After so many of you said that you liked my ‘Root Veg Soup’ recipe, I thought that I’d share a particular favourite of mine that I have created and, I think perfected, which is an extension of the soup (but if you can perfect it even more, I would love to hear your ideas………)
(please not that some of these ingredients* may not be readily available in France without going to a Indian store, as found in Paris on ‘Passage Brady’)
And now for a small cultural snippet – Passage Brady is a magical street nesting in the Indian area in the 10th ‘arrondissement’ of Paris running between Rue de Faubourg St-Dennis and Rue de Faubourg St Martin (metro Strasbourg St Dennis). A veritable ‘Diagon Alley’ stuffed with the most authentic Indian restaurants in the city and ‘Aladin’s cave’ grocerie stores, brimming with spices and exuding the most tantalizing aromas, to a foody like me.
Not on the regular tourist trail, but like my curry – well worth the effort….
Root Veg Curry
This looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is surprisingly simple to make and well worth the effort.
½ medium white onion finely chopped
1 medium/large potato cut into small cubes
1 medium/large sweet potato cut into small cubes
3 medium/large carrots cut into small cubes
2 medium/large parsnips cut into small cubes
2 good handfuls of red lentils
¾ pt / 700 mls vegetable stock
Good glug of olive oil
A level teaspoon of all the following
Garlic powder (you can use fresh or ‘lazy’ garlic, but the powder adds a different flavour)
Finely chopped fresh ginger (or can substitute powdered ginger)
5 cardamom pods
A good ‘twist’ of sea salt, black pepper and chilli flakes
A handful of unsalted cashew nuts, roughly broken into 4
1 tablespoon/2 cueillers de soupe of lemon juice
2 tablesoons/4 cueillers de soupe of coconut milk (I use 4 frozen pastilles from Picard)
Par boil all the veg for around 7 minutes until it just begins to soften, but is still firm and drain well
In a very large flat bottomed frying pan saute the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes, taking care not to brown
Add the veg and the lentils and the ground spices, cardamom pods and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute over a low heat
Add the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 30 minutes or until most of the stock has been absorbed and the carrots are soft.
Add the cashew nuts and lemon juice and salt and black pepper to taste.
Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk just before serving
Serve with warm pitta bread – delicious
As I am cooking for both English spicy tastes, and French moderate ones, this dish hits the middle road, so I serve a side dish of chopped green jalepenos for the spice fiends (now available at Marks and Spencer food stores at Paris – not the small shop on the Champs Elysses) and a side dish of Greek yogurt with grated cucumber for those of a more delicate palate.