Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cold day comfort

OK. It’s been cold. Not the 40 degree with a bit of moisture-feels-kind-of-raw cold we’re used to here in Atlanta, but Minneapolis, Boston, Chicago 16 degree and blustery-cuts-right-through-you-wind cold.

Clearly we needed something really warm to eat… something flavorful, with dimension, something with color. Something… interesting. And it’s the holidays, a time so loaded with rich food that I did not desire anything based on meat or dairy.

I’ve been reading a terrific book by Joan Nathan about Jewish food in Paris. I am sure the following recipe reflects influences from her descriptions of Moroccan food. This can be a stew or a soup, just adjust the liquid to your preferences. I served it on whole wheat couscous for dinner then by itself as a lunch.

2 onions: chopped
1 cauliflower: chopped, not too small
4 garlic cloves: chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped in cubes
2 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1.5 quarts chicken broth, or vegetable broth

1/2 C whole green olives,
2-3 T chopped fresh ginger
1-2 lemons: juiced and zest grated
1 jalapeno, chopped and seeded according to your heat preference
2 T ground cumin
2 tsp. ground ancho chile
1 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. allspice
Bunch of fresh cilantro
cayenne to taste

Soften the onions in butter and olive oil. Remove from pot. Toss the cauliflower in some olive oil and add the cumin, chile and allspice and salt to taste. Cook over high and add the garlic when nearly done: you want it slightly softer than raw, but not really soft. Add the onions back in, and the butternut squash, the broth, the chick peas, ginger and the marjoram. Bring to boil, then cut heat back to simmer. Taste. Add salt as needed. Cook covered til squash is soft. With a fork, mash the squash against the side of the pot so that 3/4 are mashed and 1/4 remain in cubes. The mashed squash will provide body to the liquid.

Add green olives, lemon juice, grated zest and jalapeno. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Before serving, add chopped cilantro.

1 comment:

dkm said...

What is there more comforting than hot soup on a warm day? This one looks unique and wonderful! Love the spice combination and and the veggie selection.

It was so nice to see you on Sunday---even if only across the piano.