According to the Oxford Dictionary Diaries the phrase . . . “warm the cockles of one’s heart” means in plain English “to give one a comforting feeling of contentment”. And sweet Molly Malone from Dublin’s Fair City could tell you a thing or two here.
‘Comfort feeling of Contentment’ is what I am looking for if and when I am either down with a flu/cold or just simply feel slightly below par.
As long as I can remember I nearly always have made my weekly pot of delicious home-made soup, ready to be consumed at any time or portioned off and frozen for later use. It does not matter if now again I live in a hot or cold climate – the aroma from the vegetables, the wonderful spices wafting from my special soup mug gently up my nose immediately tells certain brain cells of mine “get better – and snap out of this negative mood you are in” – and rest be assure it always works like a dream. And yes, this is one of the reasons why I still continue to conjure up soups, not following recipes most of the time either.
I know that a great number of my blogger friends are right now living in colder climate – and that’s one reason why I like to share one of my favourite “winter warmers” with you (never mind we and some other dear friends live in a hot climate) – sitting around your own kitchen table with bowls of hot steaming soup in front of you and either nice thick chunks of granary bread or Arabic hoops on the side for ‘dunking’. Especially for you, who have just come in from clearing snow off your pathway, de-frosting the car, or just came home from a long crisp walk.
So therefore, without long ado – here is last nights “Carina’s Special” for you to enjoy hopefully as well.
The amount of ingredients you see in the first picture turned out to be a generous four-portion-soup. And here is what I used:
1 x medium onion, chopped
1 x fat leek, washed thoroughly and sliced
4 x cups of celery, well washed, ends trimmed and rest chopped
1 x medium/large washed but unpeeled potato, diced small
5 x garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 x small piece of fresh ginger, finely sliced
2 x heaped tsp of cocopowder
1 x Tbsp Olive oil
1 x Tbsp hot curry powder
Salt, to taste and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ x tsp of turmeric powder
4 – 5 x cup of vegetable stock (I used Knorr cubes)
1 x tsp of dry oregano
1 x tsp of dry rosemary (or a twig of fresh one)
Some celery leaves for garnish and celery seeds (if you can get them)
First of all, have all your vegetables prepared as mentioned above and keep aside on a board.
Set a large medium high vessel on MEDIUM heat and after a couple of minutes add the olive oil, followed by the onion, leek and the celery, stir, cover and cook gently for app. 10 minutes, stirring half way through again.
Now add curry powder, stir and gently cook for another 2 minutes only.
Add potatoes, nearly all the stock and the herbs, stir and continuing to simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender. We don’t like them too mushy – so you may have to adjust simmering time.
When done, switch off heat and let soup cool down slightly (I switch on the Ceiling fan).
10 minutes later I puree the vegetables in my “Mixy” until they are nice and smooth.
Now check your soup for any possible additional spices needed.
Return all this to your vessel and gently re-heat until piping hot.
Switch off the heat and add your previously prepared coconut milk powder, stirring gently. Do no remove vessel – allow the previous heat deal with the added coconut milk.
Serve in individual soup plates, bowls or cups decorated with a sprig of celery leaves and if you have, a light sprinkling of celery seeds.
You can also do, what I sometimes do, add a few prawns quickly boiled in chilli water! For a little kick.
You do not need much else, apart from delicious healthy bread or hoops for dunking – little culinary heaven!!!
That’s it – all done – enjoy!
Note: The statue shown above has been moved to Suffolk Road while a light railway line is being built in Grafton Road, but is expected to be returned to its original place in 2017.
Interesting! Leek is often a main soup ingredient for me but to twin it with celery: well, I want to taste soon! Love the curry & coconut combo of course but wonder why not use coconut milk ? As I make fresh vegetable stock almost every day . . .again no problem , , , but two questions – I love fresh herbs – since this is pureed anyways, is there any reason not to use.? And this has come up on another blog: is there any reason this could not be served cold a la vichyssoise which I love ? Or would the coconut milk make it too ‘greasy’ ?
Like you, I adore a good vichyssoise, in hot or cold climate even – it does not matter, but here the Celery is the main vegetable. And in the past I only ever had this soup hot – but…..I tasted it cold the other day and it was not bad, maybe I would add a few drops of Tabasco Sauce (for kicks!!) and since I only add little diluted coconut milk powder the taste of coconut is not at all in the foreground. Re herbs, here I have to use what I can get, of course. And fresh herbs, like in our garden in England, are not always available for me – not the kind I need and want 🙂 –
and of course I would use them in most things if I could.
Do hope we may have added to other readers;’ thoughts and experiences’. I am not a ‘soup person’ but love them cold because of climate and simple preference; the ‘v’, madrilene, gazpacho, borscht et al . . . . your celery one truly appeals . . . methinks the coconut ‘twist’ is great . . . as I said, shall make 🙂 ! Both ways, I promise!!!!
Sounds delicious – thank you!
Danke Maren – mach’ sie mal und sage mir was Du denkst. 🙂
Excellent Carina. There am I sharing a summer memory with everybody while you are sharing winter warmers. We should swap!
Hope all goes well,
Welcome back to my kitchen, Conor – was it “Molly Malone” or WP, which has been ‘playing up’ a little bit again recently. You last 2 or 3 posts did not come to me either on time or not at all. Hope the weather is not too harsh on you all.
There is a gale blowing and it is bitterly cold with rain forecast. I need some of that lovely soup.
That looks delicious. I don’t normally get many colds, but I keep thinking I should have emergency “medicine” in the freezer, so perhaps this one with the extra warming Indian ingredients 🙂
MD, do take my word for it – this soup is delicious 🙂 The idea of ’emergency medicine’ in your freezer is too good to be missed – add the Tabasco whilst re-heating.
Thanks for the tip 🙂
This soup looks so good! 🙂
🙂 🙂 – it is, too!!!
You are so right – it’s still chilly in Vancouver, even though spring is around the corner. There is something about soup on a cold winter day that regenerates the spirit. I love the taste and fragrance of leek. And now you have me singing the song about sweet Molly Malone! Have a wonderful day, my dear friend. Hugs!
I am sure you all do look forward to Spring! 🙂 Any wild primroses, crocus and Aubretia etc. around yet? “Molly Malone” is such a catchy tune – I too have trouble getting it out of my head now – it starts when I at least want to ‘hear’ it, i.e. when I want to sleep!!!! Hugs back to you and have a good week-end, too.
Oooo, loving all the fresh vegetables in this gorgeous looking soup. I too turn out big cauldrons of soup and have it simmering on the stove all day, and portion it out for the freezer. I’d love to try this recipe, so will be bookmarking it. Thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂
Thank you, Loretta and I hope you will enjoy my soup as much as we do. 🙂 🙂
I saw that statue when I was in Dublin! And thanks for the recipe,mthensoup sounds delicious!
Lucky you… I always wanted to visit Ireland especially County Tipperary and Dublin, but …..alas, it was not to be – sad!!😅😅😅
Can you send us some of your soup through the Internet?
I wish I could – but it is so easy to make. 🙂 Anyhow, nice to see you in my kitchen again after some time.
By the way, the word cockle has an interesting etymology:
Merci, cher Steve 🙂
Steve you have surprised me – thanks to your above link I looked at your other blog – very very interesting indeed. I follow you there now, too.
I adore soups! 🙂
Anche a me! Vanni. Salute – Carina
looks delicious, good recipe!
Namaskaram Khadija and thank you.
This looks great and I am a big believer in celery as the most important ingredient in a truly good soup base. Cannot wait to try this! B
outsch, for some reason I never saw all those lovely messages and then……I took “leave” for 2 months from my computer. So please forgive me for writing so late 🙂 Re soup, I absolutely agree with you re celery. Luckily I now can find this in most big supermarkets here.
The soup looks amazing and the recipe is great!
thanks Chef – did you make the soup?
Yes I did and it was really delicious 🙂
I can see now why my plain old leek and potato soup tasted totally bland. It was simply made of leeks, potatoes and a little broccoli (as the recipe stated). The extra ingredients and spices in your sup, clearly give it a real boost. I’m making a copy of this now! Thank you, Carina. 🙂
Hi Millie – so so sorry for being late here. Yes, spices!!! make even ‘dishwater’ delicious (but please, do not try this at home, hahahah) Hope you liked what you made then – more soup to come.