Hello foodie friends, I hope you’re all having a great 2015 start! With this post I’m not only celebrating the beginning of the new year but also my one year anniversary with “Around the Bowl”, I can’t believe a year and so many soups have gone by! It’s been a pleasure, and I’m tremendously eager to keep sharing many more!
Today’s recipe is brought straight from Portugal, as we received the New Year in Porto, an enchanting city in the Douro river estuary with very kind local people and amazing food! Old and modern collide in a very special way in Porto producing amazing results design and food wise. I was totally inspired by it all: its streets, its old buildings and churches with their blue tiles, the river and the good design shops, cafés and restaurants.
I was positively overwhelmed by Porto’s good food and the fact that soup was served everywhere; definitely my kind of town! Pastries of all kind are also typical and delicious. The majority of food establishments are open all day long, serving pastries, tea & (great) coffee during the morning and afternoon and complete meals at lunch and dinner. Check out the following places that we loved and the photo galleries for recommendations!
- Aurora Portuguese Restaurant: a very cozy restaurant with amazing service and great Portuguese dishes with a modern approach. Also ideal to try Douro wines and of course Porto wine! We loved it so much that came back more than once!
- Casa Grande Chocolatier: in a great location this lovely coffee shop and tea room is an ideal place where to make a stop and try delicious chocolates, cakes and pastries. We also had a light lunch one day, consisting of soup and sandwiches, as good as the sweet treats!
- Mercearia das Flores: beautiful grocery store and tasting place for local delicatessen, located in one of the most cute streets downtown.
- Mitica Inspiraçao: probably the most amazing pastry shop I’ve ever been to, everything is very tempting and utterly delicious. Is not centrally located, but it was around the corner from our hotel, so we enjoyed our breakfast there every single day!
Aren’t you hungry now? Then is time for a wonderful vegetable soup, so let’s cook!
- a dash of olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 leek white, chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1/2 courgette, cubed
- 1/4 pumpkin, cubed
- 1 potato, cubed
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 handfuls frozen spinach (or Portuguese cabbage if you can get some)
- 3 tbsp. cooked chickpeas (I used jar chickpeas)
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker* pot and sauté the garlic, onion and leek over medium heat until translucent.
- Add the carrot, courgette, pumpkin and potato and pour the stock over. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and pressure cook* it for around 10 minutes once full pressure was reached (this may vary according to your pressure cooker model). For regular cooking, cover, bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer till the vegetables are cooked, approximately 30 minutes should do.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, remove two ladles of vegetables chunks from the pot and set aside. Mix the rest with an immersion blender until a soft puree is formed.
- Put back in the vegetables chunks, add the spinach and chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
*Always follow your pressure cooker instructions and manage it with due care.