Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Spice up your soup

Hello, how are you getting on with your home made soup, I see some of you have been squishing your ingredients to a pulp. More power to your elbow, keep on squishing.
Barbara asks where do I buy my spices, thank you for the question. My spice cupboard is very sparse, I chucked a lot out a couple of years ago. They had been shoved to the back and were never used, so I thought, why am I keeping them. Everything I have is here. I very rarely buy spices now, don't want to go back to the situation I was in before with far too many. The ones I use most are the curry powder, turmeric, and garlic powder. I buy big bags so they last ages, and I know I am going to use it up. The last time I bought garlic powder they only had smaller packets, now I need to go back and get some more. I get them from the Asian shop in town. I don't decant them into containers, I fold the top down and secure with a clothes peg. No need to buy those fancy plastic clips. 
I have three little jars, and I've just noticed I have two black peppers. Someone gave me the Saxa pot. 
I buy a few packet sauce mixes from the Cash and Carry, they also have a market stall. They are 20p each. I ignore the fact that some of them are supposed to be used for meat dishes, I buy them because they are cheap. I never use a whole packet for one meal, I just add a teaspoonful, or shake a bit out of whichever one I fancy at the time.  
I also get these from the Cash and Carry. The Bisto is out of date by one year, and the stock cubes were out of date in February last year. Both were 50p each.

And there you have it.I know very little about spices, I use them sparingly, a lot of my food has no spices at all. I like to taste the vegetables. 
So, what is the soup for today then. I ate a portion of yesterdays soup for my lunch, and this afternoon I made some sprout and parsnip soup. I used a small pan because I only wanted to make one portion, and I boiled the veg instead of steaming it. Chop the sprouts in half and slice the parsnips. I added a little bit of the chicken tikka masala mix, a shake of pepper, and a shake of the Mexican taco spice mix. That was all that was needed. Boiled it for about eight minutes. 
It was a sort of light beige colour, not as dark as this picture, it doesn't look very appetizing here. I stirred in two spoons of plain yogurt, and it was amazingly yummy. It tasted of parsnips with a spicy flavour, not too hot, just right. One to make again, I think.

I'll have a look and see what I've got for tomorrows soup. Another home made experiment. Could be interesting. Thanks for visiting, and welcome to the new readers. Toodle pip

10 comments:

  1. I've been reading yours and so many others recipes and posts on soup. I am learning there is a huge geographical or cultural preference in how soup ends up in the end, and preferred. Aside from a few cream based soups (tomato, mushroom celery etc.) very few soups are blended or pureed in the states. We leave most soup ingredients in pieces, or chunks, in broths. When we visited England,, my daughter just craved a bowl of soup on the wet cooler days. By her third attempt to order, she asked if the vegetables were pureed or whole, after being caught off guard at what was vegetable soup in London. She ended up passing. I ate her first two bowls-very tasty, but not the same texture we usually eat soup here, so my daughter was not a fan. The closest she got was a Pho, cup of soup item at the British Museum café, with noodles, chicken, vegetables, and broth. it was a cardboard bowl that hot water was added to cook the dehydrated ingredients. I wonder if there is any story, or back ground as to the pureeing? I laughed at your line about your readers "squishing ingredients to a pulp."

    http://newframereference.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi. Yes, there are many ways to eat soup. I like chunky and smooth, and I prefer my veg chunky when making curry.

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  2. I love to add a spoonful of plain yogurt to my soups, Ilona. Definitely with you there. But I do use a lot of spices and enjoy using them. We have a large Indian population around this region,(central NJ) so spices are much more common in our stores now, and very cheap by comparison, because they are Indian spices, not the terribly expensive McCormick versions. And they're fresh because they sell them so fast and restock often.

    Nowadays I rarely fail to blend my soup. I like that texture very well. Usually leave a few veggies whole in it, just so as not to be too bland. But any soup, if it's homemade is probably a good soup!

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  3. Thanks for answering my question, Ilona. There is an Asian market not too far from me so I'm going to check it out.

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    1. Yes, check it out, have a mooch through the shelves.

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  4. From Margie in Toronto - I I go back and forth on blending or leaving the ingredients whole - really just depends. Vegetable soup - with or without meat usually stays whole but soups with things like squash, potatoes or lentils I tend to blend.
    Based on what you seem to like Ilona you might wish to add ground cumin and ground coriander to your spice supplies if you happen to see them at a good price. I think you would like them, especially good in a carrot and red lentil soup.

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    1. Thank you, I will look out for those.

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  5. A tube of tomato puree is very inexpensive and lasts for ages in the fridge. I often add a desertspoon to soup if it's tasting a bit bland and it usually does the trick...sometimes add a teaspoon of sugar too. If you can find a cheap bag of frozen peas and have mint in the garden, a pea and mint base for soup is good, especially if you add a drop of lemon juice and some black pepper.

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  6. I like very much to add nutmeg to some of my soups , cauliflower soup , butternut squash , pumpkin, squash, the pale green kind , or carrot . If you buy the whole nutmeg that comes with a little grater it will keep forever . Ground nutmeg looses its flavor and is not a good buy. You grate it straight into your saucepan and it has a lovely smell and flavor. I never tried parsnip , but I will . Jerusalem artichoke is fantastic ! It is expensive , but you just need to add a little to plain vegetables like carrots and potatoes, like 3 or 4 pieces to a pan of soup are enough to give a very nice flavor.

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  7. Charlotte just reminded me that when I buy tomato paste, I buy a big can, cheaper, then turn out the contents into a ziploc bag, flatten it, seal it and freeze it that way. So when I need a bit I can break off exactly the amount I want, usually for soup, and there's no waste at all.

    I also make my own pesto, using a range of herbs I grow in containers, walnuts, grated parmesan and olive oil, nd freeze that the same way as the tomato paste. Cheap -- I made a whole season's worth from my herbs in August -- and again, nice seasoning ready to use, also since it has olive oil, it can also sub for any oil in the recipe, too. I like to put a chunk of pesto into the pot as the oil, then saute the garlic and onions and other spices and herbs before adding the rest of the soup contents.

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