A self-cleaning juicer? Well, kind of. The JUlaVIE (formerly known as the Juisir) doesn’t need any cleaning. HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE JUICING GODS AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT JASON VALE.
I went to London VegFest the other week and for once, I actually came out looking forward to the next year’s event. On the previous years I’ve been, it’s been cramped, overcrowded and I hadn’t been able to get anywhere near the stalls, let alone try anything or buy anything. This year, although it was in the same space and I’m going to assume they weren’t turning stallholders or customers away, there was plenty of room to walk around and to see and sample everything, and sample things I certainly did.
I’m not suggesting for a moment you ditch the more traditional chickpea hummus – especially when I have the recipe for the best hummus in the world ever but, if you fancy a hummus/spread/dip type thing but can’t be bothered to go to the supermarket for a tin of chickpeas but you do have a carton of silken tofu and a jar of tahini in the house, then this is the recipe for you. As an added bonus, unlike the recipe for the best hummus in the world ever, you don’t have to wait for this tofu hummus to cool down.
Since discovering a few months ago when I made my courgette and broad bean soup with chilli and fennel, how wonderful chilli and fennel is as a combination, they’ve been added to most of my soups. Obviously (to me, anyway) chilli goes with everything and, although fennel isn’t to everyone’s taste, give it a go – just don’t add too much as it’s not a subtle flavour.
Carrots. Flipping carrots. I’m not a fan of carrots (except those ones in a tin – I know, I’m common as muck), so whenever I get carrots in my veg box delivery, they usually stay in the fridge until they go floppy, then they go in the compost bin. I did make some vegan carrot cupcakes a while back but, as I’m trying to cut down on junk food at the mo (not helped by being sent a hamper of Ten Acre crisps), I didn’t want to make them again just yet. Soup is always a great way to use up leftover vegetables but if I didn’t really like carrots much, would I like them in a soup? I decided to find out and I can now confirm that carrots make a perfectly acceptable soup. Especially when you add lentils and some spice. As always, I blitzed this soup to silky perfection with my Froothie blender. I know I’ve said it before but this blender really has transformed my soup into something special, and I’ve been making soup for years.
Usually when it’s courgette season, I live off courgette soup and stuffed courgettes but now I’ve got my spiralizer, I can live off courgetti, yay. I’d made a gorgeous spinach pesto (I’ll blog about that another time) last week to go with a spiralized salad but today I fancied making a thinner, creamier type of dressing.
I dropped some tofu jerky on the kitchen floor the other day. This saddened me because it was the last of the current batch and even though I scooped it up within the three-second-rule thing, I know how often the kitchen floor gets cleaned and therefore I apply something more akin to a three-foot-rule thing as far as any food/floor contact goes. I wiped the jerky with a bit of kitchen roll but I still didn’t fancy my chances and I wasn’t about to bleach it then eat it, so into the bin it went. Sniff.
I took part in a big cycling event over the weekend (although I should probably confess the lure of the train station just half a mile away was too strong and I wimped out of the second day) and, as I was away from home, my diet consisted of carbs, carbs and more carbs in the form of pizza, pasta and flapjacks. I have absolutely no problem with any of these essential food items but after three days of it, man, was I craving some good old fruit and veg.
Asparagus season in the UK doesn’t last long – traditionally beginning 1 May and lasting for seven to eight weeks – and although you can buy it imported throughout the year, it just feels more right to be eating it in spring, when the UK crops are harvested. I received asparagus in my veg box delivery last week and usually I enjoy it simply steamed and served as a side vegetable but, as I was away all weekend, it didn’t get used as soon as I would have liked and as it was starting to go a bit limp, I made soup with it, along with some Swiss Chard that also came in the box.
I’ve made the best soup in the world. Yes, it sounds a bold claim to make but I truly believe this vegan courgette and broad bean soup is the nicest soup I’ve ever had. I used up the courgette and broad beans I had left over in my veg box and to spice it up a bit, I added some chilli and fennel which totally brought the soup to life, giving it a taste not dissimilar to Thai green curry.
If you like a smooth soup, you can fully blend it, or leave it chunky and just blend some of it, as I’ve done here. Blending some of it gives it a wonderful creamy taste and texture without adding extra calories from cream or cashews. As usual, I blended it in my Optimum G2.1 blender – I really can’t recommend this blender enough; it’s revolutionised my soup-making.
By the way, a few weeks ago I bought a big bag of frozen crushed garlic from Asda for 97p. It’s great – it’s 100% garlic and so convenient to have in the freezer on standby in case you’ve run out of fresh garlic (I should probably confess I haven’t bought any fresh garlic since buying this frozen garlic, it’s that good).
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 125g broad beans
- 1 courgette, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- Chilli powder to taste
- salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until the onion is soft
- Add the sliced courgette and fry for another couple of minutes
- Add the broad beans, stock, fennel seeds, chilli powder and season with salt and pepper
- Bring to the boil and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the courgette and broad beans are cooked
- Pour a third of the soup into a blender and blend on high speed, then return to the pan and warm through
Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum G2.1 blender mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.