Beetroot and Coconut Soup
One of our absolute favourites and extremely easy to make
- 1 lb beetroot
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 large piece of ginger
- 1 large carrot (optional)
- 2 tablespoon of coconut oil
- Juice of one lemon or lime, or tablespoon of dry mango powder (amchoor)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chive and fresh cream (optional, for serving)
Peel and dice the vegetables. Grate the ginger. Heat the frying oil in a pan and add the diced vegetable and the grated ginger. Stir fry on high heat for 5 min, stirring constantly. Add the coconut milk, the amchoor (if used) and one pint of water. Bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are quite tender, then blend to a smooth soup. Bring back to the boil, add salt and pepper to taste and just before serving add lemon juice to taste. Serve with chopped chives and a spoonful of fresh cream for a dramatic colour effect.
Spicy Pumpkin or Squash Soup
- 1 squash (or pumpkin)
- 1 onion
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper (reddish kind of pepper with a distinctive tang, available from Chinese stores)
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1 small pinch chilli powder (optional)
- ghee or coconut oilpPeel the squash, spoon out the seeds and cut the flesh in small cubes. Peel and chop the onion.
Heat up the ghee or oil in a heavy bottom pan and fry the onion until soft, then add the squash flesh. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes on medium heat. Meanwhile, put all spices in a mortar or a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Add the spices to the pan and continue stirring for a minute. Add water to cover and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until the squash is soft (about 25 minutes). Blend into a smooth soup. Serve with apple or tomato chutney.
Patisson is a type of squash that we grow in our polytunnels in the summer. This is a great example of a soup which is only about the vegetable itself. The flavour of pattison is very delicate and none of the other few ingredients detracts from its subtle qualities.
- 1 patisson blanc
- 1 red onion (white or yellow will do)
- 1 small pinch black pepper, finely ground
- ghee or oil
Peel and chop the onions well and saute in ghee or oil on medium heat until soft.
Add the patisson, peeled and chopped in small cubes and continue cooking for a while over a low-ish heat. Add water and bring to a very gentle boil, and cook for on low heat for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper (we use the very interesting long pepper). We often serve this soup with a garnish/side of finely chopped tuscan kale (cavolo nero) which has been sauteed in good quality olive oil.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
This interesting soup has a very earthy flavour. Jerusalum Artichokes are a much neglected winter root which are extremely easy to grow and are very nutritious (the inulin which can produce flatulence in some people is actually very good for us as a probiotic and fiber supplement). Because Jerusalem artichokes can be hard to digest, the spices used in this recipes are digestive stimulant.
Jerusalem artichoke can be hard to find in shops, but they’re very easy to grow, requiring hardly any care, and growing well even on poor soil. They’re a winter vegetable, harvested between November and March.
- 1 lb Jerusalem artichoke
- 1 small potato
- 1 large leek or onion
- 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or sunflower oil
- 1 small teaspoon cumin,
- 1 large teaspoon coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- a very small pinch of asafoetida (a gum from a variety of giant fennel)
- Creme fraiche to garnish (optional)
Scrub the Jerusalem artichokes thoroughly, but do not peel them. Chop them up and put aside. Wash or peel the potato and dice it. Chop the leek or onion in small bits. Grind the spices together.
Fry the onion or the leek in ghee, butter or sunflower oil on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, add the diced potato and the artichokes and keep stirring for another 3 minutes, then add the spices and 1 liter of water or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, add the salt, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Blend and serve immediately with fresh cream as a garnish.