Spicy Pumpkin, Spinach and Lentil Soup

A few months ago I posted a recipe for Moroccon Lamb Soup, I have adapted this recipe for a vegetarian one. This has pumpkin, potato, spinach, lentils, chickpeas and is flavoured with turmeric, paprika and ginger. The results? Perfect!

Chock full of nutrients, this can be eaten as a stoup (how I like it) or more water added for a more soupy texture. This made a large quantity to enable freezing of some but could easily be halved.

500 g pumpkin, chopped

2 brown onions, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 potatoes, cubed

good bunch of baby spinach…2 – 3 cups

5 cloves garlic

1 can tomatoes including juice, or fresh

400 g tin chickpeas, or cooked

1 cup brown lentils

Vegetable stock of choice, 10 – 12 cups water

2 tsp each paprika and turmeric

1 1/2 tsp each black pepper and ginger

Salt to taste – 11/2 – 2 tspns

Pour a little olive oil in the base of very large pan and saute onions, garlic and carrots with the spices gently till soft. Add all other ingredients except chickpeas and spinach and cook for 1 1/2 hours, keeping an eye on the water level as I needed to add more a couple of times. Add the chickpeas after 1 1/4 hours, check seasonings, and add the spinach just a couple of minutes before serving.

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This was actually very cheap to make, using most of the vegetables from the garden and frozen cooked chickpeas I by in bulk. The pumpkin base and spices makes this dish but this is something that could easily be adapted to use what is available/ cheap at the time.

Roasted Asparagus and Pesto Pasta

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This is a simple and very delicious meal to make. I used rice pasta, homemade pesto, homemade sundried tomatoes and homegrown asparagus. The pesto I used was my parsley and sunflower seed – the sunflower seeds make it an economical pesto (I sometimes use walnuts instead) The recipe for this is here, I make up batches and freeze in ice cube trays for use in recipes.https://quarteracrelifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/parsley-sunflower-pesto/ Despite the rather humble ingredients this is a really tasty pesto.

The quantities for this dish are approximate,  really it’s just a throw together meal depending on quantities available or required.

1 1/2 bunches asparagus (12 – 15 spears?)

Around 3 – 4  cups cooked pasta

1/2 – 3/4 cup pesto

Sundried tomatoes to taste, sliced finely

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Put the pasta on to cook in boiling, salted water.

Pour a little olive oil into an ovenproof dish. Break asparagus into 3 pieces and roll in oil in dish. Roast in oven 12 minutes turning once.

Drain the pasta and toss the sundried tomatoes and pesto through it. Add the asparagus and fold through gently. Tip into bowl and decorate with a few more slices of sundried tomato.

This recipe originally came from Damn Delicious and she adds mozzarella to it http://damndelicious.net/2012/07/21/pesto-pasta-with-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-roasted/

For dessert we had a vegan avocado/chocolate tart topped with fresh strawberries. I have made this a few times since I found this divine recipe here http://glutenfreegus.com/2012/12/28/387/

Uncle Howard’s Chocolate Ganache Tart: The Best Vegan (and healthiest) Dessert You Will Ever Eat

I made this (very un)sinfully delicious tart yesterday. For a taste of something decadent without the horror ingredients I’d urge anyone to try this 🙂 Made with walnuts, avaocado, coconut oil, cocoa, dates and I used honey as a sweetener – topped with a wee bit of cream it’s perfect.

Gluten Free Gus

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Okay, gave you Chocolate Mousse with ginger crust, a dessert with traditional ingredients.  You’ll have fun trying this whether you eat a vegan diet or not. British brother-in-law Howard (check out his music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKO24MPVF7c) made it for us last summer, twice in fact, because it was so popular!  Trust me, it is rich and delicious enough to become a favorite.  Last night I texted the recipe to son Nathaniel who reported it was “insanely good.” I smiled when I checked the text to write this: my iPhone had autocorrected one of the ingredients: 1 Tablespoon vanilla “extravehicular.”  And so:

Vegan Chocolate Tart

7-9” tart pan with a removable bottom, lined with a circle of parchment paper.  The width of the pan will determine the thickness of the tart.  Straight sides work better than fluted.

Click Here To Print Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

8 oz. pecans, walnuts or almonds

6 oz…

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