Sunday, 27 February 2011

233: Watercress Soup, Curried Parnsip Soup, Okra, Adzuki Bean Chicken Curry

Hat-trick! Goooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

Always keen as I am to make good use of my VegBox, with parsnips and watercress this called for some soup action. Unusually, this was a joint effort between me (err, obviously) and Mrs VegBox. In just over an hour all three of these were complete. Which just goes to show, there's really very little need to buy ready meals when that's all it takes to cook enough for our evening meal for two nights and 3 day's worth of lunch-time soups. Pret A Manger shares might take a dive at this news.

Curried Parnsip Soup:
Ingredients: 1 medium/big parsnip, 3 tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic.
  1. Roughly chop everything bar the garlic, dust in curry powder, salt, pepper  and a little oil (only a little we're trying to be healthy)
  2. Roast until soft in a medium oven (180c), should be about an hour
  3. Take the skins off the tomatoes (there's only so fine they blitz up; and I prefer to leave the soup quite thick). Squeeze out the roasted garlic from the skins also.
  4. Put in a pan with a pint of vegetable stock bring to a simmer. Blitz. Test, adding more curry powder / stock as needed (parsnip is quite strong, so I like plenty of curry powder)
I've made this before and used Cumin seeds; Curry powder (which has quite a bit of cumin in anyway) on it's own tasted much the same to me. Maybe my palette just isn't sophisticated enough to tell the difference.

Watercress Soup:
Ingredients: 1 bag of Watercress; which is lucky, that's what arrived in the VegBox, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 medium potatoes


  1. Wash the watercress very carefully
  2. Peel, chop and boil the potatoes. Sophisticated this one....
  3. Chop and fry the garlic and onion
  4. Once the potaotes are soft, drain
  5. Add the potatoes, watercress and .... a pint of stock... to the onions and garlic
  6. Simmer and blitz. Season (I added a loads of salt)
 This one looks such a bright vivid green that it looks like it's got colouring in. It's a bit bland; but tastes like it's got to be tremendously good for you.
Left to right: Curry, Watercress & Curried Parnsip

Okra Adz;uki Beans and Chicken Curry
Ingredients: 1 kilo diced chicken breasts, 1 packed Okra (300gs), 2 tins tomatoes, 1 tin adzuki beans, 2-3 potatoes, 2 medium onions, 3 lively chillies, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tsb ginger

We'd decided we wanted a tomatoe-y bean-y curry, but all we could find were adzuki beans. I've no idea where they came from; but it turned out ok.

Method, brand new never done this before...
  1. In turn chop and add to a lowish heat frying pan the Onions, garlic, chillies and ginger
  2. Add the chicken, turing until coloured all over (often in this kind of stew type dish, you'd fry very quickly to seal the meat - I wanted to keep the meat soft)
  3. Add the chopped okra and the spices - a hefty shake each of Madras curry powder and Garam masala
  4. Add the tomatoes, and - there's a theme here - a pint of vegetable stock
  5. By this time, I'd got some leftover boiled potatoes from the watercress soup - so in they went too
  6. Cover, simmer

Curry wasn't bad at all; not too sure it bears any relation at all to anything you might ever find in India. Hey-ho, tasted good, nothing unhealthy in it. All in a very productive and healthy day.

Shame I went and ruined it with some sticky toffee pudding.


  1. nice dinner there my friend... the soup looks excellent!... I think watercress is one of my all time favourites...

  2. I have never put tomatoes in my curried parsnip soup, might try that next time. The watercress soup tasted like it might be good for you - that sounds like it might be a bad thing.... The curry looks good. Poor old Pret A Manger.

  3. Having read your sniping at vegetarians comment on Kath's blog just now, I thought she might have made a convert of you when I first read this post - the chicken did come rather a long way down the list. Anyway, it all sound jolly good. Just about the season for nettle soup now :)

  4. Lovely Choclette, I wasn't meaning to snipe at Veggies; it was just funny the way vegetarian slipped in amongst all Kath's cake based nicenesses.

    Nettle soup? am I to beat myself with them first as penance too? Now I know I'm in trouble. Sorry.

  5. As long as you pick them without gloves - that should do it ;-)


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