Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Summer vegetable soup

Ok, so this looks not a world away from a bowl of sick but please don't let that put you off; I promise it tastes better than it looks!...

A little while back the younger sister and I journeyed down to Devon to attend a day's cookery course at Ashburton Cookery School. I've been in one of my non-blogging moods since then and it feels too ages-ago to rehash too much now, so suffice it to say that I enjoyed the course, would definitely recommend the school, and its lovely accommodation, and recommend that if you find yourself there you also spend an afternoon in the garden of the Green Ginger Café in Ashburton stuffing yourself on an exemplary cream tea.

My travelling companion, Wife in the City, has a much better write-up, with pictures of the food we cooked, here.

Anyway, one of the things we cooked was a Curried Mussel Soup, which was a lovely summery yellow and very more-ish.

So once home I tried to recreate a similar soup, sans mussels. I tend to make pretty simple soups - essentially bits in water. This works pretty well for me; I like bits in water. But I want to add things to my repertoire that might appeal to people with less simple tastes, things I could cook for dinner guests and that kind of thing (which was a lot of the impetus behind going on the course in the first place).

The no-mussel soup worked pretty well, and was light but rich and very flavoursome although not quite as pretty as the mussel one had been somehow. I love the tomato in it, and the coriander finish. I still think I'd be as happy with some diced up potatoes and carrots and lentils in seasoned water, but for something a bit different and a little bit more sophisticated, this is pretty good.

This is how I made it.

1. Make small crosses on the non-stalk end of 2-3 tomatoes. Place in boiling or just boiled water for about 10 seconds, until the skin starts to split. Remove, place in cold water, then peel the skin off, remove the seeds, and cut into fine dice. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, boil 250ml white wine in a pan until reduced by about half. Set aside
3. Sweat one medium onion, diced, and a clove or two of finely sliced garlic in sunflower oil until starting to soften. Stir regularly so it doesn't stick.
4. Add a couple of spring onions, sliced, and one carrot, thinly sliced.
5. Once these are starting to soften, add about a teaspoon of ground, toasted cumin and a teaspoon of mild curry powder.
6. Then add the reduced wine
7. And a few cups of vegetable or chicken stock
8. Cook for a few minutes until veg is cooked
9. Add a cup full of frozen peas, and the diced tomato. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes just to warm these through.
10. Add a large dollop of double cream and stir through.
11. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and serve garnished with chopped fresh coriander.