I was looking for some new and different soup and curry recipes using local ingredients. It's cold and soups, stews and curries always seem to warm us up from the inside out. The local supermarket, Pic'n'Pay, offers on-line recipes and I thought I'd copy a few. A couple of issues cropped up immediately.
I'm always bummed when a recipe calls for something that is obviously not a “scratch” item. If they're going to use a pre-packaged soup mix as a main ingredient, why tell me they're providing a soup recipe when it's really only an enhancement to a mix they're talking about? Why not give me the recipe for the darned soup mix in the first place? I whittled down the list of possible soups by checking the ingredients and weeding out any recipe that called for anything other than fresh and/or on-hand ingredients. I ended up with recipes for peanut satay butternut squash soup, an interesting chicken vegetable soup and a mushroom soup. On the curry side, chicken korma caught my interest.
The cooking terminology in a foreign country is always a bit of challenge, not insurmountable, but it definitely causes me to think. Remember, we're talking English here, not actually a foreign language. It's just a different English than I'm accustomed to. Terms like “a glug of oil” and “a knob of ginger” aren't common expressions in an American cookbook. Easy to figure out, but odd to me. I don't have the ability to “blitz” which I assume is done with a blender or food processor, but I can mush, mash and puree things up pretty well manually.
The next issue, of course, is converting metric weight and liquid measurements to cups, teaspoons and tablespoons. Liquid measure is pretty easy, but dry weight measurements differ. A cup of white flour is 125 grams, but a cup of dry, uncooked white rice is 233 grams. Much easier with a volume measurement … a cup is a cup is a cup, no matter what it is. My thinking? It's soup … how wrong can I go with guesstimating? There is a handy conversion site I use from time to time though.
I haven't tried any of the recipes yet … maybe this week before we leave. In the meantime, anybody out there have any good, hardy soup and/or curry recipes they'd like to share? Remember I don't eat red meat, but if I can substitute chicken for the meat, send it along. Veggie recipes most welcome.