Following on from our interview with the wonderful Sophie Hansen in the current issue of GRACE magazine, she has kindly shared two heart-warming recipes...
Simple Harira Soup
A pared-down take on the classic Moroccan harira, which is traditionally served during Ramadan to break the daily fast at sunset, this is a gorgeous, filling and healthy soup that I have been making and serving for lunches at home and workshops for many years. If you want to bulk it up a bit, add some chopped chicken thigh pieces or diced lamb shoulder (about 600g of each) when adding the spices.
1 tbsp, 20g butter
1 brown onion, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
600g chicken thigh pieces, chopped
2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin chickpeas or 3/4 cup (125g) dried chickpeas, soaked then cooked until tender
1/2 cup (100g) red lentils
1 cup coriander leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
3 cups (750ml) chicken stock
Turkish bread, to serve
Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the spices and chicken and cook for another five minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, herbs and stock and cook at a gentle simmer for about half an hour minutes. Stir through the coriander and serve with warmed Turkish bread and a few extra parsley and coriander leaves.
Peanut Butter Muesli Squares
Prep time 15 mins (plus 15 mins resting time)
Cooking time 1 hour 15 mins
I made batch after batch of these when both Alice and Tom were newborns. They were my salvation and I guarded my stash jealously. Once Tim had a fencing contractor in for morning tea and they polished off half a jar at once. I came home from a shopping trip in town, starving, with a screaming baby in the carrier to find the jar empty. With hindsight, I can admit my reaction was disproportionately angry.
It took me a while to come up with a muesli bar/square recipe that wasn’t too soft and chewy, one that could hold together in a lunchbox or jar and this is it. The key is using an egg white to bind ingredients together and give extra crunch to the end result.
2 cups (200g) rolled oats
1 cup (160g) almonds
1/2 cup (60g) walnuts
1 cup (155g) pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (75g) sesame seeds
1 cup (55g) flaked coconut
1 cup (55g) flaked coconut
1/2 cup (175g) honey
1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (75g) peanut butter (the good, natural kind if possible)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large egg white, whisked until frothy
1/2 cup (40g) wheatgerm
1 cup (170g) raisins, dried cranberries, apricots or figs (roughly chopped)
Preheat oven to 160C and grease and line a 38 x 26 x 3cm baking tray. Combine the oats, almonds, walnuts, seeds and coconut on another baking tray and cook, for about 15 minutes or until the coconut is just turning golden. Tip the oat mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Combine the honey, brown sugar and peanut butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan and bring just to the boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the beaten egg white and salt then pour over the oat mixture, stir in the wheatgerm and dried fruit and mix well. Scrape into your prepared baking tray and cook in the oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the tin before taking out and cutting into bars or squares.