Tag Archives: cinnamon

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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Red Cabbage, Like the In-Law German Granny Does

Red cabbage nom

There was this odd head of red-cabbage sitting in the fridge for a good while, so I decided I had to do something with it. We happened to have a ham too and what’s better than a glazed ham (Neven Maguire’s recipe is amazing, we used this at Christmas!), mash potatoes and some red cabbage. So I gave it a bash.

80g of butter into the bottom of the casserole dish, with the head of red cabbage chopped into small strips/slices. Soften the cabbage, stirring every so often, until the blue-ish red colouring is staining all the cabbage. Then add three chopped apples, (we genuinely had no apples in the house), so I added a small bottle of apple puree I had made ages ago (for pork!).

Butter and a Head of Red Cabbage

Sweat it out, add wine, cider vinegar and stock

Then add 500ml of red wine, 75ml of cider vinegar, 400ml of stock (I used ham stock, but stock of your choice works too!) and 200ml of red current jelly.

Delicous

Cook under tender. Then add another 75ml of cider vinegar.

Spices at the ready

Finally sprinkle a teaspoon of ground cloves, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and three juniper berries into the pot. Stir well to get the spice everywhere. Then add 6 tablespoons of sugar and stir well.

Add the caster sugar

Cook until sauce is reduced and all the cabbage is soft and looks like it would just go SO well with a small bowel of steaming mashed potatoe.

Reduce the sauce

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Stained Glass Gingerbread

My mother ordered me to make these, because “she saw it done on TV” – I later found out it was inspired by Lorraine Pascale‘s  edible christmas tree decorations.

Whip up a batch of gingerbread, as I did last week and cut in to large shapes, I used hearts and circles. Then use a smaller cookie cutter and cut out the centre of the piece and place on a baking tray.

Gingerbread Cutting

Get your hands on some hard sugar based sweets, and as my mother advised my girlfriend “bash the hell out of them, while imagining it’s someone you dislike”. Our house was/is never peaceful!

Candy to Crush

Fill the centre of the gingerbread dough with roughly a table spoon of crushed sweets and pop them in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 180 Degrees Celcius.

Filling the  Gingerbread Window

Make sure to let them cool on the tray, as taken them off early could be a burning hot gloopy mess. And don’t put them anywhere too cold, because the sugar will crack!

Cook my little pretties

Serve to little hungry children – (support the dentists’ businesses.)

Done and ready to Nom

Stained Glass Gingerbread

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