It is already autumn, today the first of September and among many other issues we pay attention to food, to healthy food, which is in abundance since most vegetables are in their season now. This autumn vegetable soup is a satisfying low-fat one that won’t induce guilt and served with toasts for a taste of luxury makes the perfect combination.
- 1 leek, chopped quite small
- 2 carrots, chopped quite small
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 potato, chopped quite small
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp sugar
- 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 x 400g cans chopped Italian tomatoes
- 425ml/¾ pint vegetable stock
For the toasts
- 8 slices of baguette, cut on the diagonal
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- 50g edam, finely grated
Put the vegetables into a large saucepan with the garlic, rosemary, stock and sugar. Season well, stir, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook gently for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
Preheat the grill to high. Whizz the tomatoes in a food processor or blender until smooth, then tip into the vegetables with the chickpeas and parsley. Gently heat through, stirring now and then.
For the toasts: rub both sides of the bread with the garlic. Grill on one side until golden, turn the bread over, cover with edam and grill until it’s bubbling. Serve at once with the piping hot soup.
This kind of autumn vegetable soup goes really well with Curried flatbread, which is a spicy naan bread – a great side dish for an Indian meal – dry-fried in just five minutes. So instead of cheesy toast, you can try it with this Indian spicy bread. You will need these ingredients:
500g strong white flour; 2 tsp salt; 7g sachet fast-action yeast; 3 tbsp olive oil; 300ml water; 100g sultanas; 50g mild curry powder; 3 tbsp mango chutney.
- Mix the flour, salt, yeast and oil in a large bowl and add enough water to make a soft, but not sloppy, dough. Knead well. Put into a lightly oiled bowl to rise for 1 hr until doubled in size.
- Roll out the dough into a square 25cm in diameter on a lightly floured surface. Then spread over the sultanas, curry powder and chutney leaving a 1cm gap around the edges. Fold over one side of the dough (like a book) and press down to seal. Roll the dough out again to the same size. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, about 250g each, and use a rolling pin to flatten each one into a circle, 15cm in diameter and about 1cm thick. Put the pieces on a lightly floured baking tray to prove for a further 5 mins.
- Heat a large frying pan to a medium heat and dry-fry each piece of dough until browned on both sides, about 5 mins in total, then set aside to cool slightly before serving.