It is that time in the spring that tender green flowers are emerging from the buds of what I like to refer to as The Maple Syrup Tree.
Added whole into a stew at the very end will barely cook the buds, which mean they keep a bright colour and retain a little crunch.
This morning I added them to a breakfast bowl of oranges, roasted almonds, and cream top yogurt.
It’s #soupseason and I’ve been making at least one every week.
#hottips for delicious #soup
1-chop everything small enough so there is room for variety on the spoon.
2-season with salt and roast as much of the ingredients as you can. The more golden colours the better.
3-When adjusting for flavour towards the end, notice if there is an equal balance of salt/sugar/acid. If not, great additions include: tablespoon of honey(sugar), tablespoon of miso paste(salt), a gloop of pickle juice(acid)
How I made this weeks soup
It all started a couple dinners ago. Lieneke gave me one of her chickens, so I simmered it low and slow in a coconut milk/stock/korma sauce. Pat brought home some chutneys and naan from one of the Indian food restaurants in town, and I served it with long grain basmati rice.
Leftover from this dinner was a lot of meat left on the carcass, and a ton of flavourful bits of vegetables and korma sauce still heavy in the pan.
The perfect beginnings of a soup.
In preparation for the task, I filled the rest of the pan with water, covered it, and put the whole roasting pan in the fridge.
Two days later, I dumped it all into a giant pot. Little bit by little bit I picked out the bones and set aside any meat. The bones all went on a cookie sheet, where I generously salted them, then put them under the broiler. I stirred them up once or twice, trying to get as much browning (sugar!) as possible. When the bones were done, I put them back into the soup pot, added a can of coconut milk, topped up the water level to maximum capacity, then simmered it for 5 hours.
Within that 5 hours, I assembled the ingredients I would need to finish the soup. I chopped small pieces of carrot, onion, and bell peppers, tossed in olive oil and salt, then roasted on cookie sheet in the oven to golden brown. I let the simmering stock cook through two ears of corn, then I let them cool before shaving off the kernels.
When it came time to put the soup together, I strained the broth into another soup pot, then began adding the finishing ingredients.
-leftover rice and korma sauce
-leftover tomato sauce
-leftover tomato paste
-pieces of salvaged meat (chopped smaller)
-can of black beans
I let all of the flavours come together for half an hour longer before serving.
700ml/medium container of a Thai coconut-base pre-made soup
700 ml broth
1 can coconut milk
1.5 cups rice
200 ml water
Salt & pepper to taste
Simmer all ingredients for at least 1 hour. Remove lid to thicken.
Japanese gomae is a cold side dish of wilted spinach and a toasted sesame dressing.
The first time I made it I followed exactly the recipe from aheadofthyme.com and tried it out on Lynelle , Jessica, and Patrick. It was alright, and I learned a couple key things about serving this dish: it takes an obscene amount of greens to get any substantial amount, and, don’t skip the step of toasting the seeds.
Today I thought I’d give it a second try, and WHOA success. It was so darn yum, my family immediately devoured every bite and I didn’t get a picture.
This time instead of a tiny side dish portion, I wanted to make an entree meal out of it. Right away I doubled the sauce ingredients. This time around I learned that you can achieve the same flavour and texture by blending it all together. For the greens I used up half our CSA box of greens for this week (which was komatsuna, pac choy, red/green tatsoi, leaf cabbage, etc etc) plus a whole bag of frozen organic spinach.
This made a heaping pile of nutrient dense greens in each bowl, over which I generously poured all of the sauce. Some canned salmon on the side from Oyster Bay was a tasty accompaniment (a gift from Larissa). Since gomae is supposed to be served cold, it’s a great make-ahead meal, ready to serve out of the fridge in a moments notice. I made this entire dinner at 3pm then served it at 5:30.
Here’s my version of the recipe.
Steam & cool 800g of greens.
Toast 8 tablespoons of sesame seed in a dry pan. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnishing.
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch in
8 tablespoons of water.
Add to a blender or processor:
The cornstarch and water.
The 6 tablespoons of toasted sesame.
4 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce.
3 tablespoons of honey
Blend until smooth, then cool completely. Serve next to preserved fish or roasted vegetables. Pour sauce over cold steamed greens and garnish with remaining sesame seeds.