Tag Archives: cumin

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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Nomni Burgers

Burgers are one of those super staple foods for family, make in bulk and use straight away or freeze for one of those awfully busy weeks! With the summer coaxing us into the garden, burgers are also handy once the BBQ is cleaned and ready to go. I am a big fan of big flavours and well seasoned burgers. There’s nothing worse than a poor quality beef ground into a paste and shaped – I like good fresh minced beef, lots of spices and some onion to give extra texture to the burgers.

Grab your mince and pop it into a bowl. Get 1-2 onions (depending on your love for onion) chop it up and brown in a little oil. Add one heaped tablespoon of mustard seeds to the browning onion.

Beat an egg and pop in on to the mince. Squeeze some tomatoe puree in as well. And don’t forget a good grind of pepper and a pinch of salt.

My personal favourites for the spices are cumin seed (ground works too), ground coriander  (I wouldn’t use coriander seed, too big and not nice to bite down on), fennel seed and some sort of hot spice; paprika or chili flakes. In this one I was cooking for friends, and one guest didn’t like hot food, so I added a teaspoon of Pimenton (a very mild smoked paprika).

Roll up your sleeves and get the hands ready to squish and squidge until the mixture is homologous (What’s the cooking terminology for that?). Uniform? Mixed well?

Shape and Cook. Serve as you serve burgers, homemade brown bread buns, chunky guacamole and spicy tomatoe salsa. It”s heavenly getting the odd crunchy mustard seed and a rare hint of fennel. Nom nom nom.

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