Posts Tagged ‘Peppers’

Minestrone (The Big Soup)

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve held off making this soup for an age. Mainly because the traditional Irish vegetable soup ticks all the boxes and that’s what I’d normally go with. Today I fancied something different, so here it is.


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sea salt crystals
  • a large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • ¼ red pepper
  • ¼ orange pepper
  • ¼ yellow pepper
  • 2 closed cup mushrooms
  • 50g soup broth
  • 25g red lentils
  • 100g pasta (any type)
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of mushroom ketchup (optional)
  • 1 tsp of vegetable stock powder
  • 1 can/carton of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 litres of boiling water


Place a large saucepan (at least 3l capacity) over a medium heat and add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop the onions roughly, crush the garlic and add to the pan. Dice the carrots, celery, peppers and mushrooms and add to the pan once the onion has softened. Next, add the soup broth, lentils and pasta followed by the spices, balsamic (mushroom ketchup, if using) and vegetable stock. Stir well and add the tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes start to bubble, add the water 500ml at a time allowing to come to a simmer between adding each batch. Cover and allow to boil for 15 minutes before reducing the heat to simmer for a further hour and a half or until the soup thickens and the soup broth pulses soften. Add small amounts of water during cooking, if needed.

Categories: Soup Tags: , , , , ,

Bean Burgers

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Another autumn and time for more serious winter food.


  • ½ can of kidney beans
  • ½ can of cannelini beans
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 25g hazelnuts
  • a heel of brown bread
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp cummin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp of vegetable stock powder
  • 1 tsp of mushroom ketchup
  • large pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil


Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Finely dice the onion and pepper and grate the carrot coarsely. Whizz the bread and hazelnuts in a food processor. Stir the mixture and set aside for an hour.

To cook, preheat the oven to 180° C and lightly oil a baking tray. Divide the mixture in two and roll into balls then flatten and place on the tray. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until they start to brown at the edges.

Categories: Burgers Tags: , , ,

Moroccan Stew

March 6, 2009 Leave a comment

This recipe combines the exotic appeal of North African cuisine, as imagined by this vegetarian, with the comfort and homeliness of a simple stew to make an aromatic and invigorating dish.


  • 4 onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 8 small anya potatoes
  • 2 peppers
  • 4 finger chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 25g fresh coriander
  • 125g brown rice
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 2 large pinches salt
  • 1 large pinch of black pepper
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp toasted almonds


Soak the rice in the vegetable stock along with the honey and salt and pepper for at least an hour before preparing the rest of the dish. Roughly chop the onions and peppers, crush the garlic cloves whole with the flat of a suitably broad knife and slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut the carrots in quarters lengthwise and halve leaving you with 8 sticks per carrot.

Preheat a large stirfry pan with 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil and add the cumin seeds. Once they start to fry, add the chopped vegetables (including the chillies, whole) and stir until all are coated with oil. Add the spices and stir well. Next, add the chickpeas followed by the lemon juice. Chop the coriander roughly and stir into the mixture.

After 5 minutes add the chopped tomatoes and stir. When they start to simmer, add the rice and stock to the pan. Stir and let simmer for 5-10 minutes while preheating the oven to 150°C.

Pour the mixture from the pan into a preheated oven dish and place in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until most of the stock has been absorbed by the rice.

Categories: Stew Tags: , , , , , ,

Chickpea Patties

February 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Nirvana, for many vegetarians, is the humble burger. Over the past few months many experiments have been conducted to find the right blend of texture and taste.


  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 green finger chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • ½ red pepper (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • A large pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 300g of presoaked)
  • 150g of stale breadcrumbs
  • 50g of fresh parsely (chopped)
  • 1 egg


Combine all the ingredients except the egg in the order listed into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Transfer to a food processor and crack the egg over the mixture. Process for no more than 10 seconds on lowest speed to retain texture. Leave to stand for at least half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and divide the mixture to make 4 patties. Coat with flour or polenta, if desired, and lightly coat with olive oil before placing on a preheated baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes.

Half way through cooking, remove the tray from the oven and spoon the excess oil over the patties to help the crust develop.

Categories: Burgers Tags: ,

Spicy Lentil and Tomato Soup

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

A delicious and hearty thick soup, an ideal lunchtime snack.


  • 250g red lentils
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 4 small onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 red finger chillies
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp pimento
  • 1 tsp salt
  • large pinch of black pepper
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock


Halve and deseed the red peppers and place skin side up on a baking tray under a grill on maximum heat. Chop the onions, carrots and celery while heating the oil in a large saucepan (that can hold 3-4 litres of liquid) at medium-high heat. Keep checking the peppers while chopping the other vegetables and make sure they blacken evenly over their skins.

Add the onions to the pan and stir, after a few minutes add the balsamic. Once the onions have softened and most of the balsamic has evaporated, add the remaining chopped vegetables and whole chillies and stir. The peppers should be done by now; remove the blackened skin and dice the remaining flesh and add to the pan. Add the pimento and basil along with the salt and pepper and stir. After 5 minutes add the lentils and stir well. Reduce the heat and add the can of tomatoes. Cover and let the mixture simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Add the first 500ml of vegetable stock. The lentils will quickly absorb the liquid at the start. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low so the soup simmers gently on the hob. Add more stock 250-500ml at a time as needed. Simmer for 1½-2 hours.

Finally, set aside to cool and purée in a food processor. For best reults store overnight in the fridge to allow the flavour to develop.

Categories: Soup Tags: , , ,

Veggie Chilli (with Kidney Bean Marinade)

October 22, 2008 Leave a comment

My chilli recipe has been evolved over recent weeks in an effort to increase the character of the dish.


The marinade:

  • 250g soaked (or canned) kidney beans
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 10g 85% cocoa dark chocolate
  • ½ tsp honey dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water

The base and sauce:

  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml vegetable stock


Finely chop the onion and combine all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl in the order listed and stir well. Cover and and set aside for at least half an hour.

Dice the onion, carrots, celery and peppers and add to a stir-fry pan with 4 tbsp olive oil preheated to a med-high heat and fry for 10 minutes.

Pour in the marinade and fry for a further 10-15 minutes until the mixture is quite dry.

Add the tomatoes in three batches allowing the mixture to return to the boil each time.

Add the stock in two lots allowing the mixture to return to the boil each time.

Simmer briskly for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced and started to thicken.

Turn down the heat and simmer gently for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.


February 6, 2008 Leave a comment

This is another staple favourite; lentils and vegetables combine to create a sumptuous orange curry bursting with flavour and goodness!


  • 140g red lentils
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 orange or yellow pepper
  • 1 tbsp green paste
  • 1 tbsp masala mix
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 650ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 large pinch of sea salt


Chop the onion and soften in a pan over a medium-high heat in 4-6 tbsp of olive oil. Once the onion loses its colour, add the salt and green paste and fry off for a few minutes. Next, add the masala mix and lemon juice and fry for a further 4-5 minutes (add small amounts of water if the mixture starts to catch). Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer briskly for 10-15 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken nicely.

Mix the stock and add the purée to it. Add a third to the pan and stir in the (washed and soaked) lentils. Return to simmer while peeling and chopping the vegetables into equal sized chunks. Add the carrots and sweet potato and another third of the stock. After 5 minutes of simmering add the remaining vegetables and stock.

Keep simmering briskly for 15-20 minutes, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and allow to “sauce up” (roughly another 30 minutes). It’s ready when suitably saucy and the sweet potato and carrots are cooked to taste. If it becomes too dry during this phase add small amounts of water to maintain the desired consistency. The lentils will absorb quite a bit of liquid during the reducing phase of cooking.