Posts Tagged ‘curried soup’

Renown vegetarian cookbook writer, Rose Elliott found this in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery and adapted it and I have tweaked it a bit.

It’s a quick excursion to the East.

There was a small cabbage in the fridge and some fenugreek seeds on the shelf in the larder, which I whizzed into powder in a converted coffee grinder!

The fenugreek is optional, but interesting… (as its name implies this herb is found in the mediterranean region and has healing qualities as well as culinary uses.)

Our friend Myriam called in this morning and said it was minus ten last night and would not get warmer until Wednesday, so a bowl of something gently spicy and soupy for lunch might be just the ticket.

for 4

250gms/8oz red lentils

2 1/4 pints/1300ml stock–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

1/3 teaspoon turmeric

375gms/12oz tinned tomatoes–chopped

  • Rinse the lentils thoroughly.
  • Put them in a saucepan with the stock and the turmeric and bring up to the boil.
  • Cook at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes then set aside.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder (optional)

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 onion–chopped

a small cabbage–outer leaves removed, quartered, cored and shredded

Juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper

Parsley or better still fresh coriander–chopped to sprinkle over

  • Heat the oil in a new pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds and cook them until they start to pop–a couple of minutes; they look brown in the photo but in fact stay black.
  • Mix in the curry powder and the fenugreek (if using) and let them  cook for a few seconds.
  • Add the onion and the cabbage and mix everything together well.
  • Cover the pan and cook  for 5 minutes.
  • Add the wilted cabbage mix to the lentils.
  • Bring the mixture up to the simmer.
  • Leave it to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle over the parsley or coriander when you serve.

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One of my mother’s favourite phrases was “when at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”

For my first go at this very simple soup a couple of days ago I used the popular French Caribbean curry powder called colombo.

It is very mild and gives a beautiful light yellow finish, but it didn’t taste quite right.

I tried Madras curry powder yesterday, which worked better–but was still too bland.

So–“third time lucky?”–another mantra from my youth.

Here goes–with a mix of individual spices!

Let’s hope it has more of a kick–more of “a back story”– than the previous two efforts.

for 4

.75k/1.5 lbs–leeks–using mainly the white and pale green parts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 oz butter

Half a teaspoon each of:

cumin, coriander, English mustard powder (substitute a little more cayenne if you don’t have it), turmeric and a pinch of cinnamon, cayenne and salt.

1 litre/1.75 pints vegetable stock–I use organic stock cubes

Prepare the leeks by cutting away the damaged brown tops and trimming the root ends.

To wash them effectively, cut them down centrally from the top to just above the root and wash thoroughly to clear any muddy residue.

Slice them finely.

Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan.

Add the sliced leeks (keeping back a small handful for the topping) and turn them over in the oil and butter.

Sweat them gently for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle over the spices, mix them in and cook on for a couple of minutes.

Add the stock and bring it to the boil.

Simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Let the soup cool a little before liquidizing into a smooth finish.

Gently sauté the  handful of leeks you kept back in a little oil or butter.

Drop a small spoonful of cream, creme fraiche or beaten yoghurt in each bowl, topped off with a pinch of the sautéed leeks.

We had this third version for lunch. Not as beautiful as the two earlier attempts, but markedly  tastier.

The verdict was positive!

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