Purple cabbage and potato soup + A Little Life Book Review

This soup happened because of 3 reasons. First, I bought a purple cabbage the other day and after making the obligatory salad that I was craving, I started to wonder… what else can I use purple cabbage for? Second, it coincided with my best friend telling me that purple foods are not only high in antioxidants, but also very good for digestive health. She should now, she is a qualified nutritionist. Then third, it’s soup & snuggle season here in Perth – cold and rainy and demanding of warming foods.

So I started to wonder…. Can purple cabbage soup happen? Can it actually be delicious? YES it can. It definitely can.

Now, I cannot have onion and garlic at the moment (*cue tiny violin*) so I did not use any for this recipe. While the soup is delicious without, if you’re friends with onion and garlic, please do use some. I have a (not so vague) feeling that it will make it x10,000 better.

In different news, I decided to put my book reviews on the blog as I received some private messages from some of you who don’t really use Instagram that much. I also love having everything stored safely here, my personal little (web)home 🙂 There’s no extra effort involved on my part, so here goes. My review of A Little Life by Yanagihara, in case you haven’t read it already. And if you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

So this is a little life in a big book! 700+ pages to be precise.

I find the book so suited to our day and age. Our times are riddled with abuse, self loathing, victimisation and the urge for annihilation; anxiety and dread are the norm, as well as a generalised sense of helplessness. The books plumbs deep into all these -anxiety, travel, drugs, self harm, abuse, love affairs. And yes, on the surface it seems dark and traumatic.

Actually, one of the biggest takeaways of the book is the raw and honest depiction of the effects of abuse. I feel it gives a fuller understanding of the after-effects of systemic childhood trauma that seeps into ones being and haunts them well into adulthood.

Yet at the core, I find the book is not about the abuse itself. It’s about the power and meaning of true, selfless friendship, a friendship which is fluid and complex and evolving. A loving friendship that comes to save the day, time and time again, a loving friendship that is resilient and beautiful and that will endure through spats, struggles, abuse and everything in between.

The book consumed my thoughts; it’s as addictive as they come. I could not but fully immerse into their lives, their thoughts, their feelings. I was not able to stop thinking about it weeks later.

PS. The book will make you weep. I experienced physical reactions, I felt punched in the stomach, I skipped a breath, my skin went cold. And I wept.

PSS. It’s not a book I can easily recommend to anyone. I feel it should come with a warning if you’re triggered by abuse or cannot cope reading about systemic trauma.

Purple cabbage and potato soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/4 purple cabbage, shredded
  • 4 purple potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 regular potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 TBSP veggie stock powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 TBSP mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 6 cups of water
  • Optional: 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • Optional: 2 garlic cloves, chopped

Steps for Magimix Cook Expert

  1. Add all the ingredients to the cooking bowl and cook on the Cream Soup Setting.
  2. That’s it.
  3. Serve with fresh herbs and a good sourdough.

Steps for cooking on the stove

  1. Add a bit of olive oil to a medium pot on medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender.
  3. Add the following spices to the pot – cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cumin powder, curry powder, bay leaves and dry herbs. Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add water and coconut milk to the pot, together with purple cabbage, potatoes, lentils, veggie stock, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes on medium-low heat, until the potatoes and lentils and tender.
  6. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow it to cool a bit.
  7. Transfer the soup a bit at a time to a blender and puree.
  8. To serve, warm the soup and top with fresh herbs. Serve with a good sourdough for extra deliciousness.
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