Coconut Chicken Stew with Basil & Lime

IMG_9606There is something incredibly satisfying about stews, regardless of their country of origin. Pieces of vegetables nestled in a rich sauce, sometimes with meat, sometimes without. Once I discovered the wonderful aspects of Thai red & green curry pastes, I started playing with different versions of stews using coconut milk as a base. I remember a surprise visit of a large family, and making enough vegetable stew to feed us all easily, using a mixture of just the vegetables I had on hand, along with coconut milk and some curry paste. We served it over mounds of rice in large bowls while we got caught up on each other’s lives.

However, a day came when I didn’t have any curry paste in the pantry, so needed to go it alone. Often now, I tend to make this coconut based stew without the curry paste, and have sorted the ingredients out to make a wonderfully flavoured stew.   I’ve shown it here with chicken, but as the option that follows shows, it is completely wonderful as a meatless stew (although it does use fish sauce, so not completely vegetarian). Continue reading

Avocado Bisque

IMG_7930Here’s a little something that I’ve been doing for years. A little bit of yummy-wow to lead into a special dinner. It’s so easy to do, and is delicious, with creamy avocado goodness, all dressed up to impress. There are two versions; one has a decadent cream base, while the other uses coconut milk. Both are wonderful.

Serve in chilled martini glasses, or other cute glasses, with a simple flower garnish. Shown here with dried rose petals. Continue reading

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Apple

IMG_6548This was one of those nights!  Hadn’t really spent any time thinking about dinner, but my husband’s on a special diet right now, and knew that I had to put something together!  Looking in my diverse pantry, I kept seeing things that would really be good, but most of them were on the “no” list.  So using some really basic items (all of which were on the “yes” list), I pulled a really tasty soup out of a hat.  It is filling, so we were satisfied with just the soup, no side dishes, no bread.  I feel guilty eating a variety of foods when the one other person eating just has a whole long list of “no’s”.

Of course, now that I’ve made it, I know I’ll make it again. It is so easy, vegan, too, if that’s required.

I had two lovely little pumpkins from jollity Farm sitting waiting patiently for me to put them to good use.  A quick peel & chop and they were in a pot, gently simmering until soft, drained, and then mashed.

I really suggest this as a main course soup, maybe on a really cold winter’s night, before a game of scrabble or crib.IMG_6529 Continue reading

Senegalese Soup

IMG_3247Just said good-bye to our guests after a fun-filled Easter weekend.  The sun is shining, it’s t-shirt weather and we have hundreds of daffodils blooming.  Perfect weather for walks, photography and sitting outside visiting.  We had a summerlike lunch on the porch yesterday, with bowls of Senegalese soup, and warm, delicious cornbread.  I think that when we eat out of doors we tend to linger longer, as we nibble and visit.  Three of our four visitors are extremely gluten intolerant, so go with the flow; we simply had a GF weekend.

I’ve made this soup many times, always with great reviews, people asking for seconds, and the recipe passed on.  The combination of apples and curry is a lovely pairing, and makes this a very pleasing soup, as well, not only is it vegetarian, but easily gluten free.

Continue reading