Thursday, 16 January 2014

Watercress and yogurt soup

I'm delighted with my new mugs for soups and creams. What do you think? Isn't this color simply gorgeous? For someone who loves soups and creams as much as I do,  getting this set was as exciting as a birthday present you have waited for a long, long time.

But they have come, I've used and I am absolutely delighted. All you know that LeCreuset products (you can buy them here) are wonderful. I do not say anything new. I just confirm that they are as nice as they seem, so I decided to try them with a green, green hot soup.

I need no excuses to prepare soups as I love all of them, but it is getting kind of cold in here, so I feel like starting my meals with some warm and conforting vegetable soup. I had some watercress in the fridge, so this is the soup I came up with.

I've added just plain yogurt for a light cream, but if you want a more satisfing meal you can add potatoes and carrots.  You will have a less intense green colour in your soup, but it will be equally tasty.

Watercress and yogurt soup

Ingredients (for 2 people)

2 shallots
Olive oil
1/2 liter of broth
A good handful of fresh watercress
1 plain yogurt (whole or fat-free)
1 potato (optional)


In a large saucepan fry the shallots cut into small cubes, with a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Cook until translucent. Add broth, bring to boil. Add watercress, cook 2 to 5 minutes over medium heat. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. With a hand mixer, purée the soup until completely mixed. Add the yogurt and beat again. Serve immediately.

If you use potatoes, cut into chunks and add to the pan after frying the shallot. After a couple of minutes, add the broth and let the potatoes cook until tender: 15 to 20 minutes. Then just follow the recipe as above: Add the watercress and yogurt and make a soup.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Spicy roasted vegetables soup

I do not know about you, but I am desperate right now for being on a diet of vegetables and fruit, for a week at least. It is not that I have had too much during the holidays, really. It is more the fact of just having so much food around, all the time, for so much time that made me so full of everything!
The whole family came back home a couple of days ago, and even though tomorrow it is not a bank holiday here, I could not resist the tradition of preparing a Roscon de Reyes (you can see my traditional recipe here), sharing it with some friends while the girls watched the Parade from Madrid on the computer, and be able to, finally, say goodbye to Christmas Holidays.

Right now I feel like having fresh, clean, simple food which do not leave me with a sad stomach. If you love food, you know that some foods leave your stomach kind of sad. You know the food is fine, but you do not feel full, it leaves you with a feeling of emptiness, even knowing that you had enough food. It is not always the same kind of food, it is not even a matter of portion size. It is only that sometimes you need some comforting food, something nice, nutritious, healthy but delicious, that allows you to go back to normal.
Form me, that kind of food is always a soup. I always feel like having soup. Summer, winter, no matter what. You can put into this one nearly anything you have at hand, and you will hardly get wrong. The difference from other soup recipes is that for this one I have roasted the vegetables first with a pinch of harissa. It gaves a wonderful and special taste to the final soup. The result is a simple, fresh, delicious one. Just like the promise of a whole new year full of new recipes that we will devour one mouthful at a time. 

Spicy roasted vegetables soup

1 small onion
2 small potatoes
2 carrots
1 small leek (just the white part)
1 red pepper
1 teaspoon of harissa (o ras el hanout, grounded)
Olive oil
1 spoonful of natural yogurt, to serve (optional)
Black pepper, grounded

Preheat oven at 180º. Peel, clean and cut the vegetables into similar portions. Put them on an oven tray, covered with oven paper. Add some olive oil and the harissa, and mix well to cover the vegetables.  Put them into the oven for 20 minutes. Once the vegetables are roasted, put them in a saucepan with enough water just to cover them, and cook them for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Blend the soup into a silky texture, and serve with a dollop of natural yogurt, some olive oil and a pinch of freshly grounded black pepper.