Tag Archive | Soup

Mild Leek Soup

….. with an Indian/Welsh twist …..

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As many of you know by now – I do love vegetables ……or at least most of them!

When I grew up Leeks, in one form or another, appeared on our table at least once or twice a week.

Grandpa had a nice biggish vegetable garden behind his house where he grew nearly everything possible and the women in the family at that time always managed to come up with a wonderful variety of recipes for this and other vegetables.

But since leeks are not always readily available in the Supermarkets here, I make full use of them whenever I find them in their shelves. This means that we will be eating leeks at least 2-3 times that week – changing my recipes around to avoid boredom. And yes, this is just one of those weeks – a delivery of leeks had arrived in our Supermarket and so, you guessed it, I have been cooking various different dishes, partly from memory, partly from my little box of old old recipes and partly with my new ‘spur-of-the-moment’ input. So far, touch wood, I seem to have hit just the right button on my taste buds and hopefully at least some of you, who read this, will like today’s delicious soup and the other leek recipes which will be posted in the near future.

This following recipe is pretty much a standard one – in fact ideal for a light supper or an after party treat.

What does she mean by this, I hear you ask – simple, exactly what I wrote.

Many many years ago I started a habit (which soon became a sort of ‘tradition’ in our house). I started serving big chunky mugs filled with delicious hot nourishing soup after our official entertaining. Some of you know these occasions, where in a room (or garden) filled with well over 100 people one does not have a chance talking to some of the people one would really like to talk, like old friends etc., due to protocol, priority or whatever. Just imagine weddings, big birthday bashes etc. – so we started asking certain people discreetly to stay behind after the 2-hour long reception, which was very much appreciated, more so when we lived abroad somewhere on this planet. The ladies were only too happy to shed their high heeled shoes and literally flop onto the nearest sofas, chairs or even floor. The men, tie loosened, followed quickly suit and that’s when we brought out our soup. And after a few drinks and delicious ‘finger food’, the hot heart-warming, soul refreshing soup, was more than well received.

This became such a success that it was not only copied (the biggest form of flattery, right ?) but guests started to ask “what is the soup of the night?” And so I kept this by now ‘tradition’ going well past retirement from official life.

As always, I tell you what I used here for 2 people – so do not be too rigid – adjust to your own need and taste.

What you need:

250 gr Mincemeat (Keema)
3 x medium sized leeks, cleaned, most of the top green part discarded
4 x garlic cloves, finely chopped (or use garlic powder) – optional.
2 x Beef- or Vegetable Stock cubes dissolved in appr. 500 ml water
200 – 250 x gr of soft cheese (I used Mozzarella), cut into small cubes
3 x Tbsp of thick curd or crème fraîche
1 x medium sized potato, peeled and sliced thinly
Salt, pepper, to taste
2 x tsp (home-made) curry powder
2 x tsp paprika powder
2 x tsp ground nutmeg
2 x Tbsp Vegetable oil

How to cook:

First of all prepare your leeks further by washing them thoroughly to remove all the dirt between the layers. Then cut them into fine rings and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a wide pot – add the Mincemeat and quickly fry this for app. 5-8 minutes; add salt and pepper. Stir.

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Now add the previously prepared leeks, mix and fry this further for another 5 minutes or so.

Add the stock, stir, reduce heat to fairly low, cover with lid and let this cook for maybe 10 minutes (check – don’t let leeks get mushy).

Add the cheese, Mozzarella is fine here, let it melt completely.

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Add curd or crème fraîche and turn up heat a little bit for just a couple of minutes. Keep stirring.

Taste and add all the remaining spices. Mix well and check if this to your own liking.

I frequently serve just a couple of thin slices of ‘French bread’, slightly toasted and my own garlic butter scraped over it.

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That’s it. Guten Appetit.

Namaskaram
Carina

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Culinary Memories of Madrid

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The Festivities are over – children have gone back to school and our two daughters also came and went for an only too brief a visit to Cochin. Bianca went back to her job as a Fashion Designer
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with her company in Bangalore and Andrea, having after 5 years graduated as an Architect now started her first full time job on the 1st of January.

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Like all parents we too kept looking at them surreptitiously occasionally and wondered “…where has time gone, only yesterday they were still little girls with white bows in their hair and wearing their school uniform and now they are all grown up, gaining more and more self confidence by the day and proofing their own worth in their chosen profession”. Seeing them leave is still very much a pull on our heart strings and yes, I do admit, a tear or two always escapes from my eyes once the door is closed behind them.

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Having the girls here only for such a short time we were not really able to do all the things we hoped to do, like learning yet another House-recipe to take along to their own places. Kerala cooking of course from their father, who is a brilliant cook and has taught me nearly everything I know about his kind of food, The-rest-of-the-world, especially German and Italian cuisine from yours truly, but of course, there is always the next holiday, like Easter, just around the corner.

But as soon as Bianca reached Bangalore a request for one of her favourite soup recipes arrived. Favourite because it is Spanish (and we all have very fond memories of our family holiday in Madrid), its cold (the heat here right now is getting to all of us) the main ingredients are fresh tomatoes and best of all, no actual cooking in a hot kitchen after her long day at work.
The following recipe was given to me by a friend in Madrid whose roots are in Andalusia. And so, yes, you guessed it, what this daughter wanted was GAZPACHO .

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And finding myself with a slight glutton of fresh tomatoes in the kitchen I decided to make this deliciously refreshing soup for our lunch as well.
I do not always work using exact and detailed measurements – so, just follow me and use your own judgement here according to your own taste buds.

G A Z P A C H O (partly rooted in Andalusia!)

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5 x large ripe tomatoes, skin removed and ‘blitzed’ a couple of times in your blender
1 x onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 x fat garlic cloves, peeled
1 x Capsicum (l/2 green and l/2 red), deseeded and roughly chopped
1 x large cucumber, washed and de-seeded
Pinch of ground cumin
3 x Tbsp of red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper to your taste
1/4 cup of good virgin olive oil
4-6 drops of Tabasco (optional – gives your soup that ‘kick’)
2 x slices of bread (or more, if you like soup to be thicker)

Method:
Soak your bread in some water until soft. Squeeze out and keep aside
‘Blitz’ your tomatoes briefly and keep aside.
‘Blitz’ garlic, capsicum and cucumber briefly and keep aside.

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Add all the above into a large bowl and add vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and if you wish also the Tabasco, stir. Now add the previously soaked bread and mix gently. Cover and keep in the fridge for a couple of hours or longer. If you find the soup a bit too thick for your liking, just add some iced water and stir. Decorate with some finely chopped Coriander or Parsley (whatever you have in your fridge) and for a little Dinner-Party-Edition serve separately with one or all of the following: chopped almonds, some orange segments, small selection of finely chopped red, green and yellow capsicums, some finely chopped spring onions and some fresh mint and cumin crushed. Delicious.

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Variation:
Depending on our mood at the time I might just add all the above into the blender and puree this until smooth. And if you do not have time to cool it in your fridge, just add a few icecubes to your soup just before serving.

രുചിയോടെ ഭക്ഷണം ആസ്വദിക്കാന് കഴിയട്ടേ
(ruchiyode bhakshanam aaswadikkan kazhiyatte) this is in our local Malayalam language meaning:
Guten Appetit – Enjoy! – Buen apetito!

Carina
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Meine FREIE Uebersetzung:

Kulinarische Erinnerungen an Madrid.

Die Feierlichkeiten sind vorrueber – die Kinder sind wieder zurueck in die Schule und unsere zwei Toechter kamen and gingen wieder, leider nur fuer einen kurzen Besuch nach Cochin. Bianca ging wieder zu ihrem Job als Modeschoepferin mit ihren Firma in Bangalore zurueck und Andrea, die nach 5 Jahren ihr Studium als Architektin absolvierte fing auch ihren ersten Job am 1. Januar an. Wie alle Eltern schauten wir sie beide hin und wieder Heimlich and und wunderten uns ….”wo ist die Zeit geblieben, nur gestern waren sie noch kleine Maedchen mit weissen Schleifen in ihren Haaren und trugen ihre Schulkleidung, und jetzt sind sie alle erwachsen, gewinnen mehr und mehr Selbstbewusstsein tagtaeglich und beweisen ihren eigenen Wert in ihrem gewaehlten Beruf”. Aber wenn wir sie weggehen sehen, tut das Herz doch etwas weh und ich gebe zu, das seine oder zwei Traenen aus meinen Augen kullern, aber erst wenn die Tuere hinten ihnen geschlossen ist.

Da wir die Maedchen hier hatten, besonders fuer eine solche kurze Zeit, wir konnten nicht all’ die Dinge unternehmen die wir vorhatten, wie z.B. wieder mal ein anderes Haus-Rezept fuer ihre eigenes Leben zu erlernen. Kerala Kueche selbstverstaendlich von ihrem Vater, de rein brillianter Koch ist und mir uebrigens fast alles beigebracht hat bezueglich Kerala Cuisine; und ‘den rest der welt’ speciell Deutsche und Italienische Cuisine von mir aber dann ist natuerlich immer noch der naechste Urlaub, wie z.B. Ostern, das ja nicht mehr weit we gist.

Aber sobald Bianca wieder in Bangalore ankam erhielt ich eine Anfrage bezueglich eines ihrer Lieblingssuppen Rexepte. Lieblings Rexet weil es Spanisch it (und wir alle haben noch sehr schoene Erinnerungen an unseren Familienurlaub in Madrid), sie ist kalt (die Hitze here macht allen sehr zu schaffen) die Hauptzutaten sind frische Tomaten und das allerbeste ist, dass man nicht zu kochen braucht nach einem langen Arbeitstag.

Das folgende Rezept wurde mir von einer Freundin in Madrid gegeben deren Wurzeln bis nach Andalusien gehen. Und so, ja, Ihr habt es erraten, was diese Tochter wollte war Gazpacho.

Und da ich selbst einen kleinen Ueberfluss von frischen Tomaten in meiner Kueche hatte, entschloss ich mich diese leckere und erfrischende Suppe auch fuer unser Mittagessen zu machen.

Ich arbeite nicht immer mit exakten und detailierten Messungen – so, folgt einfach meinem Rezept und folgt Eurem eigenen Urteil bezueglich Euren eigenen Geschmackes.

GASPACHO – verwurzelt in Andalusien.

5 x grosse reife Tomaten, Haus abgezogen und 1x, 2x oder 3x ganz kurz nu rim Mixer ‘blitzen
1 x Zwiebel, geschaelt und grob geschnitten
4 x dicke Knoblauchzehen, geschaelt
1 x Paprika (1/2 gruen und ½ red) entkernt und grob gehackt
1 x grosse Salatgurke, gewaschen und entkernt und grob gehackt
Prise gemahlener Kreuzkuemmel
4 x Essloeffel Rot-Wein-Essig
Salz und Pfeffer nach eigenem Geschmack
¼ cup gutes Olivenoil
6-8 – Tropfen Tabasco (gibt der Suppe den “Kick”)
2 x Scheiben Brot (oder mehr, wenn Ihr die Suppe etwas dicker haben moechtet)

Anleitung:

Tauche das Brot in etwas Wasser bis es weich ist. Druecke es aus und halte bereit.
“Blitz” die Tomaten ganz kurz und halte bereit
“Blitz” Knoblauch, Paprika und Gurke ganz kurz und halte bereit.
Alle Zutaten und nun auch Essig, Oil, Salz und Pfeffer und wenn gewuenscht den Tabasco in eine Schuessel und umruehren. Jetzt kommt noch das eingeweichte und ausgedrueckte Brot hinzu, wieder umruehren. Klingfilm ueber Schuessel und ab in den Kuehlschrank fuer mindestens 2 Stunden, besser laenger. Wenn Euch die Suppe fuer den eigenen Geschmack etwas zu dick ist, dann fuegt einfach etwas Eiswasser hinzu. Dekorieren mit etwas feingehacktem Koriander oder Petersilie (je nachdem was im Kuehlschrank vorhanden ist). Und fuer eine kleine Dinner-Party serviert doch entweder das eine oder alle in kleinen Schaelchen, gehackte Mandeln, feingeschnittene Orangenscheiben, fein gehackte rot, green und gelbe Paprika, ein paar feingehackte Fruehlingszwiebeln und etwas frische Minze mit Kreuzkuemmel zerdrueckt. Hm Lecker.

Variante:
Je nach Lust und Laune kommt es auch schon mal vor, dass ich einfach alle Zutaten in dem Mixer zusammen puriere bis die Suppe ganz fein ist. Und wenn dann auch noch keine Zeit vorhanden ist die Suppe im Kuehlschrank zu kuehlen, kann man ein paar Eiswuerfel kurz vor dem servieren in die Suppe tun.