J and I just returned from Ghent (or Gent), a delightful medieval town approximately 50 minutes from Brussels. Last Friday I spent a good number of hours doing some exploring while J was at the university attending a seminar and giving a lecture at the end of the evening. So I was pretty much left alone for a whole day. The tram journey into the town centre was so much fun, although I was practically stuck to my map counting the stops. Everything was in Dutch. But hey, I was up for a little adventure. The weather was so rotten however, that my plans for major exploring/walking/taking-plenty-of-photos went down the drain. All was not lost though; I found a charming salad bar and sandwich shop (tucked away in between the touristy restaurants and shops) which I almost missed. LKKR is a small family business run by Dahlia and her husband, both lovely and friendly. This is the place where to have a healthy, delicious, homemade lunch, plus coffee, of course. You could also have a cookie if you wish like I did on that rainy morning. I liked the place so much that I just had to take J for lunch there on Saturday. I felt so in-the-know! It was so cold that he ordered a soup. I had a chicken curry sandwich. Just what I needed. If you’re in Ghent, do yourself a favour and go. Prices are reasonable and if there’s no seating inside, you can take a table outside, people-watch while wrapped around a cozy pink blanket you will find on your chair. Nice. The frites, mussels, fish stews and waffles can all wait until you arrive in Brussels. Even nicer.
Now the temperatures in Malta don’t have anything to do with those up north, so no blankets during the day, at least for the time being. So – another recipe for soup Rob? You rightly ask. Yes. I think you know that I love soup by now. Soups (and stews) are good for my spirit and good for my patience, or lack thereof, reason being I can leave the pot on a simmer and do some reading while it turns a simple mixture into something cozy. I’m telling you, I can’t wait for the colder weather. It was over 20°C this morning but I still wore my thin fleecy jacket, like a rebel, or just because I can.
Anyways, without digressing too much as I often do, here is the recipe for today. It will give you 3 to 4 servings I would say, depending on whether you’re having it as a stand alone supper with some fresh salad and garlic bread perhaps, or before your main meal. Whatever rocks your boat. You will end up with a yellowish concoction. It makes me smile everytime.
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, or any flavourless oil
- 2 red onions, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, roughly sliced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium potatoes, cut into rough quarters
- around 1.7 litres vegetable stock
- 420g creamed corn*
Heat the oil in a large deep pot. Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Add the garam masala, turmeric, paprika and salt. Let the veggies release some of their water and caramelize for a little while.
Add the pepper and potatoes. Give the mixture a stir. Add the vegetable stock and the creamed corn.* (If you don’t have creamed corn to hand, you can use tinned corn or frozen corn, or better, you can make creamed corn from scratch if you find the time. Click here for that vortex full of ideas which is Pinterest.)
Give the soup another good stir and let it simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through and soft. Blend and serve immediately with a little coriander or parsley on top.
Have a browse through the C&T archive:
1 year ago: Lime and Coconut Cake (GF)
2 years ago: Roast Veggies
3 years ago: Pasties