Monday, 16 May 2011

Pumpkin & Ginger soup.

So my mum had this big pumpkin sitting on her kitchen table. She wasn't sure what the best way to cut it up.
"Throw it on the concrete & shatter it" she said.
"Messy" I thought.
"Use the log splitter" she said.
"Not very hygienic" I thought. "I'll just cut it" I said.
"You'll loose a finger if it slips" she said.
"Typical mother" I thought....
A bit of rummaging in her kitchen drawers produced a Chinese cleaver, heavy, strong, & sharp.
Setting the big Queensland Blue pumpkin (about 20kg) on the concrete outside, for stability, I then pushed the cleaver through the pumpkin, required a bit of effort & weight on the cleaver to force it through, but eventually I ended up with 4 pieces, & no lost fingers. Now what to do with this hunk of pumpkin that I've acquired (thanks mum).
Well it was the first cold spell of the season therefore a nice soup was in order, in this case pumpkin & ginger. I'm not going to give exact quantities for all the ingredients & the quantities listed here a a guide only, as its too variable & taste dependant.

Pumpkin & Ginger soup.
Pumpkin (roughly diced)
Ginger (a decent large thumb sized knob, sliced or diced)
1 onion (diced)
1 tbls butter
2 small or 1 medium floury potato (roughly diced)
1 tbls ground cumin
1 tbls dried oregano
Fresh coriander to finish

Gently fry the onions & half the ginger over a low heat until golden & soft.
Add the cumin & oregano & cook until fragrant
Add the pumpkin & potato & toss to coat in the onion/spice mix
Add enough stock to cover & add the remaining ginger
Bring to the boil & then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the pumpkin & potatoes are soft & tender.
Use a blender or stick mixer to blend all the ingredients to a smooth consistency
If the soup seems a bit watery, let it simmer a bit longer till it has reached the consistency that appeals.
Season to taste & serve with a sprinkling of roughly chopped coriander.
Serves as many or as few as you wish...

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Autumn Mushrooms

My favourite dish at this time of year is a nice simple Wild Mushroom Risotto.
I normally use Slippery Jacks, Shiitake, & Pine mushrooms. Its a bit tedious cleaning & peeling the Slippery Jacks, but worth the effort!