We just had a heck of a storm here in the UK, so I think we can safely say that autumn is well and truly here. And with that, of course, it’s also soup time! I love soup. Full of vegetable goodness and maybe some beans or grains. Yum. To be honest, I can happily eat soup year round – except for maybe the hottest of days..
Serves 4. Or 3 if the diners are greedy. If you serve it with a starter or a side dish you can probably stretch it to 5-6.
Prep time: 15-ish minutes
Cooking time: 90-ish minutes – but a good chunk of that you won’t reallyhave to do anything, so you can go knit a few rows on that sweater… ;-)
You will need one large sauce pan and a stationary blender for this recipe. You can make it using a stick blender, but then you will need a large and a small sauce pan.
1 fresh chilli, seeds removed, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
1 medium size sweet potato, peeled, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery*, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tsp vegetable stock powder
Approx 2 cups/ 400-500 ml cold water
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
A pinch each of garlic powder, smoked paprika and black pepper
½ box of tomato passata (what is tomato passata, you ask?)
½ cup / 100ml frozen sweet corn
Sautée chilli, garlic and onion in 1 tsp and 2 tsp water until the onion starts to go clear and you start to smell the garlic.
Add the spices and salt and stir often for 2-3 minutes. Add a tsp of water if it sticks to the bottom of the sauce pan.
Add the carrot, sweet potato and celery and sautée for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it sticks to the bottom, add another 1-2 tsp of water.
Add tomatoes and stock powder, stir to mix in well and heat through.
Pour in enough water to not quite cover the vegetables. If you have the odd bit of carrot or sweet potato sticking out of the water, don’t worry, it will still cook.
Let the water come to the boil and then let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Stir every now and then just to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the sauce pan.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat and let cool down for 10-15 minutes.
Transfer everything to a blender and blitz until it has a smooth consistency. A few rough bits are fine, though!
Leave in the blender, but put a couple of tbsp of the blended vegetables into the sauce pan along with a pinch each of garlic powder, paprika and pepper.
Heat through and then add the chickpeas.
Sautée the chickpeas for a few minutes.
(If you’re using a stick blender, blend the vegetables directly in your large sauce pan, then do the steps for sautéing the chickpeas in the smaller sauce pan.)
Put the blended vegetables back in the sauce pan and add the tomato passata as well.
(If you blended directly in the sauce pan, you will transfer the chickpeas to the vegetables instead.)
Let everything heat through for 5 minutes. Add a bit of water if the soup is a bit thick.
Add the sweet corn and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve piping hot with some nice bread. Bon appetit!
If you want your soup to be even more hearty, you can add some cooked pearl barley (I *love* that stuff!) or maybe some pasta. You could also use leftovers of the soup as sauce for pasta. Or maybe an alternative to pizza sauce? Get creative with those leftovers!
*That celery may look a bit odd and there’s a reason for that! The packs of celery I buy are usually more than I need, so I blanch it and then divide it into portions and freeze it. When I next need some celery for soup or maybe a lasagna, I just get it out of the freezer!
This is how I prepare it: rinse the celery, chop finely and then add the chopped celery to a sauce pan with already boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Pour into a colander and let the water run off, place on a tea towel to let dry a bit more. Then put into small freezer bags and into the freezer.