Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Salmon, Cumin and Coriander soup

We don’t eat a lot of fish in our house, mainly because I am the only one that relly likes it. So when we do have fish it either comes in batter from the fish and chip shop or I will spice it up a bit - there is a lovely fish curry in Appetite by Nigel Slater. Mostly though it is just me that gets a sudden craving for fishyness and so I’ll make something just for myself for lunch perhaps.
This recipe is a bit of both, a mildly spiced soup made for my lunch. Fresh salmon would have been nice but I am at home all achy and headachy with a virus and didn’t have the energy to go out, so tinned salmon it was.

- Start by finely slicing a small onion and a clove of garlic and gently fry until translucent.
- Add the spices, half a teaspoon each of ground cumin, ground coriander and chilli flakes. Follow that with a teaspoon of cumin seeds and the same of black mustard seeds. Allow to fry gently for a few minutes, just relax and enjoy the aroma . . .
- Turn the heat back up and pour in half a pint of vegetable stock ( I like Rapunzel organic vegetable boullion because I always make it half strength) simmer gently for a few more minutes to blend the flavours together .
- Now take the soup off the heat and allow to cool a little, then pour in one of those tiny tins of coconut milk (165ml).
- Open a small tin of salmon, pour off the oil or water and add the chunks to the soup discarding any bones or skin as you go.
- Reheat again gently until nce and warm but do not allow to boil because the coconut milk might go all bitty and the salmon will break up into a mush. (if it did I would probably blend the whole lot smooth and serve it anyway!)
- Serve with some chopped coriander leaves scattered over.

Because it was just for myself the quantities here are reduced - this amount will just serve two people one bowl each, or in my case two bowls for me and several spoonfuls out of the saucepan for Nicola who just arrived back from work as I was reheating it.


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Fresh Tomato soup

Born and brought up as I was in the 60’s, tomato soup for me has always come from a can. And even recipes I have tried have that same thick creamyness to them. But it does not have to be. Tomatoes are after all a fruit - you can eat them raw, and it is quite easy to quickly put together a simple fresh tomato soup. Like this one . . .

- Peel and chop a small onion and a clove of garlic into smallish pieces.
- Put them in a saucepan in a little olive oil over a low heat and cook gently until the onion goes translucent.
- Meanwhile peel some tomatoes (I used 7 biggish ones)- make a small cross shaped cut at the end oppsite the stalk end, put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over to cover them. Leave them a few minutes then take out of the water and the skin should easiliy peel off.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes, you could remove the seeds at this point but I never do, I just cut out and remove the tougher stalk parts.
- Put the tomatoes into the saucepan along with maybe 3/4 of a pint of vegetable stock and a small handfull of chopped parsley.
- Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the tomato breaks down, 15 minutes or so.

And that is all there is to it. Serve with some more chopped parsley and a generous sprinkling of coursely ground black pepper.

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