26 January, 2009

A cabbage soup even Roald Dahl would approve of

Books you read as a child stay with you in ways that later books do not. Pictures imprint themselves on your brain, words too. I have always loved the sound of bread and milk and blackberries which is what Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail get for being good at the end of Peter Rabbit. He gets camomile tea which never sounded particularly appetising. And who can forget Wonka's Whipple-Scrumptious Fudge-mallow Delight that Charlie Bucket buys with his found 50p. I'm pretty sure that it's Roald Dahl's fault that I've always found cabbage a bit suspect. Watery cabbage soup sums up the poverty of the Bucket family. Well here is a cabbage soup to cheer you up. Quick to cook, delicious, spicy even. Nothing like what the Buckets eat for lunch and dinner.

Savoy cabbage and coriander soup from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook

For 6

450g onions
1/2 Savoy cabbage (about 400g)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red or 4 green chillies, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
About 5 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed
800ml good vegetable stock
400ml tin of coconut milk
Bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of 3 limes
Salt and black pepper

Finely chop the onions and very finely shred the cabbage, either by hand or by using the finest slicing disc on a food processor.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and cabbage, and cook them over a moderate heat for a couple of minutes before adding the chillies, garlic, ginger and coriander seeds. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onion and cabbage are tender but still have a bite to them.

Bring the stock to the boil in a separate pan and add to the vegetables. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the coconut milk, half of the fresh coriander, the lime juice and finally salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with extra coriander to taste.

P.S. Sorry there's no final picture. I forgot to take one and then, well it was gone.

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