Posts Tagged With: soup

A 10 Minute Meal – Hazelnut Tofu and Soba Noodle Broth with Red Pepper and Brussels Sprout

Hazelnut Tofu and Soba Noodle Broth - On the hob

Hazelnut Tofu and Soba Noodle Broth – Bubblin’ away

Here we have a delicious 10 minute meal.  5 minutes chopping, 5 minutes cooking and it won’t last long in the bowl either.  So simple, yet tastes so amazing and dare I say it, complex.  You have to love that!

Nothing says British winter more than a bowl of Soba Noodle Broth….or is that just me!  I love a noodle broth anytime of the year and this one is wonder, putting the years first brussels sprout to good use.  I could eat this by the bucket full, bowls just aren’t big enough.

The first winter chills are definitely visiting the Snowdonia hills at the moment, the winds blows a gale and we’ve kissed goodbye to what was a lovely summer of warmth and light nights.  Sitting in the garden at 10pm in the sun is surely a thing all Britons cherish.

The Beautiful Nantlle Valley - just behind the Beach House Kitchen

A view from the beautiful Nantlle Valley – just behind the Beach House Kitchen, where we walk when not eating like Tokyo-ites

As are brussels sprouts.  They’re like little cabbage hand grenades and add a punch to all they grace, we love ‘em! So, so, so very wasted on your average Sunday Roast (traditional British Sunday Lunch containing roast meats and unfortunately over cooked vegetables), boiled to death and flaccid. A quick blanch in this broth and they are a revelation of crunchy texture and potent flavour.

This is an ‘Asian’ broth, which I know covers a large chunk of global cuisine.  Its a hybrid of flavours that meld and work.  Some Japanese, some Chinese, but all super tasty.

In the Beach House we condone slurping in all its forms.  Food should be eaten with gusto and vigour, slurping is an essential part of the noodle broth experience.  We like to attack a bowl of noodle broth armed with a large spoon and some chopsticks, on occasion we resemble koi carp, such is our commitment to the cause.  Jane is a particularly good slurper, we put it down to being raised with a koi carp named bonehead.  Bonehead still lives with Jane’s Mum and Dad and is a big fish in a small pond.  He can also be stroked like a dog.

Jane, is that you?!  Koi carp – like jaws in a pond

This type of broth is best served piping hot, with all ingredients cooked for the minimum length of time.  Freshness and crunch is imperative.  The gulping and slurping actually helps the noodles cool down on the way to the mouth.  At least that’s our excuse!  It also happens to be alot of fun.

We’ve added plenty of colour here, essential in these gradually greying months, by using the last of the years red peppers and some brazen red cabbage. This broth is also nice and warming, fresh ginger and Chinese five spice take care of this.  For even more of a restorative slurp, I added some wasabi to mine which really got my juices flowing.

SOBA NOODLES

Soba noodles are always a highlight, soba meaning ‘buckwheat’ in Japanese, the noodle choice of most Tokyo-ites.  Traditionally in Japan buckwheat can be harvested four times a year, a wonder crop for sure.

Soba Noodles have a lovely bite to them, a hearty noodle ideal for my rapidly diminishing wheat intake as they are made with a large amount of buckwheat (not a wheat even though it is called a wheat!?) This means less gluten all around. For some bizarre reason, soba noodles are normally a tad more expensive than your average joe noodle, but they’re well worth the extra pennies.

Soba Noodles

We use tamari because we prefer the flavour, it contains no wheat and is always made to a certain standard. Meaning no strangeness and dodgy health issues with the soya used.

There are alot of ingredients in the broth here, really, some good stock, ginger and a splash of tamari will suffice, the other ingredients just make it extra special. Most of them can be found in any decent Chinese-style food store.

As can the Hazelnut Tofu.  It’s basically tofu mixed with hazelnuts, and a few toasted sesame seeds, pressed back together.  It is delicious and has plenty of flavour, unlike normal tofu.  It seems to be springing up in some supermarkets, but as with most of these niche veggie/ vegan bits, a health food shop is your best bet.

Makes two massive bowlfuls (or four medium sized):

The Bits
300g soba noodles, 125g hazelnut tofu (chopped into little cubes), 1/4 red cabbage (finely shredded), 1 red pepper (finely chopped), 6 brussel sprouts (finely sliced lengthways)

For the broth – 1 inch fresh ginger (minced), 2 teas chinkiang vinegar (balsamic will do), 2 tbs tamari (soya sauce is a close sub), 1 tbs rice wine (or dry sherry), 1 tbs good stock powder (or fresh if you are brilliant) – to taste, 1/2 teas Chinese five spice, 1.5 ltr boiling water

Taste the stock, make it right for you.

Wasabi stirred in to taste (if you like things spicy)

Topping – 2 spring onions (finely sliced)

Do It

Boil a kettle with enough water.

Chop your vegetables thinly.

Add boiled water to a large, warm sauce pan and get a steady boil going.  Bubblin’.

Add all of your stock ingredients in no particular order, give it a stir (no stock powder lumps, they are the enemy).

Now add your cabbage, brussels sprout and peppers, boil for two minutes, then add your tofu and noodles, simmer for a further two-three minutes and prepare to serve.

By the time you’ve got bowls and ladles and all that jazz together, your noodles should be cooked nicely.  Overcooking soba noodles is a huge sin.

Serve
Piping hot and topped with a handful of sliced spring onions.  If you have a small flask of warm sake available, well done!  Have extra tamari, wasabi and vinegar on the table so people can play with the flavouring or their stock.

Hazelnut Tofu and Soba Noodle Broth with Red Pepper and Brussel Sprouts

Hazelnut Tofu and Soba Noodle Broth with Red Pepper and Brussel Sprouts – Camera in one hand, large spoon in another…….

We Love It!

Soul slurping of the highest order and buckwheat noodles to boot.  Lucky us.  So quick and satisfying, we could eat this for dinner every night!  A soulful soup of the highest order.

Foodie Fact

Buckwheat is high in Thiamine and soba noodles were regularly eaten by wealthy  Japanese folk to balance their large intake of white rice (very low thaimine) thus avoiding what was called ‘beri beri’.

As we all know by now, buckwheat is a relative of rhubarb!  A berry and not a grain, a wonderful gluten-free substitute.  Buckwheat is full of flavanoids which are very good for the cardiovascular system.  In fact, some folk say  that buckwheat is better for you than any fruit or vegetable.  Quite a claim!

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Rainbow Chard and Red Lentil Harira

Harira on the hob

Harira on the hob

We regularly have an identity crisis with dishes, turning traditional fare on its head, ‘Beach House-ing’ things you could say.  We don’t mean it, no offence to the original recipes and food heritage in question, its just we like to play in the kitchen.  Here’s another traditional recipe we have messed about with, thankfully the results were rather delicious.

The best Harira I have ever had was for breakfast (regularly) in the village of Chefchaeoun, known to many a traveller for its exceptional soup, jalaba (hooded cloak garment worn by most Moroccans) production and wonderful mountain location.  Its small winding streets hide many a wonderful eating experience, rows of blue houses (yes blue!) make this one of the most distinctive and stunning villages in that vast old place.

I moved there for a while, took up residence in a room situated on the walls of the Hamam (the communal bath), the warmest room in town.  You see its high up there (in more ways than one!) and you wake chilled to the bone and needing a serious bowl of sustenance.  Abdullah provided.

He was a wonderful cook, in nothing more than a space between two buildings, a few squat tables and two gas burners with huge steel pots, Abdullah created the authentic Moroccan dining experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It was like a French Bistro without the pretense and price tag.  My kind of joint for sure.

For a few pennies, Abdullah would dip his oversized laddle into a pot of bubbling Harira and dish you up an epic bowl of full-on morning ammunition, sometimes with a tooth-less smile that shifted the early morning fug.  This hearty soup fuelled me on many a hike around the Rif Mountains and also on days spent lounging around playing card games with other punks holed up there. It came with a wedge of steaming flat bread, olive oil and a bowl of spices to use liberally.  I sat wearing my Jalaba (ever the over bearing tourist that I am) eating with the local men in silence, canteen style.  This kind of experience is what gets my food based juices really flowing.

Chefchaouen

I like cooking soups, its a soulful pursuit.  You don’t have to be to precious, there are rules, but not many, a little like Morocco itself.  This is the situation where I revel.  Add less water here for a nice stew.

Here’s to you Abdullah.  Peace be with you.  Hamdullah!

Rainbow Chard and Red Lentil Harira

Rainbow Chard and Red Lentil Harira

Makes one small pan full (enough for 3-4 bowls)

The Bits

1 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (cooked), 3/4 litre fresh water (or chickpea cookign juices, even better), 1 tbs vegetable oil, 1 inch fresh ginger (finely diced), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 2 onions (finely diced), 1 yellow pepper (diced), 3 ripe tomatoes (with flavour), 3 cups chopped rainbow chard (stems separated from the leaves), 1 teas ground turmeric, 1 teas smoked paprika, large pinch finely ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, 1/2 teas cumin seeds, 2tbs tomato paste
1 lemon, 1 tbs flour (of your choice), 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves (leaves picked, stems chopped), 1 cup red lentils, 3 dates (finely chopped), 1 teas fresh ground pepper, 2 – 3 teas sea salt

Add just  2 cups of water to make this a hearty stew.

As with all soups/ stews, depending on the quality of your veggies, you many need to add some vegetable stock to the final soup if the flavour thin on the ground.

Harira bubblin' away

Harira bubblin’ away

Do It

Soak your chickpeas overnight in a saucepan.  Drain and refresh with new water, well covered.  Add 1/4 teas bicarb of soda (this makes them soft and cook quicker), bring to a boil and lower heat.  Vigorously simmer for 20 minutes or until chickpeas are just tender.  Remember they will be cooked more in the soup. Keep the cooking liquor for use in the soup, it has a wonderfully full flavour.

Warm the oil in a thick bottomed sauce pan, add your onions, cumin seeds and caraway seeds and saute the onions for a few minutes until glassy, add garlic, pepper and ginger, stir for a couple of minutes and then add all chard stems (add earlier if they are a little tough) and spices, warm through for a minute and now add your tomatoes, dates, lentils, tomato paste, warm through for a minute then add your water/ chickpea juice. Bring to a rolling boil and turn down heat to the lowest setting, add your chickpeas and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, bring back to just about boiling, add your chard leaves and coriander stems.  Re-cover and allow to cook for a few minutes.

Serve

A lemon wedge, a good glug of good olive oil with green olives and brown rice, if you’d like to make this dinner.

For a special touch, we have it sprinkled with roasted and chopped almonds.

Rainbow Chard and Red Lentil Harira

Rainbow Chard and Red Lentil Harira

We Love It!

With winter lurking up the hill, we are getting back to our hearty soups.  Harira is definately one of our fav’s and it is very cool when you have pleasant memories attached to a dish.  Food has amazing transporting properties, the sights and tastes so evocative and alive in memories.

Foodie Fact

Spices are much more than just incredible tasting, the vast majority boast some quite brilliant health properties (as long as we don’t burn them in the pan).

Turmeric is a root similar to ginger and in its raw state has very potent flavour, its wonderful stuff.  Dried is the best we can normally do on this island.  It is peppery and sweet, warm and bitter and has even been likened to orange peel (if very fresh indeed).

Now the nitty gritty and real magic.  Turmeric is anti-microbial, anti-flatulent and strongly anti-bacterial.

Heavy plate version with rice, olives, fresh coriander and lashings of olive oil

Heavy plate version with rice, olives, fresh coriander and lashings of olive oil

Categories: Autumn, Recipes, Soups, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Cool Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

This soup is a real summer cooler, not something you can regularly say about a soup.  Its creamy (without cream) and hearty (without potatoes and butter), all down to our raw friends the cashew nut.  What a wonderful thing they are.  They make great cheese, milk and add wonderful richness to all things they grace.

Raw soups can be very hearty actually, adding sprouted grains helps and a few nuts or seeds go along way to building a full texture, bags of veggies also make a big difference.  It always impresses me how much goodness you can squeeze into a soup/ smoothie/ juice.  My juice this morning had around 10 different fruits and vegetables (beetroot, carrot, orange, lemon, parsley, basil, spinach, apple, ginger, sweet potato YUM!)  I have to say, afterwards, I was feeling quite high on the stuff.  High on food!  Juice on an empty belly is a magical thing and gets the ZING going in the AM.

This mornings super juice

This mornings super juice

This soup has so many good flavours in there (we love the horseradish especially) as well as being superbly nutritious.  We have been using olives a lot this month instead of adding more salt, they add a natural saltiness to dishes.  So this is a salt-less soup.

COOL AS A CUCUMBER

Cucumber in anything is cooling, it has that lovely quality which is perfect for a sweltering summers day.  I am a hot blooded creature and therefore the British summertime is a little tepid, but yesterday did  seem quite steamy. This soup made for a perfect dinner.

The cooling effect of cucumber is put down to cucurbitin and fatty oils found in the seeds that has a soothing effect on the body.  Cucumber is great for sunburn and can also have a cooling effect when made into a juice.   So drinking cucumber juice is just like putting coolant into a car!

THAT ‘RAW FOOD’ FEELING

Now that we have been eating raw food for over two weeks, our appetite has generally decreased, more accurately our cravings for sugar have decreased.  I find myself better balanced and not snacking hardly at all, certainly not craving coffee or alcohol or sweet things.  I forgot how powerful the raw diet is and how it impacts much more than just what you eat, you feel very different also.  Its like your charged with loads of clean energy and your brain is working at its optimum level and your body is thanking you all the time for being some damn good to it.  Its a pleasant place to be.

RAW FOOD EQUIPMENT

The only thing about getting started with a raw food diet is that you need the equipment.  We’ve gathered ours over a period of two years and are still short of a few bits and pieces.  We have added a dehydrator recently, which we have been enjoying.  A juicer is fairly essential and a food processor is important for all those soups and smoothies.  You could be raw without these gadgets, that is probably the next step for us!  Eating things that fall from trees and gathering berries from hedgerows.  That would be a really natural existence!  Without this equipment, I’d imagine it would be difficult, especially in Britain, to get a decent variety of textures and keep things interesting.  Munching on a raw carrot does have its limits.

Raw food equipment

Raw food equipment

Having said that, one of the best bits of equipment that we use is a humble peeler.  Known as a French peeler, it is vital in sorting out all these fruits and vegetables quickly and makes almost perfect ribbons of produce that can then be popped into salads or made into a raw pasta-style dish.

French Peeler – The Best!

Makes two big bowlfuls:

The Bits

1 1/2 cucumbers, 2 garlic cloves, 2 small green apples (cored and chopped), 1 lime (juice), 1 cup cashews (soaked for 2 hours or longer in filtered water), 1 cup green olives, 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup basil, 1 tbs horseradish, 2 tbs nutritional yeast flakes, 2 cups filtered water (more if needed)

Do It

In a food processor, blend your cashews first, until a thin paste is formed (add soaking water a little at a time), add the rest of the ingredients and a cup full of water.  Blend for 30 seconds and check consistency, it should still be a little chunky in places, add more water and blend again if required.

Serve

With a splash of brilliant, fruity olive oil and a pinch of cracked black pepper.

Foodie Fact

Cucumber has many beneficial properties, it is anti inflammatory and moisture regulating, as mentioned above, it also has cooling properties.  These are the reasons that cucumber is used in beauty products and the like, it smooths the skin and gets rid of dead skin cells.

Cucumber is also full of dietary fibre and is great for people suffering from heartburn, ulcers,acidity etc, for this reason it also helps with constipation.  It’s good for the joints, the kidneys and helps in the digestion of proteins.

Cucumber also has plenty of vitamin C and folates and like the vast majority of veggies, it contains a vast amount of other nutrients.  Overall, cucumber is a serious superfood!

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Categories: Raw Food, Soups, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Parsnip Mulligatawny

Secret sweetness here - raisins

Secret ‘Mulllleee’ sweetness here – raisins

There’s a mini tornado blowing around the Beach House today, that can only mean one thing, the soup pan is making an appearance.  It’s the kind of day when you want to ignore the inclement weather and get cosy by the fire with lashings of soup and preferably a cat and loved one (not in that order of course).   So we’re staying in and making a spicy soup.

‘Mulllll-eeeee-gahhh-townnnn-yyyy ‘ is such a great word, it’s a meal in itself.  For many years I’ve preferred the word to the soup, it always seemed like a half-hearted attempt at spicing a bland soup up, but always had the potential to be a real star.

We wanted to give the tired old Mulligatawny a touch of Beach House lovin’, add a little tickle and zing to predictable proceedings.  The spices here make it rock and warm with a zestiness and aromatic tinge that tingles the palate (coming mainly from our pal the coriander seeds), there is also the lovely sweetness of the raisins and parsnips paired with the warm flavours of the garam masala.  The mushrooms here were a late addition and do tend to make soups a little on the grey side.  I don’t think they added a great deal here and could easily be omitted.

However, the highlight by far of this little number is our own leeks making an appearance.  The Beach House Garden is hardly prolific, but it has given us some gems to savour and these little leeks were wonderful.

Beach House Leeks

Beach House Leeks

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The name ‘Mulligatwany’ actually comes from two Tamil words (a state in the south east corner of India) meaning ‘pepper’ and ‘water’.

If you don’t like coriander husks, try and pick them out before blending (this goes for the bay leaves also).  They can be a little tough and catch in the throat, which doesn’t really bother us.

Once more for luck and laughs, ‘Mulllll-eeeee-gahhh-townnnn-yyyy’.  

MORE BEACH HOUSE SOUPS

If you like this, here are another couple of Beach House soups (we eat alot of soup up here in the windy hills of Wales):

Beetroot Leaf Soup

Raw Green Thai Soup

Roots Soup

Makes one big pan full, enough for  four with possible leftovers.  Hoorah!

The Bits

5 medium parsnips, 1 leek, 1 onion, 1 small sweet potato, 3 small potatoes, 4 cloves garlic, 4 large mushrooms, 1 apple, 3 bay leaves, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 ltr good veg stock

Spices – 1 tbs garam masala, 2 teas turmeric, 2 teas ground cumin, 5 cardamom pods, 1 teas coriander seeds

Parsnip Mulligatawny on the hob

Parsnip Mulligatawny on the hob

Do It

In a large saucepan begin to soften your onions for 3 minutes, then add your leek and garlic, fry gently for 3 more minutes then add the rest of the vegetables and spices, stir in and heat for a couple of minute to get the spices warmed, then add your stock to a lovely low hissing noise.  Bring to a gradual boil then cover and simmer for 40 minutes, until the veg is nicely tender.

Blend soup (taking out bay leaves and as many of the cardamom pods as you can fish out) and serve warm.

This soup keeps well in the fridge for days and should be nice thick texture, it may need a little thining out with water.

Parsnip Mulligatawny

Parsnip Mulligatawny

Serve

Warm but not too warm (too much heat hides the flavour a little) and plenty of rough brown bread (recipe here).  A drizzle of yoghurt/ sour cream is always a pleasant addition, a vegan cashew cream would also be quite amazing.

We Love It!

Proper rustic, hearty soup with a warm spice underbelly and punnet loads of aromatic flavours.  Most definitely a meal in a bowl.

Aforementioned cat doing what they do

Aforementioned cat doing what they do when Tornados blow outside.  We have so much to learn from these fur balls.

Foodie Fact

The great thing about parsnips, living in Wales, is that they actually need a good frost to grow well!  No shortage of that up here.  Parsnips are high in sugar, similar levels to that of banana and they are a great source of dietary fibre.

 

Categories: Recipes, Soups | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Pimiento, Noras and Potato Soup

P1190047

A soup with a kick and a tickle that is bound to get you buzzing this winter. A real Sopa de Espana here, all ingredients coming from the Mazarron area.

Many people have asked what the heck we are doing going on a three month holiday. Who one earth do we think we are?!!!!!etc….. Well, we’re making soup; and other things. This soup sprang up from a little potter in the kitchen and rifle through the veggie box.  It’s not snowing in the bay, but it can get slightly chilly some night fall.

Here in Murcia, people are wrapped up warm, scarves wrapped around their faces and big thick coats are all the rage. It’s 18-24 degrees! It makes me smile and also admire the resilience of the good folk of Britain and other cold parts of the world. This soup is an offering from the Beach House Kitchen to all those shivering and sniffing their way through with a smile.

Noras are little dried red peppers sold all over Spain and normally used when preparing stews and soups. They add a lovely sweet, peppery tang to all they touch and remind me of the wonder food of Mexico, where the dried chilli is king. Dried peppers come in many shapes and sizes, some large black and sticky, some dark red and spicy.

Pimiento is another word for pepper, red pepper, we love it because it sounds so Spanish! We are lucky (we know this!) to have wild thyme growing in the ramble (dry river bed) below our home.  Splashing a little olive oil on the top of a soup really adds richness to proceedings, olive oil is of course ubiquitous with all things Spanish food. It’s crops up in biscuits, cakes, shower gel and even amazing crisps (crisps fried in olive oil seems so decadent!). We need alot of calories and fat in winter months when the body is trying to keep us from perishing! Olives lend a hand here. My friend Chris, who lives here swears by it and claims bread is ‘merely a vehicle for olive oil’.

The veg. stock we used here came from last nights dinner, the water used for cooking potatoes. Such a shame to throw it away, it is packed with flavour. Back in Wales, we’d blend this together with a hand blender, soups with potato in always blend amazingly well. They go very creamy and full. Here, we enjoyed the texture of the lumps and chunks, listening to Ravi Shankar (r.i.p. Ravi ji) and toasted our friends and family on the grey island, hoping they were all cosy and shiny.

Gorgeous Spanish Tomato

This recipe makes one big panful, enough for approx, 6 decent bowlfuls.

The Bits

1 onion (sliced), 1 stick celery (sliced), 2 large potatoes (firm variety/ cubed), 3 noras (finely sliced), 2 large tomatoes (skin them if you have the time), 2 heaped teas smoked paprika, ½ teas chilli powder (we used a fresh green chilli named ‘Pimiento Padron – Shepherds Peppers’. Que rico!), 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 teas fresh thyme, approx. 1 1/2 -2 litres good veggie stock, 1 big handful coriander, good extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Do It

In a large soup/ saucepan heat a little oil, begin to sweat off your onion. After the onion becomes glassy and soft add your noras and cook for 2 minutes, then add your paprika, thyme and finally your balsamic vinegar. This will begin to bubble and evaporate, stir well and get all the ingredients nicely involved with each other. If things get a little sticky and dry, add a splash of veggie stock to loosen things up. Season nicely.

Now for the potatoes and peppers, cook for 5 minutes until softened, then add you tomato and cook until the tomato has broken down and formed a sauce like consistency. Then add your stock and stir, bring to the boil and cover. Cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are very tender.

Pimiento, Noras and Potato Soup

Serve

Piping hot, topped with a handful of coriander, a splash of olive oil (a la Espana) and big cry of ‘Buen Provecho!’ My thing with soups is, not too hot! Firstly you’ll burn your poor mouth and secondly the flavours come out a little better when the soup has cooled a tad.

We Love It!

Even though we are not freezing and are wearing our shorts, we know this soup would hit the spot in our little wintery cottage back home in Wales. A lovely tangy soup with all the joys of a fiery chilly kick.  Wicked winter warmer.

Foodie Fact

Paprika (or Pimenton) is a superb, bright red spice used in traditional Spanish cooking.  There are several different types of Paprika; namely spicy, sweet, smoked or combinations of the above.  Paprika is made from dried and ground red chillis, traditionally peppers were dried under the sun.  One of the finest areas for Paprika in Spain is Murcia, the region that we call home.

Jane under Spanish skies

Jane under Spanish skies, Puerto Mazzaron

Categories: Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Prince Tomato and Coriander Soup (Raw)

Something like a Black Prince Tomato

These little toms are mind-blowingly tasty and light up this fabulous raw soup recipe.  We believe they are called Black Princes, but cannot be sure.  If they are Black Princes, they originated in Siberia but we picked them up from the wonderful John and Pippa in the small village of Bethel (a couple of valleys away). They are stunning tomatoes to look at, purple and dark green inside and mottled with emerald patches on the outside.  The most surprising thing about these tomatoes is that they have been grown organically in Wales (the land of the shy sun).  How is this possible?  I put it down to great expertise and poly tunnels, 20 years of growing experience also helps!  We are so very grateful to the brilliant Pippa and John for eeking out the best of the conditions of this, the wettest and worst summer on this grey island for over 100 years.  Can you imagine what they’d do in Spain!  Jane and I are almost addicted to these little gems, even scoffing them like popcorn whilst watching a samurai movie recently.

So whats all this about a Black Prince anyway? 

Well, the Black Prince (apart from just having the most epic name of any tomato we have encountered) is one of the most popular black tomatoes in the world (more dark green than black to be honest).  These toms are classed as an heirloom variety in the U.S. (see the foodie fact below) and have a wonderful deep, rich and fruity flavour.  The Black Prince is known as a ‘true Siberian tomato’, which makes it perfect for growing in cooler climates like our little grey island.

They say an Indian summer is coming to these parts, having experienced a couple of these myself in India, I am not sure that this is an accurate description of the potential weather situation.  We can however hope for some late summer sun which makes for a perfect raw soup climate.  But raw soups are not just for the summertime.

One of the things we both struggled to imagine prior to our month of raw food eating in June, was sitting down in front of our fire in mid-December, all wrapped up warm with thermals on and tucking into a cold soup with a salad.  We now know that this would work out just fine.  Although the temperature outside is chilly, the effect this kind of soup has on body and mind is seriously rejuvenating and they are absolutely jam packed full with the vitamins etc. that your body needs come the darker months.

This soup really does the black prince toms justice, it’s refreshing and not shy of a few flavours.  Whether you feel like sparkling some more, or are getting over a good old-fashioned beer garden adventure, this soup will get you zinging in all the right places.

The juice in the recipe replaces a traditional stock.  We have been experimenting with this juicy method and have had some brilliant results in mainly raw soups and stews.  No stock can live up to the vibrancy and freshness of a raw juice, especially for a chilled soup like this one.  We picked only the freshest flavours here and the combination of the tomatoes, peppers, oranges, chilli, coriander and ginger……well you can imagine!  With all those colours in a bowl, expect fireworks!

We like to use a little of the orange zest, it gives it even more pizzazz. The dates are essential to balance the saltiness of the miso.  You could use honey or agave syrup if you fancied, but there is something wonderful about adding dates to savoury food.  Avocado is perfect in soups, but does mean that it must be eaten within a day.  The avos add creaminess without the cream and are a great little raw food trick.

If you don’t own a juicer, just buy some fresh carrot juice instead.  You could also use the same quantity of water, but it would be slightly lacking.  You may also omit the sprouted mung beans and still produce a wonderful bowl of happiness, we just had a glut of them to hand.

Black Prince Tomatoes

This recipe is enough for two big bowlfuls with ample seconds.

The Bits

10 ripe black cherry tomatoes (or the best cherry tomatoes you can get your hands on), 3 ripe tomatoes (the bigger variety), 1 avocado, 1 big handful mung bean sprouts, 250ml carrot and celery juice (that’s roughly 4 large carrots and 1 stick celery), 1 big handful chopped coriander, 1 yellow pepper (chopped), 1 tbsp flax oil (or good olive oil), 1 tsp miso paste, 2 cm cube ginger (finely chopped), 1 clove garlic (mashed), 1/2 red chilli (or 1/2 teas chilli flakes), juice of 1 orange (with half the zest), 3 finely chopped dates

Do It

Make your juice first and then placed all ingredients in a food processor.  Blitz and add the juice gradually.  We think a minute or so is enough, maintain a few chunks, a longer blitz means a smoother soup.

Pre-blitz

Serve

Just not quite chilled and with a good handful of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) as a topping and a scattering of sprouted mung beans.

We Love It!

Our favourite soup yet and deserving of the Black Prince’s great sacrifice.

Black Prince Cherry Tomato and Coriander Soup

Foodie Fact

In America ‘heirloom’ veggies are all the rage.  The Black Prince is an ‘heirloom’ fruit, which basically means that they are pure seeds and have not been touched by any GM crops.  At local markets in Britain, it is great to see people growing our indigenous varieties again, all mis-shapen and knobbly, with real flavours and textures.  Many people are single handedly keeping these varieties in existence and passing on these heirlooms to future generations.

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Local food, Raw Food, Recipes, Soups, Summer, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Beetroot Leaf Soup

The Beet Leaves

With beetroots like these who needs spinach?!  Or something like that anyway.  With a regular supply of these beauties almost year-round you can expect alot more beetroot dishes on the BHK!  Really though, it is my favourite veg.  I know that is a bold statement for a veggie lover.  The ‘root is such a magnificent purple thing, but the leaves are just as good and this soup recipe puts them to good use.  We normally chop them up and put them into salads, so this is a nice change.

Now, the vast majority of Beach House readers are from over the pond, that is to say the USA.  We love you guys and must translate a little here, you may know these leaves as beet greens and beetroots are of course beets.  I like the name beets and beet leaf has a much better ring than beetroot leaf, but I must stay true my small island roots.

The beetroots we are buying at the moment from the farm all come with at least five crisp leaves and beautiful crimson roots.  You can really see the similarity with chard, especially swiss chard, they are all one big happy family.  As with most plants, the leaves contain more nutrients than the roots, one more reason to never, ever throw them away (I hear of people doing this).  What a waste!

Freshly picked Oregano

This is a basic soup recipe and the beetroot leaves can be substituted for beetroots themselves, or most other veg.  This is a classic soup base that allows you to use up any veggies that you have hanging around.

As with most soups, its better the day after.  The flavours really come together and the piquant tomato flavour really comes through with the balsamic adding a lovely sweetness.

I decided on oregano here, because it is blooming at the minute in the herb garden.  You may prefer to use thyme or even rosemary would go nicely.

We made a big vat of soup here, feel free to half the quantities for a more modest pan full.

Makes one big pan full (eight bowls)

The Bits

1 tbs veg oil, 2 sticks celery (chopped), 1 carrot (chopped), 4 cloves garlic (minced), 1 big white onion (chopped), 2 teas cumin, leaves of 12 beetroots (well washed and roughly chopped), 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 2 stems of fresh oregano (leaves only, 3 teas dried oregano otherwise), 1.5l veg stock, 1 tin chopped organic tomatoes, 2 tbs organic tom puree, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Do It

Heat veg oil on medium in a suitably large pan, add onions and soften for a couple of minutes, add celery and carrot and continue cooking and stirring for a couple more minutes.  Then add cumin, garlic and balsamic, allow the vinegar to evaporate (getting rid of most of the acidity) then add you beetroot leaves and season with salt and pepper, stir in well.

Beet leaves wilting

Cook for a few minutes and when the leaves are wilting add the tomatoes, the oregano leaves and the puree, stir in and heat through, then add your stock and bring it all to the boil.  Lower heat and cover, cook for 20 minutes, until all veg is tender.  Then blend together using a hand blender or in batches in a food processor.  The soup should be smooth, no lumps, check seasoning.

Blitz it up!

Serve

In warm bowls, topped with some oregano leaves and fresh cracked black pepper.

Beetroot Leaf Soup

We Love It!

A great summer warmer (needed in these climes), we love the combination of balsamic and beetroot, sweet and tangy coming together nicely with the deep and hearty tomatoes.  A lively, zingy soup, jam packed full of flavour and goodness.

Having a good slurp. YUM!

Foodie Facts

Beetroot leaves are full of fibre, protien and vitamin C, which we need constant supplies of because our bodies cannot store it.  One cup of beetroot leaves gives you 60% of your daily dose of C.  The best news is the vitamin A content, one cup contains 220% of your daily intake.  Cor!  They also contain alot of calcium, most people think that calcium comes from cows, but there are so many other ways of getting your calcium.

Categories: Recipes, Soups, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Rich Tomato and Basil Soup (Raw)

Tomato and Basil

Here’s one for when you are in a little bit of a hurry and you need something quick and tasty. Cold soup is a funny one for most people, it can be difficult to get your head around. Cold soups are served all over the world and I can think of many delicious recipes from Spain. It is very much a cultural thing, in Britain we have diabolical weather, which means we normally need a little warmth in our bellies. Soup is so sustaining and comforting, I don’t see why cold soup cannot have the same effect.

We managed to get our hands on a decent amount of lovely tomatoes, rare in these parts and this soup really did them justice.  The tomatoes really make this dish and without gorgeous tomatoes, you will struggle to get much flavour.  It’s all about tomato here!

Raw food is nutrient dense, which means alot of ingredients.  It is not your average soup, which normally relies heavily on a decent stock, its really just one big savoury smoothie!

This is a recipe that has the added richness of an avocado. I love the way that raw food uses things like avocado to add creaminess to dishes, surely better than a blob of clotted cream (no!?). But I must admit, clotted cream is definitely better on a scone.

We added on green chilli here, to add a little mexican style zing to proceedings.   It is optional of course.  If you’d like it richer, add more avocado, you can never get enough!

So dust off the blender and give this one a whirl. The perfect summer soup, refreshing and filling.  You can heat  this if you like, it will be nearly as nice!

Makes two big bowlfuls:

The Bits

8 tomatoes (medium size, chopped into 1/4′s), 1/2 sweet red pepper, 8 sun dried tomatoes (finely chopped/ mashed), 2 cloves garlic (minced, crushed etc), 1/2 medium sweet onion (Spanish are good, finely chopped), 1 big handful of chopped basil leaves, 1 avocado, pinch of good quality sea salt, 1 green chilli (very optional), olive oil for a drizzle

Tomato and Basil Soup (Raw)

Do It

All in a blender and pulse until a nice chunky texture is formed, add water if needed to thin out slightly.

Serve

We topped ours with sprouts (no surprises there then!) and a couple of basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil maybe?

We Love It!

Nice and rich and refreshing, a great way to use glorious toms!

Foodie Fact

Basil is regarded as the ‘king of herbs’ and is a holy plant in many cultures.  Basil originated in Iran and India.  Basil has many anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties, it contains exceptionally high levels of beta carotene, vitamin A, iron and a whole host of other good stuff.

Categories: Raw Food, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Mug of Miso Soup

 

Mug of Miso

A really quick one here, one for a busy body that needs a happy mind.  I have just indulged in a steaming mug of miso and I thought it worth sharing, mainly due to the ease of making that is far out balanced by the enjoyment and sustenance you get from this mug.

I love miso in all its many forms, colours and prep styles.  This however is my favourite, plain and simple.  I was raised in the Philippines and we used to go to a Japanese restaurant called ‘Takayama’s’.  My Dad has always been a very cool chap and he used to let me order.  I was 10ish.  I used to love this responsibility and normally order a decent concoction of bits and pieces.  I still remember the fist time I had a bowl of miso, the thing I thought for many years was egg (tofu), the thinly sliced spring onions and of course, the intensely flavoured stock.  I love stock and miso makes the worlds finest stock.

This is a little something you can rustle up in less that a minute, it is very nourishing and makes the perfect snack for the fleet footed modern lifestyle.

If you’re lucky, you have a bag of dried seaweed in your cupboards.  If not, no worries, its great without it.

Fills one of our big mugs, about a pint.

The Bits

Per mug- 1 tbs of your favourite miso (we used brown rice miso, it has a lovely earthiness), 2 finely chopped mushrooms, 1 finely chopped spring onion, 1 teas chopped ginger, 2 teas dried seaweed, dash of soya sauce, boiling water.

Do It

Add the miso to you mug, add a little just boiled water, stir in.  Then add the rest, add a dash of soya sauce, taste, add more if it needs a little more a salty tang.  Cover with a saucer and leave for a minute to get itself together, and cook the mushrooms a little.

Serve

You could even add some thin rice noodles here, just make sure they’re cooked!

We Love It!

A revitalising and nourishing cup of happiness.

Foodie Fact

Miso is a Japanese condiment, a paste normally made soybeans or barley, rice or wheat.  It has magical properties, that it gains from the fermentation process.  The colour and flavour depends on the ingredients and techniques used.

Miso contains high levels of sodium, so bear that in mind before you start ladling it in!  Miso is low in saturated fat but rich in vitamin K, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamin-B complexes, protein, copper, manganese and zinc.

Miso can help to detoxify the body, the microbes present line the intestines and it also contains many enzymes (which we are always going on about!).

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Raw Green Thai Soup

Thai soup – in the mix

Here is a classic Thai soup, only this time served cold.  This is without doubt the finest chilled soup I have ever tasted.  You just have to look at what goes into it to realise that it is going to be a taste sensation!  Coconut, lemon grass, chilli, lime and ginger.  That’s the taste of food heaven.

If there is any food which mirrors a country, it is Thai.  Vibrant, colourful and unique.  The combination of ingredients and fresh, fresh flavours make my mouth water.

Jane and I met not far from Thailand (well the Philippines, but close enough!) We both love Asia for many reasons, but the people and food really stand out. Thailand cannot be beaten for food.  A bold statement, but anyone who has visited and trawled the street food and markets will agree.  Great food made simply but with super fresh ingredients.  The soups alone are almost alchemical, their vapours can revive the soul and the flavours dance in your mouth like a dragon.

Thai’s love food. In a way that us pretentious Europeans cannot comprehend. My friend Toum took me to a local market in a suburb of north Bangkok and I have never seen such care taken in the selection of produce. I was chided for holding some green leaves the wrong way round and generally made to feel clumsy with my food handling and that I had much to learn in the respect and treatment of food.  We carried our vegetables home as if they were newly born babies.

You can see the real identity  of countries and cultures coming through in what they eat.  Most Thais eat very well, regardless of social standing.  In fact, they seem to eat the same things, in the same places.  Namely the street.  There is a movement towards a more westernised capitalist  culture in the upper and middle classes, but all done in a very Thai way.  I can never see the big mac taking over from the pad thai.

This will be very refreshing come summer (it is coming I hope), the flavours are as intense and fragrant as you would expect from things Thai.

Bangkok Street Food

The Bits

There’s lots of bits in this one, but that’s what makes it so very tasty!

6 mushrooms, 6 tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, 1 cm fresh ginger (or 1cm galangal if you can), 1 lemon grass stick, 1 red chilli, 4 dates, 6 lime leaves, juice of 2 limes, bunch of coriander, 120g fresh coconut chopped, 125g spinach, 1 apple, 2 tbsp tamari

Do It

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender and keep your finger on the button until all the herbs have been blitzed.

Raw Thai Soup

Serve

In a big bowl with a few sprouts and coriander leaves on top, a whole heap of love, and the biggest spoons you have!

We Love It!

It is such a taste explosion and takes us back to happy memories of a wonderful land (just one spoonful of this and we now want to go back!).  This is authentic thai, without the jars of paste.

Thai Lotus Flower

Foodie Fact

So essential to Thai cookery, coriander (celantro to some) is actually native to the Mediterranean and is rich in anti-oxidants that help against heart conditions.  It also contains high levels of vitamin C and many different minerals.  It  is one of the richest sources of vitamin K and has a very high vitamin A content.  Quite a herb!

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Raw Emerald Soup

Raw Emerald Soup

A creamy raw soup that is deep green and delicious.  This is raw food at its finest, a lovely texture and flavour and also packed full of nutrients.  It is thick and filling.  This is the perfect soup for a nice lunch in the summer garden.  No emeralds are used in this recipe!  This soup is so vividly green it must be good for you.

Savannah and Jane made this one last night and they both commented on how easy it is to prepare.  It’s funny in raw food that the ingredients list normally outweighs the preparation list.  It’s quick.  There is also less washing up to do!

Raw food is dense in nutrients and I am eating less for meals.  One bowl of this and I was well sated.

The inspiration for this soup came from the brilliant raw food book ‘Eat Smart, Eat Raw’ by Kate Wood.  It is written specifically for raw fooders in the UK.  It is fast becoming our raw food recipe bible.

All vegetables here are grated beforehand to make it easier to blend.

The Bits

These bits are per person:
4/5 carrots, two large handful of spinach, 1/2 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 apple, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tbs miso paste, 1 tbs flax seed oil (we used rapeseed oil), 1 teas dried seaweed, 300ml water.

Do It

All goes into the blender and puree until smooth.

Serve

Mix mung bean sprouts in and scatter on top with some freshly chopped parsley and I added a scattering of sunflower seeds.

Foodie Fact

Spinach is full of iron:  two out of every three women in the UK are iron deficient.

Categories: Healthy Eating, Lunch, Raw Food, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nettle Soup

More foraging antics here from good friends of the Beach House Kitchen, Dan and Ruth.  They have kindly sent across this recipe for their tasty nettle soup.

Eating nettles may sound strange, but they lose their sting when cooked and have been eaten in Britain throughout history.  Even Samuel Pepys sampled nettle porridge on February 25th, 1661.   The trend died out recently, I have no idea why.  Nettles contain significant amounts of iron and calcium, also giving you a big hit of vitamin A.

Dan and Ruth have been raiding the hedgerows of South London, looking for stinging nettles and wild garlic.  ‘Tis that time of year!  It is so good to be outside in the green.  I love the seasons, how they heighten our expectation and enjoyment of spring, when life returns and nature wakes up.

Ruth mid-forage

This is a recipe we will be trying very soon.  We are surrounded by bushes of nettles.  I love their flavour, like hedgerow spinach.  I wonder if there is a recipe that uses dock leaves.  That would be quite a thing!  I remember as a child being fascinated by nature, the fact that dock leaves always grew with nettles.  When I stung myself, the remedy was always at hand.

The Bits

2 glugs of olive oil, 1 onion (chopped), 1 carrot (diced), 1 leek (sliced), 1 large potato (chopped), 725ml vegetable stock (good quality), 200g stinging nettles leaves [note: weight does not include stems] (washed), 50g butter, 75ml double cream

Do It

Heat the oil in a large saucepan (preferably one that fits one of those countless lids in your cupboard) over a medium heat and add onion, carrot, leek and potato. Fry for 10 minutes until soft and the onion starts to colour. Add the stock and cook for a further 15 minutes until the potato is soft.

Add the nettle leaves and simmer for 4 minutes until they have wilted. Once done, pour all into a blender and blitz away until nice and green. Return to the pan over a low heat and stir in the butter and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nettle Soup

Serve

With wild garlic pesto (recipe to appear soon).

Foodie Fact 

Stinging nettles are best eaten before they flower (less bitter) in late May. Wear some gardening gloves and take a pair of scissors. The top part of the nettle often has the best leaves.

Categories: Budget, Foraging, Friends of B.H.K, Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Roots Soup

Local Roots

“Goin’ back to our ROOTs”.  Beetroots.

This is a sweet winter wonder.  Vibrant and choc-a-bloc with goodness and power.  This soup will add some sunshine groove into any grey day.

I lived in Brixton, London, for a while and loved the energy of Caribbean culture and the vibrant market.  This soup reflects all those happy vibes and memories.  The sweet potatoes, yams and cassava were always abundant down there, which gave me new roots to explore in the kitchen, leading me to this soup.
The recipe includes sweet potato, the rest are very local (I walked to buy them from where they grow!) and a few spices from far flung lands.  The chilli, paprika and all-spice give the soup some strong Caribbean flava!
This is a mixed-up root soup, which for me, sums up all that is good about this little eclectic island.  We have many different roots!  It also gives me a chance to put on some reggae tunes and boggie while it bubbles.
This will make one big panful, around 4 big bowls.  I like cooking in bulk, save it or freeze it.  Saves time and the elec/gas bill.

The Bits

1 large potato, 3 medium sweet potatos, 1 medium beetroot, 1 small swede, 1 medium pasrnip, 1 red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp all spice, 1/2 teas cinnamon, 1 teas chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 teas turmeric, 1.5L veg stock.

Do It

Onions and garlic are sliced and all other roots are chunked (peel them only if you like skinless, skins are full of goodness).

Glug of oil and fry onions on medium heat, soften then add the garlic, leave for a couple of minutes, then add all the roots.  Make sure you have a nice big pan for this, your roots need room.  Fry until they start to colour a little, then add the spices, cook and stir until well coated and coloured, then add the stock.  Leave for 30 minutes, partially covered, to simmer (try not to boil, it takes away some flavour).  Add more water if needed (lost to evap.).

When all is very tender, get a hand blender (or cool and put in a food processor) and blitz it up nice and creamy.

Serve

We had it with a dollop of creme fraiche, because it was hanging around the fridge, otherwise, have it how you like it!  With good tunes on.  You must dance a little after eating this soup, even if you’re wearing your slippers.

We Love It

This is true soul food (’cause it makes you feel mighty fine). The vibrant colour and the deep sense of well-being post slurp makes this soup a champion for any season.

Foodie Fact

Botanically speaking the sweet potato is a tuber.  They really are the finest root (brave statement for a Brit!) mainly because they’re so damn good for you.  Sweet pots are low in calories, packed with starch (which are introduced into the blood stream slowly, which is good) and flavanoids (powerful antioxidants).   Best of all, they’re orange.

Sweet Tuber

Sweet Tuber

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mum’s Broccoli and Potato Soup

Like this, but soup

Proper winter warmer and so easy.
 
My Mum may be like yours, everything she touches turns tasty.  This soup is an ace in Mum’s repertoire and makes me feel at home wherever I eat it.
 
Makes a nice big pan full.
 
 The Bits
2 onions, chopped, 5 cups vegetable stock (homemade if you’re Mum), 6 potatoes, 2 lge broccoli heads, 1 garlic clove pressed, 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste
 
Do It
Combine onions, vegetable broth, potatoes, and broccoli in a large pot.
Cook until vegetables are tender.
Puree mixture until creamy.
Return to pot add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
 
Serve
Particularly good with Avocado slices on top or grated cheese if you fancy.
 
We Love It
Because as Jane’s Dad would put it, ‘this is good fuel kid.’
 
Foodie Fact
Broccoli can help to maintain healthy bones, it is rich in indoles and sulforaphane compounds which have Cancer fighting properties.
Abundant in Fibre, Folate, Vitamin- C Vitamin- K. Calcuim, Coenzyme, Q10, Carotenoid and under a microscope looks like a magic green fractal kaleidoscope.
 

A snap of Mum on Christmas morning. Thanks MumX

 
Categories: Cheese, Gluten-free, Lunch, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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