Hello lovelies! Working in retail as Christmas approaches is no joke. We are crazy busy at work, it is freezing and by the time I come I home I am frozen, exhausted and ravenous. Not a good combination.
I am trying to develop a series of easy to make, fast and healthy meals (mostly soup) that can be made quickly after work to warm me up and restore my energy. This way I have a bank of recipes for meal planning that I can call on for those nights I work until close.
Luckily, I work in a bookshop. I saw a cookbook called Vegan in 15 by Kate Ford in our cookery section and I knew that was what I was looking for.
This recipe was adapted from her recipe. She used onion, carrot and celery. We don't dig celery so I used 1/4 red pepper. She used orzo pasta, I can't find that gluten free so I just used white rice.
The one thing she does suggest is using a mini chopper or food processor to blitz your veg very small. This really reduces cooking time. I have also taken to preparing as much as I can before have to be at work at 11:30. If that veg can be blitzed ahead of time and stored in the fridge, it is one less step that has to be done at night.
Her other secret is to boil your kettle. Add your stock cube or powder (I use powder) and top up with kettle boiled water to make your stock. This comes to the boil so much faster than adding cold stock to the pot and waiting for it to warm up and boil.
Borlotti Bean Soup with Rice and Kale
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick of celery or 1/4 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 litre water boiled in a kettle plus a stock cube or powder
3 TB tomato puree
1/3 cup (70g) orzo pasta or white rice
tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper
juice of half a lemon (optional, but nice)
1. Heat your pot with a splash of oil or water and throw all your onion, carrot and celery/pepper in the food processor and blitz until small. Throw this mix in your hot pot with some garlic and cook for a few minutes while your kettle boils.
2. Add everything else but the kale to the pot and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat and put the lid on and simmer for 8 minutes. Throw in your kale and cook for 2 more minutes. By now the kale should be soft and the rice done. Taste for salt and pepper and add the optional lemon juice.
I managed to do it in 20 minutes. I think I can get it down to 15 if I pre-chop the veg and measure out the rice before work. I liked the addition of the rice...it wasn't much but it made it more filling, plus it was cooked in the soup pot and not separate so one less pan to wash.