Sunday, October 19, 2008

planning in advance


I am so obsessed with food that I plan our week's meals in advance. I do this so that I can decide which recipes I want to cook and make sure I have all the ingredients on hand. Tonight I had planned two recipes to make from my new Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook.

The Tunisian pumpkin soup was delicious and came with a "spice swirl" (pictured below). The spice swirl is an essential part of the soup, I discovered. It was the tastiest little thing I have ever eaten! And I served the soup with a bulgur salad with artichoke hearts and a little feta. The steak on top is not part of the Moosewood recipe but is an addition to satisfy my carnivore husband.


My food obsession means that once I find a cookbook that fits my style I start working through it pretty regularly. I have been fortunate to get three new cookbooks in the last two months and I am using them to plan all our meals at the moment. On a quiet evening, I make a list of all the things currently in the cupboards, fridge and freezer. Then I pick recipes from my current favourite cookbooks that use up these ingredients. I add in a few more recipes and ingredients and order it all online. I keep the planning notes on the fridge so that when I get home from work I know can get to work without the dreadful feeling of having to think up what we are going to eat each night. We get to eat a lot of different things this way and I get to try out loads of new recipes.

Tunisian Pumpkin Soup
adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special

2 c chopped onions
2 T olive oil
1/2 c sliced carrots
1/2 c sliced parsnips
1 1/2 t salt
2 1/2 c water or stock
1 1/4 c apple juice
1/2 c tomato juice
1 t cumin
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t paprika
1 3/4 c cooked pumpkin (=15 oz can)

Spice Swirl
2 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic
4 t coriander
1 t ground caraway seeds
1/4 t cayenne
2 T lemon juice
2 T chopped cilantro
1/8 t salt

In a large soup pot, saute the onions, then add the vegetables. Saute for five minutes, then add stock, juices, and spices. Cover and bring to the boil, simmer until veg is soft. Add pumpkin and then puree the soup until smooth.

To make the spice swirl, heat the oil in a small skillet and briefly saute the garlic. Add the spices and cook, stirring constantly. Remove from heat after two minutes and add the lemon juice, cilantro, and salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with some spice swirl.

1 comment:

this week for dinner - jane maynard said...

hi there! I followed your link from your entry into my giveaway. I just have to say, my friend was just telling me about the moosewood cookbooks, I cooked my first recipe from the "low fat" one and it was fantastic. I'm so going to get some of those books! (maybe even try to get a giveaway going!)

hope to "see" you around! :)

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