enough to be eaten any day of the week. And for us, it was the perfect meal to start of the new year!

Chipotle & Chickpea Soup

Ingredients:

  • 750 g cooked chickpeas (two 400 g cans)
  • 200 g butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 leaf stalk of a celery head
  • 1.5-2 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 dried chipotle
  • 1.5-2 tsp salt
  • 4.5 dl / 2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1.5 l water

Method:

  1. Start by cutting a cross at the top of each tomato. Place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes, then rinse in cold water and remove the skin.
  2. Grind the dried chipotle into a flaky powder and chop the onion, celery stalk and garlic finely. Dice the butternut squash and chop the tomatoes in small pieces. Set aside in separate bowls.
  3. Fry the onion at medium heat until soft and golden. Add the garlic, celery, cumin and chipotle. Fry until the raw garlic smell is gone.
  4. Add the butternut squash, tomatoes and a few dl of the water. Bring to boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer for five minutes. Add the rest of the water plus the rest of the ingredients, except the cilantro, and let it simmer until the butternut squash is soft.
  5. At the end you add the fresh cilantro plus more water and salt if needed. Enjoy!

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Vegetable Curry

dsc_46400005The autumn is here again and that means it’s time for all those hearty, warming meals. This vegetable curry is just that, hearty, warming and so delicious! If you have read my blog for a while you probably know of my relationship with Indian food. I love it, sometimes have to much of it and sometimes need a break. But I finally always return once I realize, all over again, how incredible the Indian flavors are.

I am so happy to share this recipe with you. It is one of my favorites and I keep cooking it over and over again. The base (sauce) of this curry is made of fresh tomato, onion, garlic, ginger and spices. You start by preparing the base and once that is ready you add the vegetables. You can choose any vegetables and/or pulses that you like. The great thing with this recipe is that you can prepare the base in advance and then finish it later by simply adding the remaining ingredients. This makes it perfect for dinner parties and such.

This vegetable curry is preferably eaten with rice. A few other things that are great with this dish are: apple chutney, fermented lime pickles and chapati. I hope you will appreciate this recipe as much as I do and that you will find your own perfect combination of veggies. Once you get the hang of the recipe, for the base or sauce, it could be fun to experiment a bit with the spices and see what other combinations works.

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Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red pepper
  • 200 g cauliflower
  • 1-2 green fresh chili
  • 3 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 0.5 tsp garam masala
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5-2 tsp salt
  • 2-4 dl /0.5-1 cup water
  • two big fistfuls of chopped fresh cilantro

Method:

  1. Cut a cross at the top of each tomato and then place them inside a bowl or pan. Cover with boiling water and leave for a few minutes before you separate them from the water and carefully remove the peel. Chop the tomatoes and place the flesh, seeds and liquid in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Chop the onion, garlic and ginger finely. Measure up all the spices, except the garam masala, and set aside in a small bowl. Dice the potatoes, carrot and red pepper. Divide the cauliflower in small bouquets and split the green chilies lengthwise.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok and start by frying the onion. When the onion has become soft and golden you add the garlic and ginger. Fry until the raw garlic smell disappears and then add the spice mix and soon after the chopped tomatoes. Let it all simmer until the tomatoes are soft and squashy, adding a little water along the way if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a container and blend until you receive a smooth sauce and then transfer it back to the wok.
  4. Add the potato and a few dl of water to the sauce and let it simmer for 10 minutes before you add the salt and the rest of the vegetables, including the fresh chili. Let it cook until all the vegetables are tender, adding more water if needed, then stir in the cilantro and garam masala. Enjoy together with rice and chutney!

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