Thursday, November 09, 2017

It’s soup/stew weather on November Hill - share your favorites!

Gray Horse Matters mentioned stews in a comment earlier this week and I was already thinking of soup, so I thought it would be fun to share some favorite recipes.

My favorite fall stew is what I call sweet potato chickpea curry. It can be made on the stove or in a crockpot, using either dried or canned chickpeas. I used to make it in the crockpot but then my favorite (old, given to me by my mom) crockpot died and the new one just isn’t the same. It seems like it heats up too much too quickly and the notion of slow cooking doesn’t really happen. So I shifted back to stovetop and this recipe works well for it.

I sauté a medium onion and how ever many cloves of garlic you like in some coconut or good olive oil. Lately I’m preferring coconut oil for cooking. I salt the onion liberally when I put it in the pan and then I have to force myself to leave it alone and let it do its thing. The more you let it caramelize the better taste you’ll get in the stew.

Once the onions have cooked down add a large or several small sweet potatoes. I peel and cube them. If you love sweet potato, add more. Once I have the sweet potatoes in the pan I add the spices. You could use a pre-mixed curry powder, or you can do what I do and just mix and match what I have in the cupboard. Usually that is cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, a dash of nutmeg, ground red pepper,  and garam masala (which you could just use on its own). This spicing is really about customizing the flavors to your own tastes.

Let this simmer for a bit, until the sweet potatoes just start to soften. Then add in the chickpeas. These are either canned, or the pre-soaked and cooked chickpeas you have ready. Let all this simmer on a low temperature. I’ve never done this before but if I made it today I might add a bit of coconut cream or milk to make it a bit richer.

You can eat this in a bowl on its own or serve it over rice. Jasmine is good but again, do what tastes good to you!

With sweet potatoes being readily available in the fall it’s a perfect way to use them. I haven’t done it with pumpkin but that would work, and butternut squash is also delicious made with chickpeas this way.

Originally I added in fresh or canned tomatoes to this recipe. Over time I stopped doing that, probably because I just didn’t have any on hand, and I think the flavors are more distinct without the tomato. But right now we happen to still have tomatoes on the vine and with a freeze coming Friday night, this would be a nice way to use them. You can add more or less depending on your taste for tomato!

A favorite soup around here is butternut squash soup. My husband is good at making this and it is fairly quick once the butternut is baked. It’s easy enough to put a couple of small or one large butternut squash in the oven for an hour (we just put them in whole and let them cook) then when you’re ready for dinner, scrape out the squash, leave the seeds and pulp behind, and put in the blender with salt, pepper, coconut milk or cream, any spices you like, and blend. Then heat the purée on the stove and eat. Husband sometimes add cheese. If you want to put more time in, for a more complex flavor, saute onions and garlic on the stove while the butternut is baking and add that in when you purée the squash and seasonings. The end result is a creamy, tasty soup that warms you up and is very filling on a cold night. You can also pair this with sausages - we like our local bratwurst - and a side salad for a more complete meal.

These are standard autumn fare on November Hill. I would love to try some new recipes! Share your favorites!!


Grey Horse Matters said...

They both sound delicious! I'll have to give them a try. I will share something when I get home from the farm. I don't have my recipes here with me because I rarely cook for myself, we just order in.

billie said...

Ordering in is its own wonderful thing. :)

When you’re home I’d love to have some of your favorites!