I’m completing two of November’s Food Revolution Ambassador Monthly Challenges today – working with slow cookers and making something starting with the letter “N” ! First up, let’s talk slow cookers. I know we often think about using a slow cooker for something like chili or stew but how about a soup? Normally when I make a soup, I like to sauté the onions and garlic with some spices and herbs before I cook the veggies and add the stock. It’s mostly for this reason that I don’t use a slow cooker for soup much of the time – why dirty more pots and pans than you need to? The other night, though I found myself with all the ingredients on hand for a fabulous cold-weather soup (and no lunch planned for the following day!) but no time to stay up and cook it (well, unless I wanted to stay up until after midnight) so I chopped all the vegetables roughly and stuck them in the slow cooker on low overnight (about 7 hours). Result? Soup ready to blend in the morning with a lovely flavour simply because it took so long to cook. It was even better the night after!
- 30g butter
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 level tablespoons curry powder (I used a mild one)
- 300g peeled and chopped butternut squash
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 small apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 6 cups (750mls) vegetable stock or water
- (optional) 4 tablespoons 35% (whipping) cream
- Place all ingredients except cream in a slow cooker, stirring to make sure the curry powder is evenly distributed.
- Cook on low for 7 hours (it might not take this long but this is a great one to make overnight!)
- Allow to cool before blending with an immersion (stick) blender or in a regular blender/ food processor.
- If you like, stir in the cream to finish.
- Serve with warm naan.
What better to serve a mild curried soup with than freshly made naan? The perfect match (and, bonus – it starts with the letter N so it counts as one of the monthly challenges this month too!). I’ve never made naan before but it didn’t seem that complicated. I found Aarti Sequeira’s recipe on Food Network and it looked pretty do-able so I went with that. The dough took just a few minutes to come together, I let it rest for 2 hours then formed the naan. These cook on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet in just about 2 minutes each!
Then you brush them with a little butter, sprinkle then with coarse salt and wrap them in a clean tea towel while you cook the rest. These tasted JUST like “real” (i.e. restaurant or store-bought) naan – I know they look a little too charred but hey, from scratch naan – my first attempt? Not too bad huh?
US/Canadian readers – Win a copy of Mastering the Art of French Eating! Ends November 25th 2014 6pm EST. Details here.
Canadian readers – Win a copy of Street Food Diaries! Ends November 25th 2014 6pm EST. Details here.