Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fitting Nepal into the Local Challenge

Eating local doesn't have to mean eating boring, bland food. But it does take a little creativity when you're in early summer in Minnesota and craving Tibetan/Nepalese food. Actually, not that much creativity. You could just copy someone else.My favorite soup at Everest on Grand Ave. in St. Paul is their mustard green soup. It's usually on the buffet on Thursdays, in case you're wondering. It has a richly spiced, but not spicy, broth and is filled with big pieces of mustard greens and cowpeas. Here's my rendition that highlights the gorgeous locally grown mustard greens at the Co-op.

I suggest using local green garlic or ramps instead of the onions and garlic (unless those are available locally). I just didn't have any in my kitchen today. My tomatoes are from Living Waters hydroponic operation because my garden tomatoes are still little green babies.

Mustard Green Soup

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground turmeric (Frontier Co-op in IA)
1 tsp. ground coriander (Frontier Co-op in IA)
1 tsp. cumin seed (Frontier Co-op in IA)
1 tsp. salt
dried red chiles to taste (Last year's garden)
1 tomato, diced (Living Waters in MN)
1 bunch mustard greens, roughly chopped (Riverbend Farm, MN)
1 quart water
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Heat oil in your soup pot. Add onions and saute until beginning to be translucent and lightly browned. Add garlic and spices, including dried chiles. Stir to combine and cook just a minute, being careful not to burn the garlic or spices. Then add the tomato, greens and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the greens are tender and your kitchen smells like a kitchen in Nepal (or what I imagine it would smell like). Finish with a little splash of lemon juice.

Feel free to add some beans to make this more of a main course. Or keep it light and eat it for breakfast like I'm doing!

1 comment:

The Voracious Vegan said...

I love soup all year round, it is one of my favorite things to eat. This dish looks so light and refreshing and it has a great combination of spices. I will be putting this in my weekly menu for sure!