Thursday 14 November 2013

Cause or Effect, and Soup Days - Kale, Spinach and Coconut Milk Soup.

Do you ever have the 'cause and effect' debate in your head?  I do. 

Recently, it was because I keep waking up at four or five a.m. I don't need to be up before seven. Instead of doing some work or going back to sleep, I sneak downstairs, grab a blanket and hot drink, then I curl up on the sofa and watch episodes of Ice Pilots. Last night I even found myself planning to wake up especially early, so I wouldn't miss it.

I've been trying to reason why. What's the attraction? Then I made the connection. It's dad. I'm missing dad. My father was slim with thick black hair a bit like Joe McBryan. He also learnt to fly planes in Canada.  That was it...flying, Canada, slim, black 

So that was the why bit, that started the cause and effect debate. But I'm still not sure whether watching Ice Pilots caused me to miss dad, or I was watching it, because I miss him. Oh well  there weren't any episodes airing  when I crept down this morning, so maybe tomorrow I'll just sleep until the alarm goes off. Or do some work...

In-between missing dad, we've had lovely visitors for lunch, and supper. Got flu. Started making some of these for stocking fillers. Listening to this band:-

Watched this. Read this and started reading this. And kind-of read this, but really I was just looking  at the pretty pictures...

And a nice friendly man started to deliver fresh fish every Tuesday. He drives down, all the way from Grimsby on the coast, in his little white van with a fridge at the back. He has the best smoked fish too. I think it probably comes from here. They are scrumptious and find their way into pizza toppings and salads. 

I also made these turkey burgers, and  lots of soup. Mostly with coconut milk. This is the favourite at the moment:

Kale, spinach and coconut milk soup

Ingredients for two people:

  • A couple of handfuls of chopped kale with the stalks removed, the stalks chopped finely can also be added.
  • A bunch of spinach
  • One red onion finely sliced
  • One large, or two small sticks of celery, de-veined and chopped finely
  • A clove of garlic, chopped finely or crushed
  • A piece of ginger about an inch long, peeled and grated or chopped finely
  • A little turmeric
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • A lemon or lime
  • Coconut milk
  • Olive oil or alternative
  • Hot water (or stock, but I don't think you need it. There's tons of flavour in all the other ingredients.)


  1. Saute the onions in a heavy saucepan with a little oil. I like to cook them for a long time to caramelise for a lovely sweet flavour.
  2. Add the crushed garlic and cook. 
  3. Add all the spices and cook, just for a couple of minutes, stirring to avoid burning.
  4. Add the celery and kale stalks, mix well and allow to absorb the flavours of the other ingredients for three or four minutes. 
  5. Pour in some hot water to the level you require. About two cups should do, because you'll be adding coconut milk.
  6. Pop in all the chopped leaves. Season with salt and pepper if you haven't already done so. 
  7. Reduce the heat and cover. Leave to cook until the celery and the kale stalks are tender enough to blend. 
  8. When they are ready, either remove the pan from the heat, and blend the contents with a hand blender. Or liquidize and return to the pan. 
  9. Place the pan back on the hob on a gentle heat. Add some lemon juice.Taste to adjust the seasoning, remembering if too salty you will be adding the coconut milk which will dilute the flavours.
  10. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and add the coconut milk. Give the soup a good stir and leave on for a few minutes for it to heat up again.  The cold coconut milk will have cooled it down. 
  11. Taste again, and adjust the seasoning if necessary now you've added the coconut milk.
Then it's all ready to serve up. Now that Kale is in season and I'm a bit pumpkined out since Halloween, I can't stop making it. It has so much flavour with the  deep flavour of kale and spinach, earthy spices, mellowed by the creamy coconut milk, zesty lemon or lime and touch of ginger and garlic. I think it's just perfect...But I would, wouldn't I?

So I've kind of solved my  'causal effect' dilemma, but it doesn't explain about my other guilty secret history channel viewing...Shhh don't tell anyone...

I wonder if you have any...



  1. I have a beautiful crop of kale growing and I can't wait to make your soup, oh my.
    Sorry to hear you had the flu, and hope you are feeling better.
    I miss my dad too [[hugs]]

  2. Thanks Tracey. I'm much better today thank goodness. I love when the all the autumn brassica's come into season. We had the first Brussel sprouts last week too. They always make me think if Christmas dinner.

  3. Gosh, I love looking at your photos. This set was particularly wonderful--so many textures, light and shadow. The food you've made looks so yummy (it's making me hungry). I've just added that mitten pattern to my Ravelry cue. : )

    I love when things overlap in my life (just how you described here: with waking up early and catching a show that reminds you of your dear dad). When it happens, it feels wonderfully serendipitous.

    I'm glad you're feeling better from the flu.

    1. That's kind, thank you Susan. Yes it was like a stolen moment I love early mornings when it's all quiet and dark and cosy.


  4. I cannot explain my attraction to Dr. Who. I started with one of last Matt Smith episodes and then I was hooked. I don't like science fiction but I am compelled to watch this program for no reason!!

    I get up very very early to be by myself in the quiet with a journal, cup of coffee and little old me. Bummer you had the flu, not fun. Hopefully you are well and enjoying fall in all it's glory. Love the french site link.....thank you google translate!

    1. I think I understand your attraction Karen and I've missed most of them. I will catch...this is the only Dr Who that I've actually liked. Except when I was a kid.

      I love that time of the day too.

  5. what a lovely post deb, i really enjoyed following all your links (duck dynasty, didn't realize that was everywhere!) love your totoros and the soup. love garance, and that you found, though somehow seredipitous, your dear dad. i'm sorry you are missing him, i miss my mom so much too, every every day. love the light in your beautiful welcoming home.

    1. dynasty is a secret... thanks for all your lovely comments.

  6. Those mittens are so sweet! They do look complicated to make though. I've just started crocheting. It's good fun- making lots of mistakes along the way though! :)
    Do you have a Goodreads account Ms. E? I'd like to spy on your reading habits.

  7. Hi Romy, It's so good to hear from you. That's serendipitous...I've was thinking of you while making the Totoro mittens for Hannah. I made her some last year and she asked for another pair. I can make you some too if you't like...they are very cute. Awesome about the crocheting.
    I don't have a Goodreads account...I must set one up. I've been working my way through books from Hannah's literature course that I hadn't read in the past. I can't wait for her to finish with all the Gothic ones...
    I'll check if you're still writing your blog.
    Thanks for your message. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  8. hi debby, i came over to say happy happy birthday!! i hope you had a wonderful day filled with all the people and things you love, and cake!

    i was reading your comment above and had to smile, i read from my kids school reading lists too. you sound much more dedicated than i was.

    have a happy birthday week! xxxxx lori

    1. Ah, thank you Lori. That's so nice of you. Hannah's coming on Thursday evening so we'll continue the celebrations. It's not a birthday until everyone's home.
      Thanks again.