Tag Archives: Soup

Recipe: Thai Yellow Soup

Hmmm a traditional Thai soup recipe? Hell to the no! This is anything but. I came up with the idea for this recipe after an experiment in making Thai chicken curry. The chilli I used for the curry was a little lacking in the heat department and as a result I ended up with a curry that had almost no heat.

It still made for a fantastic tasting dish, just not what was originally intended. The lack of heat meant that all the other herbs and spices were able to come through in full force. Which led me to thinking about what else I could use similar flavours in because they are so great together.

This is the first of those ideas to make it to the “perfected recipe” stage and it’s a butternut squash and sweet potato soup of sorts but that doesn’t really make for a snappy title so given the inspiration and appearance I’m calling it Thai Yellow Soup.


Thai Yellow Soup garnished with a sprig of basil and a dash of truffle oil
Thai Yellow Soup garnished with a sprig of basil and a dash of truffle oil

Ingredients;

1 x onion, diced
1 x carrot, diced
2 x sticks of celery, diced
2 x cloves of garlic, finely diced
quarter of a chilli, diced
Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely diced or grated
Pinch of ground coriander
Pinch of ground cumin
1 x butternut squash, diced
2 x sweet potatoes, diced
Veg or chicken stock
1 x star anise
1 x handful of fresh coriander
1 x handful of fresh basil
1 x handful of fresh mint


Place a large saucepan over a medium high heat, once it has warmed add a little oil, just enough so that you can slow fry the onion until it is soft, then add the carrot and continue to gently fry until they start to soften.

Next you want to add the celery, garlic, chilli, ginger, ground coriander and ground cumin. stir it all together and continue to fry for about a minute this should be long enough to warm and release the fragrance of the garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin.

Add the butternut squash and the sweet potato to the pot and stir together. Add enough stock to cover all the contents. Drop in the star anise, fresh basil, coriander and mint, then stir and bring it to the boil. Simmer gently for 30 Р40 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sweet potato and butternut squash start to break up as you stir remove the soup from the heat and blend until you have a smooth pur̩e.

Return this to a low heat. Then taste and season. If you are happy with the consistency of the soup you can proceed to the eating phase, if not, you could thin it by stirring in boiling water or by adding milk or cream.

I like to serve this soup drizzled with a little truffle oil for added decadence and a crusty bread roll is a great accompaniment to any soup.

Cooking for one – Part I

Is a cookery skill in itself. Most recipes, including a lot of the ones on this site are aimed at making meals for at least 2 or more people. Cooking for one can seem a bit bleak, so what can you do if you are only cooking for one? Starve? Stuff yourself?

Alone

Well neither is a good idea, obviously. If I were cooking for myself and no one else these days I would most likely not cook for one. Confused? Well allow me to explain…

So long as you have a reasonable sized freezer, soups, sauces, curries and stews can all be made up in bulk and then frozen in portions. We do this regularly anyway and we’re cooking for 2 people most of the time.

When I was working full time, I’d spend a few hours most weekends making up tomato sauce, soups, stews, meatballs and pizza bases. Anything that wasn’t eaten over the weekend would be frozen so that they can be pulled out of the freezer on the way out the door to work and they would be defrosted by that evening. This meant that all that was needed in the evening was a reheat. So even when tired coming in after a long day, it wasn’t a chore/hassle to reheat some stew or soup or put together a quick pasta and meatballs.

And for those days when you forget to pull something out of the freezer, there was always frozen Pizza bases. Put the oven on to heat up with the pizza stone in it, once it’s up to temp, lift out the pizza stone, put a frozen pizza base on it and in the length of time it takes to add some sauce and toppings, the base will have mostly defrosted. Into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, slice it, eat it, delicious.

We keep a jar in our fridge with some of our tomato sauce in it at all times for exactly this reason (and for quick bolognese, pasta and meatballs etc.). When it gets empty we simply take some more out of the freezer and refill it.

The best way to cook for one is actually not to a lot of the time. But there are other options as well and I’m going to expand on these a bit more in future posts as well as some tips for freezing different types of meals.

Valentine’s Day Menu

A Selection of different coloured Carrots
Image by phxpma via Flickr

Two days to go and I’m going to be posting your starter recipe later this morning. It’s carrot and coriander soup, one that I have been working on for a while but I’ve finally tweaked the recipe to my taste and got all the measurements etc.

Why soup? I know, it’s not very imaginative as a starter but it’s only February and it’s still quite cold, so my thinking is a soup is a great way to warm up and it’s a light, flavour rich starter for what will be a large meal.

Are you cooking for someone special this Valentines? Let us know what your planning or, if you intend to follow our menu, I’ve linked to all the relevant posts below to make them a little easier to find.

    Valentine’s Day Menu

  1. Starter: Carrot & Coriander Soup
  2. Main Course:
  3. Dessert: Choconana Crumble & Berry ice-cream

Soups, sauces and the freezer

SMEG #2

The next recipe will be coming up shortly and it’s a little twist on one of my all time favourite soups. My basil and tomato soup is one of those “accidents” that happen every so often, but the result was so good that I continue to use the “accidental” recipe. This recipe can be frozen and kept in the freezer ready to serve.

There’s not a lot else to say about this soup but I want to discuss the kitchen freezer a wee bit. It’s not just a place to make ice and store your processed food, it can also be used to store food you make yourself.

Most soups and sauces can be frozen and stored for weeks once they have been fully prepared. There are just two things to remember when freezing food.

If raw meat has defrosted don’t refreeze it unless it’s been cooked fully.

If cooked meat is defrosted don’t refreeze it, either eat it or bin it.

For soups and sauces we have found a great way of maximising the storage in your freezer. First you will need a flat surface in your freezer so this usually means re-organising it a bit, for me anyway. Then you will need some re-sealable freezer or sandwich bags.

Once your soup or sauce has been fully cooked and had time to cool completely, put some into a freezer bag and then half seal the top, lay it on a flat surface holding the still open end up, gently squeeze the bag until there is no air left inside and seal it fully. Then place it on the flat surface in your freezer to freeze. Naturally the thicker the soup or sauce the easier this bit is.

For soups we put two portions into a bag, that way there’s enough for Elly and myself, but if we have an extra mouth or two coming for lunch/dinner we can just pull out another bag.

The other great thing about freezing soups and sauces this way is that you can take them out of the freezer and put the bags in cold water to defrost the contents. This usually takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes. Then for soup, just heat it up and you’re ready to serve.