Whilst I was vacuuming, I knocked down one of the paperback cookbooks hidden on the bottom shelf. A much under-used cookbook called Lean Bean Cuisine. I flicked through it quickly, finding myself enticed by a number of legume based recipes.
As the book was random, honest - it landed at my feet - it occured to me that I should enter this months No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes. This is not the way I normally cook, I tend to go by what ingredients are in season and then come up with a recipe, but I was up for a new challenge, moreso as I've never done 'Random Recipes' before either. So I closed my eyes and flicked through the first few pages and ended up on a 'Gungo Pea and Coconut Soup' recipe. This made me smile, as I have three tins of gungo peas, also known as pigeon peas and a can of coconut milk at home. The only ingredient I had to go and pick up was butternut squash.
The soup was lovely and light, truly embracing the characteristic flavours of the Caribbean: coconut milk, thyme, hot peppers, and rum. I have to point out though that the flavours of both the jalapeno pepper and rum is mild, so don't worry about it too much; if you so wish, feel free to omit it. I think the soup will still be lovely and will transport your mind, if not your soul to the sunset warmth of the Caribbean.
So as mentioned, this is my entry for Novembers No Croutons Required. NCR is a little different this month as Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes has teamed up with Dom at Belleau Kitchen. to create No Croutons Required Does Random Recipes. I do hope they like this soup as much as I did.
Bajan Gungo Pea , Butternut Squash and
Serves 6 – 8
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper
140g – 180g butternut squash, peeled and
1 x 400g canned gungo peas (pigeon peas),
drained and rinsed
1 ½ pints vegetable stock
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
200ml canned coconut milk
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add
the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Saute over medium heat the vegetables are
tender, about 10 minutes or so. Add the
squash, half of the beans, stock, rum parsley and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 35
minutes until it begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper, then stir in
the coconut milk and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes. Transfer the soup to a food processor and blitz
until smooth. Return to the pan, add the
remaining beans and reheat before serving.
Adapted from Lean Bean Cuisine by Jay Solomon.