Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas Recipe - December

Tim was lucky enough to get a great Christmas present from Melody this year - a monthly recipe that contains an interesting ingredient or combination of ingredients.

For December he received a recipe for Spicy Beetroot and Coconut Soup with herby yoghurt from the BBC Food channel and some fresh lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves.

We just happened to be getting Full Circle Farm back last week and make sure to order some nice organic beets, shallots, and a cucumber. We had most of the other ingredients in the pantry.

For the spice paste
  • lemongrass stalks
  • garlic cloves
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded if you don't want too much heat
  • 5cm/2in fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • lime, juice only

    So this paste was really super awesome smelling and made up into a thick paste that had a lot of flavor.
For the soup
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 banana shallots(or 4 round shallots), finely chopped
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g/1lb 2oz ready cooked beetroot (not the kind prepared with vinegar), chopped
  • 600ml/1 pint vegetable stock
  • 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    So we used fresh beets - we weren't quite sure how many beets are in a can and I'm afraid we might have over estimated the amount.
For the herby yoghurt
As you can see our soup was not pink but bright red! It was earthy (as beets are) and the lemon grass-lime-chili paste flavors along with the coconut milk were muted. If we were to make this exact soup again we wouldn't use as many beets. After a few tastes of the thick redness we were struck that the same lemon-grass spice paste would taste really good with squash so if we make this again we would probably try that out instead of with beets.

The yogurt-cucumber mixture didn't do anything to enhance the taste – in fact it might have detracted from it. We didn't have any fresh mint so that might have made the difference. I think just the plain yogurt or maybe some sour cream would taste better.

So for January, Melody gave Tim some Heirloom Bhutan Red Rice and a recipe for stuffed we'll have to coordinate ingredients in the next food box!

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