My meat free day recipe

Inspired by all the hoopla surrounding Mary McCartney’s first cookbook, “Food”, I decided to share the meatless recipe I made today. I am not as methodical as to cook a vegetarian meal every Monday (why not any other day?) so I just do it whenever I don’t have meat in the fridge which is most days, actually. (In fact, the book was published in May but I got to know about it a couple of days ago as it was her birthday and it was sort of promoted in facebook). 

So today I made a sort of tomato and chickpea stew (which can morph into a soup should you want to eat it that way) served over plain, fluffy, Basmati or Jasmine rice.

I have made this several times so stay tuned for a proper photo.


1 tin tomato

Vegetable oil

Vegetable stock

1 garlic, chopped very finely

Chilli flakes


Mixed herbs or herbes de Provence

1 tin chickpeas


To serve:


Basmati or Jasmine rice


Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan. When it’s hot (but not smoky), add the tinned, chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling, turn down the heat, add 1 ½ tin of water (measured with the same tomato tin), vegetable stock (1 tbsp. if using powder) and your spices. Leave it to simmer until it has reduced by 1/3.

In another pan cook your rice. When it’s almost ready, add the drained chickpeas to the tomato sauce.

Serve the rice and the tomato and chickpea stew over it.

Of course you can add all sort of things to this: red or white onion, chopped garlic a bay leaf, chopped peppers (any colour will add a nice touch to this dish) a bouquet garni, chopped, fresh basil and you can even substitute the chickpeas for butter beans. This is just my raw version with what I had in the pantry today which wasn’t much. If you make it with fresh tomatoes instead of canned… what a joy!


To make tomato soup:

 Do a roux and then lightly brown carrots, celery and white onion (all finely chopped). When the vegetables have coloured a little, add the tomatoes and the stock along with the herbs of your preference. Bring it to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until it has reduced. At the very end, add some milk or crème fraîche or even cream and some freshly chopped basil. And there you have your soup.

 Serve with a nice toasted Gruyère sandwich, if you must.






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