Recipes with a Storyline (Show Food)


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Watching a film on BBC I Player I noted a throwaway line where one character said she had just made some Spelt Soup.
I didn’t have a clue what Spelt was so googled and came up with this recipe

Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup

Spelt is an ancient whole grain native to southern Europe. It's packed with fiber and naturally higher in protein than wheat. For a more intense flavor, use a mild smoked paprika instead of a sweet one. Topping off the soup with parsley adds an earthy tone and aids in digestion. per serving: 437 calories; 19 g protein; 12 g fat; 73 g carb; 12 g fiber

1 cup spelt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1 celery stalk, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon saffron (optional)
4 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish

1. Place spelt in a mediumbowland cover with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour; drain.

2. In a 5-quart Dutchovenor large souppot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Season withsaltand pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add bay leaves, paprika, cumin, saffron (if using), spelt, broth, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes or until spelt is tender.

3. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and cook for 20 minutes or until flavors have blended. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.


Didn’t have onion so I used a Leek
Didn’t have ground cumin so I used 2 teaspoons cumin seeds with a few fennel seeds & crushed them
Didn’t have carrot but used a ¼ of a red green pepper
Didn’t have tomatoes but used a carton of Tomato Passata
I soaked & de-skinned the chickpeas
I used hot paprika 2 teaspoons
Didn’t have saffron so used tumeric
Bay leaves cut fresh from my neighbours tree
All main ingredients from Lidl except Spelt which a friend bought in Sainsburys


When people describe a dish as “Rustic” this is what they mean. An excellent dish full of earthy flavour suitable for a Peasant or King. I imagined myself eating this while in a conversation with Inspector Montalbano in Vigata. A can of sardines added the next day made it even more nutritious and wholesome.