Thursday, 24 July 2014

Cold Weather Comfort

I was first introduced to this soup over 20 years ago by my friend Terri, when we began to experiment more with beans and pulses. I was pretty excited about the flavour even then and put it in my 'favourites' bag. I hadn't visited that bag for a long time but returning to a wintery Adelaide from Europe last week gave me a very good reason to check it out. Besides, I spent so much money that it is time to be a little more budget conscious. (The chick peas cost me $4.20, so this is very economical to make).

Chick peas are very good value in terms of nutrition and price. They have a lovely nutty flavour, high in fibre, protein and the trace mineral Manganese. And of course they are the low GI. Chick peas are used in many middle eastern dishes, Tajines, stews, hummus, falafel and a variety of curries. You can buy chick peas dried or tinned and I often used tinned when I am in a hurry to cook something, but I do prefer, when possible to used dried ones. If you are cooking for a large crowd then buying dried chick peas is much more economical, even though you need to add the extra soaking time.

For this recipe, use dried chick peas.


800g dried chick peas soaked in water overnight
1 brown onion chopped
2 large cloves garlic
3 tbls olive oil
1 or 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary chopped
pinch rock salt
freshly ground black pepper

  • Soak the chick peas in cold water, enough to cover by about 5cms, and soak overnight. Wash the chick peas and discard the water.
  • Take a large saucepan, add chick peas a good pinch rock salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cover with cold water.
  • Bring chick peas to the boil and simmer until cooked. Around 30  mins.
  • In a fry pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, roughly chopped onion, rosemary and chopped garlic and cook until the onion is beginning to brown.
  • Drain chick peas, retaining the liquid for stock. Add chick peas to frypan and cook stirring occasionally, for approximately 15 minutes. This will get that nice rosemary flavour to the chickpeas. Slowly add a little stock, and get all those nice crunchy bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Put the chick pea mixture into a large bowl and blitz with a hand blender or put into a blender, adding the retained liquid a little at a time until you reach the consistency that you like. I prefer it to be thick,chunky and hot! Check seasoning, add extra salt and some black pepper to taste.
  • If you prefer a thinner soup, just add extra stock. 
Reheat and serve with some yummy bread!

Serves 6 

Friday, 18 July 2014

A Traveller's Tale

Traveller returns home from six weeks holiday in sunny Europe.  Eaten interesting and wonderful things, seen amazing buildings and encountered some outstandingly motivating people, including family members. Ticked things off my bucket list.

Home coming is sad, the weather is cold, rainy and wintry. Our beautiful foster cat is very, very sick. Emotionally drained and jet lagged and unable to make food to share with you and since I have been back for only two days, have not yet had time to deal with my photographs.

Over the next couple of weeks, as I delve into cold weather food, I will also bring you some rays of sunshine from Europe. Stay with me, I promise you it will be worth the wait.

I am tempting you now with beautiful, peaceful landscapes and food to die for!

Haltwhistle, UK
Honister Pass, Cumbria, UK
Top of Hadrian's Wall, Cumbria
Wast Water, Cumbria, UK
St Paul's Cathedral from Tate Modern, London
Tomato and Pepper Soup, Warsaw , Poland
Milk Dessert, Dubai
Cheese Cake Dubai