Pumpkin Soup

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Another easy soup, which I’m a little obsessed with this year is pumpkin soup.

The ingredients you need are:
– fresh pumpkin (1kg gives you around 4 servings) – peeled and chopped into large cubes
– an onion – roughly chopped
– a stock cube (chicken or vegetable)
– hot water
– salt & pepper
– chilli flakes (optional)

And here’s how to make it:
– In a heavy based pan gently fry the roughly chopped onion in a little oil.
– Once the onion is soft, add the pumpkin – season with salt and plenty of pepper.
– Add boiling water until it covers the ingredients and throw in a stock cube.
– Boil for 30 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.
– Add a pinch of chilli flakes and liquidise the soup – it is now ready to eat!

This soup is lovely with some Parmesan cheese grated on top.

For a little extra spice, add a pinch of ground nutmeg.

Chorizo and butterbean soup

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What do you think of these cute soup bowls I got for Christmas?

I used them to serve up one of my favourite soups – chorizo and butterbean. If you’d like to make it, here’s the recipe, it uses very little ingredients and will make 4 starter portions of 2 main portions – the butterbeans make it a filling lunch.

Ingredients
1 chorizo cooking sausage, cut into cubes
1/2 glass white wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of butterbeans
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato puree
salt & pepper
chilli flakes

Method
– Fry the chorizo on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes, so the oils ooze out

– Add the glass of white wine, leaving to sizzle for a minute, then adding the drained butterbeans and cooking for 2 minutes

– Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, the tbsp tomato puree, add the bay leaf for depth of flavour, season with salt & pepper and put in some dried chilli flakes (to taste)

– bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes – as with any soup the longer you cook it for the tastier it is, but after 10 minutes this is ready to serve

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mediterranean vegetable soup

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This is a really quick soup to make, its quite thick and chunky, and with a little less water could even make a pasta sauce.

Its basically a few things thrown together, so I the amount of water added is a little vague, but here’s how I made it:
– put some oil in a pan with a pinch of cumin seeds (I love the smell of cooking cumin seeds)
– add an aubergine chopped into cubes (to me, no dish Mediterranean without including aubergines)
– add a courgette, also chopped into cubes
– season with salt and pepper and pour a couple of mm of water in the pan to help cook the veg quicker and stir until getting soft
– add one diced chorizo sausage(the cooking chorizo you can buy from supermarkets, if you buy already diced chorizo its probably around 1/3 of the pack)
– also add around 10 halved cherry tomatoes, or 2 normal tomatoes
– when the tomatoes go a bit mushy, add water until it just covers the vegetables, and a good squeeze of tomato puree and a bay leaf
– season again, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes

If you’ve read this blog before you may already know that I like a bit of spice in my food, so a added a couple of teaspoons of a chilli dipping sauce that my father in law recently brought us from Mexico – I think its made up of olive oil and dried smoky chilli flakes , so gave the soup a really nice heat.

Eat when you are ready!

Imbuljuta

This a traditional Maltese dish at Christmas time – perfect to warm you up after the winter sun sets. It’s chocolatey, orangey, spicy and earthy all at the same time.

For imbuljuta (im-bull-yew-ta) you need dried chestnuts (a couple of handfuls) which need to be soaked overnight. Once soaked, clean any skin off, give the chestnuts a rinse, and put in a pan with around a litre of water.

Put the pan on the heat and add the following ingredients to make the tasy hot chocolate that the chestnuts are served in:
– 2 tbs of brown sugar
– 2 tbs of cocoa powder
– 50g dark chocolate
– 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ground ginger
– the peel of 1 mandarin (or clementine/orange)

Bring to the boil, ensuring that the sugar and chocolate melt, and simmer for 40mins – 1hr, until the chestnuts are soft and cooked. Serve warm, like a hot chocolate with a spoon for eating the chestnuts.