Ahhhh…finally the big kablooi is over and done with and we can return to the rest of our lives! I did, however, score some shiny specific to baking for my efforts, which included two roasting trays (much needed), some nuts and the like, as well as :
tbh I’m not quite sure what to do with the two Le Creuset… holder things…since I like to keep most of my utensils in the drawers, but I might just change my mind and plonk everything into these two shinies. Either way, a solid start to what will hopefully become a L.C. collection. >:) THEN I got the awesome Vegetarian Kitchen cookbook from my sister in law, who is so nifty that she checked that it was South African in origin (which means that all the ingredients are locally available AND the measurements are correct) as well as checking to see that it is surprisingly vegan friendly as well. What a champ! I/”We” also got the lovely everyday vegetarian cookbook from pal Charlene, who bought it before I made my vegan announcement but, again, almost all the recipes are vegan-friendly, and every one that isn’t can easily be converted. Happy days!
In celebration of the thundering storms we’ve been having here in Pretoria, I decided to make a stewy soup in the style of those found in my beloved RPG, Skyrim. Now and again my characters go on a cooking frenzy and the idea of a cabbage apple soup has intrigued me from the get-go. Since the post-xmas larder was a bit bare, I tallied up our ingredients and went shopping this morning for more (which is always accompanied by lots of judging from the man-thing when I naturally veer away from the rigidity of my shopping list and go by smell and imagined taste instead (which, durr!)).
Ingredients: (serves…lots! 7-8)
2 cubes veggie stock dissolved in 8 cups boiling water (that’s the gunk in the white mixing bowl)
half a head of cabbage, shredded (I went for purple/red)
1 apple, diced with peel ON (could have used more, in retrospect)
Can of tomatoes, chopped roughly
2 TBSP tomato paste
half a red pepper…or however much you want!
2 large carrots, sliced
6 baby potatoes, quartered
200g mushrooms, sliced
4 or so leeks, sliced
1 big red onion, diced and sliced
1 1/2 cans beans (I used 1/2 chickpeas & 1 can butter beans)
a few TBSP bran
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
splash apple cider vinegar
smaller splash lemon juice
paprika, tumeric, basil, thyme, salt, pepper, etc
Fry the onion and leeks in a splash of oil in the pot you’ll be using for the soup. Use the biggest pot you have! Once they’ve become soft, add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste/puree and add your spices and herbs, including paprika and the like. I splashed in some cayenne pepper for zazz, since there’s a lot of liquid going on. Let the whole mixture simmer for 4-10 minutes.
Add the stock as well as all your veggies. You can actually add anything you want here, as I did in order to clear out the pantry. Crank the heat up to boiling ( say, 5/6) with the lid slightly tilted and let it roll for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Whilst this is going on you may want to get started on the corn bread – see below(preheat to 180 degrees Celsius!)
After half an hour, smooth back the heat to a simmer and let the concoction go wild for 2 or so hours, again with the lid tilted. I discovered that my lid has a nifty steam hole, which I never knew about before, so I closed it like a champ, but whatever. Stir every 15 or so minutes, or whenever you remember. Towards the end I added the nutritional yeast, bran flakes (not all-bran, as in Nature’s Choice bran) and the apple cider vinegar. I didn’t actually add salt once to the whole thing because I find stock to be salty enough, but if you need to, by all means add it in. I also squished in some lemon juice, just to round off the flavour.
At the beginning it still will look soupy and what not, but after two hours most of the liquid will have gotten sucked into all the veggies (or so I suspect, I claim ignorance re: science!).
Om nom! I liked the half stew-half soup texture, but obviously if one is more hands-on during those two hours then you can easily determine whether you want to add more water or more other stuff.
Healthy corn bread (preheat to 180!)
1 cup water
1 can corn (this turned out to be a tad too much, maybe half a 410g can for the faint-hearted)
2 cups nutty wheat high-fibre flour
2 TBSP baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 TBSP herbs to season (I also added nutmeg and ginger)
splash of oats for texture.
– mix the dry ingredients together and then make a little well in the middle- add in the water & corn and stir the mixture together and dunk into a lined/sprayed bread tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes, keeping an eye out.
TBH the recipe I modified called for self-raising flour, which is probably why my bread came out so “small,” but I’m not a big fan of huge puffy white bread, so this suited me just fine. Served with jam and avo slices (I forgot to splash with balsamic! 😦 ) and dunked eventually into the stewy soup. Omnomz!
I must say these two make a lovely combo, and we’ll probably be eating this for the next few days in-between some salads that I want to try out. Not complaining, and neither is the man-thing, who ‘mmm’d’ all the way through his big helping!