Quick Bean & Chorizo Soup (DF, EF + NF)

I may or may not have mentioned here previously about my love of winter.

Chilly mornings, rugged up from the cold trying to work up a sweat on my morning walk. My breath coming out in foggy plumes. Long jackets, short jackets, colourful scarves wrapped twice around your neck for warmth. Boots come up to your knees and under those are thick dark leggings. After the long cools days, the evenings are spent enjoyed around a warm fire (or gas heater - ha!) a glass of red on the table and a bowl of comfort food.

Yes, there's something about warm winter comfort food that is not enjoyed throughout the other seasons. The apple pies, homemade baked beans on toast , mustard crusted lamb racks on Sundays, warming pumpkin soups, spaghetti bolognese and this warming bean and chorizo soup.

It's quick to throw together and we usually have all the ingredients in the pantry and fridge so it's easy to whip up on a weeknight when we haven't planned our dinners ahead.

The Gluten Free Scallywag's Quick Bean & Chorizo Soup
The Gluten Free Scallywag's Quick Bean & Chorizo Soup

Plus, it makes a damn good leftover lunch, just pack it into a tupperware container warm at work and top with some grated parmesan. Hellooo work lunch!

Quick Bean & Chorizo Soup

Serves 4-6 hungry bellies

1 brown onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 stick celery, diced

2 carrots, peeled, halved length ways, cut into 1cm pieces

1 medium potato, diced into 1cm pieces

1 tx 400g tin tomatoes

1L (4cups) gluten free vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin cannelini or mixed beans, drained

1 gluten free chorizo, halved lengthwise and thickly sliced

Pepper to season

Parmesan to serve (omit if dairy/lactose free)

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large pot, cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic, celery and carrots and cook for one minute until fragrant. Add in the potato, tomatoes and stock. Cook covered for 20minutes.

Uncover and add beans. Cook uncovered for 5minutes until warmed through and vegetables are cooked through. Meanwhilst fry the chopped chorizo in a dry pan over high heat until crispy. This will only take a minute. Pour the cooked chorizo and the juices into the soup. Taste and season with pepper to your liking.

Serve immediately topped with freshly grated Parmesan. 

There are lots of options with this soup, add in a cup of frozen peas with the beans and a halful of chopped fresh parsley before serving, or use some sweet potato instead of the plain potato (it's lower GI too!). Heat the soup up with a spicy chorizo or a pinch or two of chilli flakes.

This soup is easily made vegetarian if you don't include the chorizo. Need this Bean & Chorizzo soup lactose free? Simply serve it without the Parmesan and remember to always check the stock ingredients for your diet. 

Tomato & Pumpkin Soup (DF, EF, NF, V)

gluten free scallywag tomato pumpkin soup

Food is such a comforting thing. I remember eating entire pots of mashed potato when I was sick, I used to put grated cheese on the top and let it melt, eat the top layer and repeat. (Yeah, who said comfort food was healthy?!) It was warm and filled the whole in my tummy and I knew it wouldn't upset my stomach not in a gluten free way, more like aewww... dairy? no not right now, or ewwww.... steak? no not right now, the whole chewing this is too much effort kind of way! I laugh as I remember my Dad's reaction to my coeliac diagnoses, so no more potatoes? He was so very disappointed when I said that I could still eat potatoes. He will still tell anyone that will listen that I could have bought shares in the potato farming business because of all the afternoon potato snacks I made. Let alone the massive piles of mashed potatoes that I would consume whenever Mum whipped them up.

Alas, I've not made my favourite comfort food today, although I do believe it'll be on my dinner menu very soon! No, I made soup, the other warm comforting food, perfect as Melbourne cools down. It's gorgeous here at the moment, the leaves in our street have changed colour and have fallen off the trees, piling up underneath parked cars and covering our pathway, perfect for swishing your feet through!

Don't you just love that? Seeing all the pretty leaves fly up in the air? It makes me feel happy, carefree and happy for that moment nothing else matters but seeing the leaves fall back down to the ground.

gluten free scallywag tomato pumpkin soup

The colours of the leaves are so pretty, autumn oranges, red and browns, a little like this autumn soup full of rich tomatoes and gorgeous pumpkin. It's dairy free & nut free too,well, at least it is if you don't add my serving options - a dash of cream and a dollop of fresh homemade basil pesto  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have been, becuase it is a synch to make and full of good things to help you through the cooler months, unlike the delicious but not so nutritious bowl of mashed potato I used to eat!

Tomato & Pumpkin Soup

Makesjust under 2L, or about 4-6serves (depending on how hungry you are!) 

1 small brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2cm rounds

1 piece celery, chopped into 2cm pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 grey pumpkin,  skin and seed removed, cubed into 5cm pieces

1 x 400g tin tomatoes, whole or chopped will do

1L (4cups) gluten free vegetable stock

Heat a large 3L capacity pot and add a tablespoon of oil. Heat the oil and add the chopped onion and cook until it is soft and translucent. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 4-5minutes until softening. Add the pumpkin, tomato and stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20minutes with the lid on, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another 10-20minutes until pumpkin is soft and a third of the liquid has evaporated. If too much liquid has evaporated, add in a slosh of water or two.

Allow to cool completely before buzzing in the blender. I find it best to blend in portions and then mix it all in a large bowl and seasoning with a little salt and pepper.

Will keep refrigerated for 5 days & I'm sure it would freeze well too. Perfect to make ahead for dinner or lunch during the week.

If you're not lactose or dairy intolerant then you can serve this soup with a little cream and a spoonful of basil pesto . Of course, a crispy toasted cheese sandwich to have with this would make it even more comforting! 

Carrot, Pumpkin & Lentil Soup (DF, EF, NF + V)

IMG_4526_gluten free scallywag_pumpkin red lentil soup

Of late I've been awfully side tracked... life has changed a little after our move, because, well....we not only moved homes but states too !! Yep. We're now residing in the fabulous city of Melbourne, Victoria! It's a gorgeous city, Melbourne, and one I can't wait to explore a little more....of course, we've already been visiting the Prahran Markets and even located some fabulouslocal gluten free eateries.

IMG_4078_melbourne wandering_malvern

Of course, if you follow me on twitteryou may have noticed a few tweets mentioning the lovely experience that is 'attending interviews', as I was also on the job hunt. Luckily, that hunt is over and I'm now settled in a position that is conveniently located just a short tram ride away - YAY! The team at the office is sad to hear that I'm gluten free "awww no cookies!" was the first exclamation! However, I think that with this gluten free brownie, these gluten free cookies and maybe something new... they'll be converted in no time!

Melbourne wandering_Malvern

A few weeks ago I made this delicious soup, in my kitchen which is slowly coming along ! It's warm and conforting and I love the sweetness of the pieces of carrot found by your spoon. The lentils make this a super hearty soup and the aromatics of the ginger and garlic make it a good winter soup. Add some cayenne pepper to get the metabolism going.

IMG_4485_gluten free scallywag_pumpkin red lentil soup

Rustic Carrot, Pumpkin & Lentil Soup

Warms 6-8 bellies

1 brown onion, peeled and diced

1cup red lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed

Half a butternut pumpkin, deseeded and peeled

4carrots, peeled

1 celery stick,

1tsp ginger

1tsp minced garlic

1.5L gluten free vegetable stock

salt & pepper to taste

Once you've de-seeded and peeled the pumpkin, cut it into medium sized pieces or approximately 5cmsq. Cut the carrot into 1.5cm rounds and slice the celery into half centimetre 'crescent's. Set aside.

Heat a large splash of olive oil (about 2tblspn) in a large pot and saute onions until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, carrot and celery. Saute for a minute or two until the aromas of the ginger and garlic are wafting beneath your nose. Add the lentils, pumpkin and the stock to cover and simmer for approximately 1-1 1/2hours or until the soup is of a thick consistency and the vegetables are soft. Season to taste and serve as is, rustic and charming with gluten free bread.

I love coming across the large pieces of sweet carrot. Yum!

Can also be cooled and blended if you wish.

Will keep for 3-5days in an air tight container in the fridge. Suitable to freeze if blended.

Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (DF, EF, NF + V)

Lentil Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

I love a good warming soup in winter and this Gluten Free Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup, with that lovely hint of ginger and curry powder is perfect on a wet winters night.

My Dad dropped in when I was chopping up the vegetables for this soup and he requested a tester when it was done. A day later after he'd frozen his ass off in a surfing competition (and came 3rd - go Dad!) he did receive a warming care package - which he loved so much that he has requested a whole pot for himself! When he likes your food you certainly know about it - thanks Dad but now that the recipe is here for the whole world to see you can make it yourself!

tee-hee-hee...

Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup (warmingly spicy)

adapted from Jude Bereau's 'Wholefood'

1 onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

8cm ginger, grated

1 1/2tsp ground cumin

1tsp ground coriander

1/2tsp curry powder

250g (1 1/2 cup)  yellow or red lentils, rinse and soak overnight

400g sweet potato, peeled and chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

2L gluten free vegetable stock

Gluten Free Tamari/Soy Sauce

Heat a large heavy based saucepan and add a tblspn of olive or vegetable oil to heat. Add in the onion, celery and ginger and saute for approximately 5minutes. Add the ground cumin, coriander and curry powder and stir until fragrant - about 1 minute. Add the lentils, sweet potato, carrot and vegetable stock. Stir. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 45-60minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool enough spoon batches into a blender and pulse until smooth. Check seasoning, adding a teaspoon or two of tamari to taste. Reheat.

Serve with a swirl of coconut milk and a sprig of fresh coriander with some fresh gluten free bread.

Will keep in fridge for approximately 5 days. Soup is also fabulous to freeze.