youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo whatsapp Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Email Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Middle-Eastern Minestrone

by . Featured in SIMPLY NIGELLA
Print me

Introduction

This is in no sense an authentically Middle-Eastern recipe, but a fancy of mine. To elucidate: it is a vegetable soup that is imbued with Middle-Eastern flavours and, in place of the pasta that you'd cook for a traditional Italian minestrone, I use bulgur wheat.

Like many soups, it thickens on standing, in which case you can either add more liquid, or eat it as a stew. Either way, it is fragrant and filling, and is fast becoming one of my favourite recipes.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is in no sense an authentically Middle-Eastern recipe, but a fancy of mine. To elucidate: it is a vegetable soup that is imbued with Middle-Eastern flavours and, in place of the pasta that you'd cook for a traditional Italian minestrone, I use bulgur wheat.

Like many soups, it thickens on standing, in which case you can either add more liquid, or eat it as a stew. Either way, it is fragrant and filling, and is fast becoming one of my favourite recipes.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Middle Eastern Minestrone
Photo by Keiko Oikawa

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Metric Cups
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 1 red onion (peeled and chopped)
  • sea salt flakes (to taste)
  • 1 butternut squash (peeled, de-seeded and chopped into 2cm / ¾in cubes)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and finely grated or minced)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 - 3 (total weight approx. 75g / 2½ oz) preserved lemons (finely chopped)
  • 250 grams home-cooked chickpeas or drained weight from a jar or can
  • 1½ litres mild vegetable stock
  • 100 grams bulgur wheat
  • chopped fresh coriander to serve (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 1 red onion (peeled and chopped)
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1 butternut squash (peeled, de-seeded and chopped into 2cm / ¾in cubes)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and finely grated or minced)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 - 3 (total weight approx. 75g / 2½ oz) preserved lemons (finely chopped)
  • 1½ cups home-cooked garbanzo beans or drained weight from a jar or can
  • 6 cups mild vegetable broth
  • ⅔ cup bulgur wheat
  • chopped cilantro to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan that comes with a lid, and sauté the chopped onion and sprinkle with a little salt for about 3 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the chopped butternut squash, the garlic and the cumin and coriander seeds and stir around, letting everything cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Tip in the chopped preserved lemons and the drained chickpeas, then pour in the vegetable stock and partially cover with the lid to keep the liquid from evaporating too much. Simmer for about 20 minutes, by which time the butternut should be just cooked.
  4. Add the bulgur wheat, then re-cover the pan and cook gently for another 10 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be tender and the bulgur wheat soft but still nutty. Sprinkle with chopped coriander on serving, if so desired.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan that comes with a lid, and sauté the chopped onion and sprinkle with a little salt for about 3 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the chopped butternut squash, the garlic and the cumin and coriander seeds and stir around, letting everything cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Tip in the chopped preserved lemons and the drained garbanzo beans, then pour in the vegetable broth and partially cover with the lid to keep the liquid from evaporating too much. Simmer for about 20 minutes, by which time the butternut should be just cooked.
  4. Add the bulgur wheat, then re-cover the pan and cook gently for another 10 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be tender and the bulgur wheat soft but still nutty. Sprinkle with chopped coriander on serving, if so desired.

Additional Information

STORE NOTE:
Cool leftovers, then cover and refrigerate within 2 hours of making. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, pour the soup into a saucepan, adding extra water or stock if needed, then heat gently, stirring occasionally, until piping hot.

FREEZE NOTE:
Cooled soup can be frozen, in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as Store Note.

STORE NOTE:
Cool leftovers, then cover and refrigerate within 2 hours of making. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, pour the soup into a saucepan, adding extra water or stock if needed, then heat gently, stirring occasionally, until piping hot.

FREEZE NOTE:
Cooled soup can be frozen, in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as Store Note.

Tell us what you think