Soup of the week! Lamb Mulligatawny

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SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Soup TextThe first time I tried Mulligatawny soup it was out of a Heinz tin. As a kid, I thought it was Scottish. Of course it wasn’t the mild spices that lead me to my conclusion but the name, to me, sounded very much from Scotland. It’s not really much of a surprise as the very same child thought that ‘random’ was a small town near Manchester. You know when you’re watching a TV show and they say, ‘Winners will be chosen at random’? Well I thought it was a happy place where, in a special building, there were winners everywhere. I was very much a youngster who lived in a world of Rainbows and Unicorns!

I pulled this soup together a couple of weeks ago when my husband came home from work feeling a little fluey. He said he wasn’t hungry but I had to make sure he got his vitamins if he was going to get better and it went down a treat! It’s so miserable here in Singapore at the moment. Earlier this year we had no rain at all for about 8 or 9 weeks but now we seem to be getting some everyday. This soup is full of goodness and along with the spices, a yummy, healthy, comforting dinner when the heavens are opening up outside.

This recipe, which serves 6,  comes out similar to a dhal’s consistency which you can thin out if you would prefer with some extra stock but I personally like it just the way it is.

When I’m cooking I like to prepare a Mise en Place before I start with anything else. I have multiple ramekins, dishes of various sizes and plastic containers that fill my cupboards and are used almost daily for this purpose. Our kitchen has very little worktop space so if I start making a meal and haven’t prepared anything, the odds are that something will go wrong. If I keep all my prepared ingredients in their own area, fill the sink with hot soapy water and throw the pots and ramekins straight into the washing up bowl whilst I’m cooking, I find it not only keeps the mess to a minimum, but during those periods where I have to wait 5/10 minutes before the next step,  I can get those pots washed, dried and put away making much less tidying to do after dinner. And that my friends, is what I call a good result!

 

What you’ll need:

 

  • 250g Minced Lamb
  • 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, 2 finely chopped and one squished with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium Carrots, cut into smallish chunks
  • 2 Celery Sticks, sliced
  • 1 Large or Two Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Eating Apple, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 a Fresh Mango, cut into chunks (You can take the other half, chop into pieces and freeze in two parts, I have another recipe coming soon that it can be used in!)
  • 1 Litre Hot Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup of Uncooked Green Lentils
  • Fresh Coriander, Natural Yogurt and flat breads to serve

 

Get all your ingredients ready as directed above and once prepped, set the oil on a medium heat in a saucepan and start browning the lamb. Whilst this is going on, place the lentils in second saucepan and add the one squished garlic clove and a bay leaf to help add some flavour into them whilst cooking. Add 2 cups of hot water and simmer for around 20 minutes. Once the lamb has browned, add in the onion, carrots, celery, sweet potato and the remaining garlic. Pop the lid on and sweat out for around 10 minutes stirring or shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. Once soft, add in the tomato puree, curry powder and cinnamon. Stir well before pouring in the hot stock, apple and fresh mango and simmer for about 5 minutes. Check your veggies are tender before turning off the heat and leaving to cool for a few minutes. Your lentils should now be quite soft so drain them and remove the garlic and bay. Set them aside whilst you blend the soup in a food processor. It’s up to you how much you process the soup but I like to leave a few little lumps in there. Pour back into the saucepan and stir in the lentils. Season with salt and pepper before serving with a dollop of yogurt, a scattering of coriander and your chosen flat bread, pitta, chapati or naan.

SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Rain

 

 

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Soup of the week: V Day Special! How to present your soup with cream hearts

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As all my lovely facebook followers will know, I promised this ‘how to’ a couple of weeks ago.

SCC Hearts on Soup 10

It’s so cute and with V Day coming up, it’s a fun thing to pop on that soup you cook up for your significant other. It looks even cuter with the red background of my Tomato and Lemongrass Soup  and it’s super easy to do! All you need is some double cream, a cocktail stick, a teaspoon and of course some soup! I used Carrot and Coriander as that’s what I fancied the day I took these pics.

SCC Hearts on Soup 1

Just start off with the cream and your teaspoon, very gently make a dot of cream in the centre of the soup.

SCC Hearts on Soup 3

Continue in a spiral of dots working outwards until you reach the edge of the bowl.

SCC Hearts on Soup 4

Next, take your cocktail stick and place the tip into the soup just before the first dot.

SCC Hearts on Soup 5

Basically, what you need to do here is to drag the stick through the soup in a spiral shape cutting through the centre of each cream dot on the way and you’re done!

SCC Hearts on Soup 9

This works well with so many different foods, why not get all romantic and give it a go? If you bodge it up, just stir in the cream and start again! What? You didn’t see the original photo on facebook, it’s never too late to start following me!

Soup of the Week: Carrot and Coriander

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This weeks Soup of the Week is a repeat of an earlier post. In fact, the original post is exactly a year old. It’s amazing how much my life has changed in that last year, the first sentence of the original post just proves this. Back then, I was in my kitchen back in Geneva, just about coping with the freezing Swiss winter, completely unaware that I was about to receive a marriage proposal followed by the opportunity to move to yet another foreign land and now, here I am in sunny Singapore where it’s a muggy 29 degrees this evening! Anyway, back to the soup, it’s such a great recipe (in my humble opinion!) I have to share it with you all again. So if you haven’t tried it yourself yet, here’s another chance! As far as frequent cooking goes, this one is high up there. In fact, I’m sipping a mug of it right now whilst I’m typing this!

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I hope you don’t think I’m being lazy! This one has been a busy week for me. Chinese New Year this Friday means a bank holiday weekend here in Singapore and we have taken the opportunity to skip away to Bali for a couple of nights, our Christmas present to each other. With so much to do before we leave for our short flight tomorrow, this is likely to be the only post from me until next week when I’ll be letting you know how it went with my attempt at traditional Pineapple Tarts. From what it sounds like, these are South East Asia’s version of the much loved Mince Pie and a tasty sweet treat for Chinese New Year!

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I almost forgot, here’s the link back to my original post. See you in the (Chinese) New Year everyone!

Soup of the week! Tomato and Lemongrass

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This week’s Soup of The Week is slightly inspired by the local food here in Singapore with a pinch of inspiration from a food memory back when I was in my early teens. My older brother is a fantastic cook, it all started when he worked part time in the kitchens at a beautiful hotel restaurant smack bang in the idyllic Wye Valley at Symonds Yat. I never used to like tomato soup as a youngster but the chef at The Royal Hotel had a recipe for Tomato and Lemongrass Soup that was highly regarded by the rest of my family. My memory is of walking into the kitchen to find my brother and dad using as many containers as they could find to store the soup. The chef had given my brother the restaurant kitchen recipe for the rather than a downsized home cooking version so we ended up with enough soup to serve around 20 covers! Since my love for tomato soup has been born and as I am experimenting with a lot of south east asian ingredients I’ve never used before, I have come up with my own version of this soup. It’s a very light soup that works well served as a starter before a heavy meal, possessing superb flavours with a little kick of chilli cutting through.

For four servings you will need:

  • 25g Butter
  • 1 Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, remove outer skins and stalks before finely slicing
  • 1 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt the butter over a gentle heat and slowly cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and chilli cooking for a further 2 minutes. Next, add the tinned tomatoes, lemon grass and stock and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow all the flavours to infuse. Transfer to a blender until smooth and serve. SCC Tomato and Lemongrass Soup

Soup of the week! Harissa Spiked Pumpkin

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I always have some homemade soup in the fridge or freezer. It’s often what I’ll have for lunch and I love trying out new combinations. Which is why I have decided to introduce soup of the week!

It was a couple of months ago that I started making this one and it’s become a regular. It’s great if you’ve got the sniffles as the spice from the harrissa paste helps clear out those sinuses. It’s really easy to pull together and good for you to boot! The Pumpkin I use for this soup is ‘local’ Malaysian Pumpkin. I’m not sure if it has a season here as it always seems available and so cheap. You really need a sharp knife to cut through that pumpkin skin but it’s worth the hard work for that smooth sweet taste!

You will need:

  • One onion, roughly chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 900g pumpkin, skin removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp of harissa paste, you can add more or less depending on how spicy you want to go. I used green harissa.
  • 1 litre of hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Once you have all of your ingredients prepared, heat the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat and slowly cook the onions until translucent. Next, add the harissa paste and sizzle for one minute. Add the pumpkin and stir to coat with the harissa before pouring over the hot stock and simmering with the lid on for 5 – 8 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Whizz through a food processor until smooth and serve with your favourite bread.

SCC Pumpkin Harissa Soup

Italian Style Meatball Soup

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It’s been over a week since my last post. My kitchen didn’t see much action last week due to the other half traveling with work. Usually when he does this I use the oportunity to use up frozen leftovers like lasagne and cottage pie and enjoy the fact I can watch Hollyoaks without complaints! I did make a really yummy, low fat Earl Grey tea cake. It was a trial run as I hadn’t made it before but it was delicious and will definitely be made again, and when it does, I’ll get the recipe and pics straight on here!

 

In an attempt to empty the fridge and my veg draw before my LeShop.ch order comes tomorrow night. I have made another veg stock this morning as well a warming meatball soup using the lone sausage sitting on the bottom shelf. There was a slight dusting of snow in Geneva this morning and although it’s already melted, it’s always nice to have soup when it’s snowing.

 

Serves 3

 

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

15g butter

2 carrots, sliced into rounds

1 celery stick sliced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp tomato puree

200g tinned, chopped tomatoes

2 pints veg stock

2 handfulls of dry pasta

1 large sausage (I used pork and leek because that’s what I had)

SCC Meatball Soup Ingredients

 

Fry the onion and garlic with the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until softened. slightly. Add the veg and the herbs and sweat for about 8 minutes. While this is going on, squeeze the sausage meat out of the casing and roll into small meatballs. Mine were quite small, about 5g each, as I was starving and wanted them to cook quickly! Make a small well in the middle of the veg and quickly cook the puree for about 20 seconds before adding the tinned tomatoes, veg stock, pasta and meatballs.

Simmer over a low heat until the meatballs are cooked through and the pasta is soft and spoon into bowls.

SCC Meatball SoupSCC Meatball Soup Bowl