Recipe: Chipotle & Black Bean Chilli

Chipotle & Black Bean Chilli (Vegan)

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganA chipotle, (pronounced chi-POT-lee), is a smoke-dried jalapeño chilli, used in many Mexican recipes. Chipotle paste, (which is fairly easy to find in supermarkets these days), has a distinctive smoky flavour, and adds a lovely warm and deep spice to a simple chilli like this one.

This quick and easy chilli is incredibly versatile, I use it as a jacket potato filling, in fajitas or tacos, with rice and guacamole for a Mexican feast, or scooped up in a handful of tortilla chips for a speedy lunch.

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Recipe: Creamy Broccoli & Cannellini Soup

Creamy Broccoli & Cannellini Soup (vegan)

You may have noticed that I like my soups very bright and very green, (see Peapod & Little Gem Soup!), and if they are creamy and super-tasty too. that’s a bonus.

If you’re taking part in Veganuary and trying to make sure you get a protein boost at every mealtime, adding beans to your lunchtime soup before blending is such an easy way of doing this.  Not only do they bulk out the soup, (very cheaply), but once blended they add a creamy texture which makes your soup taste like it has a generous slug of double cream in it, when in fact it is vegan!

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Recipe: Celeriac & Hazelnut Soup

Celeriac & Hazelnut Soup | Vegetarian & Vegan

Hello again! I hope you all had a restful and jolly Christmas break, and are still in holiday-mode until after the New Year festivities.  Party season is still in full swing, of course, and if you’re entertaining over the next few weeks and looking for a dinner party starter or light lunch that looks impressive, tastes incredible but is actually super-simple to put together, this Celeriac & Hazelnut Soup will be right up your street.

Celeriac is one of those brilliant root vegetables which magically transforms to a velvet-smooth soup when puréed.  You can pair it with all sorts of festive flavours – leftover chestnut purée, apple or pear, fresh herbs or watercress, mustard, and many more – but here I decided to experiment with sweet hazelnut milk and crunchy chopped hazelnuts as a garnish, and it worked really well.
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Recipe: Quick & Easy Tomato and Herb Gigantes Beans

Quick & Easy Tomato & Herb Gigantes Beans

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganBrrrr… we’ve put the heating on this week and my winter coat has surfaced from the back of the wardrobe.  The clocks have gone back, and it’s beginning to feel a lot like autumn.  But instead of craving root vegetable soups and wintery suppers, I’ve been trying to hang on to the last glimpses of summer, (well British Summertime at least), by cooking summer holiday food – the sort of dishes you might enjoy with a cold glass of wine on a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the sea.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe based on the traditional Greek ‘Gigantes Plaki’, (literally ‘giant baked beans’), a meze dish of giant white runner beans in a rich tomato sauce.   Continue reading “Recipe: Quick & Easy Tomato and Herb Gigantes Beans”

Recipe: Smoky Mexican Quinoa Soup

Smoky Mexican Quinoa Soup

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Here’s a quick weeknight supper which is smoky, spicy, packed with flavour and very filling.  (Oh and it’s really good for you too – bonus!).  Your taste buds will be transported to Mexico with every spoonful, thanks to the chipotle and smoked paprika, coriander, lime and spring onions.

The star of the show here is black quinoa, with its earthy, sweet flavour.  It is classed as a ‘complete protein’ containing 8 essential amino acids, and its delicious flavour and soft texture make it a perfect alternative to rice, pasta and cous-cous.  It really bulks out this soup into a meal in itself – perfect for a speedy and satisfying dinner.

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Recipe: Peapod & Little Gem Soup

Peapod & Little Gem Soup

A while ago I ordered pea soup in a restaurant.  It was such a vibrant green colour and tasted so intensely of peas, I just had to try making something similar myself.  A bit of googling suggested that making soup from both the peas and their pods was the way to go, and here’s the result.

I realise this is a bit premature, as you’re unlikely to have peas ready to pick in April, but I usually get around to posting recipes from home-grown produce far too late in the season to be of use to you, so thought I would get ahead here with a recipe you can bookmark for pea season in a few months time.  I actually used mange tout peas here instead of pea pods, (and frozen peas in stead of freshly-picked!), and the result was really good, so you can try this out immediately with supermarket produce if you just can’t wait. Continue reading “Recipe: Peapod & Little Gem Soup”

Recipe: Curly Kale & Butter Bean Soup (an Optimum ThermoCook Recipe)

Curly Kale & Butterbean Soup

Veganuary-heartMy lunches during Veganuary have often featured lovely homemade soups made at the touch of a button in my trusty Optimum ThermoCook.  (If you haven’t heard about the ThermoCook, read my review here – I’m smitten!).  However, I’m conscious that soup isn’t always as protein-packed as it could be, so have been sneaking beans, lentils, quinoa, peas and all sorts of other vegan protein sources into my soups.

This one was particularly delicious – against all the odds.  When I was shopping for my Cranks Supperclub in December I thought I had picked up 4 tins of chickpeas.   Continue reading “Recipe: Curly Kale & Butter Bean Soup (an Optimum ThermoCook Recipe)”

Recipe: Slow-Cooked Borlotti Bean Chilli (A Veganuary Recipe – Batch Cooking for the Freezer)

Slow-Cooked Borlotti Bean Chilli

Veganuary-heartHappy New Year… and happy Veganuary!  Whether or not you’re taking part and going vegan for January, this smoky and spicy Borlotti Bean Chilli is ideal for making in a huge batch on a rainy Saturday afternoon, then bagging up and freezing for weekday suppers throughout the month.  Chilli is a brilliantly versatile dish to have a stash of in the freezer – you can enjoy it in tortilla wraps, tacos, with rice, in a jacket potato, or even as a pasta sauce.  Continue reading “Recipe: Slow-Cooked Borlotti Bean Chilli (A Veganuary Recipe – Batch Cooking for the Freezer)”

Recipe: Porcini Mushroom & Sherry Soup

Porcini & Sherry Soup | The Veg Space

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with mushroom soup.  I can’t bear those gloopy tins of ‘Cream of Mushroom’ soup, thickened with too much cornflour and tasting more of long-life cream than mushroom, with dubious floating chunks which may or may not have begun their life as a mushroom.  But a really deep, earthy homemade mushroom soup with suitably garlicky bread to dunk in is a proper treat, and here I’ve even splashed in some sherry to make this a soup showstopper.

This could just as easily be a dinner party starter or a simple weeknight supper. The amount of sherry you need to add really depends on a) how alcoholic you like your soup (!), and b) whether you’re using a sweet or dry sherry.   Continue reading “Recipe: Porcini Mushroom & Sherry Soup”