Luckily the weather here in Vancouver has finally started to warm up and the sun has been making more appearances. But I’m not getting excited just yet – that sun has a tendency to disappear in the blink of an eye.
Anyway, without the warmth and sunlight, last week was all about hot soups and it all started with a hot and spicy tomato soup.
5 tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 cloves of garlic, yes I love garlic
2 serrano peppers, cut in half – if you can’t handle the heat use something milder like jalapeno or no hot pepper at all
For this recipe I sort of just threw things together so there are no specific measurements – if you want more tomatoes and less garlic or you want to add something else entirely that’s all up to you.
Next I tossed the tomatoes, garlic, and hot peppers in a large bowl with a bit of olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and oregano.
Then I baked the mixture for about an hour at 350F.
A few minutes before the tomatoes were ready I heated some oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauteed about half a chopped onion. Once the onion was soft I threw in the cooked tomatoes and sauteed them a couple of minutes. Next I added 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of broth paste (it’s called Better Than Bouillon and it’s fantastic). In this soup I used chicken flavour. I’m pretty sure I added a splash of sherry but I don’t remember. It’s a very basic soup so you can add the spices you prefer like curry or paprika.
I let that cook on low heat for 20 minutes or so and then I blended the soup in batches. If you have a food processor that would be ideal but I used a blender.
Return to heat for another 10 or 15 minutes and serve.
Now, a word of caution: using 2 serrano peppers may have been a bit much but boy did it have a nice kick! I didn’t need to wear a sweater while eating this soup
The next day we had more rain and gloom so it was only natural that I should make more soup.
This time I made a Chickpea and Mushroom soup.
I probably should have written down what I did but I might have been too hungry to do that…I also didn’t take any pictures.
This is another basic soup that you can alter to suit your taste. From what I can remember here are the ingredients I used:
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, we used dried chickpeas that we soaked over night and then boiled before making the soup
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
And I can’t remember which spices I used but most likely oregano, thyme, and fresh ground pepper.
2 cups chopped spinach
In a large pot over medium heat, sautee the mushrooms, chickpeas, onion, and hot pepper. Add the bay leaves and the spices you like and then add about 3 or 4 cups of water and a teaspoon of broth (again I used chicken flavour Better Than Bouillon). Let that cook on low heat for about a half hour and then use your blender or food processor again (make sure you remove the bay leaves!) to make a thick and comforting soup. Return the soup to heat and add the chopped spinach and cook for another 5 minutes and then serve with some crusty fresh baked bread. Yum yum!!