All posts tagged: soup

Thai coconut mussel and kumara chowder

This post was made possible thanks to Trident. To win a year’s supply of Trident products including their popular chilli sauces, noodles, coconut cream and milk, upload a photo of your own sweet chilli creation to their Facebook page here. Need a recipe to inspire you? Read on… Back when I was a poor uni student, I indulged in mussels as a culinary upgrade from instant noodles. I would steam a kilo of mussels in a pot, add a little sweet chill sauce and coconut cream and serve with bread to mop up the juices. It was a treat. Delicious. Affordable. Minimal effort. Sweet chilli sauce goes so well with mussels and ever since, I’ve kept sweet chilli sauce on hand as a pantry staple. NZ green-lipped mussels are giant compared to other mussels. Some are as large as my hand…though I admit, I have quite small hands. Because they are so big, they have enough strength to hold tightly to their beards making them hard to pull out. My hack is to remove the …

Pumpkin Soup for Pumpkin Haters

I know I sound childish and not at all like a sophisticated foodie when I say, “I hate pumpkin”. Maybe hate is too strong a word, but I have a strong dislike for it. Whenever we get roast dinner takeaways (best hangover food) I transfer my pumpkin pieces onto The Koala’s plate. The Koala loves pumpkin so he accepts it happily. I say pumpkin, you say squash Before I go further, I should mention that here in New Zealand, we call all things in the squash and pumpkin family simply, “pumpkin”. So when I say, “I hate pumpkin“, elsewhere, I would say, “I hate squash“. Anyway, I know it’s good for you and when it’s in season, it’s everywhere. Since The Koala loves pumpkin and pumpkin soup, and since pumpkins keep appearing in our Foodbox, I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin soup recipes. This recipe is for the pumpkin haters among us. Spices I’ve used garam masala and cinnamon, feel free to also try turmeric and ground coriander. Spices make pumpkin palatable. A little cream doesn’t hurt either. …

1 pâté, 18 cheeses and 3 soups

Cheesey leftovers We had quite the cheese fest in the weekend and ended up with 7 different kinds of cheese leftover. Leftover cheese!? What is that? I hear you ask. I know, it sounds strange to be the owner of leftover cheese. To be fair, we sampled 18 different kinds of cheese and most of them were finished. I’ll be posting more about the cheese fest later. We had a shit ton of crackers, baguettes and antipasto bits and pieces. I made 3 cups of chicken liver pâté for the occasion and have a little leftover. It is amazing spread on hot toast. If you’ve never eaten pâté on hot toast before, you are missing out. The moment that buttery goodness touches heat, it starts melting. It’s amazing. The Honest Truth This week The Honesty Box delivered spuds, kumara (sweet potato) and a big pumpkin among other goodies. This all screams SOUP to me. Since we had no soup last week, this week we’re having 3 kinds of soup! I’m cutting down on gluten for my Graves’ …

More mushrooms!

Another lovely box from The Honesty Box this week. It’s inspiring to get this bounty delivered to our door each week. I figure it’s not laziness, it’s making sure there’s plenty of nutritious stuff to eat each week. This is a better variety than I could have picked myself. The Koala and I were both impressed at the thoughtfully paper-bagged mushrooms. They arrived in perfect condition. We had two of them with dinner on the first night. Seasonal things come in fours, apparently: 4 portobello mushrooms 4 tamarillo 4 feijoa Delighted with yet another avocado. These things are having a long season this year and these tomatoes are still as good as in summer. Still, I’m finally carrying a jacket most days so soup weather is upon us. Here’s a guide to what we’re eating this week: BREAKFAST Porridge with sliced banana, chia and maple Fejioa and banana muffins and a steaming mug of tea Breakfast burrito with beans, scrambled egg, mushroom and guacamole Banana yogurt smoothie Turmeric and herb tomatoes on toast   LUNCH Chickpea, tomato …

The Honesty Box Menu 2

Another well thought-out box from The Honesty Box. This is what our 11kg of produce is being turned into this week. The Honesty Box Menu 2 Items in bold are from The Honesty Box Porterhouse steak with The Koala’s fried potatoes and broccoli with cheese sauce Creamy scrambled eggs with spinach, garlic, thyme, onion with Swiss-style cheese on toast Deviled sausages with onion, kiwifruit and apple. Served on potato pumpkin mash with steamed broccoli Beetroot and Chevre (soft goats cheese) risotto with fresh thyme and lemon slice (pictured) Pumpkin and rosemary soup with soft buttered bread rolls Spicy chicken nibbles with pumpkin and rosemary wedges Braised beef, carrot and beetroot with star anise, cinnamon and soy. Served on rice Smoked salmon and spinach fettuccine with garlic parmesan butter sauce Cheeseburgers with beef patties, red onion, beetroot, avocado and wasabi mayo Sangria (with fruit)

The Honest Box Menu 1

Since the success of my first pulled pork, I’m doing another twice the size this week with plenty of leftovers to play with. The Koala does not mind one bit! This week we received a whole pumpkin from our F&V small box from The Honesty Box. Sharing a 2.4kg pumpkin between two means  it features heavily in this week’s menu. I’m not a fan of pumpkin but I know what I like and as long as it’s cooked with plenty of aromatic spices I’m good to go. The pouch of herbs will be thrown willy nilly into soups and stews. The Honesty Box Menu 1 Items in bold are from The Honesty Box. Orange pulled pork with smashed garlic, onion and bay leaves Pulled pork rolls with lettuce, red onion and sour cream Pulled Pork Tortillas (see notes below) Rice noodles with pulled pork and broccoli Spiced Pumpkin and kumara soup with smoked cheddar toasties Pumpkin and chickpea curry with garlic, onion and tomato paste. Served on rice with a dollop of sour cream Sirloin steak medium rare …

NATURALLY ORGANIC MENU 3

We didn’t receive a lot of vegetables in our Naturally Organic this week so our meal plan reflects this. Hope to stretch a few meals so we can have leftovers for lunch but it might not happen. Plenty of fruit to snack on this week though! Naturally Organic Menu 3 Items in bold are from our Naturally Organic box. Hoisin pulled pork with apple slaw on floury baps (pictured) Chicken and leek soup with garlic butter toast Bangers and mash with kiwi caramalised onions (see recipe below) with sautéed garlic silverbeet Spicy udon with beef, onion, egg and cabbage, topped with pinenuts Pumpkin and silverbeet curry with home made roti Orange roasted chicken drumsticks with pumpkin and carrot Apple hand pies with butterscotch sauce and ice cream Butterscotch and banana smoothie I’d like to share a quickie recipe with you that I whip out for bangers and mash occasions. Call it a lazyman’s chutney. It’s chunky and delicious. The flavours of caramalised onion, kiwi and butter work really well together and this would be great with steak, sausages, chops or chicken. This …

Naturally Organic Menu 2

We had one of those weekends where you divide up your day into two-hour slots so you can get everything done. I attended Creative Mornings last Friday and witnessed the entertaining magic of Otis and Sarah Frizzell’s taco truck adventure. Inspirational stuff. When you look upon their setbacks, I think most sane people would have quit long ago. I learned that sheep scrotums taste like bacon. Considering how many sheep we have in this country, perhaps this is a largely untapped market? On Saturday The Koala and I happened to chance upon The Lucky Taco in Ponsonby so we shared four tacos and their flagship rice milk drink. I tried not to fan-girl too hard, I popped my head in the side door and maybe I gushed. Hopefully, Sarah and Otis were too busy to notice. I met up with my friend Vanessa to help her set up a blog and she sent me home with a gang of lemons from her tree. I’m super excited this week to play with the lovely delivery from …

Tomato Soup

It’s been raining all weekend and we spent a hungover day holed up at home, wrapped in blankets, watching movies and feeling pathetic. It’s not super cold yet, but when you are feeling fragile, comfort is priority. Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches was just the ticket – pretty easy to make and to eat. I always have canned tomatoes in the pantry. I buy 3 to 4 cans at a time because one brand or another will have a special deal on. Canned tomatoes are a handy base for pasta dishes, nachos, stews and more recently, tomato soup. In terms of equipment, you really need 1 large saucepan and a stick blender. You can use a regular blender if that’s all you have. I would use 1/2 a cup of milk minimum. If you’re prefer a bit more milk or even full fat cream, go for it! Tomato Soup Serves 4 Ingredients 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 onion 1 clove garlic 2 cans of canned whole or diced tomatoes (400 grams/14.5oz each) 1 can of …

Autumn is the best.

Autumn is the best. I relish the crisp air, warm scarves and feijoa laden trees. Green leaves turn to red. Red wine replaces cold beer. Comfort food replaces chilled food. I’ve been feeling a little run down this week and my clothes have been feeling a little taut. You know, when your skinny jeans feel a tad too skinny and you worry what might happen to the shape of your middle when you attempt to sit down. I’m sure it is just the change of season and I’ll accuse daylight savings of lighting trickery. Before we dive into comfort food territory, I think it’s a good opportunity to revisit some of my favourite blog recipes. Light and bright food porn to tickle your fancy. For those heading into spring, this should be good inspirational fodder for you too. All thumbnails jump to relevant posts.

Cauliflower Soup

This cauliflower soup was quick to make and well received at our house. Being fairly restrained on the ingredient list means that you can really taste each of the flavours. Get a good caramelisation going in the pan before you add water to intensify the flavours. This soup is perfect with  garlic butter toast or fresh buttered rolls. Cauliflower Soup Ingredients 1/2 a head of cauliflower 2 potatoes 3 cloves of garlic 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar 2 bay leaves 4 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 rashers streaky bacon (omit for vegetarian version) 1 cup of milk 2 teaspoons sour cream Preparation Cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Peel and cut the potatoes into 3cm chunks. Heat the olive oil in a hot pan and add the cauliflower and potatoes. I wouldn’t use a pot as you don’t want to overcrowd the vegetables, but you could cook in batches if you prefer. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan with the brown sugar and salt. Resist …

Make French Onion Soup

I’ve always wanted to try French Onion Soup. I guess it’s the golden cheese and toast topping that sets it apart from other soups. It always looks so rustic and lovely and caramalised onions are delicious so I added it to my to do list at the start of this winter. This winter has not gone well. I’ve been sick for six weeks so far with a cold and then a nasty, lingering cough. As much as I love hibernating in winter, I prefer the choice of hibernation. I jokingly call this quarantine, but I’d trade all these days off work to be well again. I get chest and back pains if I sit or lie a certain way, or strain my chest muscles the tiniest bit. I feel pathetic. I can’t open tight jars, I can’t cut pumpkin or kumara, I can’t fill the kettle to the top and carry it two steps to it’s spot away from the sink, I can’t reach up to get things out of high shelves, I can’t lift a roast …

Make Tom Yum

I made this bowl of Tom Yum Gai for one at the Siam Rice Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, so you’ll have to pay them a visit if you want the exact recipe. Tom Yum (or Tom Yam) soup is the hot and sour soup of Northern Thailand and Laos and I first got hooked on this spicy broth back in my student days. We were flatting on K Rd, with a pretty good Thai place just a few doors down at Lim Chhour Food Court. Cash poor but still wanting to eat something with punchy flavours and actual nutrition (instant Mee Goreng and Yum Yum noodles can only take a girl so far) Tom Yum with tofu and vegetables plus a box of steamed rice cost $7 all up. Tom Yum and many other Thai soups and dishes feature 8 fragrant ingredients: Lime juice Kaffir lime leaves Galangal (Thai ginger) Lemongrass Chili (Bird’s eye chili) Palm sugar Spring onion and coriander (cilantro) Fish sauce Fish sauce is a key ingredient in Thai …

Make A Chowder (Salmon Head and Mussel Chowder)

Salmon. I love it raw. I love it cooked. I love it smoked. I love it poached. I love it pan fried. I love it baked. I love it steamed. It is creamy, fishy and super rich. Everything I’ve read says that salmon makes too strong a stock. I’m not afraid of a strong fish stock, but if a strong stock makes you queasy, this recipe is not for you. I’ve wanted to make a chowder for the longest time and a quiet, Autumn weekend at home last month was a good time for it. You can easily spend too much on seafood for a chowder. Sure, it will be delicious, but what about making a delicious chowder using cheaper ingredients? I picked up 2 salmon heads for cheap at my local asian market. Fish heads are usually cheap and I’ve been eyeing these up for a while now, wondering what to do with them. To prepare, make sure the gills are removed – they usually are. Cut the fins off with a pair of …

Spiced Carrot & Coconut Soup

With the amount of eating over the last 7 days, I’ve been craving some simple vegetable dishes. I had half a loaf of Blackwoods Bakeries focaccia from the weekend and my parents had just given me a big bag of carrots. What started off as a pauper’s dinner got fancy real quick. Don’t let the carrots full* fool you. This is a rich and satisfying soup. *Edit: Wow, genuine Freudian slip. Spiced Carrot & Coconut Soup Dinner for 2 or a starter for 4. Ingredients 5 carrots 3/4 can coconut cream 3 cups stock (I used chicken but use vegetable if vegetarian) 1 teaspoon green curry paste (check if vegetarian) 1 tablespoon olive oil Sage garnish  *Use vegetable stock if you want to make this vegan or vegetarian Preparation Chop the ends off the carrots and cut into bite sized rounds. I didn’t see any point in peeling these ones, it’s up to you. In a large pot, quickly brown the carrots in olive oil. Add the green curry paste and stir through. Add stock, bring to …

Overeat at a Steamboat

For those who are unfamiliar with this style of cooking, a brief introduction: Steamboat begins with simmering stock to cook a range of raw (or pre-cooked) ingredients at the table. Everyone at the table participates and take turns fishing out their cooked treats. Various sauces are used for dipping. Personally, I prefer a beaten raw egg with a little oil, soy sauce and chili. The egg helps to cool the food so that you can eat it fairly quickly. Other names include hot pot or Chinese fondue. Many different cuisines have a variation of this and are known as Shabu shabu in Japan, Thai suki in Thailand and Lẩu in Vietnam. It’s easy to overeat at a steamboat because you never really know how much you have eaten. So you cook a piece and eat a piece until you can’t do it any more. Steamboat is usually a big social affair and with lots of people, there are usually lots of different dishes. This time it was just my parents, sister and The Koala and …

How to deal with 60+ types of New Zealand seafood

The Greatest Meal On Earth website has a handy table on New Zealand fish. All the basics about 60+ local seafoods including characteristics of the meat and how to cook each kind. If you come across an unfamiliar fish at the fish markets you can count on this table to tell you what to do with it. I especially like how you can sort by each of the categories. For example, you can choose to view all local seafoods that are eaten raw. There are 16 of them and of those, there is only 1 seafood that is not cooked at all. That would be kina. A Ruby is not a jewel. The other day at the fish shop, I spied some pretty looking Ruby fillets. I’ve never cooked Ruby before and I didn’t know what to do with it. Lucky for me the table recommends: Poach, Smoke, Steam, Bake, BBQ, Casserole, Fry. Which pretty much means I can do whatever the hell I want with it except eat it raw. So I pan fried …

How to make Chinese Soup

I grew up with a bowl of Chinese soup before dinner. Chinese soup is a clear broth full of nourishing goodies. The Chinese love their soup and many Chinese families make a healthy brew to enjoy every day. These soups not only nourish, but are prized for properties such as clear skin, healing, cooling, warming as well as many herbal and medicinal ingredients which all have their uses. A happy home is a Chinese soup home. Chinese believe in daily soup to prevent illness while the West often serves soup to cure illness. I’ve been craving Chinese soup this autumn and when I found out that The Koala also loves Chinese soup, I started planning my first Chinese soup. There is a whole aisle of dried soup packs at my local Chinese supermarket, but apparently you only really need these if you want to make a medicinal or herbal soup. Dried ingredients for soup are really cheap at just a few dollars each so it’s ok to experiment without having to squint at your bank balance. …

Cabbage soup with meatballs and duck stock

Autumn weather is in full force and we’ve brushed the cobwebs off the hot water bottles and have been snuggling up to them in bed. The heater hasn’t made it’s debut yet, but in an old villa, it won’t be long. We had Peking Duck on Sunday at Canton Cafe and I took the duck carcass home. I remember when we ate Peking Duck in Beijing, the duck carcass was taken home to make soup. So I figured I would boil up the bones and make a rich duck stock to form a soup base. Cabbage soup with meatballs and duck stock Soup Ingredients 1.5 cups soup mix (pearl barley, yellow split peas, green split peas, red lentils) Quarter of a large cabbage 1 tablespoon of oil 5 potatoes Duck stock 1 duck carcass (meat removed for another meal) Meatball Ingredients 500g beef mince 1 tablespoon ground chilli seasoning* Salt Half an onion, finely chopped Half a cup of breadcrumbs 1 egg, beaten 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce Preparation In a large pot, heat the oil …

Delicious Vietnam: Eating In The Old Quarter, Hanoi

Before our epic SE Asia holiday, I had read a few  blogs to inspire my appetite. One of the best was A Food Lover’s Journey by Ahn in Melbourne. Mouthwatering and easily relatable, Ahn is a Vietnamese expat and reading her blog is enough to make anyone crave Vietnamese food. The monthly Delicious Vietnam blogging event conspired by A Food Lover’s Journey and Ravenous Couple was never something I thought I would participate in. When I saw their reminder this month, I realised that it was just about time I wrote about Vietnamese food and our time in Hanoi. Vietnamese food in Auckland There is a lack of Vietnamese restaurants in Auckland, but one of my favourites is Hansan Vietnamese Restaurant. One of those places with cheap, fresh and delicious food, but severely no frills service, my review can be found here. The other Vietnamese place worth mentioning in Auckland is Banh Mi. Who do great filled rolls and all the classic Vietnamese dishes as well. Anticipation “”Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best — ” …