Friday, December 29, 2006

Coco Mango Soup



Would you have ever imagined that this last year would zoom by so fast? I am finding it hard to believe that this will be my last post of the year. Sounds so dramatic, doesn't it? But just think after the weekend we'll be starting not only a new week but also a new year. It makes me sit back and take a deep breath.


It was towards the end of February when I first started with What's For Lunch, Honey? I kind of shudder when I look back at the food pictures from those days. LOL! I did learn quickly though and when my Sony digital camera I was using back then got stolen on our trip to London, I think I was the most miserable person in the Blogesphere! However, it was a blessing in disguise! When I invested in the Nikon D70s I did not realize at the time that what had started out as a bit of fun would turn out to be addictive passion!

This blog has made so many things possible for me. It gives me that little glow every time I think about them. Besides the fact that I am learning so much everyday about picture-taking, I have to say I have become more experimental with my cooking too. I do not shy away from complicated sounding recipes anymore. As a matter of fact I take this on as a challenge and in the end am totally amazed how well it turned out. Of course then comes the process of taking equally good pictures of it and then when all this has turned out well, I just cannot wait to share it with you.

You! That is the biggest bonus I was rewarded with this blog. I got to know many of you. Through your comments, mails and blogs it was just plain fun being in touch with you. I made some great friends and met some awesome people. The best thing about it is that I look forward to more of it in 2007. Just getting to know people through their blogs and sharing a common passion in food and photography brings us all so much closer. I would have never thought that this was such a fantastic social community.

With all the events that go on throughout the year in our Foodie lives it becomes easier for a beginner to meet up with others who share the same passion. The question however, is not "What should I wear?" but "What should I bring along?" There were many events in which I took part the past year too. I even started my own event and of course there was the absolutely brilliant Bloggers Postcards From The World. Both will be back with a bang in 2007 so make sure you stay tuned for that.

I think for me personally the best event - if you can really call it an event - has to be our recent Menu For Hope charity event. This was so incredible! It opened my eyes that when we Foodies get together we do not just blog for fun but are able create a tidal wave that makes a difference. It was a real honor that I was able to join the rest of you and raise close to US 60,000. Each of us helped in our own way. Some of us offered the prizes and the rest of bid for them.

As my very last recipe for the year I am going for something light and easy. After all the eating most of us have been doing and probably will do in the coming few days, I thought you'd enjoy a light but very flavorful soup. It has wonderful aromatic flavors of coconut and mango making this an extraordinary combination. A few fresh vegetables bring color and the right crunch to the soup. What a way to end the year!

Happy New Year!

Wish you joy, success, health and happy blogging! See you all on the other side.



Music while cooking:

Monrose - Shame - Hot new German girl band - New on my iPod!
Album: Temptations


Listen and watch Shame:







Ingredients:

1 shallot - finely chopped
1 piece ginger (approx. 2 cm thick) - finely chopped
200 g zucchini - sliced
1 teaspoon curry powder
400 ml vegetable broth
200 g mixed vegetables - cut in julienne/thin strips. I used carrots, bell peppers, leeks, asparagus and celery.
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted peanuts - coarsely chopped
250 g mango - cut in cubes
2 tablespoon lime juice
400 ml unsweetened coconut milk
oil for cooking





Method:
In a pot heat up some oil and sauté the onions, ginger and zucchini slices without allowing it to take on color. Add the curry powder and sauté for a few more minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for approx 20 minutes.

In the meantime heat up some oil in a large pan and throw in the vegetable julienne. Allow to cook through, making sure the vegetables are not over cooked but still a bit crunchy. Salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.

Mix the mango, vegetables and nuts together with 1 table spoon of lime juice.

Back to the soup: Puree the zucchini in the broth. Depending on how thick you like the soup to be you can either leave it the way it is or strain the soup through a sieve, as I did. Place the pureed soup back on the heat and add the coconut milk. Bring to a gentle boil and then add some salt and pepper.

Place the vegetable mango mixture in the middle of soup bowls and then pour in the piping hot soup over the top.

Close your eyes and repeat after me "mmmmhhhhh!"



Verdict:
This is the ultimate taste explosion for your tastebuds. Spoon after spoonful you will not be able to get enough of it. The wonderful coconut flatters the flavors of the fruity mango. By no means is this a sweet soup as the zucchini lends the entire soup it's neutralizing aromas. The peanuts add a perfect nutty character without being too obtrusive making it harmonize wonderfully.
I was not sure if Soeren would be quite ready for all these flavors. With every spoonful he asked "What is this?" and as each spoonful went into his mouth all I heard was "mmmmhhh!" He actually polished off two bowls! As for Tom, he is always weary when it comes to mixing fruity flavors with the savory, but this soup really had him speechless. I think it went down well!

I'll be taking this creation over to Ashwini's for this month's JFI for Coconut.

Shaun over at Winter Skies, Kitchen Aglow is hosting this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge. This is just perfect for the theme of Soups and Stews.



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22 comments :

  1. Oh goodness...yum yum. Thanks so much participating in JFI Meeta. Cheers & wish you and your family a very Happy New Year

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  2. I don't remember that your photos were ever very bad, but they are certainly great now. Happy New Year, and much more good food to come in 2007!

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  3. That is beautiful! I will add this to next weeks Gluten-Free Recipe Roundup. I love ANYTHING made with mango.

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  4. What a soup!!!!!! And what combo!!!! But knowing you I am not at all surprised :) Have a wonderful year ahead.....

    BTW I have mentioned you and ur pics in my latest post... hope you dont mind :)

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  5. I just came across your blog in the past week or so, but it is one of my favorites. I love your photos (I have a Sony Cybershot and have been eyeing the Nikon D70s for quite awhile... I may have to splurge!)

    Happy new year to you!

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  6. Meeta,

    However wonderful it has been for you, it has been doubly so for us! I look forward to all the good things you will be creating in 2007!

    (And don't forget your challenge ...)

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  7. Really enjoyed reading your post, great to see how much you are enjoying the blogging experince, I am kinda new and learning all the time. The pictures are really great...thanks for sharing...I will add this blog to my blog roll...~smile~

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  8. Hello Meeta,

    This comment is irrelevant to the recipe (how wicked of me!!!)... just wanted to let you know that the links to 'aayi's recipes' and 'akshyapatram' are inter-changed:)

    Happy new year!

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  9. Now, you know I LOVE mangoes, right? I can't resist this recipe.

    Happy New Year, my friend!

    Paz

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  10. It's definitely hard to believe how quickly this year has gone by. I've most certainly enjoyed your blog and your photography. In fact, when I started blogging, yours was the first food blog I was hooked on reading. It was a big inspiration for trying to make mine better, especially my photography, (clearly, I'm still working on that one!). And you always have such great recipes too. This soup is no exception, coconut and mango are two of my favourite flavours! All the best in the new year Meeta!

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  11. Yes, Meeta, time only seems to speed up but your blog is one that I always slow down for. I try to practice smelling the flowers and I love the way your blog blooms. Thank you so much for a wonderful time here.
    Looking forward to a terrific 2007 with you in it.
    Oh, my yes this does look like a wonderful soup experience. Great mingling of flavors!

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  12. Hey Meeta,
    That is one awesome picture, i am sure it tastes as good as it looks.

    A very Happy NewYear to you and your family.

    Madhavi.

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  13. This soup sounds amazing - every flavor in it just sounds perfect together, even though I'd NEVER think to put them together. I look forward to trying this - I really think Hubbs would love it! =)

    I'm thankful for meeting you and look forward to a new year of friendship! Happy new year, hon =)

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  14. Hey Meeta,what a really innovative soup!

    Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year 2007!

    Vini,Venkat and Ananya

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  15. Happy New Years to you as well...I look forward to seeing your new creations in the up coming year!

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  16. WOW!Meeta....the sopu looks and sounds absolutely .......have no words!!!Im amazed by all your abilities meeta,you ARE brilliant!

    Wishing you and your family a great year ahead!

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  17. Happy New Year Meeta
    Your pics are an inspiration to many and your warm glowing kitchen is really lovely

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  18. That sounds positively an amazing mix of flavours. Nice recap of the year that passed. Loads of wishes coming your way...I've been wanting to peek into fellow bloggers' kitchens for a while, i love your kitchen!
    Im back from the holidays!

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  19. This looks lovely Meeta! I have never thought about combining curry and mango together.

    Happy New Year, looking forward to more of your lovely recipes this year.

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  20. That was quite the combo. Definitely gotta try this. Was this made with ripe mango?
    Congragulations on the nomination of the Daily Tiffin and good luck!

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  21. Lovely comments. Thank you and hope you enjoy the soup.

    Kalyn you do know how to flatter me.Thank you.

    Kristen it is an investment but worth it.

    Ivonne one of the nicest things about 2006 was getting to know - the worst was NOT getting to meet you. Look forward to enjoying 2007 with you.

    Brilynn Thanks! I loved getting to know you through your blog and look forward to 2007.

    Tanna you have such a way with words. Hugs to you.

    Lis Let me know what Hubbs thought of it!

    Hope you all have a fantastic 2007 and stick around!

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  22. Our family found the soup to be a little bitter. If anyone agrees, I just added a bit of Tamarind paste and a dash of honey.

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta