Tuesday, May 6, 2008

An Aromatic Discovery

A couple of months ago, I was making green creamy vegetable soup with the health-giving likes of zucchini, fennel and spinach. While dreamily stirring the pureed soup, a picture of fragrant Rendang unexpectedly assailed my mind and the idea of "adding some hand-torn kaffirlime leaves during the final five minutes of simmering" floated into my head.

The result was pronounced 'fantastic' by both friends and Other Half.

You can vary the vegetables and proportions. Here I share a sample recipe with you:

Fragrant Green-Is-In Soup

2 tsp olive oil
half a medium onion, chopped
1 largish zucchini, sliced or roughly chopped
1 medium-size fennel, sliced
80g of frozen or fresh spinach
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
50ml cream or yoghurt, or 100ml milk (depending on how health-conscious you are)
2 kaffirlime leaves, hand torn many times to the spine
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat medium large pot to medium hot. Add olive oil.
2. Add chopped onion and stir-fry gently till translucent.
3. Add fennel, zucchini and spinach, with a minute in between additions.
4. Add stock. Lower heat. Adjust with water to just cover simmering vegetables.
5. When veggies are tender, take it off heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Puree.
6. Put puree back on low heat and add cream, yoghurt or milk. Adjust thickness with water to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add torn kaffirlime leaves and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove leaves before serving.
8. Serve with potato croutons (panfried little cubes of potato) or chunks of sausage or cubes of bacon.

And now that the weather is getting warmer and sunnier every day, a lovely health-giving, nutrient-rich drink is simply to puree fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries with buttermilk (add a teaspoon or two of powdered sugar, if you like).

My old living-room

My old living-room
In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A cherished dream

A cherished dream
To live on a pale beach by a crystal clear sea. (This was taken on the east coast of Johor state, Malaysia.)