I got a beautiful assortment from Lufa farms in this weeks basket, but it came with a few challenges.
What to do with
Green Tomatoes (challenge in progress)
Carrots with full beautiful leafy tops (Challenge achieved)
“no so pretty” bag of veggies. (challenge achieved)
The not so pretty bag of veggies was the first thing I tackled, there were 2 onions in there, I also had some carrots nearing the end of their life span in my fridge and celery only fit for cooking. one thing came to mind. Stock. I had never made stock before but how hard could it be. I had fresh herbs growing outside and the veggie scraps from the meal I was making at the time. So in the pot with water went the onion, carrots and celery with an eggplant bottom, some bits of cauliflower stem and a bunch of fresh parsley and a bunch of fresh oregano. the end result was a beautifully fragrant and flavourful broth (I added salt) that just cannot compare to what you buy in a box!! but now I just enlarged my challenge list to include:
Make something with homemade stock (Challenge achieved)
And then inspiration and a good google search hit. and I managed to deal with all but the green tomatoes in one delicious meal:
Carrot PB soup with Vegan Carrot top pesto
I mostly stayed true to the respective recipes with the following variations:
I used 4 cups of my homemade stock instead of stock and water. I used chilli powder, ginger and garlic powder that I mixed into the peanut butter before adding to the soup, (instead of chilli sauce, something I do not have in my kitchen) I used an inversion blender because I find it does a better job with less risk of exploding in your face.
I used unsweetened coconut as it didn’t specify, otherwise I followed this and it turned out absolutely delightful. its slightly tangy citrusy notes go so well with the thai flavours of the soup.
I think this is the absolute easiest soup to make, it requires so few ingredients, takes no time to cook and it is delightful. It requires a lot of tasting, which makes me feel like a real chef! I have make this when I have opened canned pumpkin for something else (like my honey cake).
My first Rosh Hashanna featured this soup!
Serves 8 prep time: NONE! cook time: 15min
1 can pure pumpkin puree or approx 2 cups homemade
4 or more cups of vegetable broth (to desired consistency, I often use up to 6 cups)
3 tbsp maple syrup (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp ginger,
1/4 tsp allspice
a dash of nutmeg or add a tbsp of pumpkin pie spice mix instead of all spices.
optional: dehydrated onion, or fresh onion. parsley as garnish
about 1/4 cup Tofffuti Sour Supreme (or regular sour cream)
if using fresh onion chop very finely and saute in a little oil until soft and transparent.
add all the pumpkin and vegetable broth and dehydrated onion flakes if using that in a large pot, whisk together over medium heat. add more broth until the consistency is smooth and not too thick. add maple syrup and spices, (sometimes I make this only with nutmeg) and bring to a gentle boil (do not let it get to a rolling boil) reduce heat to low and allow to simmer 5-10min. Serve with 1-2 tbsp of sour cream, garnish with some flat leaf parsley.
Happy Pumpkins for a fun “holiday” of giving and receiving candy. In religious communities there may be a lot of debate and disagreement about such a day, but my sweet children dressed as a Brave princess and a fireman are anything but violent, pagan or inappropriate. I have no problem with the day as long as it is just about having fun, enjoying some fall produce and maybe a little (or a lot) of sugary treats.
As for the soup: My kids enjoy the sour cream part, they do not really like creamy soups, but they enjoy mixing the sour cream into the soup and will eat a decent amount just because of this novelty. Since this is not a meal soup I have no problems with this and it allows them to experiment a bit.
I’ve never been terribly inclined to use the slow cooker. 1 part fear of burning down the building, 1 part I don’t want to clean the stoneware, 1 part fear of 7qts of wastage.
Recently though the lack of time and motivation to cook has motivated me to try out some new recipes. I’ve made cholent (not a hit), soup, and apple sauce. The soup was fantastic and wish I had written down what I put in it. I also made a delightful little curry….
I was inspired after a rather uninspiring bowl of red lentil curried soup at a usually pretty good hospital auxiliary cafeteria. I had spent the better part of my day getting documents from archives, attending appointments and blood tests. Soup seemed like a great relaxing comfort food. It was …. Exactly what one thinks of when you say “hospital food”. The disappointing soup got me thinking I could most certainly create a much better red lentil soup and in the mean time use up some of the veggies lingering around. I always overbuy veggies. But I get rewarded by these lovely kitchen sink creations after.
While making this I also had feeding baby in mind. I wanted it simple and to be just as good no matter if blended, mashed or as is. Also, I feel a bit like my 4yr olds have been wanting simple comfort foods lately. No cutting, chunks, or fancy. And since it’s holiday season and they will be served lots of fancy food why not make them some down to earth simple foods.
Curried Red Lentil, Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Soup
(Slow cooker recipe)
Serves: 8 prep time: 30 min cook time: 6hrs
1 butternut squash (medium sized) cut into small cubes
1 onion diced or julienned
1 head cauliflower (medium sized), cut into small florets.
2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground corriander
6 cups broth or enough to cover the above in stoneware
Coconut milk to taste (optional)
Put all ingredients (except coconut milk) in crockpot on low for 6hrs.
Stir in some coconut milk if desired before serving.
Fantastic served with warm flat bread or Naan.