As the warmer months are approaching, you will probably want some lighter meals to enjoy and may even consider eating outdoors as a family or inviting guests around to your home. If so, dips and accompaniments are ideal for serving along with crudites, homemade flatbreads, breadsticks, and snacks. Here are ten great dips and accompaniments to try this summer.
- Bean Dip
- Spicy Tomato Dip
- Baba Ganoush
- Mango Salsa
- Blue Cheese Dip
- Funky red cabbage slaw
This easy bean dip is a tasty but low-fat option to serve on a buffet or as a snack. It is surprisingly quick and simple to make and the result is delicious considering the lack of effort required to make this dip. Here is an easy recipe for bean dip.
Ingredients for Bean Dip
- 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
- 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans.
- 4 heaped tablespoons plain yoghurt
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
How to Make Bean Dip
- Put half the beans and chickpeas into a food processor with the yoghurt, lemon juice, cumin, and garlic.
- Blitz into a smooth paste.
- Add the remaining beans and chickpeas along with the lemon zest.
- Blitz only quickly to get a chunky bean dip.
- Serve with crudites, flatbreads, or other dipping ingredients.
Recently, I have added quite a few soup recipes to the blog. There are a few reasons why I love cooking soup so often. These are:
- Cheap to make
- Easy to cook
- Lots of variations
- Great for using up leftovers
- A good way of getting children to eat veg
- Healthy and nutritious
- Cook in advance and freeze
I have decided to post links to all ten of my recent soup posts so that they are easy to find on my blog and you can try whichever one takes your fancy. Here are my ten favourite soups from the blog so far.
Celery and Apple Soup
Spinach and Potato Soup
Tomato, Courgette and Bell Pepper Soup
Pea and Ham
Curried Parsnip Soup
Carrot and Coriander Soup
Leek and Potato Soup
Bloody Mary Tomato Soup
One of the most popular varieties of soup is tomato and there are many variations on this classic. Some which offer levels of spice and other variations that are rich and creamy. A bloody Mary tomato soup is an interesting twist on the traditional soup as it includes the flavors of the alcoholic drink the Bloody Mary. This soup is delicious served either hot or cold, so it is perfect no matter what the time of year. Here is an easy recipe for Bloody Mary tomato soup.
Ingredients for Bloody Mary Tomato Soup
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes, halved
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 miniature vodka
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 250 ml vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
How to Make Bloody Mary Tomato Soup
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Put the halved tomatoes on a baking tray. Season with salt and black pepper, drizzle over 2 tbsp of olive and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, heat the other tbsp of olive oil in a large pan on the hob.
- Add the celery, onion, and garlic to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes until softened.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and put in a food processor with the onion, garlic, and celery.
- Add a little of the stock and blitz.
- Repeat, adding a little more of the stock at a time until you have used all the vegetable stock.
- Transfer back to the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce, vodka, and lemon juice.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cook for ten minutes and serve immediately if eating hot.
- If serving cold or saving for later, allow the soup to cool before transferring to a container and storing in the refrigerator.
If you are having people around to your home, one of the easiest things to serve is a selection of dips with other tasty morsels, such as crudites and flatbreads for dipping. A spicy tomato dip is a delicious option that is easy to make in advance and keep chilled until you are ready to serve. Here is an easy recipe for spicy tomato dip.
Ingredients for Spicy Tomato Dip
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 chillies, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
How to Make Spicy Tomato Dip
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and chilli powder and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chopped onion and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for 10 minutes.
- Blitz the mixture for a few seconds for a chunky dip or a little longer for a smooth dip using either a hand blender or a food processor.
- Transfer to a container and leave to cool.
- Cover and put in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Other Dips You Might Like to Try
Blue Cheese Dip
You can try these with flatbreads or wholemeal flatbreads.
If you want a low-budget meal to make, then there are few that can beat carrot and coriander soup in terms of cost. Despite the fact that this soup is cheap and easy to make, it still has plenty of flavour and is packed full of nutrients. This healthy soup is also a great option for vegetarians and vegans. Here is an easy recipe for carrot and coriander soup that serves four to six people.
Ingredients for Carrot and Coriander Soup
- 450g/ 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1.2 litres/ 2 pints vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make Carrot and Coriander Soup
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat then add the onions and carrots.
- Cook for five minutes until carrots and onions are beginning to soften.
- Add the ground coriander and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for a further two minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Either use a hand blender to blend the ingredients together or blend in a food processor before returning to the pan.
- Stir in the fresh, chopped coriander and cook for a few minutes before serving.
If you want a quick, simple and tasty tea, then pasta served with green pesto is a great choice. Making your own pesto is simple and, in addition to serving with pasta dishes, you can use the pesto as an ingredient in many other recipes. Here is an easy recipe for basil pesto.
Ingredients for Basil Pesto
- 80g fresh basil
- 50g pine nuts
- 50g Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 150 ml olive oil
How to Make Basil Pesto
- Put a small pan over a medium heat on the pan and add the pine nuts.
- Cook for five minutes, shaking occasionally, to lightly toast the nuts.
- Transfer the pine nuts to a food processor with all the other ingredients.
- Blitz to combine the ingredients.
- Your basil pesto is now ready to use with pasta or as an ingredient for another dish.