Friday, May 01, 2009

Baked veggie soup for Samhain

Its Samhain, all hallows eve, or halloween, in the southern hemisphere tonight, a time to reflect and to remember our ancestors.

Its also cold, I have a cold and I want soup and soup is a perfect autumn meal for tonight.

Commercial ventures have us celebrating halloween at the same time as the northern hemisphere, but the 31st October is Beltane in the southern hemisphere, a time for lovers and weddings, not a time for remembering our ancestors.

We're having our celebratory Samhain feast tomorrow night with friends, so tonight's soup is a bowl of soul food to warm us on this night of remembrance. Traditional foods for Samhain include beetroot, turnips, squash, apples, corn, nuts, gingerbread, cider, pomegranates, mulled wines and pumpkin dishes.

I have a dish of left-over baked veg begging to be used and good, home made chicken stock in the freezer. These veggies are a combination of onions, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin, perfect for tonight. It helps me remember my parents, Edna and Don, who came from the 'make do and mend' generation.

To make 'left-over' soup, I don't use a recipe, but there is a basic method to it, if you want something more precise, my friend Cath's recipe on The Canberra Cook for her Leftover Roast Something Soup will hold you in good stead.

For tonight's soup I used half a litre of my home made chicken stock and combined it with the baked veggies in a saucepan.

Depending on the number of leftover veggies, you may need to use more stock, it also depends how thick, or thin, you like your soup.

I then added half a glass of white wine. I didn't season until the end as the veg were baked in organic olive oil, sea salt, ground pepper, rosemary from the garden and lemon juice. You can add extra herbs, more garlic and onion (chopped finely and gently sauteed first), some ginger is nice or chili.

I brought the stock and veg to the boil, dropped to a slow simmer, cooked gently for about 30 minutes, or until the flavours combine.

I let it cool, checked for seasoning and then whizzed the whole thing in the blender, when ready to serve, I gently reheat.

You can add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream to each soup bowl and serve with organic sourdough toast smothered in organic butter - perfect.

Every time I make this soup its slightly different, it depends on the veggies used and the colour will vary. Tonight's a beautiful orange colour and very flavourful, perfect for Samhain.

Merry met all!

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