Soup for the soul

After almost two months away from Dali, I have returned to the peace and tranquility that I have come to know as “normal life”.  I was working on a project in Shanghai for  the past six weeks and as grateful as I am for this opportunity which popped up quite literally at the same time as my first ever thought of financial insecurity, the intense project consumed me both mentally and physically. Even though everything turned out well in the end, I feel as if I have lost two years of my life in those six short weeks.

I joined Arthur and his family in Sri Lanka just after Shanghai for a week. As much as I was trying not to, I fell sick the day I arrived till the day I left. In fact, it’s been three days since I’ve been back in Dali and I’m still pretty damn ill.

To try to get back some of that lightness and all-round good feeling, Arthur and I are on a cleansing soup diet. Weeks of late nights and takeaway in Shanghai coupled with numerous Sri Lankan buffets do not make for slim waistlines. So it’s time to get souper serious and creative! (Hurhur)

Here are 2 easy soups that turned out great:

1. Asparagus with Chinese Cured Ham, Broccoli and Wild Salad Leaves

ham

 

vege2

 

soup3

  •  Fry a knob of butter with chopped up spring onions, coriander and Chinese cured ham in small pieces
  • Add water or stock (enough to cover all your veges later) and let boil for 15mins
  • Add a large bunch of asparagus (chopped and skinned – if not your soup will be very fibre-y) a few broccoli florets, one small potato (diced)  and/ or any green leafy vegetables
  • Boil until all the vegetables are soft, then liquidise.

2. Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Carrot and Ginger, topped with Skin of Squash Crisps

squash

crisps-raw

soup-cooked

soup-2

  • Fry a knob of butter with garlic, onions and ginger until fragrant
  • Add curry paste or curry powder (add water to make a paste) and keep frying for another 5 mins
  • Add a tablespoon of flour and fry 30 secs
  • Add water or stock  (enough to cover all your veges later) and let boil for 15mins
  • Add squash, carrot, potato (all skinned and diced) with a red pepper (I kept the seeds for extra heat) into the pot and boil till all vegetables and soft, then liquidise.
  • Add cream or milk for extra silky texture
  • For crisps: marinate the skin of the squash in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake in the over at 180 degrees for 20mins till ultra crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

I’m optimistic that I am on the road to recovery. A few more days of rest and recalibration and I should be back on my feet again. My project of the day is to test out my DIY fly traps in preparation for the summer and also our new hammock.

Ah, back to the simple life.

hammock

 

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