Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

 

Because maturity is overrated.

I am a big fan of menu planning. I plan my shopping list on a way-too-complicated-for-what-it-is Google Sheets doc that is shared with hubby, and update it as necessary throughout the week, then follow it like it’s the Bible as I weave through the shopping aisles. If it’s not on the list, it isn’t very likely to get in the trolley. However, despite the fact that I didn’t even need a sweet potato when I went grocery shopping over the weekend, I essentially possess the sense of humour of a 12 year old boy, and I simply wasn’t leaving the store without the glorious specimen in the photo.

So of course, then I had to consider what I should do with it.

When in doubt, I always turn to soup. It’s cheap, delicious, healthy and easy. And only 201 calories per serve. All the good things. Soup is my favourite part if Winter, hands down.

After hubby and I giggled sufficiently at this glorious vegetable, I got to work. And hey, the husband and I have been married long enough that chopping it felt strangely cathartic.

Serves 6
Ingredients

400g can chickpeas, drained

2-3 second spray oil

1 medium brown onion

2 cloves garlic

2tsp minced ginger

1tsp dried coriander

2tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

800g sweet potato

300g carrots

6 cups chicken stock

 

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until sweating and softening.
  2. Stir in coriander, cumin and chilli powder, and cook, stirring, for 1 minuted until fragrant.
  3. Add vegetables and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  5. Add chickpeas and cover saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until they have softened.
  6. Remove from heat and lend soup until smooth. You could also leave pebbly traces of chickpeas if you’d prefer.  Season with plenty of black pepper.

 

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Black Pudding Hash

I may be in my thirties, but I want to be Nigella Lawson when I grow up. I am particularly fond of her unique brand of pretentious unpretentious-ness, her confidence in admitting her laziness in the kitchen (you know what, I don’t want to stress in my happy place, either!), a fear of sounding too bossy (I like that, as I always tweak recipes), and preference for accessible and affordable ingredients and methods. Basically, she speaks to me as a busy person who cooks as a hobby, but who really sometimes just can’t be bothered.

And then there are weekends like this one, where I just want to cook all.the.things. I unsuccessfully attempted to satiate my cooking-craving by simply reading cookbooks, and I was astounded to realise that I hadn’t cooked a thing from my copy of Nigella’s At My Table. Criminal, really. So when I found the recipe for Black Pudding Hash with  Fried Egg, well, I knew what my Sunday morning would look like.

But it had to start with a run. Between the potatoes in the hash and the oats in the pudding, this sucker is all carbs and at least as twice as many calories than I’d usually consume at breakfast, but it’s filling as could be, and you know what, sometimes you need to feed the soul as much as the body. I found it works itself out in the long run, as a light lunch is in order after such a heavy breakfast, anyway.

As always, I changed things up to make the recipe work for me. It’s very similar, but I just couldn’t see the need for doubling the oil or black pudding that I usedI love Nigella, but I will never understand how she eats the way she claims, and still manages to look as she does! I also was concerned that it might be a little dry, so I threw in a punnet of halved cherry tomatoes towards the end, allowing them to collapse and created a bit of a sauce that was simply divine. The addition of sweet potato was purely because I have too many in my cupboard right now, but it did make for a prettier dish.

As it stands here, my version comes in at a slightly indulgent 484 calories. If you’re not so worried about the calories, I would bet the farm that a piece of olive-oil-smeared sourdough would just take this whole dish to heaven. But I didn’t tell you that!

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1tbs olive oil

150g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

200g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

100ml water

Salt and pepper, to taste

100g black pudding ( I used Clonakilty), diced

150g cherry tomatoes

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

1 birds eye chilli, finely diced

2 second spray olive oil

2 eggs

Method

  1. Heat oil in a heavy-based frypan (a cast iron skillet is perfect) on high heat. Fry potato and sweet potato, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until coloured and starting to soften.
  2. Gently pour water over the potatoes (this is dramatic, noisy, and may set off your smoke detector, but it’s kind of fun), and add a good grinding of salt and pepper.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook the potatoes for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to avoid them sticking to the pan.
  4. Add the black pudding and cook for 3 minutes or until heated through.
  5. In a separate pan, cook fry 2 eggs to your liking. I like a runny egg, so I crack it onto a pan over low heat and let it do its thing until the white is cooked through. All the better if the bottom goes crispy!
  6. Meanwhile, tumble tomatoes into the hash, and allow to cook without stirring, while the eggs cook.
  7. Give the hash one good stir to combine, and divide into two bowls. Top with egg, and sprinkle with spring onion and chilli.

 

 

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