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Today I take you to Marrakech, the red city of the desert, the Mother of all oasis! We went to the fruit and veg’ souk to choose the ingredients for a very typical Marrocan soup in the warm colours of the flag.
- Split-peas, one cup
- Water, 5 cups
- Carrots, 2 diced
- Red onions, 2 diced
- Cumin, 3 Tbsp
- Parsley , chopped to taste
- Lemon, ½ squeezed
- Salt and pepper
- Bay leaves, 2
First wash and chop all the vegetables.
Then melt the onions in a pan (with lid) and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook until brownish.
Add the well rinsed split-peas, the diced carrots and churn all into the hot oil for a few minutes.
Add the cumin and the bay leaf with the 5 cups of water.
Season with pepper and a little salt ( I prefer to add the rest of the salt at the end).
Leave on a medium heat for 45 min to one hour. Remove the bay leaves. Check the tenderness of the split-peas and carrots. Serve with parsley and lemon juice . Add salt or water if necessary.
Good food is a journey in itself, it bears a story, it stirs your soul. It takes you away and back…
- crushed ice
- Blueberries/strawberry mix
- Spirulina (½ teaspoon is plenty for one glass)
I mixed this drink for myself one morning on holiday and loved it – so here it is, simple and very refreshing.
Mix the ingredients in the ration that you like but I have listed them above by order of recommended quantity.
Kefir is a fermented goat or cow’s milk drink and is wonderful for your digestive system and Spirulina is a powder made of seaweed that can help your energy levels and is beneficial for all sorts of thyroid or fatigue problems.
Shake and enjoy chilled.
A cooling smoothie with an unusual savoury tang: The smooth avocado marries the tangy kiwi in a delicious if surprising combination.
- avocado, 1
- kiwi, 1 peeled
- spirulina powder, 1 tsp (optional)
- orange, 1 squeezed
- ice cubes, handful
Blitz all of the above ingredients in your food processor ( mine is a Thermomix) and serve cold in an ice cream glass. I love it as a starter or anytime of day as a smoothie. It is also a great post work out recovery drink! Need to remember that next sunday as I attempt to run the Richmond running festival Half-marathon…
Be sure that, with or without spirulina, this sweet and savoury smoothie packs a big vitamin punch in a small size – quantities above are per person.
You can source Spirulina powder in health shops. It is great for energy because it contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals as well as anti-oxydants. I can’t say I enjoy the taste of it of in small quantities in smoothies it does the job and provide even more green to your diet… The taste is fresh and clean so perfect to start the day feeling radiant with health and virtue!
On a very hot like today, this cold soup is a godsend! I first tasted last year in Granada and a few days ago on the beautiful beach of El Palmar near Cadix, in a Chiringuito with a view. I am writing this from the roof terrace of my hotel in Seville, on a still and very hot night – the temperature having hardly cooled down since sunset…
I gift this dish to my friend and neighbour “Abracadabra”, who will recognise herself and recently asked me for healthy, “eat beautiful” recipes with a Thermomix!
- Tomatoes, ripe 1kg
- Wholemeal bread150g,
- Garlic cloves, 1 or 2
- Olive oil, 150ml,
- Salt and pepper ,
- green pepper, one seeded
- Vinaigre of Jerez or cider 30ml,
- Pimenton dulce, 1 tbsp parsley, chopped , couple of sprigs
- Soft boiled egg,chopped , 1 per guest
- Spanish cured ham, chopped, a handful
Serve this with aubergines chips (recipe to follow!)
To Drink: A Tinto de verano with lots of ice! It’s 37 in the shade of the orange grove today as I write this…
First soft-boil the eggs and chop the ham. Reserve.
Put the whole tomatoes in a pan of just boiled water. Leave a couple of minutes then peel, quarter and seed them.
Put the garlic (centre shoot removed), the pepper and tomatoes in the Thermomix: feed them through the top hole while turning at speed 4/5.
Mix the bread chunks with the oil, add the vinaigre and seasoning. Leave to rest a few minutes then add to the tomato mixture.
Whizz thoroughly at speed 6/7. Check and adjust the seasoning with “pimentón” (a kind of Spanish paprika that can come in sweet or hot according to taste), salt and pepper.
Blend at top speed until smooth. If using a Thermomix, you might be able to cut corners and not peel nor seed your tomatoes! If not using one, on the other hand, you might have to sieve the mixture at this point… The soup needs to look like a beefed up gazpacho, creamy and thick.
Reserve in the fridge until serving : Then decorate with chopped cured ham and parsley and chopped hard boiled egg or your soft boil one. I tried this version the other night in Puerto Santamaria and fell in love with it! The soft boiled or poached egg once cut, oozes a delicious yolk into the soup.
This is one of several super-healthy summer soups that I will be posting during the next month, to show that summer soups can be very versatile as well as nutritive and full of health. And that there is so much more to it than Gazpacho!
The Spanish drink a “Tinto de Verano” when the weather is hot like it is at the moment in Andalucia and I am fast becoming partial to it: red Rioja and lemonade with lots of large ice cubes and a slice of lemon… Enjoy your summer!