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Squash, Dried Lime and Chickpea Soup

I had picked up some dried limes in a spice shop and wanted a bit of that mouth-puckering tang in a hearty soup.

This is not dissimilar to one of Yasmin Khan's recipes in The Saffron Tales, but I had a few things in the fridge to use up. I definitely wanted that dollop of coconut yoghurt and the crunch of fried, almost burnt, onions.

I used Bold Bean Co's queen chickpeas - they're fat and delicious.

Serves 2.

  • ½ medium squash, chopped

  • 1 large shallot, sliced thinly

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp nigella seeds, 1tsp coriander seeds, 1tsp cumin seeds

  • 1tsp turmeric, 2tsp dried mint, 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 lime and 2 dried limes (or juice of 2 limes)

  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2tbsp coconut yoghurt (or plain yoghurt) per bowl

  • 50g spinach

  • 60g chickpeas (cooked, drained or jarred)

  • 1 green chilli

  1. Bash the garlic and seeds in a pestle until in a paste.

  2. Saute ½ shallot to soften, save other ½.

  3. Add garlic paste and turmeric to sauteed shallot.

  4. Add squash to pan. Saute for a bit, then pour in the stock and simmer.

  5. Pierce the dried limes, if using, in several places, and drop in. If not, add the juice of 1 lime and the two spent lime halves. Whichever you choose, drop in a cinnamon stick.

  6. Slit the green chilli down the side, keeping the top intact. Add to the pan.

  7. If using dried limes, add in ½ squeezed lime and the spent lime half.

  8. Cover and simmer for 15 mins.

  9. Meanwhile add 1tbsp oil to pan and saute remaining ½ shallot.

  10. When the stock has simmered for 15 mins, if using dried limes, squish to release juices.

  11. In any case, next remove cinnamon stick, chilli, dried limes (if using), and lime halves.

  12. Add lime juice to taste.

  13. Stir in plenty of dried mint, spinach and the chickpeas.

  14. Warm the chickpeas through.

  15. Serve with yoghurt and the onions.

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