Gingergirl: Quick and easy soups





Gingergirl: Quick and easy soups

Pea and Pancetta Soup

Many assume making soup is a slow, tedious process but it simply isn’t so. The recipes below take no more than thirty minutes from start to finish and each offers wonderful flavours, perfect for the colder Autumnal evenings.

Pea and Pancetta Soup
70g of pancetta or bacon lardons
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
500ml chicken stock
250g of frozen peas
½ small bunch mint, chopped

* Fry the pancetta in a non-stick pan, there is no need to add any oil as the pancetta or bacon will cook in its own fat. When it is crisp and golden brown, (scoop out a little of the lardons and set aside for garnish), add the potato and chicken stock and simmer until the potato is completely soft. Add the peas and simmer for three minutes, then add the mint.
* Blend everything together with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Serve with the extra pancetta sprinkled on top.

Chickpea and Chorizo Soup
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
100g of chorizo sausage
140g wedge of Savoy cabbage
A sprinkling of dried chilli flakes
410g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube – I like the kallo stock cubes.

* Put a medium pan on the heat and tip in the tomatoes, followed by a tin of water (using the tomato tin). While the tomatoes are heating, quickly chop the chorizo into chunky pieces (removing any skin) and shred the cabbage.
* Pile the chorizo and cabbage into the pan with the chilli flakes and chickpeas, then crumble in the stock cube. Stir well, cover and leave to bubble over a high heat for five or six minutes or until the cabbage is just tender. Ladle into bowls and enjoy with crusty or garlic bread.

Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
A pinch chilli flakes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
600g of carrots, washed and coarsely grated
140g of split red lentils
1 litre of hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
125ml of milk
Plain yoghurt and naan bread, to serve

* Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for a minutes, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for fifteen minutes until the lentils have swollen and softened.
* Blitz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads.

Read more: Loin of bacon with honey and five-spice

Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer.
Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Tipperary Star, Friar Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
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