A few months after it hit the newsstands, Cindy and I finally grabbed a copy of The Saturday Paper for a lazy weekend browse. Alongside the in-depth articles on the various ways that the Abbott Government is destroying Australia and the excellent arts coverage was a nice little food section, featuring recipes from Andrew McConnell (of Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc and elsewhere).
The theme for this wintery week was soups - we skipped the chestnut, celeriac and cabbage soup recipe and focussed on McConnell's curry soup. The recipe included a big pile of mussels, but we were assured in the text that it was just as good mussel-free, so we swapped in a can of chickpeas and garnished with a few fried mushrooms instead (we also left out the butter to keep things vegan). Once you chop up all the pumpkin it's a very straightforward recipe and the end result is loaded with spicy-sweet flavours from the array of aromatics that are simmered in. The chickpeas were an okay addition, but next time I might try to think of something a bit chunkier to take the place of the mussels - I feel like some big potato cubes or diced mock-meat would work well. This is definitely a good base for a spicy winter soup - we'll report back on any future experimenting we do.
(adapted from this recipe in The Saturday Paper)
1 onion, diced finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 red birdseye chillies, sliced finely
4cm piece of ginger, chopped finely
410g can of chopped tomatoes
600g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
1L veggie stock + an extra 250ml or so of water
410g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 makrut lime leaves
15 curry leaves
2cm chunk of ginger
2cm chunk of galangal
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon garam masala (we'd run out, so I made up my own with a mix of ground mace, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and nutmeg)
400ml can of coconut milk
Heat the olive oil in a big saucepan and throw in the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli, cooking for 5 or 10 minutes, until everything is soft and the onion has gone a bit golden.
Add the tomatoes, pumpkin, stock, turmeric and the extra water. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Attack the mix with a stick blender until you've managed to turn all the pumpkin and onion pieces into a relatively smooth paste (if you've got a real blender you can transfer the soup and do it properly)
Throw in all the aromatics and simmer again, for about 10 minutes. Fish out the ginger and galangal chunks as well as the lime and curry leaves and then stir in the chickpeas, cooking for another 5 minutes or so.