Shall I tell you one of my dirty secrets? Shall I? Well, don’t be shocked but I don’t really like to cook during the week.
I know, I know, I started a food blog and I don’t really like to cook on weekdays. The main reason is that I have little or no time on weekdays and I like to take my time when cooking. Aside from the limited amount of time there are other things to take into account: Björn’s running schedule (he is training for yet another marathon, what is the deal with all this is running!) and our busy agenda’s.
Two days in the week I am blissfully free of the burden of the stove. On Tuesday we have dinner at my in laws, this makes perfect sense if you know that the kids spend Tuesday at their house. They also sleep over, which also makes perfect sense since it gets me at least one full night’s worth of sleep in a week. On Thursday my mother picks up the kids from daycare and my parents come over to our house and cook. Such are the benefits of living close to your family and having saints for a mother and mother in law. I feel I don’t thank them enough for this, so: A big, fat thank you to you ladies!
So the days on which I must cook are limited to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I also enjoy the benefit of not having to take my children’s preferences into account on those days. They get a hot meal at the daycare at midday, so all I have to do is make them a sandwich. Now if only my husband would be content with a sandwich… But alas, he will insist on ‘a proper meal’ after a day’s work. Urgh, honestly. Going by the way he makes demands I sometimes think he is the reincarnation of an Egyptian slave driver: ‘Wash my socks! Iron this shirt! NO not that shirt, it clashes with the tie I want to wear tomorrow! Provide me with a hot meal when I come home in the evening and before I abandon you to go and run like a maniac through the rain BECAUSE I MUST REACH MY KM QUOTA FOR THIS WEEK, CRUCIAL PHASE IN MARATHON PREPARATION! RAAAGH MUST RUN LIKE I’VE NEVER RUN BEFORE!’
Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook and above all to eat, but after a full workday which ends in tantrums and I-don’t-want-to-go-to-bed-yet screams I’m not really in the mood for anything more complicated than a Croque Monsieur. But if I serve Croque Monsieur more than once a week I get complaints from He-who-will-not-eat-carbs-before-he-goes-running-because-his-frail-constitution-cannot-take-on-such-a-burden. And also because one can get tired even of Croque Monsieur.
So enter soup and salad. Monday night is usually soup night chez Moi. I can make the soup on Sunday, it is hot, can be used to rid the fridge of leftovers and can be put on the table in no time. Me like very much indeed. But only under certain circumstances… my soup for instance must not contain chunks. I hate the kind of ‘bouillon with vegetables’ –type of soup, such as Minestrone. Don’t know why. I guess it is some weird kink of mine to consider soup a liquid and therefore it should be devoid of chunks. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I will eat soups with chunks, especially if the chunks come in the form of croutons or bacon, but I prefer my soup without icky soggy vegetable chunks. Second soup-related weirdness: my soups never contain any celery. Which comes as no surprise since celery is not allowed to come within a five km radius of my house.
But aside from my no-chunk, no-celery – weirdness I like virtually all soups, whether hot or cold. This here soup is one I just recently discovered: Mulligatawny soup. I fell in love with it instantly. Flavorfull, hot, spicy, everything a girl needs to get through a dreary, cold winter evening. I know that the original recipe contains rice and chicken and what not, but because of my no-chunks rule I left them out. I did add an apple and some bacon though. A little chunk is no bad thing every once in a while, especially since the apple adds a nice contrasting bit of freshness to the hot soup. And bacon, do I really need a reason to add bacon to soup? Bacon in itself is reason enough.
I didn’t use a specific recipe, like with bouillabaisse there are thousands of recipes, but rather merged different recipes into one which I really, really like:
1 shallot, diced
1 clove of garlic diced
1 can of tomatoes
250 ml of coconut milk
400 ml of chicken stock (from cube)
1 large potato, peeled and cut into squares
red curry paste
1 apple, peeled and cut into small pieces
Cumin, turmeric, paprika powder, salt and pepper
Heat some olive oil or butter in a pot and add the curry paste, cumin, turmeric paprika powder and salt and pepper, stir until the spices give of their fragrances, and then add the shallot and garlic and sauté until they have glazed over0
Add the can of tomatoes, next fill up the can with water and add that, add one cube of chicken stock.
Bring to boil and add the coconut milk and potato (I use the potato solely to give the soup a bit more ‘body’, feel free to leave it out).
When the potato is tender, take your trusty hand mixer out of the cupboard and mix the soup. Remember the no-chunk rule.
Put into a bowl and add some apple and if you feel like it some sour cream.