Saturday 5 November 2011

Hot and Spicy

I am determined to enter my first challenge.  I have been desperately trying to for about six months but it would appear that I am woefully ill-informed in the world of blogging and every time I hear about a challenge, it is because it has just finished.  I have a suspicion that other bloggers try and keep challenges secret, so less people enter and they have more chance of winning.  I know! Shocking!  It's a dog eat dog world, this blogging business.  You can trust no-one.  On the other-hand, maybe I am just completely paranoid.

Anyway, thanks to Farmersgirl and her great new group UK Cooking and Baking Challenges I am no longer in the dark.  Unsurprisingly however, I missed the first Sweet Heat Blogger Challenge set by Lyndsey of Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops fame.  But I am super-excited to say that I am in time for challenge Sweet Heat # 2 - "Spicy Soup."

This soup, interestingly enough started life as a made-up recipe for Harissa.  I make it exactly the same way as the soup, roasting the peppers, garlic, chilli, onion and cumin and then whizzing up the whole lot up with some olive oil, lemon juice (or preserved lemons) and fresh coriander.  I would use this to maybe marinade a chicken or stir into cous cous with some roast winter vegetables.  But somehow along the way this recipe evolved into a soup.  With just the addition of chickpeas it has been a winner at my Riverford lunches and a great way of using up peppers. And it is really delicious.  I made a a little extra effort for my first challenge and added some of my crispy roasted chickpeas.  I blogged about these a few weeks ago but this time I seasoned them with some delicious Ras-el Hanout from Seasoned Pioneers.  The combination of the soothing, earthy spices and the floral notes of the rose petals really enlighten this bowl of comfort.

Spicy Red Pepper, Chickpea and Coriander Soup

3 large red peppers (cut in half and de-seeded)
2 red onions (peeled and quartered)
4 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 -2 Fresh Red Chilli (de-seeded and roughly chopped)
3 teaspoons of cumin
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tins of chickpeas
Bunch coriander (roughly chopped)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Put the peppers, onions,  garlic and chilli in a dish.  Sprinkle with cumin, salt, pepper and drizzle with a good slug of olive oil. Wrap in tin foil and put in the oven for about one to two hours until really soft.  Tip into a saucepan and cover with water.  About  2 pints.  Add the drained chickpeas and bring to the boil.  Add the coriander and give a good stir.  Liquidise with a hand blender or in a liquidiser.  Adjust seasoning to taste. 


  1. Wow! My mouth is literally watering! This looks and sounds fantastic - I think I'm going to be eating a lot of soup this month!!

    Thank you so much in taking part in this month's Sweet Heat Challenge.

  2. This is truly a appealing and beautiful looking soup, I see myself slurping over the bowl and I adore the chickpea croutons.


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