This was such a crazy caper that I wasn't even sure if I should post it as a recipe with any shred of respectability. Making 2 different dishes with the exact same veggies (& yes I mean the same, Not two portions of vegetables cut up & used differently, NOOO, that was the weird part, ended up reusing the same vegetables..But hey... it seemed the eco friendly thing to do..), but then the end result was pretty tasty & was worth repeating a second time for the Camera. & so here it is.
The take home message from this pair of dishes is that a spice can singularly & absolutely redefine the culinary origins of a dish irrespective of the chief ingredient used.
The soup is, for practical purposes, the quintessential all American offering, the key herb here being Sage which is Mediterranean in origin. The dip is inspired by a humble North Indian vegetable dish called ' kaddu ki subzi' where the primary spice used is fenugreek.
And there you have it, Two dishes with flavors reminiscent of 2 different parts of the world & yet, both stem from the same starting point of vegetables. A true example of fusion!
Cost (I made this some time ago, so this is a rough approximation) : Leeks: 1.00$,
fennel ~ 1.29/bulb,
calabash: ~ 1.20$
Canned Tomatoes ~ 0.60 c
Herbs & seasonings:~ $ 1.00
Home made Naan ~ 2.00.
A delicious filling dinner: Priceless!
(works out to approximately 1.25 per person for a complete 2 course Soup AND Sandwich dinner!)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the leeks, pumpkin, & fennel with the olive oil, salt & crushed peppercorn. Marinate for about 10 minutes.
Transfer onto a baking tray & roast in an 350 F oven for ~ 20-30 minutes till the vegetables begin turning a golden brown.
On the stove top, grill the Jalapeno pepper till the skin gets charred. Allow to cool & scrub off the blackened skin using a paper towel. Cut lengthwise, remove & discard the seeds & chop roughly. Keep aside. You may choose to omit this ingredient for a milder tasting soup.
In a skillet, Heat 1 tbsp of oil and add the sage leaves & garlic. When they begin to soften add the crushed tomatoes & cook on medium heat till the raw smell of the tomatoes disappear.
Combine the tomatoes, chopped Jalapeno (optional) & the roast vegetables into the bowl of a a food processor.
Process till semi smooth, adding water if the mixture is too thick. Strain the mixture through a sieve, till all the puree is extracted. Reserve the vegetable residue for making the dip/subzee. (2nd part of this recipe)
Heat the puree with desired amount of milk to make a smooth soup. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with julienned fried potatoes if desired.
Heat Oil in a skillet till smoking hot. Add the cumin & fenugreek seed. Stir till they turn a golden brown & then add the dried fenugreek leaves. Stir till combined.
Add the crushed tomatoes, cayenne pepper powder & salt. Cook on a medium flame till the tomatoes lose their raw smell.
Add the strained vegetable residue & cook till any residual liquid evaporates on a low flame.
Garnish with chopped cilantro & serve warm with Pita bread as an appetizer. Alternatively, you may serve it as a vegetable entree with home made Naan.