Friday, August 12, 2016

Spicy Cauliflower, Turmeric and Chickpea Soup

The Sunday Telegraph has been running a great column in the Body and Soul section Book of the Week for a while now. They print upwards of three recipes from current release cookbooks, with a new book featured each week. There is always something of interest.

In July there was an extract from Good Good Food by English GP (and much more it seems, mainly gardening) Sarah Raven. While the Spiced Beetroot Soda Bread and Stuffed Butternut with Goat's Cheese looked good, naturally I was particularly drawn to the Spicy Cauliflower, Turmeric and Chickpea Soup.

Styled recipe
Picture Source

Turmeric is having it's moment as a superfood lately. Which is fine, herbs and spices are all good for us, and tasty. Recently I tried fresh turmeric in a few recipes and so I'm still trying to get the bright orange stains out of various kitchen implements. Go the ground, I say. And I wasn't completely won over by my first Turmeric Latte in Newcastle recently.

I'm not convinced but may try one again sometime

1 medium cauliflower
1 medium onion
2.5cm piece fresh turmeric root, grated, or 1 tsp ground turmeric

1 heaped tbs coriander seeds
Seeds from 14 cardamon pods
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
5 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled
1 red chilli (optional )

400gm tin chopped tomatoes
1L vegetable stock
2 x 400gm tins chickpeas, drained separately
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Small bunch coriander, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a bowl. Add the onion and turmeric.

Dry-fry all the spice seeds in a frying pain for a few minutes until fragrant, and then grind them into a coarse powder using a blender or mortar and pestle.

Add the spices and oil to the cauliflower and onion in the bowl and mix well- your hands are best for this. Place on a baking tray- don't crowd them, you may need two trays. Roast the cauliflower, onions and spice mix for 30 minutes until the edges of the cauliflower are starting to brown.

Meanwhile blitz the garlic, ginger and chilli. Put this mixture into a large saucepan and add the tomatoes. Stir, and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, then add the stock.

Blitz the first tin of chickpeas in a food processor until smooth. Add to the soup along with the other drained but unblitzed tin of chickpeas.

Bring to the boil, add the roast cauliflower, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Season, serve with coriander.

My non-styled version
Made slightly non-vegan with a splodge of sour cream
I probably put about a kilo more coriander on after the picture-
I love the stuff and can't get enough

This was a fabulous soup. I really liked it, with and without sour cream. I'll be making it again. It may even enter the Hall of Fame. It's an unusual method really- par-roasting the veg and then boiling them.

Naturally I made a number of modifications to the original recipe:
I had a few parsnips to use up, so put two in with the cauliflower at the roasting stage
I accidentally dry roasted the ground turmeric with the other spices, it was still fine, just a bit darker.
I'm pretty sure that I added a stem or two of celery to the ginger and garlic stage. You can always use up more veggies in soup... It's a shame to waste them.
The original recipe called for 3 tins of chickpeas, but I thought two was plenty.
I bought a chilli, but forgot to put it in.

This post is linked to Souper Sundays
(how perfect)
at Kahakai Kitchen 
This post is linked to Weekend Cooking,
 a fabulous weekly meme at
 Beth Fish Reads.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Master Soup is currently vegan. It's not my choice. I've fully supported him being vegetarian for some years, but vegan is harder - especially for a non-vegan cook. A good lentil soup is always a thing of joy though and this one is lush and creamy because of the coconut cream.

Oh She Glows styled soup

I tried to make this recipe of Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup, but well I always substitute or change things, and I had pretty much everything in the cupboard, and didn't have to shop (except for the spinach as I'd finished off the last bag the day before). Too easy. This delicious soup is quick enough for a mid week dinner.

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion
2 large cloves of garlic
A decent glug of white wine (optional)
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
400gm tin crushed tomatoes
270ml tin coconut cream
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, grated
2 carrots, unpeeled, grated
4 cups "chicken" stock
3/4 cup (140gm) red lentils, rinsed and drained
Sea salt
120gm baby spinach
Lemon juice to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and a pinch of salt, fry over medium heat (4-5 minutes) until onion softens and is translucent. Add the wine, let it reduce.

Add the dry spices, stir until fragrant, about one minute.

Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut cream, sweet potato, carrot, stock and red lentils. Increase the heat to high and bring it to the boil. Once the soup has boiled, reduce the heat to medium high, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes until lentils and vegetables are cooked.

Turn off heat, add spinach and stir through to wilt. Add lemon juice, check seasoning. Serve with bread of your choice- rye and turkish are good. 

My soup
Clearly my food stylist career will never take off
But it was delicious

I didn't really measure the amount of stock I used. I didn't think the ratio of lentils was right so I added some more about 5 minutes into the cooking time.

I whizzed the sweet potato and carrot in the thermomix, and used the water needed to wash the thermomix as part of my stock. I had some white wine lying about, and since I don't drink it I've been adding it to most everything to use it up. 

The original recipe used coconut milk but I only had coconut cream in the cupboard, it worked perfectly well. It also used lime juice, but I had a lemon, although I do think lime would work better.

I didn't check how much turmeric I had before starting and wouldn't have had 2 tsp left in the jar, I had maybe 1 tsp- but hey, it's a soup, it doesn't matter, it will still work out anyway- one of the great principles of cooking soup, and I suspect one of the reasons I love making soup so much. Actually I think I could have named the blog It's Soup, It Doesn't Matter. 

The original recipe had no veggies in it- but I had some in the fridge to use up so added the sweet potato and carrot.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking,
 a fabulous weekly meme at
 Beth Fish Reads.

This post is linked to Souper Sundays
(how perfect)
at Kahakai Kitchen

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Super Green Soup with Cashew Cream

Can it really have been two and a half years since I was last here? Seems it must be true. Of course I've been making soup, a lot of Hall of Famers, and some new soups. A few were underwhelming which is always disappointing- and I don't see the point in sharing them here. Yesterday I made this unusual verdant soup, and it was great. I will definitely be making this soup again.

Super Green Soup with Cashew Cream

This soup is a celebration of all things green. Zucchini, kale and leeks also work well, along with any other greens from the fridge that need using up.

1 Tblsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets, stem separate
3 handfuls fresh or frozen peas
700mL hot vegetable or chicken stock
1 small bag baby spinach

For the Cashew Cream
150gm raw cashews
1 clove garlic
Zest of 1 lemon

A few hours before making the soup, prepare the cashew cream. Put the cashews into a bowl, pour over 300mL hot water and leave to soak for at least 2 hours. Once the cashews are tender, drain and place into a food processor along with 300ml of fresh water, the garlic and lemon zest. Blitz until completely smooth and creamy. Set aside

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, and sweat the onion until translucent. Add the chopped broccoli stems, cook for a few minutes. Add the broccoli florets and peas, cook for 5 minutes, then add the hot stock - the vegetables should be just covered (you may need a little extra water). Bring to the boil, then simmer until the broccoli is tender, roughly 4 minutes. Don't overcook the vegetables or they will turn a dull green.

Blend soup adding the spinach - the spinach will cook as it's mixed into the hot soup. Blend until the soup is smooth and thick, then stir through half the cashew cream.

Serve with a swirl of cashew cream on top.

Serves 4
Edited extract of Amelia Freer Cook. Nourish. Glow
Published in Sunday Telegraph body + soul 28/2/16

Naturally I modified the original recipe a bit. I did have some zucchini and half a butter lettuce in the fridge to use up. I put the zucchini in with the stock, and mixed the lettuce in with the spinach at the blending stage.

The colour was beautiful punchy green the first night, but I forgot to photograph it. It was a little bit more olive green the next day.

It was good warm or chilled.

I'd never made cashew cream before. It was good- quite runny with the 300mL of water, you could easily reduce the water a little for a slightly thicker cream.

I didn't notice that it was meant to have chopped fresh parsley as a garnish until I was typing here. Clearly it was fine without it. Coriander would work I think, or basil- Master Soup is quite obsessed with basil currently.