Tunisian inspired soup with pasta and chickpeas

This is just the perfect hearty soup for a cold January night.

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For four servings (generous of course!)
1- In a deep pan, fry half a red onion cut in small cubes in a some olive oil.
2- When the onions get to be translucent, add a little bit of fresh ginger root cut in small pieces along with the pulp of three tomatoes (grate them and discard the skin), a teaspoon of black pepper grinded, one and half teaspoon of cumin, a third of a stick of cinnamon, one tablespoon of Saffron liquid, some salt and a handful of cilantro chopped.
3- Mix well and once it starts to boil add enough water (or vegetable broth) to accommodate the pasta.
4- When that mixture is boiling, add 250 gr (half a box) of pasta. I used Farfalle, and any short pasta should do. Return to a boil and let the pasta cook at ease. If you need to add water, do so.
5- Once the pasta is cooked, take out the cinnamon piece and discard it. Add 200 gr (about a cup) of cooked chickpeas along with the juice of one lime. Let it boil for about five minutes.

Serve very warm. I added some Chile Chipotle on my serving and it was delicious!

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Velouté de pommes de terre douces

Also known as “Crema de Camote” in Mexico, this is a lovely recipe prepared almost everywhere in the world. You can add any spice you want such as curry, at the start of the cooking process. I like to put a dash of turmeric, and I just add some freshly crushed pepper and high quality olive oil on top at the moment of serving.

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For four servings

1- In a large pot, place some olive oil, garlic to taste and a little bit of turmeric. [You can replace the garlic with onions if you want.]
2- When the garlic starts giving its aroma [or the onion starts to get soft and slightly golden], add three sweet potatoes and three carrots, all washed, peeled and cut in small chunks. Mix well and continue cooking for about ten minutes.
3- Cover with water and let it simmer until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
4- Run through a mixer and add some cream (crème fraîche) just before serving until wanted consistency. You can make do without the cream, but the consistency will be different.

Serve very warm with toasted bread with semi-salted butter.

Zucchini soup

Delightfully green!

zucchini soup

For four servings
1- Wash and cut in thick slices one kilogram of zucchini. Do not peal.
2- In a large pot, put a little bit of olive oil and fry four cloves of garlic crushed. Add the zucchini slices and continue frying until they get a few golden spots on them.
3- Add salt and pepper, put some water until they are almost covered. Add a bunch of fresh mint along with the leaves of a head of lettuce (the darker the lettuce, the better and more tasty), all roughly shredded with the hands.
4- Bring to a boil, then add half a cup of cooked rice. This will help thicken the soup.
5- Lower the fire and let it cook until the zucchini slices are soft.
6- Blend well and serve warm or cold with toasted bread. I like to add some chili to the soup such as Chile Chipotle or Chile “Piquin”.

Velouté de potiron

In other words pumpkin soup… and a very easy recipe.

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1- Peel and cut in large cubes about one quarter of a medium pumpkin.
2- In a large pan place some olive oil, the pumpkin pieces, five cloves of garlic, salt and pepper, and a handful of fresh basil leaves. Mix well and let it cook on medium fire for at least 15 minutes.

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3. Add just enough water to barely cover the pumpkin, and cook on low to medium fire until it is done. You should be able to pick a fork in the pumpkin, feeling it soft. This should only take 15 minutes as the pumpkin was partly cook when fried.
4. Pass the pumpkin pieces with only a little bit of the liquid in a mixer.

To serve: you can add a spoon of creme fraîche for each bowl. I served it with some chile chipotle and it was very good. 

Gazpacho

Call it Gazpacho or simply cold tomato soup, it is one of those irresistible summer delights.

gazpacho

1- Blend together in a mixer: one kg of tomatoes (peeled), two cloves of garlic, one small onion (optional), four tablespoons of olive oil, one and half teaspoon of cumin, a bunch of fresh cilantro and mint, salt & pepper, and one and half tablespoon of very cold water (adjust to wanted consistency).
2- Let it chill in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.