My meal choices are highly influenced by the seasons and the weather outside. I have been itching to make this soup ever since I thoght of it on one sunny November day (believe me- there was one, just one!) but the weather was not quite right for it back then. As the cold, rainy and foggy January descends around us and the chill hangs in the air, At this time of year when the chill of winter is closing on us, there is nothing better than a warming meal to give an inside glow.
Light in colour olive oil
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 sticks of celery
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of red kidney beans
300ml's good quality vegetable stock
1/2 tsp dries chilli flakes
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dried italian herbs
salt and black pepper to taste if needed
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp herb salt
1 tbsp light creme fraiche
Peel the onion and cut into small even sized chunks. Take a heavy base saucepan and put a very thin layer of olive oil at the bottom of it. Cook the onions on a medium low heat until golden brown. Take care not to burn the onions as this will give the stew a bitter taste. Peel the garlick cloves, crush them and add to the onions. Add the chilli, celery salt and the herbs. Mix well. Add a tablespoon or two of tapwater- this helps the flavour of the herbs absorb better. Chop the celery sticks into very small chunks (as it takes longer for celery to cook) and add to the pan. Add the tomatoes and the kidney beans. Mix well. Add the stock and simmer for about 30-45 minutes on a very low heat with a lid on.
Take the avocado and mash in a bowl with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
When the stew is ready let it cool for couple of minutes in the serving bowl before placing the guacamole on top.