Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A Warning

Today, my friends I learnt a very important lesson, and it is on that I am going to share with you:
When making soup, and using a blender, try to make sure that the soup has cooled a bit...other wise it really really hurts when the lid comes off the blender and you end up showering in soup...
Yes, my dear readers, I managed to shower myself in hot soup this morning.
I made yesterday's soup again, and added a medium potato, a sprinkling of chilli flakes and a sprinkling of garlic flakes. I then blended it all together, little by little like normal.
The first spoonful blended beautifully. The second tried to lift the top off, so I  put less in the third go. That one also tried to lift the lid off, so I decided that this was time to give up and have slightly lumpy soup (rustic I'd like to call it...). As I took the jug off of the blender (I use a smoothie type thing), the thing turned itself on and showered soup everywhere! It was really hot, so I've succeeded in scalding most of my right arm (including that really painful bit where your shoulder and armpit meet), and my left hand and wrist.
I put cold water on it and swore a lot, and now I'm at work where the air conditioning is constantly cool, and the burning is starting to go down. I still have soup in my hair...
So, dear readers, please take heed of my little incident and don't try to blend soup that is too hot, in case you have the same accident. Soup in the hair is not attractive.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Squash and Kale

You might have noticed a few recipes involving squash...
if anyone has a way of cutting into squash that doesn't involve hitting it with a Chinese chopper on a  tiled floor, please let me know! I've tried them all - the big meat knives, little veg knives, the bread knives and none of them work. I have resorted to sticking the chopper in it, and then banging the whole lot on the floor...I'm sure there's got to be a better way!
Anyway...on with the recipe:
1/4 Turks turban squash
good handful Curly Kale
Veg oxo cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the squash into cubes and cook. For the last 5 minutes or so, throw in the oxo cube and the kale. let the kale wilt more than cook.
Put the veg into a blender and blend. It makes a great greeny colour soup - reminds me of the pea soup used in the Exorcist! Add water from the cooking as needed, and add salt and pepper to taste.
I think I'm going to give it a go again tomorrow using the last of the Turks turban (thankfully!) and some more kale, with some garlic and chilli to give it a flavoursome kick!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Pumpkin and Parsnip Day 2

I didn't add marmite, I found some swede and onion in the freezer.
I added about 1/4 a swede and another onion and some more water.
Its a smoother soup now, but it has taken some of the spiciness and some of the flavour out of it.
Still quite tasty though!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Pumpkin and Parsnip

I had the idea for this soup when I saw a Turks turban squash in my veg box.
So...technically, its Turks turban squash and parsnip, but pumpkin has a better ring to it...
1/4 large Turks turban squash
2 parsnips
1 veg oxo cube
1 medium onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
chilli and garlic flakes to taste
Cut the parsnip and the squash into cubes and boil. Cut the onion into pieces and add to the water. To make the soup quickly, add the oxo cube to the water too.
Also add the cumin seeds, and the chilli and garlic.
Add a small amount of salt, and a good sprinkling of black pepper (I prefer proper crushed pepper to ground pepper).
Boil together for about 20 minutes.
Add half the squash and parsnip to a blender with 2 soup ladles of the water.
Blend until smooth. add the other half of the mixture and some more water and blend again.
If you want a fairly thick soup, stop there, if you like it fairly thin, add more of the water and blend again. Repeat this until the soup is at the desired texture.
Its a nice spicy and sweet soup. The squash and the parsnip are both sweet vegetables.
I'm thinking of adding some marmite to it tomorrow to make it more savoury.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

White Winter Warmer

This is a great soup for winter. Its sweet, creamy, filling and has a velvety texture.
The recipe is based on the Potato and leek one, but with a couple of additives.
Good handful of new potatoes
1 large leek
good handful of mushrooms (you can use any mushrooms for this)
1/2 pt milk
spoonful of flour
spoonful of butter (I usually use dessert spoons to measure things)
2 mugs of chopped cooked chicken
1 veg oxo cube
1 knorr potato cube with garlic and parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the potatoes into small cubes, leaving the skin on.
Chop the leek into small pieces.
chop the mushrooms into small pieces
chop the chicken into small cubes
Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling water and leave to soften. It should take about 10 minutes at the most. A couple of minutes before the cooking period has finished, throw in the leeks and mushrooms.
In a separate pan, melt the butter. Then add enough flour to make a thick paste with the melted butter. keep this mixture moving. Add the milk and keep stirring. When it is all incorporated, add the oxo cube to 1pt of boiling water and add to the sauce.
Strain the potatoes, leeks and mushrooms and add to the white sauce pan.
The chicken is optional. You can either add it now for a smooth soup, or add it later to keep the chunks.
Pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. You'll have some wonderful bits of skin from the potatoes giving it brown flecks.
Return soup to pan and allow to boil softly. if you are adding the chicken to keep it chunky, add the chunks now and warm through. Add the potato cube thingy, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Leave to simmer for a few minutes to completely incorporate all the flavours (I put mine straight into a flask for work).