Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ramblings. And soup.

Seems I accidentally took a break from blogging.

I'm not doing that great. I thought I was doing okay, which I sort of am, but not great. And I'm not sick. Which is fantastic, I got through Christmas and vacation return without getting the Chest Thing that I always get over Christmas or after vacation return. I still cough a lot because that's just the way my crazy airways work, but it's still way better than last year, and I am thankful. Except even without being sick I'm not doing that great. But I did make it to the gym the last two weeks, and go to physio for my oh-so-poetic Patellar Femoral Syndrome. And I shelved library books and made dinner and watched Angus's volleyball tournament - okay, I'm sounding pathetic now just to console myself. My husband assures me that I'm not wrecking our children and reminds me that even the Cleavers weren't actually the Cleavers and offers to have sex with me because you know, that's what normal married couples do, and he's nothing if not a giver.

AND I did finally make an appointment with the allergist (May) and the sleep clinic (July), which is good in a way (doing something concrete to address the issues) and bad in a way (I worry that I'm going to build up my hopes that they'll be able to fix stuff and if they don't it will be a crushing disappointment, then I worry that they'll be judgey and mean and I start to hyperventilate and worry that I'll panic and not be able to make myself go to the appointments, in which case you all have my permission to kick my ass).

BUT, on Friday we were invited to a fondue by people that we only know from constantly horning in on our neighbours' parties while they were there. That's right - they know us solely by virtue of the fact that we wander over on New Year's Eve or summer Saturday nights, invite ourselves in shamelessly and say why yes, I'd LOVE a margarita, if you're offering. And they TOLD US WHERE THEY LIVED. And when one of their friends I didn't know asked how we knew them, I told her and she said "oh, you're the fun neighbours Lisa always talks about."

WE'RE THE FUN NEIGHBOURS. Hope you don't mind if I coast on that until March.

This is the Curry Sweet Potato soup (from the Winter 2012 issue of the LCBO Food & Drink magazine) that I was raving about. It doesn't seem to be on the website yet and I am of the firm belief that it must be disseminated as widely as possible, because there is every possibility that this soup might be able to bring about world peace.

Curry Soup with Spicy Cilantro Coconut Pesto (I didn't make the pesto and it was great without it)

1 tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil (I used coconut butter)
2 onions, chopped, about 2 cups (500 mL)
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced garlic
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced ginger
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced lemon grass (didn't use it, couldn't find any)
3 tbsp (45 mL) red curry paste, or to taste (used 3 tbsp)
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground turmeric
3 medium sweet potatoes, 1 1/2 lbs (750 g), peeled and chopped
1 ripe banana
3 1/2 cups (875 mL) vegetable stock (used chicken stock, had it already made)
1 can (400 mL) coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Spicy Cilantro Coconut Pesto

1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) roasted red chili paste
3 tbsp (45 mL) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup (250 mL) loosely packed cilantro leaves
2 tbsp (30 mL) melted and cooled coconut oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) sunflower oil

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat and sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic, ginger and lemon grass and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in curry paste and turmeric. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. (I also sautéed the sweet potato chunks in a little coconut butter at the same time in the soup pot).

2. Add sweet potato, peeled banana, 3 cups stock and coconut milk. Increase heat to bring to a boil then immediately reduce temperature so that the soup begins simmering with a light, gentle bubble. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sweet potato is fork tender.

3. Blend soup with an immersion blender or remove from heat and blend in batches in a food processor. If soup is too thick, add remaining 1/2 cup of stock as needed. Return to pot and simmer until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. Process garlic, salt, chili paste and coconut in food processor until finely ground. Add cilantro and process until finely chopped. With machine running, slowly pour in oils until smooth. Use pesto immediately.

5. Serve soup with a dollop of cilantro pesto.

Serves 6


14 comments:

Nicole said...

I am going to make that soup! Yummy. Because I'm nothing if not a peacemaker.

But...Alli...I'm so sorry you're not well. I wish I was one of your neighbours so you could be the fun neighbour dropping by for wine or a margarita, then I would give you a great big hug and we could, I don't know, ride off in the sunset together? Maybe not that part, but I really wish I could help make you feel better. But I'm always here if you want to chat! Or if you, for some reason, wanted to visit Calgary (cannot think why anyone would want to do that, but maybe?)

Mary Lynn said...

Of course you're the fun neighbours! You're awesome!

Sorry you haven't been doing so great. Wish I was closer to Ottawa so we could get together, have some wine, and share some laughs.

I am actually coming up to the Ottawa area in March for a bit (well, to Calabogie, actually). Not sure I'll get into Ottawa or not, but I'm definitely hoping we'll manage to. Will keep you posted, okay?

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

I am so sorry you're not doing well. The older I get, the more convinced I become that I'm going to be one of those people that move to Hawaii to escape the winter every year. And YOU CAN TOTALLY LIVE WITH ME...if you want. But of course you will because I will offer you fresh coconut and pineapple and a chaise by the pool.

Now for the soup...

OMG THE SOUP!

Did you know that my husband's favourite thing to eat is soup? And do you know how freaking impossible it is to find soup recipes that don't have dairy, potato, tomato, or gluten in it? It's damn hard that's what. And this soup is free of all of that! And he eats sweet potatoes by the crate! Though I am a little suspicious of the banana. I will try to have faith that you are not pulling one over on me and I will try it with the banana. I've printed it. Yes, I have.

Julie said...

thanks for the soup.

ass kicking in the workings.

a house is going for sale on our street. you need to move here.

StephLove said...

I'm sorry you're not feeling great. Medical appointments are a good thing, though I'm sorry they're so far out in the future.

Soup's good, too. And homemade cookies to go with it never hurt. And maybe taking your husband up on his offer, even if you don't feel like it at first. That kind of offer can be cheering.

Lynn said...

Mmmmm, soup. I love me some soup. Total turnaround from childhood, when soup was akin to CERTAIN DEATH. So many wasted years, tsk tsk.

I'm really sad to hear that you are not doing well. I am also feeling funky, and not in the good 70s disco kind of way. Want to get coffee this week or next? Email me!

Kelly Quinones Miller said...

Definitely get thee to a doctor! We can have the FUN NEIGHBOUR being sick.

Jane said...

"even the Cleavers weren't the Cleavers"

I love that! I'm going to hold onto that little pithy nugget - because I need to remind myself of that from time to time.

Pam said...

More blog-love from here too. You ARE awesome and fun, but also amazing when you don't feel like being fun. I am going to kidnap you this week and we'll un-funk ourselves, even if it is just temporarily to a Zumba beat.

Soup sounds yummy and definately worth a go. If it's from the LCBO mag, why doesn't it have alcohol in it? Misprint?

Shan said...

Come and be the fun neighbours on my street!

Nan | Wrath Of Mom said...

I like to think of myself as open minded but...well...erm…the thing is…THERE IS A BANANA IN THAT SOUP! A BANANA! I just don't think I can handle that.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

I have new neighbors. I sincerely wish they were you instead : )I absolutely will kick your ass if you don't go, though I will be hiding mine for being a month late making my yearly gynecologist appoinment. Go! Feel better!

cheesefairy said...

You're not doing OK. But that's OK because you're telling us about it and we can liffffft you up, like that song, to where you belong, elevated above us and looking down benevolently while we squeal and flail like the mere mortals we are.

Practically speaking, Blogger time share in a tropical place, yes please.

Magpie said...

mmm. i'm going to try that.