Fabulous food, minus the boombah, 196pp.
by Jane Kennedy
Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne, 2009
Cooking on page 32
Jane Kennedy has a wonderful premise for this cookbook. She loves food—to the tune of about a kilo of weight gain a month. So she decided to create recipes that avoid the boombah. That’s her word for ‘food that makes your arse huge’.
She focused on developing recipes that were packed with flavour, rather than calories. Some of her favourite non-boombah ingredients are chillies, limes, garlic, fresh herbs, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, spices, peppercorns and sea salt, and sesame seeds and nuts.
That’s a list of most of my favourite tastes, so I’m pleased I found this cookbook, heavily discounted, on a sale table outside a bookstore on one of our road trips.
Roasted beetroot soup with a dollop of yoghurt
3 large beetroots, heads and tails trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large leek, washed and sliced into rings
1 litre salt-reduced chicken stock
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
freshly snipped chives
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Arrange the beetroots on an oven tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. When cool enough to handle, rub off and discard the skins and chop the beetroot into chunks. It’s a good idea to wear ‘sandwich’ gloves so your hands don’t stain.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low–medium heat. Add the leek and sauté gently until soft and translucent, being careful not to brown it. Add the chopped beetroot and the chicken stock, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before blending to a smooth purée. If the soup is too much like beetroot dip, add a little more stock or water until you are happy with the consistency.
Reheat if necessary and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve topped with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of chives.
How it played out
My only change—yes, I made only one change—was to put a tablespoon of yoghurt in each bowl. That might be a boombah offence, but I don’t care.
Great soup and one I’ll make often when beetroot is on special. Page 132 has a yummy-looking Thai recipe and I have a kaffir lime tree, so stay tuned for another entry from this cookbook.