Monday, 24 January 2011

It seems that after a few joyful, sunny days, lower temperature attacked again ;( it's raining again... I've got a thousand excuses not to leave the house... Everyone has probably some ways to cope with their winter blues... All we desire, is to curl up comfortably and keep munching filling and hearty goodies that warm our body and soul. 
In these cloudy, rainy days, when the markets stalls offer frozen, ugly-looking vegetables, we took advantage of the benefits of nature which are quietly hiding in the corners of kitchen cabinets and waiting for days like today... 
We're talking here about all sorts of beans, peas, lentils. They are great source of protein, starch and vitamins. They don't only boost our immunity, but also not lose their beneficial nutrients during all kinds of cooking, baking, stewing. That is why we love to eat them in any form ...especially in the form of soup... 
These are one of the most popular winter comfort foods because you can have them hot and spicy and enjoy them the most. The hotter the soups are, the better they will be for such a cold day like this.... There is probably as many bean soups as housewives in the world ... we like the winter bean soup which is spicy, very aromatic and heart warming ...:) And that's what we cooked today... soup... Maroccan spicy bean soup with mint.

Maroccan spicy bean soup with mint.
Inspired by the Australian Women's Weekly Cookbooks, 'Middle Eastern'. 

2 tbsp olive oil 'Extra Virgin'
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1tsp sweet paprika
1tsp coriander powder
1tsp cumin seeds
2 cans of chickpeas in a brine
1 can red kidney beans
100g red lentils
1.25 l vegetable stock
60ml lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Heat oil in a pan, add onion, garlic and spices, cook, stirring, until onion is soft.
Stir in peas, beans, lentils, stock lemon juice and mint, covered, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until lentils are tender. Serve with pita bread or on its own. 


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