It's getting cold here in Melbourne. The rain falls more often, the leaves are changing and the mornings are cool and crisp. Being unwell with a cold has fed the need for warming soups, cups of hot tea and time on the couch under my quilt. It's true I love soup. My earliest memories are homemade chicken noodle soup in my Polish grandmother's lino kitchen made with alphabet noodles and stock made from her own chickens. Over the course of the past week I thought I'd revisit some old favourites. While I've been busy cutting fabric + sewing a quilt these soups have been a great meal. Now more than ever l want something warming and comforting. Give these a go. You can vary them and make them really kid friendly.
My take on Curry soup two ways +
Two potato and leek soup.
Bok Choy and Carrot curry broth
1 large Carrot
1 large onion
1 bunch of Bok choy
1 cup of Arborio Rice
1 litre of Chicken Stock (use vegetable stock if you vegetarian)
Olive Oil for cooking onions
1 Tsp of Keen's Curry Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Coriander to garnish at the end (optional)
How to Make it
Place 2 tbsp of Olive Oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Dice finely one large onion and cook it til golden. Add Curry powder (this could be the traditional Keen powder or any curry powder) to onion and 1 cup of rice, stir til the rice grains are coated. Grate 1 large carrot finely and add it to the saucepan along with 1 litre of chicken stock. For Vegetarians add vegetable stock to soup. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. When grains of rice are cooked add the chopped Bok choy to the soup and continue to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Season soup to taste. This might mean an extra pinch of curry powder or some pepper and salt. Sprinkle finely chopped coriander to the soup.
This week's variation:
I added a chopped chicken fillet and one chopped red onion. I cooked off a half cup of rice, added a litre of chicken stock. And then I added two grated carrots, sliced green beans, asparagus stalks, broccolini, sliced baby mushrooms, small Asian Bok Choy. It was so good. I'm even thinking this week l will try it with egg noodles instead of rice as Miss Three would love it.
Other variation ideas:
For those that are vegetarians or like more veggies. Use Vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Try adding any or all of these peas, corn, small diced potatoes, snow peas, beans, broccoli, asparagus, celery, mushrooms, zucchini to the soup. Any short grain rice would work l like Arborio rice as its a short grain rice it's high in starch, absorbs liquid well and stays firm to the bite. If you don't eat rice then try pasta, little shapes or macaroni noodles, or rice noodles. For those that need to be gluten free try quinoa as it would work too. I like using the white Quinoa but you can also buy an organic white, red and black Quinoa. I would cook this separately in stock and then introduce it to the soup at the end to make sure the grains are perfectly cooked. Along with legumes like lentils + chickpeas. Serve with garlic bread or a toastie.
If freezing the soup l suggest cooking the rice till cooked but firm and leave out the Asian greens. When you defrost the soup then add this or any other leafy green or watery vegetable like zucchini in the reheating phase on the stove.
Two Potato and Leek Soup
4 Potatoes + sweet potato cut into even pieces
2 leeks washed and sliced
1 litre Chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
butter for cooking the leeks
How to Make it
Dice potatoes and slice leeks. Heat a pot and melt 20g of butter for cooking the leeks. Cook leeks for 3-4 minutes till transparent and pale yellow. Add potatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat till bubbling. You want to cook on a slow simmer until the potatoes are soft. Using a hand mixer blend cooked ingredients till smooth.
Great for eating straight away or freezing.
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I'll share our families' Pea and Ham soup recipe next Tuesday oh it's just so good.
Have a great Tuesday and rest of the week in the kitchen everyone.
|my helper in the kitchen today|