Cooking with Porkchop & Ike: Lazy Girl’s Coconut Curry Soup

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Ever since I started making homemade dog food, PC and Ike go crazy when they see me cutting up vegetables.

I really enjoy cooking. I love trying new things and putting together large meals for the people I love. But let’s be real, when the winter weather rolls in and it starts getting dark earlier, I’m 100% Team Soup. I’m talking soup that doesn’t take a hundred years to put together and is going to be just as awesome three days from now.

Especially after all the drama and stress of making Thanksgiving dinner, this soup is a trip down lazy-person lane. It’s also a great way to get a ton of veg in after a weekend of Thanksgiving leftovers and College Football side dishes.

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I promise its good.

Its super customizable–don’t like snow peas but have a five pound bag of kale at the end of its life? Swap ’em. Prefer a sweeter soup? Add more coconut milk. Like more spice? Throw some cayenne in there. Whatever you want! I prefer more spice + stock and less coconut milk, so that’s the recipe I’m sharing with you today. You just have to make sure the order you add the ingredients is correct because carrots take way longer to cook than tomatoes. No one likes soggy soup.

Lazy Girl’s Coconut Curry Soup

(Adapted from Minimalist Baker and A Pinch of Yum.)

Minimalist Baker’s recipe includes the addition of quinoa, which I prefer over tofu. The quinoa adds a little extra protein and sticks to your ribs. If you decide to make the quinoa, start with that so its ready by the time your soup is done.

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I ❤ this guy.

I like vegetable stock over coconut milk but do you boo and cook it however makes you happy.

Quinoa:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup white quinoa
  2. 2 cups vegetable stock (or 1 14 ounce can light coconut milk)

Directions:

  1. Strain and pour quinoa into a saucepan and toast on medium heat for about 5 mins.
  2. Add vegetable stock (or milk) and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover until quinoa is cooked and all liquid is absorbed (15 minutes)
  4. Set aside.
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I added mushroom stems to my quinoa because I had a bunch saved.

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All done!

Soup:

Ingredients: Again, this is what I had in the fridge, feel free to swap something out. Once you have a good soup base you can throw in basically whatever you have on hand. There’s a little bit of prep time for chopping up the vegetables but don’t worry about making sure everything is cut super evenly. This is your lazy soup. Plus you can call it “rustic.”

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  1. 2 onions (chopped)
  2. 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  3. 2 bell peppers (whatever color you prefer, chopped)
  4. 1 bag frozen broccoli florets (big bag or little bag, you can add more liquid and spice)
  5. 4 or 5 fresh carrots (diced)
  6. 1/2 cup snow peas or a big bag of fresh kale (rip the leaves off, don’t use the stems)
  7. 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  8. 1 liter (about 33 ounces) coconut milk + an extra (14 ounce) can if you like it sweeter
  9. 2 cups (+ more) vegetable stock
  10. 1 TBSP fresh ginger (its okay if you forget to buy it, but ginger is great for you, especially after all that Thanksgiving/Football food!)
  11. Cayenne pepper
  12. Curry powder
  13. Red pepper flakes
  14. Garlic Powder
  15. Salt + Pepper

Directions:

Start by heating a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook for five minutes, adding your garlic, ginger, and peppers. Cook for about five more minutes.

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Mmmmm now your house smells like sauteed onions.

Add your carrots and broccoli next. I like to let the carrots cook for about five minutes or so before adding the liquid.

Make sure you give a carrot to your insane dogs who think vegetables are treats.

Now add your coconut milk (14 ounces) and vegetable stock (2 cups) and reduce your heat. Because I like a ton of vegetables I have to add more vegetable stock, but if you’re making a less vegetable heavy soup, you might not need as much liquid.

Add curry powder, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. I add A TON because I like spicy. Again, its up to you. Don’t forget a little salt and pepper. Be careful if you’re using store bought stock because it probably already has a lot of sodium; make sure you constantly taste your soup!

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I’m not joking about the curry and cayenne obsession.

Reduce heat and cover until the soup is warmed through and its the right amount of spicy for your taste buds. Once it’s ready, add in kale, tomatoes, or snow peas (or all of them if you have them on hand!) These three get soggy quick so you want to add them in at the very last minute.

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Stir, check and see if you need more liquid–if so add in more milk or stock and season accordingly.

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Once your soup is ready, grab a bowl and add a base of quinoa, then ladle in desired amount of soup. Top with cilantro and/or lemon juice. That’s it! You’re done! And the best part is that you have lunch/dinner for the next few days.

 

Listening to: A Kid Named Cudi (Kid Cudi)

Dessert obsession: Somlói galuska

Good Food and Getting Lost: Our First Weekend in Budapest

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Last month Chris and I spent the weekend in the Jewish Quarter of Budapest (VII or Erzsébetváros). Located on the Pest side of the Danube, this area is known as the Jewish Quarter because it was the location of the Jewish ghetto established in Budapest in 1944. Now, 70 years later, this portion of the city is known for great restaurants and craft beer in addition to the beautiful historic sites commemorating the events of WWII.

We had a great time in the capital, eating a ton of great food, drinking beer that is not Soproni, and having an adventure in this gorgeous city.

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View from our apartment.

The first day was rainy and overcast, but thankfully the weather cleared up by Saturday. Wanting to stay close to the apartment because of the rain, we stopped at Szimpla Kert (“Simple Garden”) for a few beers. A ruin pub that also houses an awesome farmers market on Sundays, the atmosphere at Szimpla Kert was a lot of fun and super interesting (their outdoor seating also had an area playing silent movies!)

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Not the best quality. Rain + Old Phone = Grainy Pictures.

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A couple of beers we tried.

Later we had dinner at the Hungarian version of a food truck rodeo–Street Food Karavan.

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From TripAdvisor. I was too excited and forgot to take a picture.

There were probably about ten or so trucks with all types of food, although our favorites were Zing Burger (Chris) and Paneer (Me). The food was so good we went twice. I ate the same sandwich (friend camembert+beetroot mayo+eggplant+cranberry) while Chris ordered the Angus Burger the first night and the Guitar Hero burger on the second (double patty).

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YAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Thankfully the weather was nice and sunny on Saturday so we spent the day wandering around the city looking at the beautiful historic sites in the district.

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Sunnier today!

But first, breakfast. One of the things I really miss about living in a big city is weekend brunch so we were going to take full advantage of that in Budapest. Saturday we had amazing orange juice and sandwiches at Darjeeling Teahouse and Cafe.

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Let’s be honest, I also wanted to go there just to make Wes Anderson references.

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Okay on to our walking adventure.

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One of my favorite buildings ❤

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The Great Synagogue. The largest in Europe and second biggest in the world.

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Two thousand people are buried here, passing away from the hunger/cold in the ghetto during 1944-1945. Imre Varga created this weeping willow monument at the synagogue.

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Really cool Peti Rajzol art.

We also randomly walked into a vintage market and I found a pretty awesome 1980 Moscow Olympics camping mug, so obviously a great day.

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Boo to boycotted Olympics, we never got to really experience Misha the Bear in the states.

img_2198After touring the Holocaust Memorial Museum, we headed to Éleszto (“yeast”), a pub with over 20 craft beers on tap. It was awesome and I’m still missing the beer. While we were there we also facetimed with friends from Charleston too ❤img_2199

We tried a few kinds: Pandulabeer XMoke Ripe (Hungary-Smoked Rye IPA). Armando Otchoa Hangover Rasta (Hungar-Oyster Stout),  Vilagos Sor Éleszto Propaganda (Hungary-Pilsner) Monyo Black Alligator (Hungary-Saison), Kaltenecker Chopper (Slovakia-IPA). I can’t recommend this place enough.

Sunday was back to dreary weather but nothing can stop me from that brunch game.

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We had brunch at Cirkusz and it was one of my favorite EVER. Chris had the Recovery Breakfast and I ordered Turkish eggs (first time I had them!)

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SOOOO GOOD.

After breakfast we went over to the farmers market at Szimpla Kert which had the most amazing variety of cheese, meats, and spices. For lunch we took advantage of the variety of food available in the city and tried Mazel Tov. It was a beautiful restaurant with a middle eastern menu.

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Chris had a Shawarma plate and I chose Shakshuka. Both were great, although I wish the Shakshuka was a little spicier.

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This Sunday was actually the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution (1956). Occupied by the Soviet Union following WWII, the revolt was started by students in Budapest and lasted until November 10th. The Soviets came in after the government collapsed and regained control, with the new government suppressing all revolutionaries. Time Magazine named the “Hungarian Patriot” as their Man of the Year in 1956. Walking back from dinner, Chris and I saw the start of mural of the Time cover on a building near the restaurant.

1956 - A Time magazin címlapja egy főváros ház falán

Here it is finished!

Because I am a nerd for discussions on nationalism and state identity, one of the interesting aspects of the revolution is how different parties view the uprising. Vladimir Putin calls the Soviet intervention a “liberation” of the Hungarian people of a “counterrevolution.” Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán stated that “We no longer watch from the sidelines while others write our history for us..” Joe “precious cargo” Biden noted in a letter to the Hungarian embassy of the impact of the revolution in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  In this article, Vera Molnár discusses the importance of interpretation for a nation:

 

History is a sum total of personal and group narratives the interpretation of which can strengthen or destroy a nation’s soul. This is why the narrative one chooses to highlight or ignore matters a great deal in terms of the healthy development of a nation—and learning the right lessons of the past. That includes Hungarians as much as Russians.

Hungary Today also posted a couple of awesome “Then and Now” pictures of the revolution and Budapest today.

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This is one of the streets we walked during our trip.

Okay, back the trip.

Unfortunately by the end of the day I was feeling really under the weather–I caught Chris’s cold–so we missed grabbing Mexican food at a nearby restaurant. While at the time this seemed like the best course of action now that I don’t have a fever I’m definitely depressed about missing it.

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Last day in Budapest we stopped at The Goat Herder on the way to the train station. Still not feeling well, we grabbed tea and breakfast sandwiches. I LOVED this shop. If you can think of the coziest, sweetest cafe with the cutest tea cups in the world, then you’re on the right track.

img_2217Thanks for the lovely weekend 7th district!img_2232

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Send some positive thoughts to Ms. Wino. She just had surgery last week and is on the mend. Missing this crazy girl. Thank you thank you to Erika and Aaron for taking such amazing care of her.