Curried Broth with Peppers

Curried Broth with Peppers 

Today is a lovely sunny day in early June but I have chosen to make a hot curried soup. I was pondering what to make for dinner this evening and the spouse said that we had a lot of vegetables in the fridge. I knew there were quite a few peppers so checked in The Soup Book to see how I could use them up. This soup is based on yet another recipe by Roopa Gulati and contains star anise, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, onions, root ginger, an orange pepper and a yellow pepper, basmati rice, turmeric, garam masala, vegetable stock, date palm sugar, lemon and coriander leaves. If you can't find nigella seeds, there are a few spices or herbs you can substitute for them. I didn't use a substitute for the nigella seeds, but I did for the date palm sugar - I just used dark brown sugar and hoped for the best.

The different seeds smelled delicious as I fried them together before adding the onion and ginger. Star anise is a new addition to my repertoire of spices and one I associate with Chinese cookery. I find that some chefs can be rather heavy handed in their use of it. Back to the soup. The peppers, rice, turmeric and garam masala are added after the onions are fried, then you pour in the stock, sugar and lemon zest. The finished soup is very good and feels healthy. The older offspring is away (again) so it's up to the younger offspring to pronounce judgement.

Bee Tell Mania 

Lots to tell about bees today! Bees seem to be attracted mainly to the chive flowers in my back garden, but the lavender in the front garden has yet to live up to its reputation. The absence of clustering bees could have something to do with the fact that lavender plants haven't flowered yet. Also conspicuous by their absence are the solitary bees who were supposed to be availing of my hospitality in the bee box. I have even pruned the bamboo in the back garden and cut up more stems to put in the bee box. The bee tourist industry is not thriving.

In case anyone was wondering, I was away last weekend. I made good use of my time and read a couple of articles about keeping bees and the joys of honey in The Lady and The Guardian magazines respectively.

Here are some links to articles of interest:
And finally, I received an e-mail from the County Dublin Beekeepers' Association letting me know that they'll be exhibiting at Bloom 2011. I hope we haven't left it too late to get tickets.


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