Friday 9 September 2011

Random Recipe 8 - Part 1 - Saffron, Chickpea and Tomato Soup.

For this month's random recipe we had to randomly choose from our selection of loose recipes torn from newspapers, magazines, hastily written on scraps of paper.  As we moved house only a few months ago, I had vastly reduced my mountain of recipes so it wasn't so unmanageable.  This challenge will help get a couple of those that are left transferred on to the blog.  The best thing is that I am the only one who saves recipes in this house so whatever I chose and whatever Steve chose would be something I really want to eat.  Yay!  Steve chose a recipe that I will absolutely love.  It is quite girly and quite a show stopper so I'm delighted that he is going to go ahead and make it for me.  He'll be doing that this weekend so look out for it in part 2.

The recipe I chose was a scrap which looks like it has come from a magazine but it doesn't have the source written anywhere on the page.  I must have collected it before my blogging days.  It is Saffron, chickpea and tomato soup and it is really easy to make, healthy and full of flavour.  Perfect family food.  So, I feel awful that I can't credit it properly.  If anyone recognises it, let me know.  Of course, there are loads of similar recipes about.  I make versions of this all the time and yet I still seem drawn to any recipe like this and have to collect them all.  I don't think I would change this one much.  I might add some red pepper now and again just to beef it up a bit.

Both boys wolfed this down.  That's the best part!

Recipe - 
Serves 6. (I used very large onions and more chorizo and this soup has given us about 8-10 servings)

Ingredients - 
4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced (I used 5 or 6 - personal taste)
Large pinch of saffron strands
1/2 tsp caster sugar
small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 X 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 X 400g cans chickpeas, drained
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
110g chorizo (I used the already cooked stuff and I used probably about 4 times this amount)

Method - 
1. Set a large saucepan over a medium heat.  Add 3 tbsp olive oil, followed by the diced onions and garlic.  Fry gently for 10 minutes or until soft and golden.
2. Place the saffron strands in a small bowl (or pestle and mortar) with the sugar, and using the back of a teaspoon, crush into a fine powder.  Stir in 200ml boiling water and set aside.
3. Strip the parsley leaves from their stems.  Save the stems and roughly chop the parsley leaves.
4. Mix the cumin seeds and paprika into the softened onion and continue to fry for 2 mins.
5. Next, add the canned tomatoes and the saffron water.  Rinse the saffron bowl with a further 400ml water, add tot he tomatoes and bring to the boil.
6. Meanwhile, rinse the drained chickpeas and stir into the soup with the bay leaf and parsley stalks (Tie them with string to make it easier to remove them later).  Adjust the seasoning to taste, turn down to simmer for 30 mins, then season again, to taste.
7. Shortly before serving, reheat the soup.  Cut the chorizo at an angle into thick slices.  Place a nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat, and once it is hot, add the remaining 1tbsp oil and the chorizo.  Fry briskly for 1 min on each side until crisp, then remove and drain on kitchen paper.
8. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, garnish with the chorizo and sprinkle generously with the chopped parsley.  Serve immediately.

If you want to join in with this random recipes challenge, you have til the end of them month or check Dom's blog for the next one - he does them at the start of each month.


  1. Oooh I think my family would really enjoy this.

  2. wow, what an excellent recipe... i'm loving this month's challenge as it really lets people cook something they once saw but never got round to making... thanks for the info at the bottom of the post, that's great... and thanks for taking part.. xx

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  4. Ooh - your last sentence - I didn't know this was something anyone could join in with... sounds like fun. Mind you, I made a random tv food programme pudding this evening that actually looked exactly like three cups of cold sick. Not a little bit like, EXACTLY like. You can imagine how funny Boo thought this was!

    God, sorry, I always lower the tone.

    Your soup looks delish, as always!

  5. Anna - yes, I think it is a fantastic family stand-by recipe.

    Dom - exactly - the random recipe challenge is just completely inspired altogether!!!

    Macaroon - Random recipes is the best challenge out there - you should join in! I take it the version in the programme looked a bit more tempting before you decide to give it a try???

  6. It's all Nigella and her flippin' glossy goddessness disguising the fact that passionfruit and white chocolate mousse looks, well...I won't go there again. But grossness does encourage 4 year olds to eat with great relish, so to her father's disgust, I might harness this new tool again in future.

  7. soup looks lovely and sooooo inviting! siiigh

  8. OOh this looks good, I still don't think my girls would eat it though. You lucky thing having children who will actually eat the food that you put in front of them. My two are going through a Kingsmill bread or nothing stage - it makes me scream with frustration!

  9. Little Macaroon - ha ha ha - gadz - what a horrible plan! Poor Mr Macaroon!

    Victoria - thanks.

    Kath - ughhh - I feel your pain. Adam is quite good at eating just now but we still have little fights over his ever-growing list of things he apparently doesn't like. Rufus is going through a stage where he will happily eat just about anything but only if he gets spoon-fed. He's 3. Not on so he has been going to bed with an empty tummy most nights and even turning up at nursery unfed which drives me insane as he is not a pleasant cild when hungry. I will not back down, though. He does surprise me sometimes, though, like with this soup. Oh well.

  10. Ummmm this looks like a great autumn meal.

  11. Yes, MissCakeBaker - Autumn is upon us and I find it so easy to slip back into Autumnal foods. :-)

  12. Looks great - and a fab way to extend the recipe too. Perfect for autumn.