Tomato, vermicelli and parsley soup

tomato soup

Now this soup is very, very easy, it takes not more than 15 – 20 minutes to cook and good for when you have cold (or man’s flu : ) as well.

What do I need to buy?

serves 2- 4 (if it is a main dish then just for two people)

2 – 3 big tomatoes (or if you are rushing, one can of organic chopped tomatoes)
a handful or a bit more vermicelli
(optional mint) blackpepper, red pepper flakes
half a lemon juice
a spoonful of olive oil
half a pack of parsley

1. Chop the tomatoes then put them in a pan and start cooking on medium heat.
2. Pour 4 – 5 glasses of lukewarm water and bring up to boil.
3. Add vermicelli, stir well and cook on medium heat.
4. Once vermicelli is soft, add  parsley and then spices..

little note for omnivores: If you have come chicken at home, boil it then use its water in this soup.

Serve with a bit of lemon juice and some bread.

Enjoy!

Halloween Pumpkin Dessert

pumpkin

Finally something different than pumpkin soup for Halloween!  I have been cooking it for the last two years as a Halloween dessert and it is a great success! And extremely easy I would say!

1 kg pumpkin (sliced 2 cm thick and 5 -6 cm long)
3 cups of sugar (may be more depends how sugary you like it! This was pretty enough for me but I do not like it too much!)
walnuts
optional : pistachios, almonds or hazelnuts)
clotted cream, if not vanilla icecream or double cream
6 – 7 cloves

How am I gonna cook this?

1. Take a wide pan, place a layer of pumpkins then cover them with sugar, then another layer of pumpkins then sugar, be generous when you are pouring sugar!
2. Let it rest for one or two hours. You will see the pumpkins softening up and then leaving their juice.
3. If there is not enough juice(I mean  the pan should be half way full with the juice) then add a little bit of water.
4. Boil on a medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes, once they are soft enough, empty the pumpkins into a glass casserole.
5. Boil the rest of the juice until it becomes caramelised, put some crushed walnuts over your dessert then pour the caramelised juice over it.
6. Cool it for a few hours then enjoy with ice cream or double cream!

Stuffed Redpepper (with bulgur wheat)

pepper
Now, I think this recipe is apparently an healthier option then the normal stuffed pepper as bulgur (bulgar wheat) is used to fill it. Without getting frantic about whether healthy it is or not, I tend to use bulgar in a lot of dish anyway, I find it very tasty.Once you get used to doing it, you can try using the same stuffing for different vegetables like this one stuffed aubergine.aubergine

Here we go:

4 – 5 spoonful of olive oil
5 – 6 preferably small or medium size redpeppers (you can use pointed redpeppers as well, they look quite sweet on the plate)
1 water glass of bulgar wheat
2 tomatoes (or equivalent of canned and chopped tomatoes)
2 onions
2 – 3 spring onions
a bit of salt, blackpepper, mint and allspice
2 spoonful of currant and pinenuts

1. Wash the peppers, cut the heads (do not throw them away you will use them!) and clean the seeds.
2. Heat some water, pour a bit over the bulgar to soak.
3. Chop the onions and spring onions then stir and fry them in a little bit of water. (I try not to fry olive oil as it gets very unhealthy when it is burnt)
4. Then add the bulgar wheat into the pan, stir well, then add the chopped tomatoes, currants and pinenuts. (some people like to fry the pinenuts slightly in another pan, tastes nice)
5. Season well with allspice, mint, blackpepper and a little bit of salt (I sometimes don`t use and actually try to compensate it with spices usually in many recipes), fry a bit more , then leave it cool down.
6. Once it is a bit cool, stuff your peppers with this mixture, put their heads on, and place in a deep or wide pan.
7. Pour some boiled water over them, close the lid and cook for 20 minutes, then check occasionally until the peppers get soft.
Serve warm or cold. and with yoghurt!

Enjoy!

Time to prepare: 15 – 20 mins
Time to cook     : 20 – 30 mins (depends on how hard the redppers are)

How to cook spinach?

spinach

Of course, there are many ways but this is one of my favourites! I like cooking lovely purslane in a similar way to this as well. We need to wait for it to come into season I’m afraid:)

  1. Wash the spinach, leave in a bowl full of water and a bit of apple vinegar as it cleans the bacteria.
  2. If you’re using brown rice, boil it in a pan with water for 10 minutes to soften it a bit.  If you’re using white rice, skip this step.
  3. Peel and chop up a big onion.
  4. Peel and chop 2 or 3 tomatoes (or do it the easy way – buy some chopped tomatoes).
  5. Heat some olive oil in a pan for a bit, then add the onions.
  6. When they turn a bit yellowish, add the tomatoes.
  7. Then add the spinach and stir well. Don’t be scared to use the whole pack! It will look like too much, but it will reduce a lot.
  8. Then add a half a mug of rice to this mixture. (I like it with a lot of rice, but it depends on your choice).
  9. Then add 1 or 2 mugs of warm water depending on how thick the mixture is. Stir them altogether, the water level shouldn’t be too high above the spinach – just slightly over…
  10. Cook it for 10 more minutes then serve with a drizzle of lemon juice and a bit of yoghurt on the side.