3 Tasty Recipes to Spice Up the Colder Months

When the temperature drops, it’s time to heat things up in the kitchen and warm your cockles, the old fashioned way – with some spicy comfort cooking. Here are three of our favourite simple recipes from around the globe that are sure to keep you warm this winter.

Spicy Tomato Soup

Serves 4 Ingredients 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 brown onion, chopped 2 large garlic cloves, crushed 1 Habanero chilli chopped* 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tbs tomato paste 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed 500ml salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock Method Preheat your oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat before adding the onion, then cook for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently until the onion is soft. Add the chilli, spices, garlic and tomato paste, and stir for a further minute until ingredients are evenly combined. Add tomatoes, lentils and stock to the pan and raise heat to high to bring the mixture to the boil. Then reduce heat to low before partially covering and simmering for 20 minutes. Allow to cool to before pureeing the in batches until smooth. If the soup is too thick for your taste, gradually add another half cup of water. Once the desired consistency has been achieved, return to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper – freshly ground it best. Warm through by stirring over a medium heat. Serving Suggestion: ladle soup among serving bowls and swirl in a spoonful of yoghurt or sour cream to serve. *Note, the Habanero is one of the hottest varieties of chillis available. To reduce the heat, remove the seed or opt for a milder chilli such as the birdseye or jalepeno.

Chorizo and Bean Casserole

Serves 6 Ingredients 3 chorizo sausages, sliced 1 tbs vegetable oil 1 large brown onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, peel and crushed 1 1/2 tsp Mexican chilli powder 1 x 800g can diced tomatoes 2 x 400g cans red kidney beans, rinsed, drained 700g red sweet potato, peeled, diced into 1.5cm chunks 1 large eggplant, diced into 1.5cm pieces Method Preheat oil in a large saucepan before adding the sausages and onion. Cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently until the onion is golden and the sausages begin to brown. Stir in the garlic and chilli powder, and cook until aromatic. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, sweet potato and eggplant. Stir until the mixture is evenly combined before increasing heat to bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender. Serving suggestion: Serve with the crusty bread rolls.

Spicy Meatballs with Spaghetti

Serves 4 Ingredients 500g lean beef mince 1 large red chilli, finely chopped (and seeded for less heat, if desired) 1/4 cup quality dry breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 small brown onion, chopped finely 2 garlic cloves, crushed 400g can chopped Roma tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 cup water Pinch of sugar 400g spaghetti or pasta of your choice Method Combine beef mince, breadcrumbs and chilli into a bowl, seasoning with salt. Mix together by hands until the mixture is well combined. Roll12 even-sized balls from the mixture. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente before draining well. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning frequently, for about 5 minutes until evenly browned. Remove meatballs and set aside. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel or wet sponge. Add the remainder of your oil to frypan. Cook onion and garlic until the onion softens then add the tomatoes, oregano, and water. Bring sauce to the boil before adding the meatballs and reducing heat. Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes, turning meatballs occasionally until cooked through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar before serving with spaghetti or pasta of your choice.

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