Moroccan Monday: Chickpea Soup

Because of our Monday theme, I’ve been reading a lot of Moroccan recipes recently. A lot of savoury recipes call for cinnamon and/or cardamom, which feels a bit exotic, because here in Finland cinnamon is traditionally used only in desserts or sprinkled on bowl of porridge. Although not too exotic, since garam masala is regularly used in our kitchen. Inspired by the recipes I had read, I created this chick pea soup with cinnamon and vegetables.


Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Soup

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cinnamon
0,5 tsp turmeric
0,5 tsp ginger
1 carrot
1 onion
1 celery stalk
1 can tomato passata
1 l water or vegetable broth
4-5 dl chickpeas
2 potatoes
salt, pepper
small bunch of fresh parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice

Coarsely chop the onion, dice carrot and celery. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté vegetables with spices for 5 minutes. Add tomato and water and bring to boil. Peel and dice the potatoes. Add potatoes and chickpeas to the pot and simmer 20-30 minutes or until vegetables and potatoes are soft. Season with salt and pepper, add chopped parsley and lemon juice and simmer a minute or two before serving.


Wine Wednesday: Fennel Soup

Some time ago I received a few Swedish magazines, mostly targeted for middle-aged women, but decided to have a look in case they contained any interesting recipes. This soup was one of them. Originally this recipe called for shrimps, but we simply omitted them and veganised the rest of the recipe. In case you want something bitey in your soup, give tofu or maybe a small batch of white beans a try. Anyway, this is a really nice refreshing soup, where the fennel combined with the white wine brings out a really great taste.


Creamy Fennel Soup

10 cm leek
1 fennel bulp
1 carrot
2 tbsp oil
3 dl white wine
6 dl water
1 bouillon cube
3 tbsp wheat flour
2 dl oat or soy cream
salt, pepper

Coarsely chop leek, fennel and carrot. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the vegetables until leek is soft. Add wine, 5 dl water and bouillon cube to the pot and bring to boil. Mix the wheat flour with remaining 1 dl of water and slowly pour to the pot, stirring the soup at the same time. (Or mix the flour with vegetables before adding water or wine.) Cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft and puree with a blender. Add cream and heat thoroughly, season with salt and pepper.


Trinidad Corn Soup

Soup is often served as a starter, but in Finland it’s usually the main course. According to what I’ve read recently, in Trinidad soup is served as a main course too. Trinidad Corn Soup is filled with peas and vegetables, and you won’t miss a main dish after eating this. I read many recipes and made my version based on them. They all included corn, split peas, corn dumplings, chili pepper and carrots. Potatoes and coconut milk also seem to be popular ingredients. Sweet potatoes and chickpeas can be used too.

The soup is usually made with sliced corn ears, but barbecue season is over and whole corns weren’t available anymore, so we used canned baby corn instead. If you have fresh corn ears, slice them and add to the pot at the same time with dumplings.


Trinidad Corn Soup

2,5 dl split peas
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 celery stalk
1 tbsp oil
1 bell pepper
1 carrot
2-3 dl pumpkin cubes
1 scotch bonnet or other hot chili pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp lovage
1,5 dl frozen corn
1 can baby corn

0,75 dl cornmeal
0,5 dl water

Soak the split peas overnight. Rinse.
Peel and chop the onion and garlic, chop celery. Heat the oil in pot and sauté onion, garlic and celery until onion is soft. Add 1,5 l water and bring to boil. Meanwhile peel and dice the carrot, and chop both peppers. When water is boiling, add peas, chopped vegetables and herbs. Simmer about an hour or until peas are soft. Use a handheld blender to puree the soup. You can puree it completely smooth or leave it chunky.

Make the dumplings: Mix cornmeal and water together to get a thick dough. Add bit more either ingredient if needed. Form into small balls. Season the soup with salt and pepper and add dumplings. Simmer 10-15 minutes and add both corns. Simmer 10 more minutes, adjust seasoning and enjoy.


Warming Armenian Lentil Soup

Sally Butcher’s book Veggiestan (or Vegestan here in Finland) is a vegetarian Middle Eastern cook book. It’s not vegan, many recipes include eggs/dairy, but in my opinion it was worth buying. Many recipes are suitable for vegans, or can be easily veganized (use margarine instead of butter etc.). The recipes have a short explanation about the origins of the dish, which are fun to read. This soup is called Vospapur in Armenia, and the book says it tastes best eaten around camp fire. It was great around the dining table too.


Armenian Lentil Soup with Spinach and Garlic

300 g green lentils
50 g margarine
1 big onion, chopped
7-8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp dried dill
1 l water
salt and black pepper
300 g fresh or frozen spinach
4-5 tomatoes, chopped
100 g ground walnuts

Melt some margarine in a pot and sauté the onion until it starts to get brown. Chop half of the garlic and add them to the pot. Add spices, dill and finally lentils stirring constantly. Add water and bring to boil. Simmer 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little water if the soup is too thick. Add spinach, tomatoes and most of the walnuts. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Slice the remaining garlic cloves and lightly fry them with remaining walnuts. Ladle the soup to bowls and garnish with garlic and walnuts. Serve with fresh bread.


Lithuanian Cold Borscht

At first I was going to make regular borscht using cabbage, beets, carrots and lentils, but then Nomad found these Lithuanian beet soup recipes which sounded more interesting. Soup was nice, and it would be a great starter for a dinner on a hot summer day.

The soup is usually made of buttermilk, but we used oat milk. Boiled eggs are also often used to the soup or the bowl of soup is topped with some boiled egg, but we just omitted them. If you’d like to get some protein to the soup, crumbled tofu would probably work fine. I think Šaltibarščiai is not usually served with sour cream, but I think a dollop of plain soy yogurt was nice, so I added some to my soup bowl.



10 small beets
water for boiling
2/3 big cucumber
1 small red onion
5 dl beet boiling water
5 dl oat or soy milk
2 tsp dried dill or parsley OR 2 tbsp fresh
1,5 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
plain soy yogurt for serving (optional)

Boil the beets, save 5 dl boiling water and let cool. Peel and grate cooled beets. Chop cucumber and onion. Mix grated beets, cucumber, onion and reserved boiling water. Add enough plant based milk to get desired consistency. Season with dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate about an hour before serving.


Creamy Spinach Soup

At least in Finland everyone knows spinach soup. It’s very popular, regularly served in schools, lunch diners, basically everywhere. While the idea of making a creamy soup from spinach (or nettle) might not sound too fancy, the result is still excellent. Usually the soup is served with halved boiled eggs dipped into the the bowl, so if you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to experiment with something similar.

The texture of the soup is neat, and spinach (and moreso nettle, which is even better!) is healthy for you, so this is truly an awesome soup for a very minimal price!


Spinach Soup / Nettle Soup

1 l fresh spinach or nettle leaves or 150 g frozen
1 shallot
1 tbsp oil
25 g margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
1 l water
1 vegetable bouillon cube or 1 tbsp powder
salt, pepper
2 dl oat or soy cream

If you use fresh nettle leaves you have to boil them 3-4 minutes before using. Chop the boiled nettle leaves or fresh spinach leaves. Peel and finely chop the shallot. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the shallot until soft. Add the margarine, allow to melt and stir in wheat flour. Add water in batches, stirring well between, and bring to boil. Add the bouillon cube or powder. Add the spinach or nettle, bring back to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add cream, heat thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.


Advent Calendar

Some years ago my sister made me an advent calendar, I think it was 2005 or 2007. The calendar is made of two green ribbons and there are 12 small bags on each. Each bag contained a recipe and a small surprise (stickers, candy etc.). Next year I filled the calendar and sent it bag to my sister and we’ve been sending it to each other every year since.


This year it was my turn to fill the calendar. I won’t tell you what I filled it with, because she’ll probably read this post. But I think it’s safe to tell that on 5th day she got dried chili (grown by us) and a recipe for a soup.


Sunny Sweet Potato Soup

1 onion (or piece of leek)
2-3 garlic cloves
1-2 mild chili peppers
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp thyme
200 g passata
1 l water
juice of 1 large orange and 1 tsp grated peel
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 sweet potato (400 g)
200 g frozen peas
salt and pepper

plain soy yogurt for serving (optional)

Chop or thinly slice the onion. Mince the garlic cloves and chili peppers. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the onion and thyme couple of minutes. Add garlic and chili and continue sautéing until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the passata, water, orange juice & peel, cinnamon and bay leaf. Bring to boil and add peeled and diced sweet potato. Simmer until the sweet potato is soft, add the peas in the end of simmering. Season with salt and pepper and remove the bay leaf. Serve with or without a spoonful of plain soy yogurt.

Old vegetarian peasoup

This is a real vegetarian recipe from the 1920’s! Well, okay, lacto-vegetarian by today’s standards, but anyway. It’s one version of the eternally popular peasoup (“hernekeitto”) we love over here. The very smooth texture makes it great comfort food for the cold season. We just had our first snow in here…

Vegetarian puréed peasoup

2l water
4dl dried green peas
3 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tbsp wheat flour
salt, minced white pepper
1dl oat cream

Dried peas are soaked in water through the night. The following the day the peas are cooked until very soft. Purée the peas with a blender. Fry the flour in margarine for a minute and add the puréed  peas. Let boil for roughly ten minutes. Season with salt and white pepper and add cream. Serve with croutons.

Agrarian bean soup

We were rather busy Thursday, and needed a quick and easy food, which would basically make itself on the background, allowing us to concentrate on other things. Kokbok to rescue! Here’s a soup from brown beans, if I had to pick one word to describe it, I’d use agrarian. It’s basic, doesn’t look too special on its own, but is actually quite good and filling.

Puréd soup from brown beans

0,5l cooked brown beans
1-2 celery stalks
1 onion
2 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tbsp wheat flour
1,5l vegetable broth

Fry margarine and flour quickly in a pot, then add rest of the ingredients. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until onion and celery are soft. Puree with blender. Optionally enjoy with bread crumbs.

Jerusalem artichoke soup

Here we go with yet another simple but nice food from the old cookbook. Jerusalem artichoke is a funny root vegetable. It was a very common one over here before the introduction of potato, and even for a long time (several centuries) after that. Yet during the last 100 years it has been somewhat forgotten, quite likely due to potato being providing a better harvest.

For us and our community garden project, this very rainy summer was a quite a disaster, the amount of potato we were able to raise was far from last year’s huge success. However, this might be mitigated by the jerusalem artichoke which is growing wildly around the area where we have our small plot of land.

So, while harvesting the last batch of our own potatos, we also collected a small bag of jerusalem artichokes. Of course, the logical next step was to find some food from the old books which uses them, and here we go with the soup. It’s simple, tasty, open up for variations according to your own tastes and everything. I just hope you don’t have to buy jerusalem artichokes from the market, or if you have to, I really hope they aren’t as expensive as around here, which is quite ridiculous considering you can find them growing wild here and there…

Hope you enjoy!

Creamy Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

1,5 l vegetable broth
1 l Jerusalem artichokes
2 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
salt, white pepper
1 dl oat or soy cream

Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and put them immediately into cold water to prevent them getting dark. Bring the broth to boil and cook the Jerusalem artichokes until soft. Puré with a blender. Melt the margarine in a pot and sauté the flour in it for a minute. Add some soup, mix well, add more soup, mix again and add the rest of the soup and mix. Slowly boil 10 minutes, stirring often. Add water if the soup looks too thick (the original recipe called for 2,5 l water, but we used 1,5, which was enough). Add cream, season with salt and pepper and heat thoroughly.