Mexican Soup

A wonderful rich, smokey and spicy soup inspired by the soups I have tasted travelling in Mexico. The flavour from the gaujilo chillies and chipolte paste make this soup something very special.

The soup is made from a flavour base of bay leaf, guajilo chillies, garlic and onion which is fried in a little olive oil. Carrots, celery, peppers, red chilli, tomato paste, pasatta and fresh coriander is then added. A spice mix of chipolte paste, cumin seeds, ground coriander, smoked paprika, oregano, a little sugar and seasoning is added before some stock. The soup is then simmered for 45 minutes before being blended.

 

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Makes 4 portions

Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 1 hour

Ingredients

2 tbsp Olive oil

2 Bay leafs

2 dried gaujilo chilles – soak in water for 40 minutes, discard water

4 gloves garlic – crush and peel

2 white onions – peel, dice

4 carrots – peel and cut into fine discs

2 sticks celery – slice thinly

1 orange bell pepper – diced

1 Yellow bell pepper – diced

1 red chilli – thinly slice

2 tsp tomato paste

500-600g Pasatta

1 handful fresh coriander – use leaf and stalks

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp chipolte paste

2 tsp sugar

1.5L vegetable or chicken stock

Salt and Pepper to taste

You require a deep soup pan and a stick blender for this recipe

Cooking instructions

  1. Start by heating 2 tbsp Olive oil in a deep pan over a medium heat. Add the bay leaf, gaujilo chillies, garlic and onions and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, peppers, red chilli and coriander leaf and fry for a further 3-4 minutes until mixture softens.
  3. Add the passatta and tomato paste stir through the mixture. Next add the cumin, ground coriander, oregano, chipolte paste and the smoked paprika. Stir frequently and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add 1.5L of stock and 2 tsp of sugar and stir well. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for approx 45 minutes.
  5. After 45 minutes turn off heat and uncover the soup. Remove the bay leafs then use a stick blender to blitz soup until smooth. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste – because soup is well spiced you may not need very much at all.
  6. Serve and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Char Grilled Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup

Delicious, healthy spicy soup with grilled peppers, tomatoes and butternut squash

Soups are a speciality of mine and this is one of my best. A flavour base of garlic, red onion, white onion, carrot and chilli is fried in a little oil along with some spices. Mixed peppers are separately grilled to bring out their deep flavours. Butternut squash and tomatoes are added to the fried mixture, then the peppers, some stock and herbs.  After a short simmer the mixture is blended into a smooth delicious soup.

 

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Butternut squash and char grilled pepper soup

This recipe gives 4 large servings

Preparation 10-15 minutes

Cooking time 60 minutes

Ingredients

2 white onions – peeled roughly chopped

2 red onions – peeled roughly chopped

1 large red chilli – sliced (add extra if you want it hot!)

2 sticks celery – sliced

4-6 carrots – peeled, sliced

6 cloves garlic – peeled, crushed

1 large red bell pepper – deseeded, cut into chunks

1 large green bell pepper – deseeded, cut into chunks

1 butternut squash – peeled, deseeded, cut into small pieces

2 litres vegetable stock

3 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2-3 dessert spoons brown sugar (to taste)

1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

1 teaspoon crushed black pepper

6-8 basil leaves – retain 2 to thinly slice for garnish

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons olive oil

You require a hand blender, grill pan and a deep stock pot.

Get cooking

 

  1. Start by heating the grill pan, then add the peppers. Drizzle a little Olive oil over the peppers then grill, turning occasionally, for approx 10 minutes. You want the peppers to blacken and soften to bring out their deep flavours. Once cooked remove from the grill pan and set aside to add to soup later.
  2. Now heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the stock pot over a medium heat. Once hot add the garlic, chilli and bay leaf and fry them in the oil, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes to help flavour the oil.
  3. Next add the sliced celery, carrot, red onion and white onion. Keep on a medium heat and stir fry for 7-8 minutes until the mixture softens. Add a little extra olive oil if the mixture starts to stick to the pan- colour is fine but you do not want the flavour base to stick to bottom of pan and burn as this will be effect the flavour.
  4. Next add the butternut squash and the grilled peppers, stir well. Add  a teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Stir and fry for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Then add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, half teaspoon ground coriander and half teaspoon dried oregano. Stir well and fry for 3-4 minutes. It is vital not to burn the spices so if the mixture sticks to pan add a little water to loosen it.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  7. Next add the stock and stir well – make sure you scape all the residue on the sides of the pan into the stock as they give flavour to the soup. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove lid and stir well. If you can remove the bay leafs, and scrape any residue on the pan sides back into the soup.
  9. Use a hand blender to form a smooth soup, alternatively transfer to a glass blender or food processor to do the same.
  10. Serve in large bowls and garnish with a little sliced basil leaf. Enjoy!