I know I promised I would post the recipes here every time I post a new recipe on my blog’s new home … but it’s getting away from me … so much to do with the transfer of domains and all the other things going on in my life … I did export and import all of the email subscribers from here over to there … are you getting emails from my new blog? If not, please go add your email address on my new blog: www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com … seriously, please, go now! I don’t want to lose you.
Okay, now let’s talk new recipes … here’s what’s new on my blog: click on the pic or the title to see the recipe … I hope you’ll visit me at my new site!
I’ve been toying with the idea of making a thai-style curry soup with my aubergines … aubergine, isn’t that a fabulous word? It sounds so fancy and cultured to me. Usually I just use the word “eggplant”, but it doesn’t carry the same elegance that these beautiful purple vegetables really deserve.
Anyway, I came home from yoga class the other night STARVING and decided to begin the creation of the Thai curry soup. Somehow thought this would be a quick thing to do … I started up the grill because I’m really loving the smoky flavor from the grill and set a bunch of lovely vegetables on there for their “fire” roasting. Yes, I really did start up the grill just to roast vegetables. It didn’t take long to roast them … but then I got busy with other things and with the kids.
Hours later (just before bedtime), I finally sat down to enjoy a cup of my curried red pepper aubergine soup. It’s not that the soup really takes that long to make … it’s just that … well, I’m a mom … and I’m easily distracted (look! facebook!) … and my kitchen was already a mess so there was a bit of work to do there too … oh well, it got done eventually and I did get a bowl of soup and now I have a delicious soup I can quickly reheat for lunches this week.
Curried Red Pepper Aubergine Soup
Yields a little over a quart of soup.
- 3 good-size Japanese Eggplant (the long skinny dark black purple kind of eggplant … or 1 large globe eggplant) … yielding about a cup of eggplant after roasting (a little more or less is fine)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 hot red pepper (or if you don’t want your soup to be spicy, use a bell pepper in place of the hot pepper)
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped
- 1/2 of an onion, peeled, chopped
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste (to taste)
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (or other sweetener of your choice … to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Garnish: plain lowfat yogurt (or Greek yogurt) and fresh parsley or better yet, cilantro!
- Poke the eggplant all around with a fork. Light up the grill and when the coals are hot, set the eggplant and the peppers right over the hot coals to roast. (A gas grill would work fine too … you COULD even roast them in the oven if you prefer …) Here’s a shot of my eggplant and peppers on the grill. I used these 3 eggplant, the red bell pepper, and one of the hot peppers in this soup. The other two peppers I’m going to put in a salsa (I think …)
- You don’t want to burn them, but the skins of the eggplant will turn dark and the pepper skins should turn black. Turn the peppers and eggplant over to make sure you roast all sides. The peppers will be done very quickly. Pull the peppers off the grill and let them cool while you finish cooking the eggplant. Cook the eggplant until it is limp and soft.
- The peel on the peppers and the eggplant should come right off after roasting. Pull off the peel, chop off the top stems from the eggplant, and put the “good parts” of the peppers and the eggplant in a blender or handi chopper. Puree them until smooth.
- In a saucepan, sautee the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, soft and starting to brown. Stir in the eggplant/pepper paste and the remaining ingredients. Stir everything together till it’s well mixed, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the flavors have had time to “meld”.
- When the soup is done, puree it in a blender (or use an immersion blender). I’ve heard of people cracking the glass of a glass blender with hot soup, so you might want to let it cool a bit before blending it if you are using a glass blender.
- Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprig of fresh parsley and serve hot. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge. This soup reheats nicely in the microwave.
I got in a fight with my teenage son this afternoon … it was, as usual, a very emotionally charged exchange. We were both livid by the time we left the house. I was driving him to his dad’s place and yes, I was angry, but after a moment, I forced myself to calm down and breathe so I could drive safely. Still, I was fighting back the tears of rage.
I was just crossing through an intersection where the light was green on a country road that crosses the edge of the city when a lady in a silver car turned right in front of me, just as I was nearing the edge of the intersection. Perhaps she didn’t see my little gray car coming; perhaps she wasn’t paying attention. I slammed on the brakes and managed to stop without hitting her. There wasn’t anywhere else for me to go, no other lane to swerve into. But in that moment I saw both of our lives flash before my eyes. I thought to myself how miniscule our argument really was, in the scheme of things. Apparently my son had the same thought because he looked at me and said, “that really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?”
Now don’t get me wrong, we needed to fight today. There were things I needed to say to him, and he needed to get out some of the rage he was holding inside. But we also needed to remember how precious and fragile our connections to each other are. They could be broken … gone … in an instant. So often in an argument, we say hurtful things and we forget.
This stranger, in a moment of carelessness, sent us a powerful reminder.
Thick & Hearty Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
Roughly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 large onion, peeled
- 2 t. olive oil
- 2 t. curry powder
- 1/2 t. smoked paprika
- 1 t. cumin
- 1/4 c. chardonnay or other dry white wine — although I think a dry red might work even better
- 2 c. black beans
- 1/2 quart canned tomatoes with juices
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
- 1 c. beef or vegetable broth
- Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 – 1/2 t. cayenne seasoning (or more to taste)
- Feta cheese crumbles and/or roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and a few whole black beans for garnish
- Whirl the onion and garlic in a handi chopper or food processor till they are in tiny chunks (or chop into small bits with your knife).
- Over medium high heat, sautee the chopped onion and garlic with the cumin, curry, and smoked paprika in the olive oil until the onion and garlic is soft. It should be sort of a paste of onion and spices.
- Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until most of the wine has evaporated.
- Whir the beans and tomatoes briefly in the handi chopper or food processor (do them separately if your device won’t hold them all at once!) or mash with a potato masher to break down the beans and tomatoes to a sort of rough puree.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, pumpkin and broth to the pan. Season to taste with Red Robin Seasoning, freshly ground pepper, and cayenne.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 – 30 minutes or until the flavors have all mixed well.
- Serve hot with feta cheese crumbles and a few whole black beans and/or pumpkin seeds for garnish.
My parents came to visit this weekend and with them they brought SO much beautiful bounty from their garden: peppers, onions, potatoes, eggplant, turnips, tomatoes, yellow watermelon, butternut squash.
They brought me a jar of salsa that they had made and a box full of canned tomatoes. AND a case of dad’s homemade wine.
We debated whether we should go out for dinner or stay in and cook– but since we had SO much food in the house, well, it just seemed like we should cook up some of it!
So I took the summer squash that my friend gave me last weekend and stuffed it some of dad’s venison apple sausage, some feta cheese and a bunch of goodies from the garden. Oh it turned out good. We had a bit of soup and some bread along with some Pinot Grigio and we were well fed and happy.
Here are the squash sisters. Aren’t they pretty? The dark green one was a winter squash that had a mild sweet taste to it and smooth texture. The brighter green stripey one on the left was the one we ate last night. I am not sure what kind of squash these are since my friend says they were volunteers in her garden, but I sure love the taste of them. Someone told me they are cushaw squashes. Do you think that’s what they are?
Curried Stuffed Summer Squash
You can adjust the seasonings to your own tastes. I didn’t actually measure anything either … just threw it all together, so feel free to adjust up or down on any of the ingredients.
- 1/2 of a large summer squash or zucchini (eggplant would be good this way, too!), sliced lengthways and seeded if it has seeds in the middle like mine did
- 1 t. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 of a large bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red onion, peeled & chopped
- 3 -4 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 5- 7 fresh mushrooms, sliced and diced
- about 3/4 c. chopped fresh tomato
- about 3/4 c. cooked low-fat sausage (I used 2 venison-apple sausages, but turkey or chicken sausage would be good too. Peel off the casings if the sausage has them then chop. You could also leave out the sausage if you prefer just vegies.)
- about 3/4 c. breadcrumbs
- About 1/3 c. feta cheese crumbles
- 1/4 t. cinnamon
- 1/4 t. nutmeg
- 1 – 2 t. Thai red curry paste
- 1/2 t. smoked paprika
- Scoop out the flesh of the summer squash with a grapefruit spoon, leaving about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick shell so it’s sturdy enough to hold the stuffing when it’s cooked.
- Chop up the scooped out flesh of the squash.
- Heat a medium saucepan to medium-high heat, then swirl around the olive oil in the pan. Add the squash, onion, garlic, peppers and mushrooms and sautee until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sausage, tomato, feta cheese, breadcrumbs, and spices. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the stuffing back into the squash shell, packing it in so it all fits. If it doesn’t all fit back into the squash, you can bake some in a separate casserole dish. Sprinkle with a bit of extra feta cheese and top with a few chopped cherry tomatoes if you like.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and everything is well heated through.
- Scoop out servings from the beautiful squash shell.