Tag Archives: tarragon

Recipe: Chickpeas in Red Wine and Tarragon


This recipe, a kind of half-way house between nibbles and a dip, comes a roundabout route from The Pink Adobe Cookbook via one of the legendary food threads on alt.tv.highlander. I have served it up at most of the fangirl weekends I’ve hosted. It was a firm favourite and was known as ‘that chickpea thing’.

When making it in bulk, I’ve cooked the chickpeas from dry, but it works just as well with tinned chickpeas as long as you heat them up a little so that they absorb more of the flavours as they sit in the marinade. I think the original had a lot more olive oil, so feel free to add more in if you want to. You need to let this sit for at least six hours before serving. Overnight is even better.

You need to serve it with some crisps that can scoop up the chickpeas. Tortilla chips are great but those mini popadoms are even better.

Chickpeas in red wine photo DSCN1011_zps83063d6f.jpg

400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 120g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked
70ml red wine
1 garlic clove, crushed
30ml vinegar
20ml olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon

If using tinned chickpeas, put them in a suitable bowl and microwave them for about a minute just to warm them through.
Add all the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Cover and leave to stand at least six hours before serving.
To serve, spoon out the chickpeas with a bit of the marinade mixture to keep them moist.
Serve with mini popadoms or tortilla chips.
Serves 2 with other dips.


Recipe: Mushroom Soup


I’ve been going back to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day cookbook. In the soups section was a recipe for cream of mushroom soup. Now when I was growing up, the sovereign remedy for all childhood illnesses was a bowl of soup and a slice of bread cut into quarters. The soup came from a tin and the bread was white, but it was certain to help bear any cold or sniffle. My favourite was cream of chicken, and now I’ve gone veggie, chicken is off the menu, my comfort food to end all comfort foods is a tin of condensed cream of mushroom soup served over a packet of microwaved rice.

Now Hugh’s recipe involves cream, naturally enough, but I rarely have it in the house. I thought a bit and decided that potato would add body to the soup without overpowering the mushrooms. I think a couple of courgettes might work as well – they are brilliant blended in soups.

Like most soups this is quick and easy to make. I would recommend closed cup mushrooms in this for their lighter colour in the bowl. The dark-gilled field mushrooms will blend to something that looks like you might want to make breeze-blocks from.

I also really recommend the chopped tarragon. It completely lifts the soup to a different level. If you can’t get it, I suggest a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Mushroom soup photo 7560a5e3-66a9-484a-bbcf-85907a2426a3_zps1463ee57.jpg

1 leek, chopped
1 medium baking potato, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
300g mushrooms
750ml vegetable or mushroom stock
grating of nutmeg
1 tbsp sherry
chopped tarragon to garnish

Sweat the leek in a little oil until they have gone bright green and a little translucent.
Add the garlic and give it a few stirs.
Add the potato, mushrooms and vegetable stock.
Cover and leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Blend the soup until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in a few gratings of nutmeg and the sherry.
Serve with the tarragon as a garnish.

Serves 3-4