Thursday, January 9, 2014

Curried Vegetable Bisque

I've always heard that having children and/or dogs is how you get to know your neighbours.  We don't have a dog, but certainly having a daughter and attending community events for children has given us the opportunity to meet more people in the community.

I remember growing up and knowing who lives in what house, ringing on the neighbours' doorbells without planning a play date, being involved in things at the community centre, etc.  That's the type of experience I'd like for E.  So, now I'm more invested in participating in the community and being a part of planning events within our community, which is transitioning from older couples to younger families.

One simple thing I did was start a neighbourhood Facebook group.  It's such an easy thing to do and already we have 90 members.  Communication has increased so much and I'm seeing that there are a number of people in my neighbourhood that are passionate about community building.

Recently, one of my neighbours planned a neighbourhood soup swap.  Basically, you make 6 one-litre jars of soup and leave with 6 different one litre jars of soup.  I went with 6 litres of vegetarian minestrone soup and I walked out with ginger-carrot, mushroom, broccoli-cheddar, harvest butternut squash, and curried vegetable bisque.

Truth be told, one mason jar cracked in my freezer and two didn't taste very good.  In fact, I had a hard time even eating one because the appearance and storage of it reminded me of an episode of Intervention when a woman purged in ziplock bags (sorry TMI).  I still have one left.  However, one soup was really good.  So, I got the recipe and made it for myself.

Curried Vegetable Bisque:
(Simply in Season)
5 cups tart apple (peeled and chopped)
2 cups onion (chopped)
2 cup red pepper (chopped)
1 cup zucchini (chopped)
1 1/2 cups carrots (chopped)
3/4 cups celery (chopped)
7 cups vegetable broth
3 cups of potatoes (chopped)
1/2 cups raisins
3 tablespoons curry powder
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups milk
1 1/4 cup milk powder (for a creamier bisque)
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 cups cooked shrimp or chicken
1. Saute apple, onion, pepper, zucchini, carrots and celery in vegetable oil until vegetables are soft.

2. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the broth, potatoes, raisins and spices. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring as needed, until potatoes are soft, 12-15 minutes.

3. Puree soup using a hand blender.
4. Add the rest of the broth, milk and tomato sauce. Reheat soup over medium heat until hot. Add in the cooked shrimp or chicken.

I made a slight variation on this recipe -- found here.  Whatever I did, it didn't taste as good as the soup I got at the swap.  It was too sweet.  Maybe it was the apples I used being too sweet.  In any case, I would try again but stick closer to the recipe.  Maybe even eliminate the raisins to cut down on the sweetness.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I like the idea of getting to know your neighbours. I have lived in the same condo for 6 years and never see a soul going in or out. I know people live here!!!

That Girl said...

I feel like having a child has definitely helped our neighbors to get to know us, but not the other way around. I'm sure we're referred to as "that family with the screaming jumping bean for a child"