Courgette and Spinach Soup

The great thing about cooking at the yoga centre is that I get to experiment once more. It’s been a while. So check this out, the first of many new recipes I hope.

courgette and spinach soup

1 leek
2 courgette
1/2 a bag of spinach (approx 100g)
1 inch of fresh ginger
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
olive oil
3 cups of boiling water

In a large pan fry the fennel and cumin seeds in hot oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the turmeric and black pepper, and mix.

Add the chopped leek and fry for a few minutes until soft.

Scrape the skin off the ginger and chop as small as possible. Add to leek and fry for another minute or two.

Add the courgette, cut length ways and chopped into half moon slices, and fry for a further 3 minutes until softened a bit.

Add the boiling water, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked.

Add the spinach, washed and roughly chopped, and the lemon juice and salt. Cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend until smooth (mash roughly if you don’t have a blender). Do final seasoning then serve.

The lemon juice really gives this soup the kick of flavour it needs. And the fennel seeds add a welcome random element to the taste when eating, as you bite into them only occasionally, getting an aniseedy taste you’re not expecting.

I’m quite proud of this concoction, and I urge you to give it a go. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

Tide Tables Cafe

Not one for doing restaurant reviews on here normally, but I was so chuffed with finding this place that I had to give them a bit of a write up.

tide tables cafe

It’s the Tide Tables Cafe in Richmond. We went in there just for a cuppa after walking along the river, but when I spotted the “vegan menu” board up on the wall we had to have something!

I opted for the Winter Warmer Soup, while Sarah went for the Baked Potato with Veggie Chilli (I was very tempted by that too, but I always end up having a baked potato when I’m out and about most places, so I thought I’d go for something different this time). Have to say they were both really nice, especially after such a long walk. Really filled us up and gave us a nice glow inside.

Will definitely be heading back there again. It’s a really nice little place to eat (in one of the arches underneath the bridge) and they have a great selection of stuff to try. Reckon it’ll be a while before I get bored of going in there.

*Read this updated report as well!*

Kiki’s 3 orange soup

Bit of a misnomer this one, as there’s not actually 3 oranges in it. The name actually refers to the 3 orange ingredients involved – carrots, sweet potato and oranges. I was going to try and squeeze the juice of 3 oranges in there (no pun intended) but I think that might have been overkill, so I settled for 2 instead.

kiki's 3 orange soup

1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, diced
splash of olive oil
500ml vegetable stock
250ml boiling water
zest of 1 orange
juice of 2 oranges (approx 200ml)
pinch of salt

In a large pan saute the onion in olive oil on a medium heat until soft. Add the orange zest and saute for 1 minute more.

Add the carrots, sweet potato, vegetable stock, water and pinch of salt, and bring to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Take off heat and blend until smooth. Add orange juice, stir over a low heat for 1 minute, then serve. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

This soup is so nice it should have a restraining order. We had one like it when we were away on our retreat and everybody loved it. The orange just elevates it to a whole new level. Give it a go, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Week 8’s recipes – Jerk Tofu & Carrot and Coriander soup

Jamaican Jerk Tofu

Another old recipe from my college days, this time with tofu instead of chicken.

200g Firm tofu, cut diagonally

4-5 tsp of Jerk seasoning (powdered)

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup Boiling water

Mix the jerk seasoning with 1 tbsp of the olive oil to make a marinade (if you can’t get the lovely sticky stuff that is) then coat your tofu wedges in the spicy goo and leave to marinate for half an hour to an hour.

To cook, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan on a fairly high heat. Place the tofu in the pan and sear one side for 7 minutes (or until brown). Turn over and sear the other side for 7 minutes also, adding the onion around the tofu for the last 5 minutes or so. Take care not to burn the onion.

Once both sides are cooked add the boiling water and turn down to a low heat. Cover with a lid (or plate) and simmer for another 7 minutes or until most of the water has gone. If you put the rice on before you start cooking it should be done by now. Serve on a bed of rice covered with the spicy onions as pictured above.

Carrot and Coriander soup

A classic soup, and stupidly easy to make.

5-6 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Fry the onion and carrots in a medium pan on a medium high heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add 1 tsp of ground coriander and fry for another minute.

Add the vegetable stock and salt, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots have gone soft. Take off heat and blend until fairly smooth. Add the fresh coriander, stir and serve.