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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with bay leaf

26Jul 12

Lima Bean Soup

Lima Bean SoupThis simple Lima bean soup is sweet and savoury and very satisfying.  The starchy Lima beans help to give the broth the perfect thickness and also provide a sweet counterpoint to the kale and spices.  The soup also freezes well, so don’t worry if you can’t finish it all in a few days. (Why not also have a go at this red lentil and sweet potato soup?)

 

Lima Bean Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 250g giant lima beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 80ml white wine
  • 10 kale leaves, ribs removed and cut into thick strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain the lima beans and rinse well with cold water.
  2. Place the beans, oregano, sage, thyme and bay leaf along with 1.5 litres of the vegetable stock in a large soup pot.
  3. Bring to the boil.
  4. Lower the heat and let simmer for about an hour and a half, or until the beans are cooked through and beginning to break up.
  5. While the beans are simmering, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions, a few pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  6. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onions start to soften.
  7. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  8. Add the carrots, red pepper, another 2 pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  9. Cook for about 10 minutes, adding more stock when necessary to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.
  10. Add the white wine and continue cooking until nearly all the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the fried vegetables to the beans in the soup pot, together with any remaining vegetable stock, ¼ teaspoon of salt and another pinch of pepper.
  12. Continue cooking until the flavours blend together, about 20 minutes or so.
  13. Add the kale leaves and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  15. Serve in bowls with a little olive oil drizzled over each serving.

 

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22May 12

Indian-Style Brown Rice

indian style brown riceLately I’ve been trying to eat more whole-grain foods, but at first I had a hard time getting down plain, whole-grain brown rice.  It’s just so heavy and seemed to always get stuck in a ball at the back of my throat.  I’ve always loved Indian pilau rice, so I decided to try and make something similar with organic brown rice.  This Indian-style brown rice recipe is the result.

As with most Indian dishes, you need a lot of ingredients that you might not have in your kitchen, so a trip to the shops might be in order before you can start making it.  In any case, I’ve tried to keep the ingredients list as short as possible and only use the most common Indian herbs and spices.  I also added frozen peas to the mix to try and make it into a full meal in itself, although the best thing to do is to top it off with your favourite curry.  It also goes quite nicely with my baked tofu in peanut butter sauce recipe.

You Need:

  • 500g organic brown rice
  • 1.5L water
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • Seeds from 8 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  •  2 tbsps fresh chopped coriander

Steps:

  1. Melt the butter in a 3 litre pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic slices, cardamom seeds, fresh ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon sticks and sauté for about 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
  3. Add the rice and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly and making sure all the rice gets coated and toasted with the butter and spices.
  4. Add the water, salt and turmeric and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the frozen peas.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.  The exact time varies greatly depending on the brand of rice used.
  7. Drain off any excess water.
  8. Mix the fresh coriander into the rice and serve with your favourite curry.

Ready In:  30-45 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:  2 out of 5

Note: Now that I enjoy brown rice, I also eat this brown rice salad with pecans and sultanas. Simply scrumptious!

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14Feb 12

Spinach and Lentil Soup

Spinach Lentil SoupThis easy-to-prepare Spinach and Lentil Soup makes a great starter or first course, and if you combine it with whole grain rice it provides a complete meal.  I find it is the perfect thing to warm me up when I come in from a run on a cold winter’s day, especially with the heat of the red chilli peppers.  In fact, I’ve toned down the spiciness of this version quite a lot as I know a lot of people don’t like it too spicy.  If you’re like me though, and you do like it hot, then I recommend increasing the quantity of red chili pepper significantly, anywhere from  ¾  of a teaspoon up to 1½ or even 2 teaspoons.

As always, the best results are obtained if you try and get the best possible quality fresh ingredients you can find – nobody likes wilted, damp spinach, not even in a soup!  So make sure it’s fresh, organic if possible, and be sure to wash it well under running cold water to clean off all the dirt.

For a bit of an exotic touch, try substituting the parsley for fresh coriander.  If you do this, add it just before serving so that it maintains its aroma.  Enjoy!

You need:

  • 2 cups of dried lentils
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 150g of tomato paste
  • 2 bunches of spinach, cleaned & chopped
  • ½ cup of fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red chili peppers
  • ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice

Steps:

  1. Put the water, bay leaf and salt in a large pot and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the lentils, cover, and cook for 30 minutes over a medium-low heat.
  3. Add the onion, tomato paste and garlic and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach, parsley, ground pepper and red pepper.
  5. Mix well and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add more salt to taste.
  7. Add the lemon juice, mix well and serve at once.
  8. Garnish with a bit of fresh ground nutmeg and a sprig of fresh parsley.

Ready In:  75 minutes

Serves:  3-4

Difficulty:  Out of 5 (most difficult), it’s a 2!

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