Comfort food comfortably cooked

Perfect pumpkin soup
I hated pumpkins my entire life until I tasted my Aunty Lorraine’s pumpkin soup. She gave me some hints and the ones I took with me are…
  1. Never use any pumpkin other than Jap or Kent as they are the nicest.
  2. Never put any other veggies in other than Pumpkin, onion and garlic. Some people use potato in their “pumpkin soup” but the potato can make it go off. So stick to plain pumpkin.IMG_0733[1]
  3. Make it creamy with cream, stir it in as you are serving it.
Along the way I’ve had more advice…
  1. Roast the veggies before you put them in the pot, it brings out the flavour
  2. Choose a dusty looking pumpkin, they are the sweetest
  3. In savoury cooking, you can most times substitute Greek yoghurt for cream.
So I chopped a whole pumpkin, squished a few cloves of garlic and quartered an onion and popped it in the oven will the garlic was brown.
Put the veggies into the Thermomix, along with some veggie stock and water, set it for 15 mins, varoma temp and a slow speed. when it was done, I wizzed it for a few seconds and had perfect pumpkin soup.
I don’t have any pictures, but I made the Pea and Ham soup with this recipe (without the potato) and it worked well too. Recipe here

Maltese soup
I did not have time to be worrying about things on the stove, and my husband was not a huge fan of Brodu (I think that is the spelling, but am finding it difficult to verify) so I also did not want to make too much (more than I could eat in a few days).
I decided to try it in a slow cooker.
I have looked on the internet and have not found a recipe that shows how to make it the way the family I was a nanny for taught me to make it. Initially, the one I tried was made with Beef, but I much prefer the chicken recipe. IMG_0739[1]
1 kg chicken legs
1 bowl of diced carrot
1 bowl diced celery
Tomato paste (1 small Leggos tub)
Veggie stock powder.
Pasta and rice
Here is what you need to know, cook the meat, then the potato, then the carrot and last add the celery. The recipes have them all dumped in at the start and the result is not very appetising.
Put the chicken in the pot, (with tomato paste and veggie stock) let it cook on high for about 1/2 hour (If you are using Osso bocco it needs an hour). Put the potatoes in, top up the water and give it about 1/2 hour, do this for carrots and repeat in half an hour with celery. If you are using brown rice add about 1/2 cup in 15 minutes and a cup of pasta 15 minutes after that… for white rice with pasta wait half an hour and for either turn off with lid on.

To serve
Wait about an hour before serving; remove bones and inedible bits from chicken, heat on low (Or pop into bowls and microwave).
Add salt and pepper with a squeeze of lemon juice and enjoy.
It was longer in the slow cooker, and the quality of the flavour was not the same as cooked on a stove top. But still a nice dinner… and breakfast the next day… brunch the day after. Troubleshooting… I put too much water in and it had to be removed, this may be why the tomato flavour was not very strong. I forgot to add the carrots till quite late and I forgot that brown rice needs about 2 hours to swell. IMG_0741[1]Fortunately the none of the veggies fell apart in that time. I also forgot the most important thing- the squirt of lemon juice… I could not even use bottled juice as “someone” put the opened bottle in the cupboard… 
I will try it in the thermomix next to see if it works better there. I found that I can comfortably fit 4 chicken legs in the steam basket… and the rest I will work out as I go.
None of my fury children let me eat this in peace so it must be good.

More Uses for Greek Yoghurt
“All the veggies that grow well in CQ are yucky” said Honey this week. So I have dusted off some old recipes for sweet potato and pumpkin this week. The soup was not a hit (all the more for me!) but the potato bake was. Honey had not tried my awesome one with cream and chorizo instead of ham or bacon… so I was free to experiment a bit. 

Potato bake… everyone seems to have a different recipe. I love the one my friend Ebony makes as she adds chicken stock or soup powder… I think… I never have that on hand so I add Veggie stock powder and it works a treat. My old housemate Andrea also made delicious potato bake and she added sweet potato and pumpkin. My butcher recommended chorizos and wham you have my PB.

So I made some PB for Honey last night, we were out of chorizo so I used ham, we also didn’t have cream so I mixed Greek yoghurt with milk to get the right consistency and after the pumpkin soup fiasco, I decided one thing at a time.
What can I say… it worked. sorry no pictures, we were hungry. We are trying potato salad 1/2 regular 1/2 sweet today. Any tips or hints are greatly appreciated from my veggie smuggler friends.

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