I have wanted to try chilli mud crab ever since my dad raved about how amazing it is.
I’ve seen it cooked on TV – and apparently it’s normal and quite traditional for the sauce to consist in-part – of tomato sauce.
I really like hot food – but not so hot that you can’t taste the flavours. The heat in this recipe is absolutely perfect. In saying that, if you aren’t a fan of a bit of heat – this isn’t one for you.
Some great tips on how to prepare the crab include:
- Pop the live crab in the freezer for 20 minutes to ensure it is “asleep” before cooking in boiling water
- Removing the claws, the top part of the shell and get rid of the very creepy-looking “dead man’s fingers”.
- Remove the brown meat – but don’t be tempted to wash it under water. It ruins the flavour. Just clean it up as best as you can.
- I think the most vital part of the crab is the claws – that’s where most of the yummy white flesh is. Make sure you crack the claws with the back of a heavy knife – but not so much that it cracks into little pieces. Just enough to let the flavours of the sauce in.
So, once you have made all your preparations – you’re ready to cook
This is one of my dad’s favourite soups.
I remember the first time I made it – I could tell he was a little bit unsure about the idea of a soup containing chickpeas. But, once he tasted it – he loved it – which makes me a very happy daughter 🙂
I can’t quite remember where I got the inspiration for this recipe. I just make it – no recipe required. It’s well and truly ingrained in my brain.
This soup makes a perfect lunch – and it’s terrific because the chickpeas make it really low GI. It’s filling and tasty and will ensure you don’t have one of those mad sugar cravings when 3pm rocks around.
Leek and chickpea soup
3 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 nob of butter
2 deseree potatoes – peeled and cut into cubes
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Enough chicken stock to cover the ingredients (get the recipe to make your own here)
Grated parmesan cheese to serve
In a large saucepan, melt the butter before adding the chopped leaks with a good pinch of salt. Cook the leeks over a low heat for about 10 minutes – but don’t allow them to colour. You want them to sweat and the salt will help to draw out the liquid in the leeks.
Add the potatoes and chickpeas and cover with enough chicken stock to cover everything. Cook until the potato is tender – about 10-15 minutes.
Blend using a stick mixer or spoon into your blender until the soup is smooth and creamy. If the soup is too thick at this point, thin down with a little more chicken stock. Don’t forget to taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve nice and hot with some parmesan cheese grated over the top.
This soup really is easy, incredible tasty and very fast to make. Hope you enjoy it.
My family have always been a great lover of garlic prawns – my mum always used to cook them in a garlicy, buttery cream sauce.
I have made them this way for years and I still love them like this to this day.
However, I have also tried lots of others too – and due to my love for chilli – this version is one of my favourites:
Garlic and chilli prawns
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
4 clove garlic, crushed
2 red chillis, de-seeded and finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, de-seeded and finely chopped
24 individual raw/green prawns (use the largest variety you can find) – remove shells
100ml of chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
6 tbs of ricotta cheese
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chillies and a pinch or two of salt and cook, stirring for 1 minute, but don’t let the garlic burn.
Add the prawns and cook for 1 minute each side, or until golden. Remove garlic, chilli and prawns from pan and set aside.
Place pan back over medium-high heat and add tomatoes, stock and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced. Add prawns back to pan and toss well to coat.
To serve, spinkle with the ricotta cheese.
You can serve this alone, for a starter, or make it more substancial by adding your favourite pasta in at the end.
I’m so pleased to be bringing you this recipe again – and the lovely family story behind it.
I watched my mum when I was a little girl make this pumpkin soup – over and over again, and I have always loved it.
However, over the years, as you go through the process of making a recipe your own, I made a few little modifications – and so has mum, I have to say. Looks like we are inspiring each other – which is always a good thing 🙂
So when mum used to make it, she pretty much just used butternut pumpkin, water and salt and pepper. Very, very simple – and that’s often a very good thing. However, now we both use chicken stock rather than just water – it adds so much flavour and really helps to balance the sweetness of the pumpkin. I also use two different kinds of pumpkin now – I was inspired to do this after reading a recipe in a magazine and it was the best move I ever made. Butternut pumpkin is great as it has such a nutty flavour (go figure seeing its name) – but now I add jap pumpkin as well – it is sooo pumpkiny and sweet and really adds so much flavour. I also add some potato, this was inspired by my mum. She did this in another soup and realised that it would probably add creaminess also to her tried and tested pumpkin soup. The addition paid off big time – without the added fat and calories of cream!
I have never made this soup and measured one ingredient – so when my dad asked me to give this recipe to him so he could print it out and place it next to the pumpkins at the shop he owns with my brother, Anglesea Fruitz – I had to cook it and weigh and measure everything. It was a strange feeling, but I think all the effort will ensure others can recreate it too.
This soup cost me just $8 to make and I will warn you that it makes A LOT of soup – so freeze it in containers and enjoy it throughout winter. I do promise it won’t last that long though as it is something I have discovered is loved by everyone, including the pumpkin haters, and there are quite a few of those!
With so much history you could say it has evolved into a secret family recipe, well a mother and daughter secret recipe anyway. But, and I hope mum doesn’t mind, I’m going to share it with you. Leave a post and let me know what you thought. I’d love to know what additions and subtractions you make to make this one of your own. Enjoy~
Chris and Lisa’s Pumpkin Soup
- 2 tbs of olive oil or butter
- 2 large brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped / or 3 or 4 large leeks
- 1 tsp of grated, fresh ginger
- 1 tsp of ground cummin
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 a butternut pumpkin (roughly 700 to 800 grams)
- 1/2 a jap pumpkin (roughly 1.5 kilograms) – skins and seeds removed and chopped into large cubes
- 4 deseree potatoes, peeled and chopped the same size as the pumkin
- Enough chicken stock to fill the pot until the pumpkin is covered (around 1.5 liters)
Heat oil/butter in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add onions/leeks with 2 good pinches of salt and sweat for five minutes.
Add ginger, garlic and cummin and cook for a further two minutes. Keep stiring so the spices don’t burn.
Add pumpkin, potatoes and enough stock to cover everything and bring to the boil.
Cover and simmer gently until pumpkin and potatoes are soft.
Use a stick mixer, if you have one, or transfer soup into a blender – (you’ll have to do this in batches as it’s very dangerous to overfill your blender with hot liquid, as I once found out) and blitz until smooth and creamy.
Taste the soup and see if it needs further seasoning with salt and pepper – I always say, season till it tastes just right. You may want to add a little more stock or some water at this point, if this consistency is thicker than what you would like.
Serve with some nice crusty bread – sourdough is a favourite with this.
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