Curry Butternut Soup and Spanakopita

Isn't she just lovely! Art at Tokara Wine Farm

Isn’t she just lovely! Art at Tokara Wine Estate

Today I start and finish with a random photo because she is just too lovely to be last, and I like her shoes….

I recently ordered this curried soup and spanakopita combination in a restaurant in Hermanus (they did not even intend the two starters to be a combination and now it is my favourite pairing).Two dishes that has absolutely no relation or is not a known or even a usual pairing of dishes, but just the right two things to make it spectacular. For me at least.Of course since eating it, the usual obsession started about making it with my own changes.

Curry Butternut Soup

Curry Butternut Soup

For the curry butternut soup-( without quantities as it is just so easy you can just wing it):

Fry onions and garlic with curry mix and powders of your choice in butter/oil. Add chili flakes and add butternut and fry to incorporate the flavours.I also added pumpkin spice and grated orange rind for sweetness. Add vegetable stock and boil until soft. Liquidise the soup and add a bit of cream to taste. I served it with a dollop of Greek Yogurt and added a slice of a filled jalapeño chili popper (left over form a previous meal) as garnish and drizzled with olive oil.

Curry Butternut Soup with Spanakopita

Curry Butternut Soup with Spanakopita

With that I served the spanakopita – a Greek spinach pie  (with my own take on the filling) which is something I used to make regularly and then sort of forgot about it for a while, until now.

400 gr Swiss Chard spinach boiled in salt water and drained very well-press with a wooden spoon in a colander until it is properly drained

I mixed the spinach with: 1 table spoon freshly grated ginger, 250 gr ricotta ( I proudly made mine previously and the method is here, but this time it was store bought ricotta), 150 gr cream cheese and 80 gr chopped pecans. Salt and white pepper to taste.  The ginger gives it a depth of flavour that worked so well with the curried soup.image

Cut filo pastry in long strips and roll a big spoon full in triangular shapes or round cigar shapes (close the ends by folding the filo in) and brush with butter. Bake at 180 to 200 Degrees C for about 30 minutes. Do not use too little filo as the filling can make the parcel burst open and you will have the filling spilling out. Serve with the piping hot soup! Crispy and great-if you heat it up the next day, just put it back in the oven to revive the crispness. Nice for ‘dunkin’ in that soup!image

Fae there on the other side of the world also made spanakopita and her recipe (filling) is slightly different from mine, and I am sure also delicious. It is always so intriguing that one does not see a dish for ages and then suddenly you see it all over. I am very much in a Greek food mood so will keep on trying more varieties of the same.

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Random photo:

Thinking.....also at Tokara

Thinking…..also at Tokara

Arty window display-Busan Korea:

Window display in Busan-art in itself! Photo by Tara

Window display in Busan-art in itself! Photo by Tara

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Roast carrot and ginger soup with coriander foam

Glass house/ Greenhouse

Glass house/ Greenhouse

The colour of winter is orange. Well, that will of course all depend on where you are and what you are doing but today my winter’s colour was orange and it all started with a buchu tea/palate cleanser concoction with orange marigold flowers floating in it. It actually started before that with a spectacular rainbow after a early morning winter rain. Not bad to wake up to this.image I do not see much daylight lately. Work is taking up all available and non- available time and we did one of our overnight trips just to get the soul back into the body again. Heading in the direction of Stellenbosch, we took a detour to Babylonstoren in Franschhoek for brunch. This has got to be one of my favourite places in the world.

Buchu palet cleanser

Buchu palet cleanser

The Greenhouse is so atmospheric and the back drop is the daily weather! Clever people. I had the scone with cream and cheese and my husband the hot dog with golden fried chips which I ended up politely “helping” him to finish……

Scones&cream please!

Scones&cream please!

imageA stroll through the gardens gave me this!

Typical detail Babylonstoren

Typical detail Babylonstoren

Soul restored, we drove to the Stellenbosch wine farms and log fires, cheese (me), wine tasting (husband) followed by a very cheffy dinner and I am not complaining at all. Back into food heaven after I went through a bit of a food slump lately. My starter was a honey glazed, roast carrot and ginger soup that set my brain into a recreation obsession for the rest of the weekend and that is exactly what I made when I got home, even before I unpacked my overnight bag, handbag still slung over my shoulder (just kidding or did I…..?)

I used:

a bunch of medium sized carrots

50 ml marmalade( you can also use honey and orange peal instead)

fresh ginger

cinnamon

1 liter liquid vegetable stock or more if you want a running consistency

125 ml cream

olive oil to drizzleimage

The secret is to first roast the vegetables, mixed with the ginger and marmalade and drizzled with olive oil to intensify the flavours at 180 C for about 45 minutes. When soft and gooey, add to the boiling stock for 5 minutes. Liquidize in the blender and add the cream.

Roasted carrot, marmalade and ginger soup

Roast carrot, marmalade and ginger soup

and then came the foam……

Coriander spiced foam

Coriander spiced foam

At the crafty cheffy dinner everything had a foam or a jus or a bit and a bob and of course my soup needed foam! This is where I started getting very clever. I have a milk frother! I frothed the milk and added dried coriander spice and voi- la! Coriander foam!

Random Photo:

Still at BabylonstorenimageOn the way to Stellenboschimage