Tag Archives: Black pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Feta and Chives

18 Sep

Serves 4-6

Nothing beats the taste of seasonal produce! Even though peppers are available year-round, they do seem sweeter and are so plentiful in summer. The combination of this soup: the sweet roasted peppers with the tangy, salty feta and chives on top, is utterly delicious.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 red onion, choped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

6 red peppers

5 cups/1.25 L vegetable stock

1 can/400g of Chopped Tomatoes

Salt

Black pepper, coarsely ground

Pinch of ground paprika

Chives, cut into small pieces

50g of Feta Cheese, crumbled

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C. Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet and roast uncovered, turning as needed for approx. 30 minutes until skin is just about blackened on all sides.

Place the peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in paper bag and seal. Let the peppers stand and cool off for 10 minutes.

In the meantime chop the onion, mince the garlic and get the vegetable stock ready. Now that the peppers have cooled off, peel off the skin and remove the top and the seeds.

Heat the olive oil in your stockpot over medium heat,  sauté the onion and when they are about done add the garlic.  Once translucent, add the roasted peppers and the can of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Purée the ingredients with a hand blender in the stockpot or puree in batches in your blender.

Return the soup to a clean pan and season to taste with salt, ground paprika and coarsely ground pepper.

When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer and ladle in to bowls.  Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese and chives on top.

Bon Appetite 😉

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Harira

5 Sep

Serves 6-8

I’m totally smitten with the Moroccan kitchen! After having travelled through Morocco’s mountains, desert, valleys and coast, been welcomed by amazing people, and tasted so many delicious dishes and soups, I’m happy I can finally share some great new recipes.

Today I like to start with Harira, one of Morocco’s most famous soup recipes. To master this soup, I did a cooking class at Atlas Kasbah, an amazing ecolodge in the region of Agadir. Hayat, the Berber chef, and Mbark gave me a great class and if you ever have the opportunity please, go and visit Hassan’s beautiful Kasbah.

Harira is traditionally served in nearly all households to break the fast at sunset during the month of Ramadan. However, a lot of families also enjoy this hearty soup year-round.

The soup requires some preparation and cooking time but if you have a pressure cooker you will be able to speed up the process.

Ingredients

100gr/ 4 ounces uncooked meat (lamb, beef or chicken), cut into 1 inch cubes

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

½ cup/15gr of coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

½ cup/15gr of parsley, finely chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely grated

1 tomato, finely grated

1 cup/190gr of chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 cup/170gr of fava beans, soaked overnight

1 cup of lentils/200gr, soaked overnight

2 tbsp. uncooked rice

3 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground paprika

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. white pepper

1 tbsp. salt

1 cup/150gr flour, dissolved in 2 cups/500ml (extra) water

Dates

Preparation

The day before:

Wash the chickpeas, fava beans and lentils and soak overnight. Rinse well before using the next day.

The day of cooking:

Pick all the leaves of the parsley and coriander (cilantro) and chop finely. Chop celery stalks and leaves finely. Grate the tomato and onion finely and dice the meat into 1 inch cubes.

Heat the tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker please, read the stockpot method below for adjusted cooking time and water.

Cook the meat for a few minutes until brown on all sides. Stir in the grated onion and tomato. Add all the celery and only half of the parsley and coriander. Stir in the tomato paste, chickpeas, lentils, fava beans, salt, pepper and all other spices.

Add 2L/8 cups of water and close the pressure cooker so it can work its magic! Cook for 45 minutes on medium heat and remove from heat and carefully release the pressure.

Stir in the rice and cook for another 30 minutes with pressure. While the soup is cooking mix 1 cup of flour with 2 cups of warm water. Whisk till all flour is dissolved and it has a smooth texture.

Remove lit from pressure cooker, pour the flour mixture into the boiling soup. Make sure you keep stirring continuously while the soup is thickening. The soup has a velvety consistency but not over thick. You can make it as thick or thin as you like by not adding all the flour mixture or adding some more water.

Cook the soup for another 15 minutes; stir in the left over half of the coriander and parsley and season to taste.

Serve with flatbread, a wedge of lemon and dates on the side, an amazing combination.

Cooking Harira in a regular Stockpot:

Double the suggested cooking times and add approx. 4 cups of warm water after the first hour of cooking.

Bon Appetite 😉

Avocado Soup

20 Aug

Serves 6

Looking for a cool and refreshing summer soup? Then look no further. This velvety smooth and chilled soup is the perfect summer starter. It’s very easy and quick to prepare and allows you to store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados

500 ml/2 cups Chicken stock or Vegetable Stock

Juice of one Red Grapefruit

1 clove of garlic, peeled

2 tbsp. of yoghurt

sea salt

black pepper, coarsely ground

mild chilli powder

Preparation

Cut the avocados in half lengthways and twist to separate into two. Remove the stone and with a spoon, scoop out all the flesh of the avocado.

Place the avocado flesh , chicken or vegetable stock, crushed garlic, grapefruit juice and yoghurt into the blender or food processor.

Purée until smooth, taste and season with salt, black pepper and mild chilli powder.

Refrigerator for a minimum of two hours. Serve chilled and with a colorful garnish on top.

Bon Appetite 😉

Cod & Vegetable Chowder

6 Aug

Serves 4

This week I like to share my recipe for a very tasty and nutritious chowder. The potatoes, vegetables and chunks of cod make it a rather filling soup and for us a perfect summer meal. I don’t use any cream or milk in this chowder, which makes it perfectly suitable for anyone who has lactose intolerance too. The combinations of ingredients makes it a very natural, healthy and flavorful dish, enjoy.

 Ingredients

2 tbsp.  butter

2 white onions, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 carrots (medium-sized), peeled & diced

2 potatoes (medium-sized), peeled & diced

2 red peppers, diced

500g fresh or frozen cod, boneless and skinless

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 L/4 cups vegetable or fish stock

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried thyme

3 bay leaves

salt

black pepper, coarsely ground

fresh leaf parsley, chopped

Preparation

Melt the butter on medium heat in your stockpot. Sauté the onions and when they are about done add the garlic, ground cumin and dried thyme.  Once translucent add the diced carrots, potatoes and red peppers. Stir and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until lightly golden and soften.

In the meantime, lightly season the cod fillets with salt and black pepper and set aside.

Add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaves and stock to the diced vegetables. Stir, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Lay the cod fillets on top of the vegetables and cover the stockpot. Simmer for a few minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Before serving, remove the bay leaves, and season the soup with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into the bowls and place flakes of the cod on top of the soup.  Sprinkle the fresh leaf parsley and serve immediately.

Bon Appetite 😉

Broccoli & Stilton Soup

9 Jul

Serves 6-8

Indulge yourself with this delicious Broccoli and Stilton soup. As some of you may know by now, I love to cook delicious yet healthy and low-fat soups. This soup does not qualify for the lowest in fat ever but the calories are definitely worth it! The Stilton cheese gives the soup such a rich flavour but is not overpowering and somehow brings out the best of the broccoli too. If you can’t find Stilton cheese, free to buy another blue cheese instead.

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 white onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 heads of broccoli, about 600g, roughly chopped

4 sticks of celery, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

1.5 L vegetable stock

1 tsp of dried thyme

150g Stilton cheese (blue cheese), crumbled

Preparation

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in your stockpot. Sauté the onions and when they are about done add the garlic and the teaspoon of dried thyme.  Once translucent add the roughly chopped broccoli, celery pieces and diced potato. Stir gently, then cover with a lid and allow to sweat for 5 – 10 minutes.

Pour in your stock and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Then purée the ingredients with a hand blender in the stockpot or puree in batches in your blender.

Return the soup to a clean pan and stir in the crumbled Stilton cheese. I like to serve the soup when the cheese has not completely dissolved yet but if you do, you can always use a hand blender for a few seconds.

Season the soup with some freshly ground pepper and serve with a warm and crusty piece of bread.

Bon Appetite 😉

Mom’s Great Gazpacho Soup

3 Jul

Serves 4-6

The first time I ate this delicious soup was over 25 years ago. At the time my mom made this soup it was a very exotic dish. Growing up in a family where all my ancestors originate from a different country our meals were not typically Dutch, but still this Gazpacho was something else! A soup which we ate cold and then garnished with all sorts of different toppings ourselves was special and very festive. The recipe of the soup is very simple, and to me it is perfect just the way it is. Please, choose ripe and flavourful tomatoes which are warmed to room temperature before you use them. The dicing of the garnish does require some time. If you’re a bit short on time, I would say go for the home-baked croutons (I promise you: after trying these you will never want them any other way) and garnish the gazpacho with some fresh basil. This amount of tomatoes yields 1.5L of soup or in my case after tasting 1.25L…. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Ingredients

2 Kg plum tomatoes

Juice of 1 lime

3 cloves garlic, puréed with garlic press or minced

2 tsp. clear honey

4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

3 tsp. ground paprika

1 tbsp. olive oil

Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Garnish

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

½ red pepper, ½ yellow pepper & ½green pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

½ cucumber, diced

6 slices of regular white bread – for croutons (preferably a day or two old)

(basil)

Preparation

Wash the tomatoes thoroughly. Cut a shallow X on the bottom of the tomato. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove it once the skin starts to peel, approx. 30 seconds. Place the tomatoes in the bowl of ice water and leave it there for a few minutes. Once the tomatoes have cooled off, you will be able to peel off the skin very easily.

Purée all the peeled tomatoes with a hand blender or regular blender. Pass the tomato purée through a sieve or a strainer to remove all the seeds. Stir in the tablespoon of olive oil, juice of the lime, the teaspoons of ground paprika and honey. Add the purée of the 3 cloves of garlic by using a garlic press or chop very fine with a knife. Season with sea salt, coarsely ground pepper and the leaves of the thyme. Chill in the fridge for a least three hours or even better, chill overnight. Please, don’t chill the soup with ice cubes as it will dilute the beautiful flavour.

To make the garnish, finely dice the onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper, cucumber and hard-boiled egg.

For the croutons, preheat your oven to 375 F or 190 C degrees. Cut the slices of bread into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes. Drizzle bread cubes with olive oil, sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper and toss until well mixed. Spread the bread cubes in a singly layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown. Keep your eye on them, to make sure they don’t burn, and turn to brown all sides evenly. Once golden brown, remove from the oven and let them cool.

I like to serve the gazpacho without the garnish. Instead, I place all the different kinds of garnish on the table and let everybody make their own creation.

Bon Appetite 😉

Cucumber Soup/Jalik

1 Jun

Serves 4-6

Cool down with this traditional Middle Eastern cold soup. It is a perfect starter on a hot (summer)day.  This cucumber soup is very refreshing, light and the fresh herbs will linger on your taste buds. Great to serve in a small glass.

Ingredients

2 cucumbers, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped

750ml/3 cups of plain low-fat yoghurt

3 tbs. of finely chopped dill

3 tbs. of finely chopped mint

1 tsp. of garlic powder

½ lime, juice

Salt & pepper

Olive oil to drizzle on top

Preparation

Peel the cucumbers, cut in quarters lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Chop the cucumbers and sprinkle with salt, let it stand for 15 minutes and drain well.

In a blender or food processor, combine the chopped cucumbers, lime juice, mint, dill and garlic. Season with salt and if you like some black pepper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, drizzle some olive oil on top and garnish with the fresh herbs.

Bon Appetite 😉