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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Right. I’m going to start on a MASSIVE rant. I’m not some supermarket hating, smug food writer who uses words like “bounty” to describe a lot of food, telling you to boycott supermarkets, and only get your fruit, veg and meat from farmers markets,  I’m just not that kind of writer.

It’s not that I love supermarkets, and think the sun shines out of the CEO of Tesco’s arse, either. But I do wish they would stock seasonal vegetables, such as pumpkins, when they are in season (which is a massively long one, too, as they store for ages, too!)… sadly, supermarkets only sell pumpkins about 1 week before halloween, and then come the 1st of November, you’ll not see them for another year.

Added onto that, there’s no point in buying a supermarket pumpkin. Don’t bother. They’re crap. They only sell big carving pumpkins, brilliant if you want a stupid orange face outside your front door, but crap if you want to eat it. So on that note, before you try this brilliant recipe, go to a farmers market, or a decent greengrocers, and if you can’t get a pumpkin, use a butternut sqaush, it’s still very similar!

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

(makes a huge amount)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-medium sized pumpkin, or a large butternut squash
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 large onion
  • Garlic
  • 4 french onion stock cubes (diluted to 2 litres) or good quality veg stock (2 litres)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • All Purpose Seasoning
  • Oil
  • Butter

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150degrees c.
  2. Quarter your pumpkin, and deseed.
  3. Coat the pumpkin in a light dusting of the cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Give a drizzle of oil, and rub in the spices.
  4. Place the pumkin in the oven and cook until nice and roasted and the flesh is fully cooked.
  5. Whilst roasting the pumpkin, chop and sweat the onions in a little oil and butter.
  6. Finely dice the potato, add to the onions, and then add a teaspoon of turmeric (this gives the soup another earthy taste, and improves the yellow colour of the soup).
  7. Add the stock to the onion and potato, and leave to simmer till the potato is fully cooked (the potato helps thicken the soup and bulk it out a little)
  8. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, allow to cool a little. Peel off the skin (best way to remove is if you pull from the pointiest corner, it should come off in one) and then add to the stock and onions.
  9. Using a hand blender or food processor, blitz the soup down and it will have a gorgeous velvety texture.
  10. Add a dash of All Purpose Seasoning*
  11. Check for seasoning, add salt and pepper if required.
  12. If adding more spice, whisk the spices in, as they will clump together otherwise!

*Why I use All Purpose Seasoning:

CONTROVERSAL STATEMENT ALERT

I use it for the MSG content. MSG is the second main ingredient in All Purpose Seasoning. There’s a big media shitstorm over MSG, basically people think it causes autism, for which there’s not enough proof for it. The other issue people take with it, is if they have a glutamate intolerance (MSG is Mono-Sodium Glutamate).  Our bodies have no problem digesting the Mono-sodium, but it’s the glutamate that we struggle with. People with a glutamate intolerance blame it on MSG, but they would also suffer with the related symptoms if they ate something with a lot of parmesan cheese, or leeks, or mushrooms, which all contain glutamate.

So chill out, use MSG if you want to, just don’t overdo it, everything in moderation, yeah?

P.S. This recipe makes a lot of soup, best invite the family and friends over to help polish it off!

Kris x

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Hello you. Yes, I’m talking to you, yeah, you with the eyebrows. No, not you Alistair Darling, but I’ll have a word with you later on… here’s a quick blog. Remember I said I was going to post three blogs this week, as a little promise to myself, well I’ve now accomplished this… and I’m going to post another blog later this evening.

I’ve just got back home from nettle picking. Hooray for spring. The reason I did this, is because I was bored. So bored. I’m ill so I can’t go see my friends, because they may catch something, but I figured a walk in the rural area in which I live should help. The idea of going nettle picking came after I asked my friend, Catherine, what I could do to pass time. She suggested I drew something. I tried to explain that I am so bad at art, that I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I’d be expecting the artist mafia to sneak into my room whilst I was asleep, and that I would wake up next to a portrait of a horses head. No! I wasn’t having that. So nettle picking it was!

Nettles are one of the first plants you learn to recognise as a child, and as a child, I was terrified of the bastards. I once fell into a huge nettle patch. I figure that eating them is a way of revenge, and not an act of being a yoghurt-knitting hippy (even though, deep down inside… I am. I go foraging, I love using leftovers and I pounce at anything made from Elderflower!)

So here is the recipe…

Stinging Nettle Soup

(serves 4 as a starter)

Ingredients :

  • 100g hand picked nettle tops (i.e. the top 4 leaves, maybe the top 6 if it’s a very young plant)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced.
  • 1 litre of stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil

Method :

Sweat the onions in a little oil

Sweat the onions in a little oil

Whilst sweating the onions, rinse the nettle tops in cold water

Whilst sweating the onions, rinse the nettle tops in cold water

Add the nettles to the onions, and allow to wilt. Then add the stock

Add the nettles to the onions, and allow to wilt. Then add the stock

Blend, and season with salt and pepper to taste

Blend, and season with salt and pepper to taste

And there you have it. Stinging Nettle Soup!!

As this recipe involved a walk in the rural areas, it’s helped me realise that spring is definitely here. Here are three things that I saw…

  • 1 frog. I almost stood on it! Eek!
  • 2 bumble bees. I almost stood on one! Eek!
  • 3 ladybirds. I almost stood on one! Eek!

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if you plan on making this soup, and you go out into some rural areas to collect nettles. Make sure you look out for all the wildlife, and that you don’t stand on anything that doesn’t really come off too well from a squishing from your size tens!!

Also, remember, if you go out nettle picking, to wear a pair of stout rubber gloves, and if you’re not sure if it’s a nettle, then just shove it in your eyes. If you’re in absolute agony, it’s probably a nettle, and therefore good for the pot.

Anyway, I’m off to do some tofu weaving now!!

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