Thai (?) green curry

Thai green curry

Note: I’m not from Thailand, so please excuse any horrible things I did to your (sort of) national dish 🙂

I had a horrible day/week, and was really upset by various things that had happened, so I decided the best way to leave that behind me was to focus on cooking something comforting.

Somehow I thought of green curry, but I had not cooked this in a very long time—would I still remember how to do it?

For extra challenge, I decided to try and make it vegan, which is not very hard as the only ingredient from animal source is the chicken. I replaced it with tofu instead. Done!

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Leek and potato soup

All home made leek and potato soup with croutons

This is authentic Team Work™: my partner prepared and cooked the leeks and potatoes, and I puréed them and prepared the croutons! 😜

Ingredients

  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Butter, olive oil or coconut oil

Preparation

  1. Peel the potatoes, trim off the ugly bits in the leeks and possibly remove the outer leaf, as it tends to be quite sad looking. Wash everything thoroughly, to remove soil.
  2. Slice everything in quite small pieces—the smaller, the faster they’ll cook.
  3. Put in a pot with water and lots of pepper.
  4. Bring pot to a boil, and leave to simmer for about 45 minutes or an hour (until the potatoes start to break apart).Leek and potatoes
  5. For the croutons, I used dry bread left overs. Instead of throwing it away, I diced it and saved it in a box. So when I need croutons, I just put them in the pan with a bit of oil, salt and pepper, and fry them, tossing them in the pan until they’ve absorbed the oil (this also makes them not be hard like rocks anymore).

    Croutons-to-be in the pan
    In case you’re curious these croutons are made of rye and cranberry bread, which we got from Fabrique, our favourite London bakery right now.
  6. I used a blender to purée the potatoes and leeks, but if you’d prefer a bit more of texture you could use a fork or a potato masher accessory to roughly mash them.Pureed leek and potatoes
  7. Add butter (or your substitution of choice) to taste, mix well, and correct for salt after the butter is well mixed–specially if the butter is salted! Don’t add salt before. Adding some fat is essential because otherwise this soup can feel quite thin and insipid.
  8. Finally, serve with the croutons. And enjoy!

All home made leek and potato soup with croutons

This is so good for cold days 😃

Options

You can make this vegan if you choose a vegetal oil instead of butter.

It might be interesting to experiment with other spices instead of just pepper: perhaps nutmeg? some moderately hot chilli?

My partner was really excited to experiment with the rice cooker, because it has a soup-making function, so we used that instead. With this method, it takes way longer to cook the soup: 2 hours! and that’s even if we added hot water to start with. But it can be programmed in advance and it has a “keep warm” setting, so it’s nice to find the soup waiting for you when you arrive home.

The fastest option would be to use a pressure cooker, in which case we would be done in about 15 minutes. You’d put everything on the cooker, add water to cover, close the lid, bring to pressure, reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, then turn the heat off, wait for the pressure to come down (or release it manually, depending on how hungry you are) so you can open the lid, and then continue from step 5. I so love pressure cookers! 💨😍

Carrot and potato soup

Yesterday evening I was feeling quite tired and in want of a comforting dinner, but I didn’t feel like walking to the shops once I was home. I scoured the kitchen cupboards and there was this bunch of potatoes whispering “boil us… boil us…”

And so I did!

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation

This is tearfully simple to prepare and cook, which is great when your brain is exhausted.

  1. Either peel the potatoes or wash the skin thoroughly (I sometimes leave the skin in, specially if the potatoes are newer and have no “eyes” 👀)
  2. Same with the carrots
  3. Cut everything into small cubes or slices, the smaller the faster they will cook
  4. Put them on a pot
  5. Add water, a centimeter or two above the “cover everything with water” level
  6. Cover with a lid
  7. Turn the heat on high, and bring to a boil
  8. When it starts boiling, bring the heat down to medium-low, and let it simmer (maybe also turn on your extractor fan or everything will get very steamy)
  9. How long? it depends on the amounts and the sizes of the cubes! But about 30 minutes. You might need to add extra water if it runs dry–you want a soup, not just boiled vegetables.  And you should also test them from time to time; try smashing a cube with a spoon against the pot. If it is soft or breaks down easily, it’s time to turn the heat off!
  10. Depending on your texture preferences, you can mash the vegetables directly in the pot if you have a mashing accessory, or maybe blend it with a blender. Or you can do nothing if things are mushy enough!
  11. Serve on a deep bowl or dish. Add olive oil or butter, salt and pepper. (I’m blatantly stealing my partner’s trick of adding a lot of pepper as it brings a lot of heat to the tongue without adding chilli).
  12. Enjoy!

Other ideas

This method is great to finish off any old vegetables you have lying around. Onions? Beans? Sweet potatoes? Celery? Leek? It’s all good: peel, slice and add to the pot!

It’s also very easy to make a big batch, so you can have dinner for two days (or two people). I haven’t tried freezing this, though.

Some background (the “origin story”)

This totally brings me back to my childhood: we’d have a dish of boiled vegetables as the starter for dinner, then maybe some deli meats and bread, or an omelette, or fish, or something lightweight like that. We call this dish “bollit” in Valencian, or “hervido” in Spanish, which means… boiled!

Although back then we would boil the vegetables without dicing them, so you would get a whole potato in your dish! This also took longer to cook, specially if you didn’t use a pressure cooker. My grandparents didn’t—they seemed to always use the same small weathered pot, and they had to start cooking their bollit every day at 18h for it to be in time for dinner.

If you happened to show up at their home at 20h, you would both get welcomed by an intense smell of boiled onions, and also severely admonished for visiting them so late! 😂