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Monday, 23 March 2009


So I've finished up at work and the nesting instinct has kicked in big time. When I'm not wolfing down cakes and chocolate, I'm reorganising the kitchen cupboards, cleaning out the oven and making frozen dinners. All the pregnancy books say to do this, and I think it's probably a good idea. I decide to make my favourite pumpkin curry and two easy soups, which I know will provide comfort in times of no sleep and stress.


What you need
2 big butternut squash
peanut oil (olive oil is OK too)
1 big tbsp mustard seeds
4 cloves garlic, crushed
bunch of basil
1 can of coconut milk
sesame oil

The do
Chop the pumpkin into large chunks (I prefer to leave the skin on because it adds a nutty quality and helps the pumpkin keep its shape).
Pour a good lug of peanut oil into a baking tray and toss the pumpkin until well coated, season with a decent sprinkling of salt then roast for around 30-45 minutes until browned and soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a wide pot or deep fry pan, heat a few tablespoons of peanut oil on a medium to high heat, and add a tablespoon of mustard seeds. When they start popping, add the garlic, fry for a minute, then empty the contents of the baking tray into the pan. Continue frying on medium heat for a few minutes, taking care not to manhandle the pumpkin too much as it will break down a lot as it cooks. Add the can of coconut and turn the heat down to a simmer. Add sea salt to taste. Cook until desired consistency is reached; if it is too thick add some boiling water. Stir through a bunch of ripped basil leaves and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve with rice or roti. You can also add crushed peanuts on top for textural difference.


What you need
1 bag of frozen peas (approx 800-900g)
a handful of mint
1 onion chopped
2 teaspoons of marigold bouillon powder
1 tablespoon double cream (omit for dairy-free option)

The do
In a pot, fry onions for a few minutes in some olive oil. Empty peas into the pot, add water until just covered and add stock powder. Bring to boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn heat off. Add mint and walnuts and blitz in the blender. Stir in the cream (you can leave this out if you like) add salt and pepper to taste.


What you need
1 kg of carrots, chopped in 2cm chunks
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
2 onions, diced
2 teaspoons of marigold bouillon powder

The do
Fry the onions in a pot with some olive oil for 3 minutes then add the spices and fry on low heat for 1 minute. Throw in the carrots and add boiling water until carrots are just covered. Add stock powder. Slow boil until carrots are soft then blitz with hand blender or blender. Serve with fresh coriander on top.

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