Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Chili and Spice & All Things Nice!

Zuppa di Fagioli Piccante "Chorba"
Spicy "Chorba" Bean Soup

"Another soup!?!?!", you cry... "Why, yes indeed!", I reply!

There are not many meals that are safer bets on the cold, dark evenings, are there? You know you have a bowl of warming and comforting goodness in a soup, you can rely on it to make you better no matter what... can you tell how much I love my soups?

I especially love them when they are quick and easy to make, when I can whip them up out of basic, everyday ingredients... and when they are a little bit different from the same old thing... I am pretty sure you like the sound of that too!

I love the "chorba" spice mix I picked up from a local Ethnic market- "chorba" simply being the word for "soup" in most regions and indeed countries in the Orient. So there may be many different blends of spices- just as there are many blends of "curry" in India and Asia- but whatever the blend- spices are good!

This was a mixture of turmeric, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, aniseed, garlic and cumin... doesn't that just sound divine? And of course, it would be even better to grind your own... but hey! It was Wednesday evening after work and I have this stuff already, ok? Haha!

As well as having 1 tablespoon of chorba spice, I also had 1 green, pointed pepper, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 stalk of celery, chili pepper, 1 large can of cannellini beans and some fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme and 5-6 cherry tomatoes... which was all that I needed to make an awesome 2-3 bowls of soup!

Yes it's simple- it's not particularly pretty- but it is satisfying and richly flavorful- just like all good comfort food!

Begin by finely chopping carrot, celery, onion and pepper and frying them together with the herbs and a good pinch of chili in a little olive oil until the onion becomes translucent. This will give the soup a good, solid flavor base.

Next, add the chopped cherry tomatoes and a good tablespoon of the chorba spices- keep on stirring and sweating down the vegetables until the tomatoes become soft.

Next, add the beans and about half the amount of boiling water than will fit into the can- bring the complete soup up to the boil, reduce down to a slow simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes... and that's it!

Serve with a few fresh herbs and chili flakes and enjoy, piping hot and delicious!

This is what I love... simply good food- no fuss- no nonsense!

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