Pumpkin Soup

I love pumpkins and now that they are in season, I get them as often as I can. I saw this recipe and had to try it out. Turned out really good.

Slightly adjusted version of the original recipe from Caveman and A Modern Woman blog

Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:
1 large onion

6 cloves of garlic

6 medium-sized carrots

1 pumpkin. Any pumpkin or squash will be fine

1 tsp Chili flakes

1 L chicken or veg stock

dried coriander

cumin

paprika

black pepper

Cooking Method:

Chop the onion and garlic and lightly sauté in olive oil. Cut the lid of the pumpkin off and ‘Dig’ the flesh out with a spoon/knife combo.
Discard the seeds and stringy part and reserve the ‘bowl’ for serving if desired.

Add the pumpkin flesh and chopped carrots to the onion and garlic and spices.

Allow to brown for a few mins before adding the stock. Simmer for 20 – 30 mins stirring occasionally then blend the soup in a processor until its smooth.

Serve in the reserved pumpkin bowl with a splash full fat milk or cream in the middle to add that velvety texture.

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Charred Pepper Salad

Charring peppers over an open flame or in the oven was something I had never thought of until I saw my mother in law do it.  Such an easy and healthy way to cook.  Many dinners I have had in Morocco have included this typical charred green pepper salad.

Filfa Mataysha– (Pepper and tomato in Moroccan Arabic)

2 green peppers (long thin works best) or 1 green bell pepper

1 tomato

parsley

olive oil, salt, vinegar

Char peppers and tomato over open flame, burner, or in the oven. When the skin is all black place in a plastic bag for a few minutes to steam and making it easier to remove the skin. Clean the tomato and pepper chop small. Chop parsley very fine. Combine with olive oil, salt, and a little bit of vinegar.

Variations:

I always add olive oil, vinegar and salt. Parsley is what they normally use in Morocco but cilantro is really good too.

Red bell pepper, tomato,

Red bell pepper, green pepper

Red bell pepper, green pepper, tomato

I like adding charred peppers to regular green salads as well.

Here is the red pepper and tomato version.

 

Moroccan Chicken with Prunes

One thing that surprised me about Moroccan cooking was the combination of sweet and savory. This concept was so new to me. I very much appreciate this now and it makes for delicious food. Here´s a recipe we enjoy.

Moroccan Chicken and Prunes

In large pot:

Chicken (Whole or thighs)

Onions diced

Garlic diced

Chicken bouillon

Turmeric

Black Pepper

Dash of ginger

Add 2 cups or so of water- Adding more if needed.

In a smaller pot:

Dried prunes

Raisins- optional

Honey

Cinnamon

Water

Cook chicken till done and boil liquid till reduced to a thick sauce.

Cook prunes till plump and reduce liquid to a thick syrupy sauce.

Serve on a large platter with prune mixture on top.

Eat with crusty french bread and enjoy!

Spanish lentil

I got this recipe from a Spanish cooking show a long time ago. Especially perfect for fall and winter.

Spanish Lentil

 

1 Onion

1 Red pepper

Dice small and cook on medium to low heat in frying pan with oil until soft. Add salt to help avoid burning.

In a separate pot add:

2 carrots

2 potatoes

bay leaf

1 cup chorizo 

1/2 cup jamon serrano

1/4 cup parsley

pepper

salt

saffron

optional: dash of red wine and/or pinch of ground cloves

Chop potatoes medium and carrots small so they will cook evenly. Substitute any kind of sausage for the chorizo and cured ham lunch meat or proscuitto for the jamon serrano .

When potatoes and carrots are almost cooked add a can/bottle of cooked lentils to the pot. I always rinse mine. Add the onion and red pepper mixture to pot. Cook down till everything is done. Serve with crusty french bread.

*If using dried lentils- rinse and pick over the lentils, add them to a pot with the chorizo, jamon serrano, bay leaf and spices. When nearly ready add potatoes and carrots. When vegetables are ready add onion and red pepper mixture to the pot.

Cold Cous Cous Salad

Cous Cous is the national dish of Morocco and we love it in our house. We make it the traditional way a lot but I really like making cold salads from the plain cous cous… Here´s a recipe I made last night:

 

 

Cold Cous Cous Salad

2 cups cooked plain cous cous

1 cup kidney beans

1 tomatoe diced small

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

olive oil

vinegar

lemon juice

salt

Make the cous cous and let it cool. Add all ingredients to a bowl. Add vinegar, oil, and salt to taste.

Of course you can vary this for what you have in your kitchen. Any kind of bean, add other veggies such as cucumber or charred red pepper. I love using lots of parsley in salads. If I ever find I am out of lettuce I mix together any veggies, legumes, rice or cous cous and 1-2 cups of parsley and/or cilantro.

 

Make a good thing even better

I recently found a few YouTube videos that have changed me. 🙂 Do you ever make mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs? Please… please watch these videos. Simple steps to make these dishes perfectly every time.

Mashed Potatoes

Scrambled Eggs

I love brown rice but never can make it just right. I tried out this recipe today and it was perfect! Take a look- Alton Brown´s perfect brown rice- Baked Brown Rice Recipe

Bone Broth

We have just celebrated Eid and had an entire lamb that we shared between three families. I decided to utilize the bones from the meat that we had cooked that day. We steamed the ribs and cooked the leg of lamb in the oven. I put all the bones in a huge pot with coarsely chopped onion and garlic. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for 2 days. I turned it off at night and started again in the morning. I scooped out the bones and poured the broth through a metal mesh strainer. After letting it cool I scooped off the hardened layer of fat on top and saved that to use for cooking vegetables or eggs. I saved a bottle of the broth and reduced the rest down. The broth gelled and the reduced broth was really thick- to be used as bouillon. It tastes fantastic! Totally worth the time and much tastier than bouillon cubes.

Here is a great post about the health benefits of the broth.

“… many benefits of bone broth and how it can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health and much more.

What isn’t as well know is that broth can help reduce cellulite by improving connective tissue, increase hair growth/strength, improve digestive issues and remineralize teeth.

Broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness, even if the person doesn’t feel like eating.”

Read the rest of this post here at Wellness Mama. She has a great tutorial and a lot more information.