Brr, it’s cold out! Time to get a pot of soup on the stove and warm up. Soup is as old as the history of cooking and enjoyed by the poor and the rich. It makes us feel better when we’re ill, provided sustenance when food was scarce, and warming on a cold day. Previous generations did not use a recipe. They simply dumped various ingredients into a pot to boil. And each culture adopted its own variation with whatever was on hand. For my readers who feel more comfortable using a list of ingredients, throw caution to the wind and be like our ancestors. If you have vegetables looking as though they require rescuing, a soup is a perfect place for them and you’ll feel better knowing you used them instead of throwing them in the bin. Perhaps those celery sticks are looking a bit worse for wear or carrots that look like they’re growing a beard! Chop ’em up and add to the pot. Soups can be thick, thin, chunky, smooth, or rustic…for me, it all depends on what kind of mood I am in. And, my mood yesterday craved curry.
In the freezer, I always have on hand frozen vegetables and large shrimps. My cheater’s version of a curry soup is super easy and ready in 30 minutes.
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon garam masala
400ml can coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry paste
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, defrosted and cut into bite-size chunks
1 1/2 cups konjac rice OR cooked jasmine rice
2 cups roughly chopped shrimp
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat add a splash of olive oil and add onions. Cook until translucent. Then add ginger. When ginger becomes fragrant, add garam masala. Stir and allow the spices to heat up. Add coconut milk. Allow the coconut to melt before adding the curry paste. Let the paste dissolve then add broccoli and rice. Bring to a gentle boil. When the soup is hot, add shrimp. It won’t take long for the shrimp to cook (2 to 3 minutes and starts to turn a blush pink colour). Sample the curry and adjust according to taste. I sometimes add a splash of fish sauce in lieu of sea salt.
the culinary chase’s note
If your Indian-inspired dishes aren’t tasting as good as they should be there’s a good chance your spices are to blame. Spices have a shelf life‚ usually six months. To keep track of their efficacy, write on the bottle when it was purchased. Enjoy!