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January 2, 2013

Comfort in a cup

Hardy soups take off winter's chill

(Continued)

The 13-bean soup is a perfect example. The beans are cooked in water, and then the stock is added to the soup trinity — the cooked onion, carrot and celery.

Divide the soup in half and the trinity in half and go with a ham stock and chunks of ham in one version, and a vegetable stock in the other. Perfect.

MIGHTY MULLIGATAWNY

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Olive oil

8 1/2 ounces quality ground beef

1 red onion, peeled

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 or 2 chilies, deseeded and chopped

A small bunch of fresh cilantro

1 heaped tablespoon Patak’s Madras curry paste

1 tablespoon tomato puree

Sea salt and ground pepper

1 heaped tablespoon HP sauce

5 cups organic beef stock

1/2 a butternut squash (roughly 12 ounces)

A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked

A couple of pinches of garam masala

1 cup basmati rice

Plain yogurt, to serve

Put a large pan on a high heat and add a splash of olive oil and the ground beef.

Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the beef, until it starts to turn golden and caramelize. Stir in the onion, carrot, garlic, red pepper, ginger and most of the chilies, and add a splash more oil, if needed.

Cut the top leafy section off the cilantro and put aside in a cup of cold water for later. Finely chop the stalks and add to the pan. Cook and stir for around 10 minutes on a medium heat, or until the veggies have softened.

Stir in the curry paste, tomato puree, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the HP sauce. After a few more minutes, when it smells fantastic, pour in the stock. Leave to blip away with the lid on over a medium heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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