On the weekend of the July Handicap, my girlfriend Kami and I decided to get out of Durban for the day. I have no affection for equestrian events such as the July Handicap and the throngs of mindless sheep that it attracts; so a trip up the hill past Pietermaritzburg to the fresh air of the Midlands Meander was in order.
You will remember that Carol, my friend who lives in Underberg, stayed with me during her recent chemo and radiation therapy, she managed to pop home to Underberg and her beloved hubby, Mikey on the odd weekends. As soon as the nurses at the Oncology Centre had pulled that needle out on a Friday, Carol was in her bakkie and racing back home. What a super star she was hey! Anyway, I digress! Carol would arrive back at my house on a Monday morning with half of the contents of her considerable veggie garden and every single egg that her various breeds of ducks and chickens had lain! Not to mention half of Pucketty’s and litres of honey from Peels Honey!
She bought back a beautiful home grown pumpkin sometime in April and I have been waiting for the inspiration fairies to whack me over the head with their wands ever since. A quick stop at the German deli up in Balgowan yielded a stash of awesome Bokwurst and Kasegrillers, a sublime authentic ‘Jawol Mein Her” Apfelstrudel – an even more sublime Potato Bread – and an authentic un-glazed brazier for my Tagine from the ceramicist next door to the German deli. I have been looking for one of these forever! I could hardly contain myself and have cooked on it twice already.
The obvious choice became a Pumpkin Tagine with which I would make a hearty winter soup. I used a recipe from a book that I bought recently. ‘The Food of Morocco’ – a journey for food lovers by Tess Mallos, is pretty much a generic version of the same book that is printed with different covers.
Kami and I also stopped at the Nottingham Road Brewery at Rawdons in Nottingham Road for a beer tasting session. I have never enjoyed beer very much but my pallet seems to be changing and I quaffed down four of the famous brews with great enjoyment. I bought a selection of their finest and a round of their Pickled Pig Cheese to make a nice beer bread to accompany this soup.
I used a Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stew recipe as a guideline only, opting to replace the sweet potato with granny smith apples for a bit of a counterpoint for the sweet honey roasted pumpkin.
Pumpkin and Apple
Based on the Pumpkin
and sweet potato stew recipe from the book
The Food of Morocco pg. 84
100ml olive oil or 60g butter
2 onions chopped medium size
4 cloves of sliced garlic
3 granny smith apples – peeled, cored and cut into chunks.
½ pumpkin or butternut squash – peeled and cut into chunks
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp ground ginger – I didn’t have any so I used preserved stem ginger in syrup
1tsp ground turmeric
2tsp of Harissa Paste – or ½tsp of ground cayenne pepper
500ml chicken or vegetable stock for the tagine
An additional 500ml to liquidise the cooked Pumpkin in.
A pinch of saffron threads
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs of rosemary
200ml fresh cream
Make a fire in your
brazier if you have one – if you don’t use a heavy based pot on the top of your
stove and once all of your ingredients are in put a lid on and bake it in the
Once the coals are
white place you tagine on the brazier
Soften the onion and garlic in the oil – add the ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper or harissa paste
and fry for 5 minutes. The spicy aromas are just wonderful.
Add a pinch of saffron
threads and your choice of either chicken or vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and
then add your chunks of apple, pumpkin, honey, salt and pepper to taste and
give the tagine a good stir. Place the
lid on and cook until the pumpkin and apple are soft.
On my little fire
this took about 2 hours – I did add a few extra coals after about an hour to
get the heat up again.
Once your veggies are
nice and soft – liquidise with the extra stock and fresh cream.
Serve with nice hot
and crusty bread. I made a loaf of beer
bread with the Nottingham Road Brewery Pickled Pig Porter – a dark milk stout and
will post that recipe on Wednesday.
Dukkah is a mix or seeds and spices that originates in Egypt and adds a nice crunch and
spicy aromas to your soup.
At the rate I am
going today, this is going to have to be a Meat Free Tuesday recipe!
In fact I think that I will post this tomorrow and put up my answers to Pink Polka Dots weekly quiz.
PS: Well – I am only getting around to posting today! So this is a Meat Free Wednesday Post!
Just heard that Sardines have been spotted on the South Coast!