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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Eggplant/ Brinjal Bake and New7wonders!

Cape Town (the Mother City) really celebrated its own Mother’s Day with her best dress today. Windless, clear and bright as only Cape Town can be, when she of course wants to!  My family took me for and early breakfast at the Rhodes Memorial, halfway up the slopes of Table Mountain and we decided thereafter to take the cable car all the way up the mountain and spent the rest of the morning on one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Visit www.new7wonders.com. It just never fades, the beauty of our mountain and city.

View from Rhode's Memorial

imageview from Table Mountain

But what has her mountain got to do with a brinjal bake they ask? Well, Mother’s Day has all to do with it as the new addition to my kitchen is a lovely cream Le Creuset pan, thanks to my family!

I just imagined frying onions in my new pan and that is how I got to make the brinjal bake! See. Easy peasy.

Ingredients:

3 eggplants/brinjal

juice of half a lemon

olive oil to drizzle

salt

black pepper

3 onions( I used red)

4 tomatoes

a handful of cherry tomatoes is you have

75 ml or more tomato paste

sprinkle of sugar

500 ml grated mozzarella cheese

Thyme/oregano

basil leaves for garnish

Cut the brinjal lengthways and drizzle with lemon and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and grill for 5 minutes a side in a hot oven.

Fry diced onion and add diced tomato and tomato paste. I always add a hand full of frozen cherry tomatoes that I keep in my freezer to soups,sauces or stews as it adds to the juiciness. Add salt, pepper, thyme/ oregano to taste and a sprinkle of sugar. Simmer the tomato relish until cooked through.

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I just had to add the below hazy photo as it has my new pan in it! It seems that the pink cutting board gave a pink glow to everything in the photo and it is the only one I took of my simmering sauce.

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Layer grilled brinjal, tomato relish and a few basil leaves in a baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in a warm oven for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with basil leaves.

Serve as a vegetarian dish with green salad or as a vegetable side.

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