Salving Soups: Spicy vegetable and chickpea soup

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Roasted chillies are the secret to this spicy little number. A comforting Asian inspired soup, that’ll certainly add warmth to the chilly season.

This wholesome, hearty, veggie soup has plenty of health benefits to boost your immune system and counteract any coughs and colds.

Adapted from My Indian Family Kitchen by Anjali Pathak

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Serves:          4-6

Prep time:     10 minutes

Cook time:    40 minutes

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ingredients

  • 2 red chillies, for roasting
  • 3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chick peas, liquid reserved
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 100g broccoli florets
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt to serve, optional
  • handful of pistachio nuts, crushed, optional

Method

  1. Roast the 2 chillies, if you have a gas hob, put a wire rack over the flames and roast on top until they are blistered and black. Or, char them under a very hot grill. Keep turning the chillies so they colour evenly. This should take about 5 minutes. Set aside in a bowl to cool, covered with cling film.
  2. While the chillies are roasting, start the soup. Gently heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions for about 10 minutes until light golden brown. Remove half of the onions and set aside. Cook the onions left in the pan for 5 minutes more or until deep golden brown and crisp. (These are for sprinkling over at the end.) Remove from the pan and reserve.
  3. Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the pan and add the bay leaves and cumin seeds. Put the soft onions back in, (The first set you took out of the pan), then add the garam masala, carrots, celery, and garlic.
  4. Peel the charred skin off the roasted chillies, roughly chop (with or without the seeds – including them will make the soup spicier), then add to the pan. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes before adding the hot stock and one tin of chick peas including the liquid. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes or until the carrots have softened.
  5. Remove from the heat, take out the bay leaves, then whizz briefly using a blender.
  6. Put it back on the heat, season to taste, add the second tin of chick peas, including the liquid from the tin, bring back to a simmer and add the broccoli florets. After 2 minutes, stir in the spinach and turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle with the reserved onion crisps and crushed pistachio nuts.

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