In the thick of this cold snap, bundled up in chunky knitwear and just as I was gloating that I haven’t been ill since I can’t remember, it hit me. The worst cold virus I’ve had since I can’t remember… hot & cold, aching all over, 3 days on the sofa and counting and most distressing (for me not my family), I’ve lost my voice, totally. No sound, just whispers. Actually I think my family are probably quietly relieved!! So this is a recipe I meant to post a good few days ago, spurred on by Nigel over at The Hersham Hub and his request for winter warmer recipes…
1 red onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 small leafy celery stalks
2 green chillis
1 pointed red pepper
1 sprig rosemary
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp vegetable bouillon
1/2 glass red wine
25g fresh basil
2 tins plum tomatoes
1 tin mixed beans
1/2 cup orzo (pasta)
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pan on the hob.
2. Finely slice the red onion, crush the garlic, chop the celery and add to the pan. Soften for a few minutes being careful not to colour the onion or garlic.
3. Finely cube the carrots & courgette (cutting length-ways in to 4 and chopping), de-seed and finely chop the chillis and red pepper and add to the pan. Stir and drizzle a little more olive oil if things become too dry.
4. Add the rosemary and the tinned tomatoes, along with the paprika, mixed herbs, veg stock and a pinch of salt & pepper.
5. Pour the red wine in to the tomato tin to pick up any residual tomato juice and add to the pan. Stir & allow to simmer gently.
6. Drain the mixed beans and add to the pan, along with 1/2 cup orzo and top up with a little water. Stir and simmer until the orzo is cooked through (a further 10-11 minutes) adding additional water if the soup becomes to thick. Stir frequently to avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pan.
7. Check the vegetables are cooked through and the pasta is soft. Chop and stir through the fresh basil. Serve with chunky soda bread and butter!
Other delicious winter warmers: