Monday, March 2, 2009

Hot Soup, Cold Treat

Sambhar Squash Soup and Strawberry Ginger Mint Sorbet

Check it out- an actual photo I took of food I prepared! I really need to start taking pictures of stuff...

The weather has been blowing hot and cold all month long in DC, so I've been mixing it up a bit food-wise. The other day I put together a nice vegetable curry, and experimented with a soup to go with it. I've been making squash soups with frozen pureed squash for a while, but this time I added sambhar curry powder, and a minced preserved lemon. The effect was spicy and satisfying, and a definite hit with my roommate. Sambhar powder is typically used to season a thin lentil soup in Indian cuisine; it can be pretty strong, so you may want to check how much heat the brand you try is packing before you cook.

Today was a snow day, and since there wasn't enough ice outside, I had to throw some around in the house and make my first ever sorbet. We had a bag of strawberries, frozen at their peak after being picked on a local farm last summer, and with a few other simple ingredients they made a terrifically easy and flavorful dessert using only a blender and a Tupperware container. If you want to use heavy cream instead of the milk and soy creamer I happened to have, I'm sure it will come out awesome, too.

The other experiment of the day was my first attempt at pizza dough, but I won't post that unless it works out when I bake it tomorrow. You know- gotta make sure it doesn't explode in the oven, or crawl out of the fridge overnight.

Sambhar Squash Soup

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 package frozen pureed butternut squash
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. sambhar curry powder
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. sugar
1 minced preserved lemon (See entry "Morocco Love")

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan and sautee the onion until lightly browned. Add the chicken stock and the frozen squash. Cook until the squash thaws and the soup comes to a boil, then add the sambhar powder, lemon juice, sugar and minced lemon. You can also add salt and pepper to taste, if you like. Once the soup is boiling, lower it and simmer, stirring until flavors are incorporated. Serve with toasted naan. No, really- dipping toasted Indian bread in this made it even better.

Strawberry Ginger Mint Sorbet
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 1/2 cups milk*
1/2 cup soy creamer
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into a 1 quart container and stick it in the freezer. After 1 hour, stir or shake it to break up any ice crystals. I'm not sure if the soy creamer affected the texture, but the batch I made came out creamy and never turned rock-solid or developed large ice crystals. It may have been the fact that I started with frozen strawberries. Either way, it's fresh and delicious, and will taste even better in a month like July.

1 comment:

adele said...

Nice. I'm told that alcohol also helps with the texture of ice-cream if you don't have a churn. ;)