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Autumn has most certainly made it’s presence known. Until this week we have enjoyed a pretty unusual summer, now all of a sudden we notice the change of season. The evenings are growing darker and it is super hard to wake up in the morning. It doesn’t help that I have now started to press the snooze button and sometimes accidentally turn it off, which means the two of us are racing for the first shower and mirror time (yes we only have one mirror).

But there are a few wonderful things about the darker colder months… The fires that we can cozy up to, the colour of the autumn leaves, not feeling guilty for going to bed early, but we also get some wonderful fruit and veg coming into season. The best thing of all is that it is time to start organising for… ok ok I can’t bring myself to say it as I might be publicly stoned for doing so. But soon enough I have to start thinking of festive cakes and dinner arrangements. I LOVE this time of year. Way prefer winter to summer.

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This weekend while having lunch with my mother and sister, I went into my old garden and with mums permission foraged for apples. I don’t think I left her any. But I can’t wait to make apple pies and tarts and tart tatin. And I have my mind on an apple based soup too. I made my first tart tatin last night, but it wasn’t quite right (I may have slightly burnt the caramel), it was still lovely. I’ve actually never had a tart tatin before so not exactly able to compare it to anything but I will try again.

DSCF5309 (My first attempt)

But now, starts the days when I make warmer dishes with more comforting elements to keep that chill at bay. The air has that little bite to it again and we once again all carry our umbrellas at all times and wear coats to work. When you get home the nicest thing is to snuggle up and have some hearty soup or easy one pot dishes. There always seems to be less washing up during winter as most things I make come contained in one glorious pot.

So to start my soups off, I made a lovely Moroccan chickpea soup. I didn’t have much in the fridge, but I did have all the dry ingredients stocked away in the pull out pantry. No shopping and very little washing up = easy peasy dinner!

Oh how I love autumn!

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MOROCCAN CHICKPEA SOUP

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 large red peppers, chargrilled and skins removed (or about 200 g roasted peppers from a jar)
  • 2 cans (400 g each) of good quality tomatoes (chopped or I use cherry tomatoes in rich juice)
  • 1 can of chickpeas (400 g)
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50 g couscous

THE HOW

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish (with lid). Cook the onion and garlic with the lid on for 5 minutes on a medium heat, stirring every few minutes. Add the chilli, ginger, lemon zest, cumin, ras el hanout and cinnamon and stir. Cook for a minute to bring out the flavours. Add the peppers, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

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Whizz the soup up with a hand held blender or put it into the food processor until smooth. Return to the pan and if you need to add more liquid you can. Throw in the couscous and the chickpeas and stir.

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Heat through for 5 minutes to allow the couscous to cook. Serve with a spoon of yogurt and a sprinkle of coriander.

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