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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

The Palin's Travels Cookbook by mrsteabag on 9 November 2009 12:53am
Hey, we have the joke book going, so why not the cookbook, too?
Lovely Lemony Lentil Soup
Saute 1 diced carrot, 1 diced stalk of celery, 1/2 small onion and some garlic in olive oil in a good sized pot. When onion is translucent, add 1/2 cup dry lentils and 1 quart water or broth, salt and pepper, and a couple of bay leaves. Let simmer for 1.5 hours. Near the end of cooking time, in a separate pot, saute some more garlic in olive oil and dry cumin to taste until garlic is soft and cumin loses its raw taste. Add to lentils with juice of 1/2 a lemon--taste and add more if needed. May serve over cooked rice.
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by sighthound on 9 November 2009 1:10am
Mmmmmm, sounds delicious.

Since the weather is turning cold (except for kazzzz and the others in her part of the world), it's definitely a time for soups. Here's another one which is really simple to make:


Break up a head of cauliflower into a soup pot. Add enough good chicken broth to cover it. (Or you can use a really rich vegetable broth if you want to keep it vegetarian.)

Add a handful or two (depending how rich you want it to be) of ROASTED cashews and simmer until the cashews are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Let it cool a bit and then take a hand blender to the soup, still in the pot, and blend it until it is very smooth (or you can use a regular blender or food processor if you don't have a hand (wand) blender. But get a hand blender - they're great....)

This makes an very "creamy" soup. The "mouth feel" makes you think it's loaded with heavy cream but there is no dairy in it. You can vary the amount of roasted cashews you use to make it more or less "creamy".

And people who hate cauliflower LOVE this soup (as long as you don't tell them beforehand that it has cauliflower in it.)
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by bIG bLOGGER on 9 November 2009 2:49pm
Good idea,Fran!
Do you also have nice recipe for pumpkin soup--I am seeing quite a few orange pumpkins in the shops at the moment.
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by mrsteabag on 10 November 2009 7:55pm
Pumpkin soup? Certainly.
It could be done one of two ways. If you use canned pumpkin, start out with the base of garlic, celery, carrot, and onion, add broth or cider and bay leaves,let it simmer for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors, then add the canned pumpkin and let simmer for a bit longer. Salt and pepper to taste, and perhaps a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche for good measure.
If you want to use a fresh pumpkin or winter squash, cut it in half, scoop out the stringy stuff and seeds, then bake cut side down at 350 (gas mark for moderate) for about an hour or until it's nice and soft. Measure out 2 cups of the flesh, puree in blender or food processor and add to the cider et al mix. Season w/ salt and pepper and again, don't forget the sour cream.
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by kazzzz on 10 November 2009 9:51pm
With pumpkin soup I always put an orange in, just cut in half, in the cooking process, you wouldn't believe what a difference it makes! I learnt that little trick from Mum :)
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by Ken Dunn on 11 November 2009 5:13pm
Great idea mrsteabag. I'm sure my wife will probably start contributing to palinstravels because of this thread.
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by Lounge Trekker on 13 November 2009 1:13am
Great thread, Fran!

Green Curry Coconut Chicken

chicken stock
coconut milk
pureed basil
pureed mint
part of a washed lemon including peel
red and green chillies to taste
butternut squash chopped medium
potato chopped medium
serve on rice with bean sprouts

This is my own product when trying for a Thai-type dish. I found it to be excellent, and for my taste, the more chillies the better. A chunk of lemon including the rind tastes nice, and is edible if you simmer it until the potato is cooked.

Sorry to have not given measurements but use this as a guide: approximately equal parts chicken stock and coconut milk; approximately equal parts basil and mint; if you use a cup of chicken stock, use about 1/4 lemon cut fine; use lots of garlic.

Lounge Gourmet
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by johnnythemonkey on 13 November 2009 11:07am
You should open a restaurant Pete ! You seem to have a great passion for food.
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by kazzzz on 13 November 2009 11:09am
That's a great recipe for sure Pete, Im gonna try that one out :)
Re: The Palin's Travels Cookbook by sighthound on 15 November 2009 10:06pm
More on Pumpkin Soup

Nugget, my wonderful locavore market, just had this recipe posted above their sugar pumpkins. (Not all pumpkins are created equal; some are only suitable for Jack-0-Lanterns.)

Cut one small pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut-side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees (F) for about 1 hour or until the flesh is soft. (Note from G: an hour at 400 seems a bit excessive to me. Check for done-ness.) Allow pumpkin to cool then peel and chop.

In an 8-quart pot, saute 1 diced medium onion in 2 tbls, butter until translucent, Add 2 minced garlic cloves and saute just two minutes. Add pumpkin, 4 cups chicken broth, 1 cup orange juice, 1 tbl. thyme (Another note from G: this wasn't specified as fresh or dried. I think that 1 tbl of dried would be over-kill. Given Nugget's proclivities, I'd assume that this means fresh thyme.), 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp allspice, 2 tbls maple syrup, 3/4 cup dry white wine. Bring to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Process in a blender or with a hand blender until totally smooth. (3rd Note from G: God, I love hand blenders!!!) Season with salt and pepper to taste and add 1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half if you are concerned about calories) and remove from heat. Serve hot or chilled, garnished with fresh thyme sprigs and a dollop of creme fraiche. Enjoy.
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