Vegetable and Almond Soup

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This is a great soup for using up leftover raw vegetables at the end of the week. The addition of the ground almonds makes it rich and satisying. You can vary the veg you use depending on what you have but try to include some squash, sweet potato or parsnip as this adds to the flavour.

Makes a large pot
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking 75-90 minutes

Ingredients
Half a head of broccoli chopped
Half a small pumpkin chopped
6 small baby potatoes cut in half
2 handfuls of french beans chopped
2-3 handfuls of chopped carrots
A large onion chopped
1 courgette chopped
3 medium tomatoes blended with 2 cloves of garlic
A handful of pearl barley
a litre of boiling water
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme or other herbs
a teaspoon of cumin seeds
2 large vegetable stock cubes
2 tablespoons of ground almonds
Chilli flakes and toasted cumon seeds to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients except the almonds, garnish and seasoning in a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer on a low light with the lid on for about 75-90 minutes until the vegetables are very soft and starting to break up a little. Take 4-5 ladles full of the soup and blend before returning back to the pan. Add the ground almonds and season.

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White Bean and Vegetable Tagine

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I have a beautiful black tagine that I love using. I cook lots of things in it, not just Moroccan food. It makes everything cooked in it taste special. In Morocco, veggie tagines vary so much. They can be rich and oily or watery and tasteless. Generally, they are made only of veg though and we found it hard to find a tagine that used lentils or beans. This is a shame as the tagine is so ubiquitous, you end up eating one almost every day, as other vegan options are so limited in Morocco. A little extra nutrition in the way of pulses really helps to lift the dish.

I soaked and cooked my own beans here but tinned are almost as good.
Serves 6

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour

Ingredients
A medium onion chopped
A large aubergine chopped
2 red peppers chopped
3 medium tomatoes blended with a large clove of garlic
A tin of white beans or equivalent in soaked and cooked beans
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
A teaspoon of harissa
A teaspoon of ras al hanout paste or powder
A teaspoon of chermoulah paste if you can get it
Salt and pepper to taste
A tablespoon of olive oil

Warm the oil in the tagline and add the onion, aubergine and pepper. Cook gently until starting to soften. Then add the tomato mixture, beans, herbs and spices. Bring to the boil and turn the heat very low. Put the lid on the tagine or pan and simmer for about an hour until the vegetables are melting and the sauce is thick.

Serve with crusty whole wheat bread or couscous.