It’s been a while since I’ve featured a ‘Cocktail Hour’ on My Capital Plate, but that’s not to say we haven’t been enjoying the occasional cocktail when the mood strikes. And, with (hopefully) the warmer weather arriving soon, I can see many occasions on which we get a little creative with our weekend tipple.
We served this cocktail a while back at our Father’s Day Linner. Easy to prepare, and even easier to drink, it was made with a lovely blend of gin, elderflower cordial, lime and prosecco.
Elderflower cordial is one of those ingredients I’ve heard of but never actually used. I was delighted to find out that it added the most beautiful aroma to the cocktail – which in itself was very refreshing – and I’ve now used it on many occasions since mixed simply with soda water.
With soup featuring on our weekly meal plan with regularity (thanks Canberra Winter!) I am always on the look out for soup recipes that are a little different. Something a bit more adventurous than our usual go toes (pumpkin, vegetable….actually I think I mentioned that a little while ago.)
So when I came across a vibrant green soup in a recent edition of the Healthy Food Guide – and saw that it was packed with spice, peas and spinach – well I was immediately sold.
The fact I had all the necessary ingredients on hand (save for the spring onions) was a big plus too. Frozen peas, spring onions, coconut milk, spinach, mint, stock and green curry paste – blended in the food processor, then simmered until warmed through.
I loved the suggested toppings too – which took what might be considered a plain looking soup to one that was full of interest! Mint, chilli, fried onions and sesame seeds.
And although I have said this more than once recently – this soup is definitely a keeper! I particularly loved the spice hit from the curry paste, and the creaminess from the coconut milk.
Place peas in a food processor with the spring onions and coconut milk. Process until well combined. Add the baby spinach, mint and half the stock, and continue to process until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the pea mixture and the remaining stock, and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Divide the soup among serving bowls, and top with chopped mint leaves, chilli, fried onions and sesame seeds.
While I am 100% on board the ‘fresh is best’ wagon, sometimes ingredients may not be in season, or may be too expensive.
Such was the case when I had a craving for mango recently, and wanted to create a fruity salsa to serve alongside some spicy chicken and beans. With not a fresh mango in sight, however, I turned to tinned mango instead – which meant that we could have a summery dish even though the temperatures were still in single digits outside.
Combined with cucumber, spring onions, lime, red chilli and fresh mint – we soon had ourselves a lovely sweet and spicy salsa. I think avocado would also be a nice addition…next time perhaps?
Although this was a relatively simple dish, it was definitely a hit, and will almost certainly be making further appearances when mangoes come back into season!