A Tale of Two... Soups

Last semester, we read A Tale of Two Cities in english.  I know that that was several weeks ago, but for some reason that topic just appeals to me right now, and so here's my opinion on Mr. Dickens.  He's way too wordy.  I mean, seriously, just get to the point.  Most of the other people that I have talked to also agree with me.  Sometimes I wonder how Dickens manages to write that much about so little.  The really funny thing is that when I read A Christman Carol, the reading did not at all seem bogged down by wordy discriptions.  But when reading A Tale of Two Cities, that seemed to happen all the time.  I remember I spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out what had happened on a single page.  And this guy was one of the best authors of all times?  Um, ok.  I guess I'm just not sophisticated enough to really appreciate the finer points of life.  Because a chef is just such a lowly position in life, and not artsy at all.  Sure.  Whatever. 
I'm jsut really glad ATOTC is over.  And really hope that I will not have to read Dickens much more, because I think I would like to find his grave and punch him in the face for torturing us students with way too many complicated plots and words, with long and winding discriptions.  Meant sarcastically, of course.
One of the soups, which I created after an aweful day, was spectacular.  And the other soup, which I made tonight after a spectacular day, was spectacular.  The first soup was a light concoction, and I got to use my new asian bowl and spoon, which you can see in the pictures.  That was really exciting... And the soup itself was so good and full of flavour.  And it has very few calories for being so full of flavour, which is always a nice bonus.  The egg was, I thought, very creative and original, and something that I would normally never even dream of.  But there you have it. 
The other, more hearty winter stew was rather good too.  When eating it tonight, my eyes were watering for quite some time, because the soup was so hot (not spicy).  And then, when I was making it, the soup nearly did not fit into our kettle, it was that big.  But, oh my gosh, it was really good and filling and full of flavour.

“Mutton” and Coconut Stew

Serves 8-10

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cups cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp masaman curry paste, or to taste
3 medium red potatoes, chopped
1 cup light coconut milk
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with a couple tbsps water
4 cups “mutton”, cut into bite sized pieces
1 ½ cups frozen sweet peas
A few drops coconut extract
More cilantro, to garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat with a bit of water. Add the onion and cauliflower, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes or so, until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes through potatoes, and simmer for 30 minutes, until potatoes are almost tender. Add the remaining ingredients, and then serve with additional cilantro and salt and pepper.

Omelet Soup
Serves 6-8
Adapted from Chinese and Thai 400
1 egg for every 2 bowls being served at the time
1/2 tsp peanut oil
7 cups water plus equivalent bullion
4 carrots, chopped
2 baby bok choy, shredded
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with ½ cup water
½ bunch spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro and green onions, to serve

Beat the eggs lightly with a fork in a small bowl. Heat a small frying pan with the oil, and pour in the egg. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and then let cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the egg is golden. Remove to a cutting board, roll the omelet, and then chop into ribbons. Set aside.
Meanwhile, add the water through bok choy to a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, and then add the soy sauce, through spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 5 minutes.
Serve garnished with the egg ribbons and cilantro and cilantro.

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