As a mother of an 8-week old baby and a 2 year old toddler, there is very little time for cooking at the moment. Actually, between the feeding, back-to-back nappy changes and pukey laundry, there is very little time to do anything else. To date, we’ve been unapologetically living off take-away most evenings, interspersed with some simple home-cooked pasta dishes here and there to break the monotony. Online shopping has been a godsend, especially for pantry items (and lots of nappies), and much has to be said for store-cupboard cooking.
This recipe for Cream of Tomato Soup with Crunchy Lemon Chickpeas is comprised of ingredients you are likely to already have in your fridge and pantry, and it has been a hit in our home, especially with our carnivorous son who happily makes an exception for vegetables if they have been puréed. Moreover, the soup takes no more than 10 minutes to make and the chickpeas need only be mixed with a few ingredients before it is popped into the oven to roast to provide a nutty alternative to croutons. But if you don’t have time to roast the chickpeas, some alphabet pasta shapes would be surely and heartily welcomed by any little dining companions.
I know making soup from tins of tomatoes sounds a bit redundant – why not open a tin of tomato soup instead? But when tomatoes are not in season and you don’t have the time to roast out-of-season tomatoes to draw out extra flavour, I think using tinned tomatoes is more than fine. For extra reassurance, this recipe calls for tinned cherry tomatoes, which are a bit more posh and a bit more flavoursome.
This quick and simple recipe comes from Rachel Khoo‘s latest cookbook, Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook. Most of you would be familiar with Rachel Khoo from her TV show and cookbook of the same name, The Little Paris Kitchen. But being a Brit with a Malaysian and Austrian heritage, Rachel Khoo knows more than just French cooking and her latest cookbook is a collection of recipes inspired by her travels and food experiences. There is a lovely selection of simple and uncomplicated recipes for busy people, like her Speedy One-Pot Noodle (takes 3 minutes to make) or Sticky Chicken with Malaysian Salad. And there is a long list of more complex and interesting recipes which I can’t wait to try, such as the Duck Ragu with Crisp Porridge Wedges or the Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Sloe Gin.
I received a copy of this book from Rachel Khoo herself a few days before I gave birth recently, and I was so delighted that the book made its way into my hospital bag. Even if I might not be cooking much at the moment, the book is a lovely read and the food photography from David Loftus is equally inspiring. I hope to share more recipes from this book soon.
You could make this dish vegetarian by substituting the chicken stock for good-quality vegetable stock.
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