I have always had a silent disdain for Valentine’s day. For a start, I never grew up celebrating it and second I find it to be a day of mass excitement defined by various shades of red: heart shaped red velvet chocolate boxes, garish bouquets of red roses, cakes topped with red creams and sauces.
As a food writer and cook, I often ponder about what to cook on Valentine ‘s Day and if indeed I should make it a special culinary day. In ‘Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses’, Isabel Allende evokes the delights and the interaction of food and sex. The internet hands out countless methods and recipes to charm, subdue and celebrate.
I think it is sometimes best to stick to simple fare and give the loved one a heart warming soup.
- 300 g cooked and cut butternut squash
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cm ginger root knob
- 2 cm numeric root knob
- 250 g cooked black eyed beans
- 300 g kale
- 1 inch turmeric knob or ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1.3 L vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Finely chop onion and garlic cloves.
- Grate the ginger and turmeric roots.
- Trim the kale leaves, discard the stalks and slice into ribbons.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pan and sauté carrots, onions and ginger over low heat. Keep covered and stir from time to time until the vegetables are softened.
- Incorporate the black eyes beans, spices and stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Taste, and adjust the seasoning adding salt or spices I necessary. Add the kale ribbons and butternut squash pieces and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and leave, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Stir the fresh coriander in and lightly drizzle with oil.
- Serve with lemon quarters