Tomorrow is Heritage Day in South Africa. In recent years it has come to be known as Braai Day . Which ordinarily I would be the first to endorse. I love a good braai! I totally endorse the sentiment expressed by the movement in their mission statement –
“Across race, language, region and religion, we all share one common heritage. It is called many things: Chisa Nyama, Braai and Ukosa to name few. Although the ingredients may differ, the one thing that never changes is that when we have something to celebrate we light fires, and prepare great feasts.
We encourage all South Africans to unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag on 24 September every year.
We liken this initiative to annual celebrations cherished by other leading nations of the world; Thanksgiving for Americans, St Patricks Day for the Irish, Bastille Day for the French and Australia Day for Australians.
This is a noble cause, which will contribute to strengthening South Africa as a nation through this act of nation building and social cohesion. “
Yet I still feel our Heritage is so much richer and deeper than this, and extends to far more than just meat, a fire or a pot. It extends to flowers, to design, decor and even a simple bowl of breakfast porridge.
However you choose to celebrate Heritage Day tomorrow, I hope its FUN!
Before today I probably would have said I’m a bit over soup.
I know! Quiet a rash statement and odd as I have a reputation for my soup making skills, along with a confession on this blog that I like to slurp 🙂
Today such utterances are plain foolish! Crazy talk. We don’t need any of that around here at the moment.The temperature has plummetted and Johannesburg is shivering at winter’s announcement that it is here, and means business!
We had some prior warning which I paid no attention to. We all know how I procrastinate, and this was no exception. SOOOO, I’m now scrambling through my hard drives for the recipes I feel like making and frantically dusting off the pressure cooker to fast forward my soup action. I think I’m going with this delicious Cream of celery, white bean, and pancetta soup. One of my favourites from a photoshoot a while back for Food & Home Magazine. Nope, actually I’m going with the two Banting friendly recipes ( LCHF) the Tomato, Tamarind & Aubergine Soup with Coconut crisps is an absolute winner, and so is the Leek, Smoked Chicken & Cabbage Soup.
Maybe I’ll make the Medley of Mushroom soup for my vegetarian friend …?
Decisions decisions, now you know why I end up procrastinating
Oh what the heck, they’re all good ! Hopefully you haven’t left it to the last minute, but if you need some soup inspiration check out all the recipes below.
Keep warm & Happy Friday !
Creamy Celery Soup with White Beans and Pancetta.
50ml olive oil 50g butter 1 large bulb of celery, approx 8 stalks, washed and finely sliced 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 4 sprigs fresh thyme 200g block pancetta, cubed 1 x 440g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1 litre good quality chicken stock 500ml cream Salt & pepper
Heat the oil and butter over medium heat and sauté the celery and onion for 5-8 minutes, add the garlic and pancetta. Add the beans, thyme and stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, add the cream and heat through. Serve in warmed bowls with crusty bread and garnished with fresh thyme
Leek, Smoked Chicken & Cabbage Soup
50ml olive oil 6 young leeks, washed and sliced ( white part only) 1 small white onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic , crushed 4 smoked chicken breasts, finely sliced 2 litres good quality chicken stock. 2 baby cabbage, thinly sliced Salt & pepper to taste
Sauté the leeks and onion for 5 – 8 minutes until translucent, and add the garlic.
Add the stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the chicken and cabbage and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until heated through.
Serve in heated bowls, drizzled with olive oil.
Tomato, Tamarind & Aubergine Soup with Coconut crisps
50ml olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 large aubergine, diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tin chopped tomatoes 4 sprigs curry leaves 2 tablespoons tamarind paste 500ml Tomato Passata 1 litre good quality chicken stock 1 x 400g tin coconut cream Toasted shaved coconut to garnish
Sauté the onion and aubergine until golden brown, and add the garlic, chopped tomato, curry leaves and tamarind paste, and cook for 2- 3 minutes. Add the passata, chicken stock and coconut cream and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve garnished with toasted shaved coconut.
Hot & Sour Medley of Mushroom Soup
30 ml olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 sticks lemon grass, chopped 2 tablespoon galangal 2 cloves garlic crushed 1 red chilli, deseed & chopped ( optional) 500g assorted mushrooms, button, portabella, shitake and porchini. 50g dried wild mushrooms, soaked in 250ml boiling water and liquid reserved 6 lime leaves 1 litre good quality chicken or vegetable stock Juice and zest of 2 limes 1 tspn fish sauce 50ml Very dry Sherry ( do not use full or medium cream sherry) Chopped coriander to garnish
Sauté the onion and lemon grass until onion is translucent, add the galangal, garlic, chilli, mushrooms and lime leaves and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the mushroom water from the dried mushrooms, the stock, lime juice and zest and fish sauce, and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, and a shot of dry sherry before serving.
Serve over ramen or udon noodles and garnish with fresh coriander.
Recipes and styling – Taryne JakobiPhotography – Vanessa Lewis Article appeared in Food & Home Magazine Aug 2012
Vanessa has a dietician client in London, Wilma Kirsten Nutrition, who specialises in IBS and bowel related health.
We were asked to put something together for her end of year newsletter, in which she wished to remind clients of certain temptations and over indulgences during the festive season which could affect their health. Obviously she did not want to come across as a kiljoy but rather to remind folks to main a certain level of dietary awareness whilst also enjoying the festivities.
I love the shoot we put together, it has a fun element and gets the message across to0. Which was the point !
I think we filled the brief perfectly between balance and festivity. The point of this conceptual shoot was to combine an idea with a practicality. In this shoot we combined the idea of nutrition and balance, with the literal representation of festivities; such as Christmas crackers, baubles and sweetie wrappers.
PS. Thanks to Vanessa for the title of this post. Not only a fab photographer but my copy editor too!
PSS.I loved the food personality profile on Wilma Kirsten.com website, you can click on the link here.
What is your food personality? Mine was fascinating, I think the the old idiom rings true ; you are what you eat !