Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I suspect this will be a very full thread. 

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Pumpkin Soup: in a 6 kg cooker

1 very large onion chopped finely (or 3 small)

2/3rds of a Japanese pumpkin chopped loosely

1 large potato, peeled and chopped loosely (or 3 small)

1 tbl garlic salt

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, ground

1 litre chicken stock 

....

1 cup sour cream

.....

Method:

Add all but sour cream and cook on high for 20 minutes.

Blend in batches into a big bowl.

Add sour cream and mix by hand loosely. 

Serve and enjoy. 

I steam chicken for the dogs. We share in the poultry too of course -- such that that's our primary white meat ways and means. When you steam chooks you get stock and that's always the best excuse for soupery.

Whole chooks (spit) or chicken pieces in a PC will give you a thick stock in less than 10 minutes then slow release. You only need one cup plus of water. The more concentrated the stock the less space it will take up in the refrigerator.

Maybe not any and every soup -- but a lot of them requires a good holy trinity. My core one is onions + celery + carrots. I may add peppers if I'm in Caribbean mode. You gotta stew this up gently and make it slow -- like aim for  20 minutes.Keep stirring with a tool to mix the sweating veg. As it stews throw in a herb of choice -- like thyme or oregano stems and bay leaf. And add grated garlic towards the end of the sweating activity.

You can add grated ginger or turmeric too if that's your preference. Chili as well. Anchovies. Capers. Fish sauce. Soya Sauce. Worchester Sauce. Whatever. Just note that you are adding salt in some intances. Not a good idea if you are cooking with dried beans.

Now if more veg is required , add chopped up ones to this mix and stir in. Mushrooms for example.  Sweat some more.

If dryish or preferred, add some wine and boil down.

Then add tomatoes if used. I prefer fresh chopped toms but tinned toms are OK.

Now add your stock or water.

The trick with the PC I reckon is that if any meat is involved 'fry' it up first usually without oil or fat , brown it then remove the flesh and put aside.Use the juices & fat from the meat to proceed further in the cooker.

Just before you add your stock you can return the meat to the PC and stir in.

Now you can screw on your lid and ramp up the pressure. In a PC its remarkable how well veges maintain their shape -- even when softened so keep that in mind when cutting.

After you've done the main steam up, release the pressure, check the goods and taste. Remove the herb stems and bay leaf. Now you can add any ingredients you want firmish like (pre-cooked) beans or peas or whatever.If you use canned beans now's the time to add them for instance.

(But it is also a good idea to cook your dried beans separate from your soup or stew if only for the fart quotient.Bean cooking times in a pc tend to be registered as beans in water -- not beans in a recipe mix.)

You can also add another layer of the trinity veg --such as carrot or celery pieces -- if you want firmer & bigger cuts in your soup.

Now is also the time to add coconut milk or spinach cuts, green prawns or chopped  kale if that's your bag.

You can now also separate any meats from the bone. Put the lid back on and simmer with only the  lid on or part on (no pressure) for another 10-15 or so  minutes to meld the flavours and cook the new additions.

Throw in your finishing herbs like parsley or chopped spring onion.

Some Italians prefer to add another layer of fresh grated garlic before serving. Others may throw in a slurp of virgin olive oil or sesame oil to sit on the soup surface. Depends.

And bon appetit!.

I don't like blending soups as the flavours become overall generic and texture is lost. I prefer to mash the ingredients if that sort of thing is required.

If making a pasta based or noodle soup cook these ingredients separately, add them to a serving bowl and pour the soup on top. Same with rice -- as in gumbo.

A trick the Vietnamese and Koreans utilise is finely chop cabbage, carrots or dakon and float these on the surface of the soup.Like pho does with bean spouts. Stirred in they add flavour and texture. Purple cabbage finely shredded  is an aesthetic buzz.

If you are cooking chicken for the dogs  if you can buy cheap chicken legs in bulk is a cheap source of boneless chicken meat  the legs are not that hard to take off the bone  3 kg of chicken legs gives 2 kg of meat which is easy to put in the freezer the leg bones  then can be cut in 2 and put in the pressure cooker but if you want to use the bones left over need to put where dogs can not get at as they will dig up and eat. 

That's a good idea. 

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