This pea soup is fast, delicious, nutritious and is made with minimal effort and prep. We all have days when we just don’t feel like cooking, but still want something healthy, tasty and good value with household staples. I’ve used frozen fine peas here. If…
When preparing beans I usually soak and sprout twice the amount needed for my recipe. Leftover pulses are stored in the freezer for immediate use in another recipe. What does “sprouting” mean? First, I wash the pulses well. Then, I soak them in plenty of…
This is probably considered the simplest, most everyday family meal in Greek families. Even then, a simple dish can have its secrets. Equally loved and loved by children, this starchy soup brings back childhood memories as a comforting and filling dish.
Although soaking lentils is not absolutely necessary, I consider it worthwhile. If you soak and sprout them you can increase their nutritional value and shorten their cooking time. It takes about eight hours of soaking and 12 hours for them to start sprouting. Wash them well and soak them. Then strain them well and leave them for 12 hours in a strainer that is well ventilated from all sides. Water them in the strainer a couple of times in this period, mixing them well each time and you will soon see their little white root. Even if you don’t have time to sprout them, even you only soak them, they cook faster and evenly afterwards, becoming more “plump” as they boil.
I also prefer adding stock instead of water. We certainly have plenty of it most days as it is gently simmering away almost daily or there is always a good quantity in the freezer. The stock adds both nourishment and taste. I ‘ve noticed that with the stock the soup thickens well having to overcook it or keep stirring it all the time. When I first introduced our children to bone marrow, a meze they now eat as a spread, I used to stir it into the soup to dissolve.
Finally we accompany them with either apaki (smoked pork preserved in vinegar from Crete) or octopus in vinegar, since vinegar’s acidic, sweet and sour flavor suits lentils so well. Also, both options contain haem iron which with the absorption of the non-haem iron found in pulses.
- 500 g. lentils, soaked and sprouted
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp paprika or 1 chili
- Water or broth to cover by 2 cm.
- 1 tblsp tomato paste
Combine the lentils, carrots, garlic and herbs in a large pot and pour in enough stock or water to cover our ingredients by 2 centimeters. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 ‘-35 ‘ (if the lentils are not sprouted, it will take 10 ‘ more). Check to see if they are completely soft and if they are done, add the tomato paste and the salt and stir well. Serve with olive oil and vinegar.
Youvarlakia is a traditional Greek soup featuring meat dumplings with rice and an “avgolemono” (egg and lemon) sauce. I had never tasted them growing up in Greece, since my expat Irish mom didn’t even know them. As I have no childhood memories, I felt quite…
While chicken soup is the consolation prize during the winter’s viruses, this pumpkin soup is for cold blustery days, that feeling you might be coming down with something, even to cheer you up with its vivid color and its sweet and spicy taste, guaranteed to…
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 courgette, diced
- 1 potato or half a celeriac root, diced
- 400 g of soaked and spouted* cannellini beans
- 2 slices pancetta finely sliced
- olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 500 g grated tomatoes
- 1,5 litres homemade bone broth or vegetable stock
- 120 g short pasta such as ditali or “kofto”- κοφτό
- 2 tbsps basil pesto, optional
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pancetta and fry gently for 2 minutes, or until golden. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, courgette, leek, thyme and bay leaf and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
Add the potato, cannellini beans, tomatoes and stock. Stir well, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through. .
Add the pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the instructions on the packet to ensure pasta is al dente.
Stir through the basil pesto and season with salt and black pepper. Serve with crusty bread.
*If you haven’t sprouted the beans, you will need to parboil them for about 40′ before adding them to the soup.
Soaking and sprouting saves cooking time, makes beans better digestible and their nutrients more readily available.For more information see here