About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Spiced Romanesco Broccoli Soup

2 tbs unrefined peanut oil
2 curry leaves (one curry leaf has many leaflets), optional
---botanical name is Murraya koenigii
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 head of Romanesco broccoli (about 1 pound)
---cut into florets, reserve about 24 bite size florets
---peel and dice the stem
3 small white potatoes, peeled and diced
1 quart water
1 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nuoc mam nhi), optional
lime juice to taste
hot sauce to taste (I like Sriracha)
peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
croutons for garnish

Heat the peanut oil in a 4 or 5 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and let them sizzle a bit, then remove and discard them. Add the onion, garlic, and garam masala to the pot, saute until the onion softens. Add the Romanesco florets (not the reserved ones), the diced stem pieces, the potatoes and water. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover and let simmer until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the reserved florets with some peanut oil and the 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala. Arrange the florets on a baking sheet and roast them until the edges start to brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Puree the soup in 2 or 3 batches in a blender until very smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk, the fish sauce, lime juice and hot sauce. Taste for salt, the fish sauce is salty so no additional salt may be necessary. Bring back to a simmer before serving in warmed soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with a few roasted florets and some tiny crispy croutons.

Makes about 6 servings.

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