Whilst having lunch with some friends last week, the conversation moved to discussing how good chefs hate throwing away food so will often creatively “upcycle” ingredients into delicious soups, sauces or puddings. Despite my assurances that chefs would not compromise the health and safety of their diners, one of my friends was so horrified by my revelations, that she declared that she’d never order bread and butter pudding again!
I admit that I too hate waste and feel happy when using leftovers to make slow cooked soups, sauces and stews or for quick stir fries and frittatas. The irony is that these dishes bring out my more creative side so are often the most tasty!
Last Thursday there were lots of root vegetables left over in my fridge and, with winter still lingering, the thought of a steaming bowl of creamy soup was very tempting. Starchy root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips and sweet potatoes have a velvety, soothing texture when liquidised which is perfect comfort food against the rain and cold. They also provide a perfect base on which to add to the dish’s character, using whatever herbs, spices and flavourings take your fancy.
I chose to add cardamom, pink pepper corns and nutmeg to create warming spicy undertones to my soup base. Then before serving, I sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on top for added crunch and decorated the centre with edible rose petals, (bought during a recent trip to Morocco but which are also now available in supermarkets. ) As this post is about making good use of leftovers, the ingredients listed below should merely serve as a guide. Any leftover vegetables will create a great soup (as long as they are not too withered!) Simply discard any discoloured or soggy bits and have fun experimenting with different flavour combinations. 🙂
Cardamom and Rose Petal Soup
Prep to plate: 30 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 2 carrots
- 1 potato
- 1 leek
- 1 red onion
- half sweet potato
- 2 parsnips
- 1 turnip
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp pink pepper corns (left whole)
- 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (crush shell with back of spoon to release seeds)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup of freshly chopped parsley
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp edible dried rose petals
- Peel and roughly chop all the vegetables.
- Heat oil in a large heavy based pot and add vegetables, stirring with a wooden spoon to stop the bottom from burning.
- After a couple of minutes when vegetables start to soften, add spices and salt and stir.
- Add stock-making sure there is enough to generously cover vegetables.
- Cover pot and cook until vegetables have softened (about 20 minutes ).
- Liquidise to a smooth consistency. (Take care not to splatter yourself with hot liquid)
- If the mixture is too thick, add a little more stock or boiling water.
- Toast sesame seeds in a dry heavy bottomed sauce pan, stir frequently to stop from burning.
- To serve: Pour into individual bowls and garnish with sesame seeds and edible rose petals just before serving.
Did you know? Cardamom is known as the Queen of Spices because of its popularity not just in Asian cooking but for its medicinal and other health giving properties. It is also considered good for the skin and hair as well as a breath freshener!
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