Tag Archives: celery

Curry or Soup – Sweet potatoe, butternut squash and lentils

A lot of recipes I find come from just having things sitting around the house, like a couple of sweet potatoes or butternut squash. This was divine, I made it again two days later because there were cries for more more more! I am also pretty casual with how I make my soups, this one ended up thicker and more of a curry, so feel free to adjust spice or veggie combos yourselves.

Looks like a soup doesn't it?

1 butternut squash

1-2 sweet potatoes (yams)

3-4 onions

2-3 stalks of celery

2-3 carrots

olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves

a thumb or two of ginger

ground cinnamon

ground  tumeric

ground cumin

chicken/vegetable stock

400g of chopped tomatoes

Heat the oil in the bottom of a pot or the good ol’ casserole dish  and throw in the onions, letting them soften, but avoid browning them, so a low heat is good. Add the lentils (you can use any type, the family is a little picky so I find they like the split red lentils more than other types) and stir, coating all the lentils in a little oil.

stir to cover veg and lentils with a little of the oil

Throw in the carrots and celery chopped into bit size pieces, this is a nice chunky soup, so you need some chunky veg in there. Then peel and chop the sweet potatoe and butternut squash as well and pop them in the pot too. Stir and let it all cook for a little minute. Then add the garlic, crushed, and the root ginger, grated.

Add the spices, I like my spices and to quote my mother “the balance is just right here” – so 1 tablespoon of cumin, 2 1/2 teaspoons of tumeric and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

ginger, cinnamon, cumin, tumeric, garlic

Then add 1 liter of stock, I used chicken, but go veggie if you’d prefer.  Then I added a can of chopped tomatoes, or blitzed whole ones.

a can of chopped tomatoes

Cook until it all reduces and the squash and sweet potatoe is soft. The lentils add great body and texture to the soup.

let it reduce

We served it with a lime, avocado, tomatoe, mustard seed salsa and a cucumber, garlic, yoghurt thing. And a bit of naan bread. Kind of reinforcing the curry, rather than soup vibe.

Nom

Maybe you guys can decide if its a curry or a soup?

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The Simple Salad

I find during the summer (and I suppose generally throughout the year) that there is nothing like a well made salad – I have a problem with ready made to eat packets of salads as they never taste fresh and tend to spoil very quickly. We always have loads of veg in the fridge so a good selection is key to the makings of a great salad.

Onion – I love spring onions in a salad. Some people don’t but I think they add too it.

Nothing like a Spring Onion in your salad

Peppers – are an essential to my salads, again some people don’t like them and people often like to say its not good for their gut, but I don’t buy it. The yellow, orange and red ones are sweet, while the ominous green ones are quite bitter. If you really have a problem with the green ones in a salad, keep them for ratatouille or soup.

Bulkers – fibre is great and there is nothing like those funny veg that many people complain about. I LOVE LOVE LOVE celery, although most in my family complain about it being tasteless, like cucumber. I don’t believe a word of it! Celery has this fresh crunch, that adds great texture to a salad and cucumber while also fresh has a softer more moist crunch to it. So they may be bulkers, but they are great! And don’t underestimate the importance of the fibre!

Peppers, Celery, Cucumber

Tomatoes – I like having a nice selection of tomatoes, the normal round little red ones (moneymaker), those wonderful tiny plum tomatoes and I have a bit of a thing for the little yellow tomatoes, which are hard to find, but add some nice colour to any salad!

Tomatoe Selection

Lettuce – the key to any salad is the lettuce; we often have a selection handy. Good ol’ iceberg lettuce and round lettuce  are the standards. I have an obsession with lamb’s lettuce since I was a kid <- so it always goes in, as does rocket which has a lovely peppery taste to it. Romaine or cos is that nice crunchy one that caesar salad’s always use. Chicory is one of my absolute favourites and those brown leaf ones are always in our salads because mom insists.

Lettuce Galore

I’m on a low carb diet at the moment – which means I have to cut down on the high carbohydrate veg, like carrots, parnsips, turnips, celeriac, peas etc. What I’d normally do though is add a cup of corn to a salad and a couple handfuls of grated carrot.

Delicious.

Om Nom Mixed Salad

Don’t forget a dressing, 2/5 balsamic vinegar, 3/5 olive oil, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of a mustard of your choice. Bottle, shake, serve.

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