Monday, 30 June 2014

Shopping Local and Roast Capsicum and Pumkin Soup

(L-R: Quinoa, Nutritional Yeast, Couscous, Quinoa, Chocolate, Soap)

When it comes to food, I believe that where we buy our food from is as important as what we buy. Good food choices start with supporting our local growers/ suppliers/ community, as well as growing our own. 

Whilst I do visit the big supermarkets on occasion, I prefer to buy my food from a Fruit/ Veg Shop, which is supplied by the local farmers and our nearest Co-Operative, which is about 20 minutes from home. 

I absolutely love shopping at the Co-Op. Not only do members get a discount (yay), but a lot of the foods are available in bulk, and are mostly organic. The Co-Op also has just about everything else you could need- beauty and health products, dried food, fresh food, grains, pulses, chocolate, diary, bread, frozen foods, ice-cream, etc. It is basically a miniature supermarket. 

I generally purchase all of my grains and cereals in bulk, using the paper bags supplied at the Co-Op, transferring them into various jars once I get home. The paper bags are then added to my cupboard, to be used for seed saving.  My favourite items are Couscous; the handmade chocolate; and the handmade bar soap- which are only $1.95 per bar.  
I also regularly biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes; herbal toothpaste; essential oils; raw honey; raw Apple Cider Vinegar; etc when we need them. As we only visit the co-op about once per month, I keep a list on the fridge of items we have run out of, or are getting low on. I then take this list along with me to ensure I get everything we need, avoiding wasting money by doubling up and having food stuffs go bad. 

The other place I go shopping is in my own garden. Over the last three weeks, we've had approximately 15 capsicums from our capsicum bush.  I grew the capsicum bush accidentally, from seeds I threw in the garden at some point. I'm not a huge fan of capsicums, I only like them roasted. So I've been getting crafty in the kitchen, incorporating roast capsicums into our dinners. My favourite was  Roast Capsicum and Pumpkin Soup. 



Ingredients:
- Half a Jap Pumpkin
- 1 Brown Onion
- 5 Celery Stalks
- 3 cloves garlic
- Butter
- 3 Medium Capsicums
- can of coconut cream
- Spring of Rosemary

Method:
- Heat Oven to 200 degrees Celsius, place capsicums whole on a baking tray and put in oven
- Peel and chop brown onion and garlic, add to chopped celery  and brown in a large saucepan with butter.
- Peel and chop pumpkin, add to saucepan. Add water until pumpkin is just covered. Add the sprig of rosemary.
- Put the lid on the saucepan, bring the water to a boil
- Once water is boiled, lower temperature and simmer until pumpkin is cooked through.
- The Capsicums should be roasted by this stage. The skin should be blistered.
- Remove capsicums from oven, cut open and remove seeds. Roughly chop capsicum and add to soup.
- remove the rosemary sprig
- Using a stick mixer, blend the soup into a smooth consistency. If the soup is a little watery, remove lid and increase heat, to evaporate off some water.
- Once the soup is thick, add the can of coconut cream.
- Allow the soup to heat to preferred temperature and serve.
- season with salt and pepper.