I'm delighted to welcome my very good friend and neighbour (on Cyprus), Sibel Hodge as my featured writer today. Sibel is also known as Wonder Woman in some parts and has written countless books, covering genre ranging from romance - comedy - children's - to cookery books. There is no end to her talents! Today she's excited about her latest book, 'A Gluten Free Soup Opera'. Now I've sampled Sibel's recipes and they were delicious! So let's go and see what she wants to tell us...
Hello! A big Soup Opera welcome to you…
For those who don’t know me, let me tell you a little bit about how this book was born. Well, for starters, I’ve been cooking since I was about ten years old. Under the watchful eye of my nan, who was a fabulous chef, I developed a love of food that has lasted…let’s see…ahem, at least eleven years (yes, I can still be twenty-one in my head), and she taught me how to make mouth-watering meals from scratch.
Being half Turkish Cypriot and half British, I was introduced to exciting culinary delights from an early age. When the rest of my mates were eating plain meat-and-two-veg dinners, I was tucking into Mediterranean delights of mousaka, meze, and pilavs.
Turkish people love to eat, therefore they love to cook! In the first cookbook in my gluten free/wheat free series, A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey, I combine my knowledge of tasty, easy-to-cook recipes with nutritious and scrummy Turkish food.
I’m also a qualified health and fitness professional, with a special interest in nutrition. We all live busy lives these days, don’t we? But that doesn’t mean we have to swap healthy, easy-to-cook, delicious meals for junky fast food. We are what we eat, and if we put rubbish in, it won’t be long before we’re feeling rubbish, too. I firmly believe that our ever-increasing health problems, diseases, and allergies are due to the chemicals, pesticides, and hormones that are pumped into our food and environment. I want to show you that healthy meals can taste great and be easily prepared.
You’ll probably find most of the ingredients used in this cookbook already lurking in your store cupboard or, failing that, your local supermarket. The only thing you may need to pick up (if you don’t already have one) is a hand blender, and these are both easily available and cheap.
If you’re not coeliac, or sensitive to gluten/wheat, should you eat a gluten free diet? Well, many people are turning to a gluten free/wheat free diet because it can have many health benefits, including an increase in energy, better digestion and elimination, improving cholesterol levels and auto-immune disorders, controlling weight and bloating, and making you super attractive to the opposite sex (yes, I made the last one up again – just checking you were still awake). Whereas twenty years ago, gluten free diet would be bland and boring, today it can be eclectic, vibrant, and delicious, and these are the dishes that I wanted to share with you in A Gluten Free Soup Opera.
The recipes included in this book should be used as a guideline because you know your taste buds better than anyone else does. If you want to substitute one ingredient for another that you like more, then go for it. The most important thing in cooking is to have fun with it, so experiment, eat, and enjoy!
SOUP RECIPES INCLUDED:
African Peanut Soup, Beef, Mushroom, and Asparagus Soup, Broccoli and Parmesan Soup, Butter Bean and Pancetta Soup, Carrot and Coriander Soup, Chicken and Courgette Soup, Chicken and Spinach Soup, Chilli Bean Soup, Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup, Chunky Minestrone Soup, Coconut, Ginger, and Carrot Soup, Daal Curry Soup, Festive Chestnut Soup, Greek Pork and Lemon Soup, Hearty Lamb and Green Bean Soup, Meatball and Spaghetti Soup, Minted Pea Soup, Moroccan Sweet and Sour Soup, Mushroom Soup, Onion Soup, Pistachio Soup, Roasted Vegetable Soup, Rocket and Goat’s Cheese Soup, Rustic Leek and Potato Soup, Salmon and Green Tea Soup, Seafood Soup, Spanish Chorizo and Chickpea Soup, Spicy Pepper and Potato Soup, Thai Green Curry Soup, Tunisian Spiced Cauliflower and Almond Soup
Recipe from A Gluten Free Soup Opera ~ Moroccan Sweet and Sour Soup
This recipe is sweet, spicy, sour, and fun! Moroccan food is all about flavour and colour, and this dish is an explosion of both. I’m using dried apricots here, and whenever possible try and get apricots that are naturally air dried, rather than those dried using sulphur or sulphur dioxide, which can cause allergies in some people. They will probably be darker in colour than the usual apricots, but the taste is the same and they’re healthier for you.
Did you know that as well has being a great source of dietary fibre and protein, chickpeas are also rich in folate, calcium, and manganese, plus they’re also low in fat, which is always a bonus! But if you don’t like chickpeas, substitute them for a can of beans like cannellini, borlotti, kidney, or black-eyed.
· 1 onion – chopped
· 1 carrot – diced
· 1 red pepper – diced
· 1 green pepper – diced
· 8 – 10 dried apricots – chopped
· 4 cloves of garlic – crushed and chopped
· 2 inch piece of fresh root ginger – peeled and chopped finely
· 400 gr can of chopped tomatoes
· 400 gr can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
· Juice of half a lemon
· 2 – 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
· 1 pint (approx. 2 ½ cups) of chicken stock/vegetable stock/water
· ¼ teaspoon of dried cinnamon
· 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
· 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
· ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
· 1 tablespoon of tumeric
· 1 tablespoon of paprika
· ¼ – ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
· ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
· Salt to taste
· Olive oil for frying
1. Fry the onions and peppers until soft.
2. Add the other ingredients, except for the fresh coriander, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 35 – 45 minutes.
3. Stir in the fresh coriander and serve.
Serves 4 – 6 * Vegetarian/Vegan Options – Use vegetable stock * Dairy Free
Links for Sibel Hodge
Link to Amazon.com
Link to Amazon.co.uk:
Link to B&N
Link to Smashwords
Link to Kobo
Goodreads author/book page