Monday, 31 October 2016

Spicy Pumpkin Onion Coriander Soup

How are you celebrating Halloween? I have gone a bit pumpkin cray in the kitchen and in addition to making pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin spice porridge, I also made this yummy spicy pumpkin onion & coriander soup. If you have one too many pumpkins lying around the house after all the carving & spooky fun, why not use them in the kitchen?

Now pumpkin is an excellent source of fibre. Which means eating generous quantities of pumpkin will keep you fuller for longer. It is also an excellent source of vitamin A, its great for your skin,  good for your vision, helps you sleep better and reduces the risk of heart disease. Do you need more convincing?

So to make this Spicy Pumpkin Onion Coriander soup, you will need the following:

1 small sized pumpkin
1 onion
1 table spoon of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of galangal (you can just crush a piece of fresh ginger and use that)
Coriander stalks (small bunch)
Coriander leaves to garnish
600 ml organic veg stock
2 teaspoons of coconut cream
7-8 pumpkin seeds
Salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (and a little extra to garnish)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (and a little extra to garnish)

Pre-heat your oven on 200 degrees Celsius. Cut your pumpkin into halves (skin on) and place them (skin side up) in a baking tray lined with parchment paper or aluminium foil.  Bake the pumpkin for about 40 minutes till its cooked and feels really soft, almost puree like.

Meanwhile in a pan add a table spoon of coconut oil and heat that for a couple of minutes. Roughly chop your onion and then throw it in the pan. Cook the onions for a couple of minutes and then add galangal or ginger. After a minute or so add salt and pepper to your taste. After a few minutes add 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin. Then throw in the bunch of coriander stalks. Cook the onion for about 15-20 minutes on low heat.

When the pumpkin is done, peel the skin (you might have to use a knife to cut the skin bits off). Once you have you pumpkin mush separated from the skin, add that to the pan, use a spatula to mesh the onion, pumpkin and spices together. Throw in some more coriander leaves, juice of half a lemon and at this point have a little taste and see if you need any more chilli, salt or pepper. If you need a bit more kick, go ahead and add some spice.

You can go in with a hand blender and blend away until you get the consistency of a smooth puree, this won't take long at all because your pumpkin & onion should have become very mushy by this point. I personally blend my soup in a separate blender because I am just too messy with the hand blender. I don't know how but every-time I use a hand blender, there's an accident in the kitchen!

Once you have blended, transfer everything back to the pan and also add the 600 ml of veg stock. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. And your spicy pumpkin onion coriander soup is ready to eat. I used coconut cream, fresh coriander leaves, pumpkin seeds, smoked paprika & cumin to garnish my soup. Feel free to use whatever you have access to.

Happy Halloween! Hope you have had a lovely Halloween weekend with your family & friends. If you try this recipe, please leave me a comment or share pictures. I would love to hear from you.

See you next time xoxox


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Winter Spiced Saffron Porridge

It has started to get really cold here in the UK and for the last few days I was feeling that dreadful itchy feeling in my nose & at the back of my throat; that itchy feeling right before you are about to catch a nasty cold and/or cough.

If you have at all read my blog recently you will know that I LOVE my smoothie bowls and pretty much eat a smoothie bowl for breakfast every single day but I also feel that you just cannot beat a bowl of hot porridge to warm you up on a cold day.

I now firmly believe that food is medicine and instead of reaching out for throat sweets and/or cold & flu meds, this time I thought of making myself a winter spiced porridge. I feel loads better after eating this heart warming porridge and I am pleased to report that it tastes like dessert.  This porridge is vegan, the oats I used here contain gluten but you could also use gluten free oats instead or quinoa too. If you are looking at adding a whole new twist to your ordinary porridge, then look no further!

What you will need for porridge (These quantities make 2 servings)

1 cup of oats
2 table spoons chia seeds
2 bananas cut into small pieces
2 cups of almond milk or any other plant milk of choice
1 tablespoon of coocnut oil
1 teaspoon of tahini
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A good pinch of nutmeg
A small piece of fresh ginger crushed & beaten into paste like consistency
15-20 strands of saffron soaked in a tablespoon of water

What you will need for toppings 
Fruit - I went for figs & berries
Almond Butter
Coconut flakes/chips
Cacao nibs

These are just the toppings I went for, you can top your porridge up with whatever you fancy!

In a pan add all your ingredients i.e. oats, chia seeds, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coconut butter, maca powder, tahini, saffron strands and saffron infused water. Finally add the almond milk and the cook everything on medium heat, stirring consistently for 5-7 minutes. Depending on how you like your porridge- firm, gloopy or liquidy, you may or may not want to add in some more milk.

Serve in a bowl and top it up with a generous dollop of almond butter and some fruit. I went for fig and berries. I also went in with coconut chips and cacao nibs. These are perfect for adding a bit of crunch to the otherwise really soft texture of this porridge.

How do you cook your porridge and whats your favourite porridge topping?

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