I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hurry, curry

OK so it's not curry, it's curried carrot soup. Curried carrot and potato soup to be exact, and I ate every drop.

Even though it was a pinch too hot on the first go round (leave out the cayenne pepper if you're only a moderate/medium heat lover, like me), this was really good. Summer soups don't have to be cold, but they've got to be fast.

This is great with naan, my new favorite carb (see previous post).

Curried Carrot and Potato Soup

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. Earth Balance margarine
1 medium onion, chopped (use a sweet one if you've got it)
2 cloves garlic, minced (more as desired)
1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 lb.), such as Yukon Gold
6 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbs. Madras curry powder, or other favorite curry
¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ cup cilantro leaves, minced, plus whole leaves for garnish (optional)

Preheat at least a 4 quart pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil through potatoes and saute 5 or 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth and seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Using a hand blender, blend until soup is smooth and carrots are fully pureed. Or place in a blender in batches and puree until smooth (this method will yield a silkier result). Return to the pan. Correct seasonings to taste, and stir in cilantro leaves, if using. Garnish individual servings as desired.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tomato topics

Another in what will probably be a long line of pizza posts (pizza being my favorite vegetable). Flatbreads are becoming more popular for pizza bases 'round here as the summer rolls along, and the new favorite for topping is naan, or as it is described on the package from a local Asian grocery, Tandori Nan.

It's not all that far removed from being a pita, which has always been my go-to for a quickie lunch, but it is a bit thicker and sturdier (Hand Stretched for Fluffiness! cries the package) and less likely to become a cracker. Plus it's kind of shaped like a slipper which is more fun than round. Don't ask me why.

I used a 14 oz. can of tomatoes with diced chilies, as tomatoes have not hit their stride here yet, a can of tomato paste, a tablespoon of olive oil, and the usual suspects for seasonings (Italian, minced garlic, minced onion, sugar, and salt). The chilies gave it a proper kick, but if there were rugrats clamoring to be fed I think I would have stuck with plain ol' diced tomatoes, as the chilies might have been too zingy. Topped it with a generous handful of Teese vegan mozzarella, which didn't really melt a lot here, but that could be because the top element in the toaster oven is burned out.

Melted or not, it was down the hatch long before I got the jpeg open for editing. I think Tandoori Nan is about to become a staple- sorry my little pita friends. Now to dig up that recipe I saved a while back for homemade...

Speaking of tomatoes. There are lots of flowers but I don't think any fruits yet. Largely due to someone having a rather nonchalant schedule about planting. But oh well no worries cause most of them are indeterminate so they will be producing for a long time. As much as tomato plants can produce when they are only getting a couple hours of sun a day, anyway.

Update 7/12/09: Yes there were fruits! Just really tiny at the time. They are little green marbles now, and I believe we will have redness by the end of the month.