Tag Archives: Olive oil

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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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 😉

Turkish Red Lentil Soup/Mercimek Çorbasi

11 Jun

Serves 4

Growing up in a family where soup is such an important and well-loved dish can be pretty hard if you are a ten year old and not that fond of soup. My dear son Duncan often comes running into the kitchen asking me ‘What’s for dinner?’ Before I can answer him he in general says ‘Again???’ So when he told me this soup was a winner and should definitely be in the top five, I was over the moon 🙂

This version of Turkish lentil soup is home cooking at its best: healthy, hearty, easy and scrumptious delicious.  I prefer to use (organic) red split lentils as they cook quicker than regular lentils. This soup is perfect to serve as a main meal by adding a piece of Turkish pide bread and a salad.

Ingredients

2 tbsp.  of olive oil

200g/1cup of red split lentils, washed and drained

1 red onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large carrot, diced

1L of vegetable stock

1 tsp. of ground cumin

1 tsp. of ground paprika

Salt & black pepper

1 lemon, cut into wedges

2 tbsp. of tomato purée

Fresh mint for garnish

Preparation

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in your stockpot. Sauté the onion and when they are about done add the garlic, diced carrot, one teaspoon of ground cumin, one teaspoon of ground paprika and 2 tablespoons of tomato purée. Toss the ingredients until all ingredients are covered with the flavour of each item and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the washed and drained lentils, pour in your stock and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the carrots and lentils are tender.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Place all but 3 cups of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend.  Return the pureed soup to your pan and stir in the reserved cups of soup.  Season to taste with salt and coarsely ground pepper.

Serve each bowl with a lemon wedge and garnish with fresh mint.

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 😉

Leek Soup

24 May

Serves 4-6

I was so happy when I received an email from a fellow soup fan from The Netherlands. Sandra’s recipe for Leek Soup truly deserves a prize! This soup is so easy to make, healthy, low in fat, simple and delicious. You will be done in no time. Raised in Singapore, Sandra loves to use red chili peppers in this soup. I use one chili pepper as it enriches without overwhelming the soup.  If you would like it to be more spicy, then you may want to use two or three peppers. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 tbsp. of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

3 leeks (medium size), cut into pieces, washed and drained

1 red chili pepper, finely chopped

1.2 L vegetable or beef stock

60g/3 tbsp. of ‘Boursin light’ or any other reduced fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs

 

Preparation

To prepare the leeks, cut off the dark green parts and trim off the little beards at the bottom. Cut the leek into pieces and wash them in water to remove the grit. Once done, drain well.

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in your frying pan. Sauté the garlic with the red chili pepper for approximately 3 minutes. Add the leeks and allow them to ‘sweat’ over pretty low heat until they get soft, but not browned.

Heat the vegetable or beef stock in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and toss the sautéed leeks, garlic and chili pepper into the stock.  Simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes.  Add the 3 tbsp. of Boursin (soft cheese) to the soup and purée the ingredients with a hand blender in the stockpot.

When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer and ladle in to bowls. If you like, garnish with some homemade  croutons.

Bon Appetite 😉

Portuguese Vegetable Soup

17 May

Serves 6-8

While visiting my dear friend Beatriz the other day, she served this delicious soup as a starter for a lovely luncheon. This soup has a beautiful subtle flavour and you do not realise that you are consuming such a large number of vegetables.  It has a nice creamy texture, but it actually does not contain any cream in the ingredients.  This soup is perfect for all age groups as it does not have an overwhelming vegetable flavor – so the children will not protest.   Great for lunch or a light dinner as it is very satisfying, especially with a piece of crusty farm bread.

 

Ingredients

2L of water or vegetable stock

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic

400g of carrots, roughly chopped

200g of butternut squash, roughly chopped

1 leek, roughly chopped

2 small potatoes, diced

2 small turnips, diced

1 courgette/zucchini, sliced

200g of  canned chick peas, washed and drained

Salt & black pepper, to taste

2 tbs. Olive oil

4 handfuls of spinach

Preparation

Fill your stockpot with 2L of water or stock and bring to a boil. Dice all the vegetables, except the spinach and chick peas.

Add the onion, garlic, carrots, butternut squash, potatoes, turnips, courgette and chickpeas to the boiling water. Keep the spinach aside. Add the olive oil and some salt.

Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are very tender (as in general all the other veggies are done too).

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. In the meantime cook the spinach separately for a few minutes, then drain and set aside while blending all the other ingredients.

Return the soup to a clean pan and season to taste with salt and black pepper.  If you like the soup slightly thinner you could add a bit more water or vegetable stock.

When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer, mix in the spinach and ladle in to bowls. Serve with a crusty piece of farm bread.

Bon Appetite 😉