Over the past week or so I've been kind of obsessed with soups. On Monday I had soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the past eight days I've been unplugging my crock pot for no more than 12 hours before starting again with a new soup.
But with soups, unlike with almost anything else, I will do a lot of finicking around until I get it exactly right. On Sunday I started with this recipe for Curried Vegetable and Chickpea soup, but I revised as I went, and at the end spent a while seasoning and changing things up before I finally loved it.
So how do you test recipes? Are you ever faithful to the original, or do you feel free to throw other things in willy-nilly, and figure you’ll season and fix as you go?
1 Tablespoonolive oil 1large onion, chopped 1-2leeks, cleaned well and roughly chopped 2all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced 1 Tablespoonsalt 1 Tablespooncurry 2 teaspoonsbrown sugar 1 Tablespoonginger, peeled and minced 3 clovesgarlic, minced 1jalapeno chili (or other hot chili), seeded and minced 2 cupswater 2 Tablespoonsbuillion 2 (16 oz) canschickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 medium headcauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets 5-8medium tomatoes, roughly chopped 1/4 teaspoonblack pepper 8 ozbaby spinach 1 cancoconut milk 1 Tablespoonmolasses 1/4 cuphoney juice of 1 lime
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and leeks with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.
Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Pour this onion-potato mixture into the bowl of your crock pot.
To the slow-cooker, add the rest of the ingredients. The spinach will probably fill up the crock pot, but don't worry, it will cook down. Make sure the liquid comes at least halfway up the side of the bowl. If it doesn't add water 1 cup at a time. Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as needed.
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Tamar Fox is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. Her children's book, No Baths at Camp, was published in 2013 by Kar-Ben, and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post, Tablet Magazine, TheJewniverse.com, and many other publications.