Days of soup and curry
I’m going to post two soup recipes I invented for funsies – but no pictures. My iPhone camera and kitchen lighting did not do the recipes justice, and they ended up looking like bowls of dirt (Black Bean Soup) and blood (Borscht), so really there was not much point. I am not much of a photographer at the best of times (what? no!) so for me to not post these must mean they were on the #pinterestfail scale of bad rather than my usual effort.
However, I did make this Jamie Oliver recipe for Pukka Yellow Curry from the Save With Jamie cookbook (my favourite of his books), varying it slightly by adding black-eyed beans instead of chickpeas, because we don’t keep chickpeas in the house (my youngest is allergic). I did take a pic of that:
Compare my photo to the food stylist’s photo on the Jamie Oliver website and I am sure you will agree that they look EXACTLY the same.
It was one of the best chicken curries I have ever made, and that is because Jamie Oliver is the king of my kitchen. Nuff said.
I made this for funsies because I found bunches of beetroot at the Hilltop that were irresistible – irresistible I tell ya. I have never made Borscht before, but with those lovely maroon globes just daring me to try it, I had to. I never welch on a bet.
5 medium beetroot (1 bunch), unpeeled, trimmed, leaves removed – $2.99
250 grams shortcut bacon, chopped – $2.50
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped – 10 cents
1 stick celery, peeled and finely sliced* – 10 cents
1 small carrot, peeled and finely sliced – 10 cents
3 potatoes, peeled, sliced – 75 cents
3 cups stock (I used pork stock but you can use chicken) – free
2 tablespoons plus one tablespoon olive oil – 36 cents
Place the trimmed and unpeeled beets in a large baking tray. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and bake at 180 degrees C until you can skewer one easily with a wooden skewer. Set aside to cool.
In a deep stock pot, heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions, celery and carrot. Cook until soft. Add the bacon and cook until the bacon is fragrant and soft.
Add the sliced potatoes and continue to gently cook, stirring often to prevent sticking.
When the beets are cool to touch, peel away the skins and roughly chop. Add to the pot and stir well. Pour over the stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, and cook until the potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and let cool.
Puree the soup in batches or using a stick blender. I puree using a Nutri-blast food processor.
Before serving, reheat and check seasoning. Due to the bacon it should not require any salt but if it does, add to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some thick wholemeal bread.
Freezes well. Turns your urine pink, so don’t panic – you don’t have a problem 😀
Total cost: $6.90
Per serve (serves 8): 86 cents
Day 199, Black Bean Soup
This vegetarian black bean soup (vegan if you don’t add the sour cream on top) is my most favourite of all soups, especially when dressed with lots of lime juice, sour cream, and smoky hot sauce. Unfortunately I didn’t have any limes, but this was still great. I recommend eating this in winter by the fireplace with tortillas, and pretending you are Tijuana for the afternoon.
1 onion, peeled and chopped – 10 cents
1 stick celery, peeled and finely cliced – 10 cents
1 carrot, peeled and chopped – 10 cents
200 grams dried black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed – $1.27
1 litre vegetable stock – free
1 vegetarian chicken-style stock cube – 7 cents
2 tablespoonse finely chopped fresh coriander and parsley – free**
2 teaspoons ground cumin – 10 cents
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes – 5 cents
2 tablespoons rice bran oil – 12 cents
Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat rice bran oil in a large stock pot, and add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook slowly for ten minutes on low heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning. Add the black beans and stir well, coating in the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with the spices and stir well. Cook for two minutes or until the spices are fragrant. Pour over the vegetable stock and sprinkle the stock cube over. Bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat. Simmer for at least one hour, or until the beans are so soft, you can squish them easily with the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and let cool.
When the soup is cool, puree using a stick blender, or in batches using a blender or food processor.
Reheat gently to prevent burning, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with sour cream, lime wedges, and a chipotle-style hot sauce, and tortillas on the side. Sigh with contentment.
Total cost: so cheeeeeeap! $1.91 for the whole pot
Per serve (serves at least 6): 31 cents. And that my friends is why soup is a bargain and why vegetarian soup is the best bargain of them all.
* I always peel celery to remove the annoying stringy bits. You don’t have to, but if you do not, I will think you are a monster. No pressure.
**Some people hate coriander so much they will avoid any recipe that contains it – in that case just use parsley. I love it so I grow it and use it with abandon.