02
Mar

TOM KERRIDGE: Curried Cauliflower Soup

Chaat Magazine 0 comment

It’s said that life begins at 40, yet while some men buy the sports car or embark on a change of image, when celebrity chef Tom Kerridge passed that famous age milestone he decided he needed to alter his lifestyle in order to make the most of his middle years.

“I think when people get to 40 a great number end up taking a long look at themselves – they start to think about where they’ve gone, what they’ve done, what they’ve achieved and where they are going in the future,” the owner of Marlow’s two-Michelin-starred gastropub The Hand and Flowers explains. “From a health point of view, I definitely wasn’t in a great place and I needed to change that. So it hadn’t altered where I was, and I don’t think it was having an effect on my life and personality, but health-wise it was something I needed to recognise in myself and change for the better.”

 

What Kerridge decided on was a low-carb diet regime that, three years later, has resulted in over 11st of weight lost. This ‘Dopamine Diet’, as he terms it in his new book, was crafted specially to give readers the chance to get fit while still eating food that not only tastes fantastic but makes you feel great as well.

 

“It’s a personal story; I’ve already been there and done it, so it’s little tips on how I did it myself,” Kerridge says. “It’s the difference between being told not to do it and being shown how not to do it by someone who has already lost 11st and has done it the right way – the way that worked for me, at least. If just one person buys into it then the book has been worth doing, because it means it has helped that one person change their life.”

 

Despite undergoing an impressive physical transformation, Kerridge is adamant that his new focus on low-carb cooking hasn’t changed his relationship with Great British cooking in any way.

 

“It just embraces everything I already do,” he says of the Dopamine Diet. “The things that will help drive flavours of food forward – that is really important to me, so it has helped reinforce everything I already know. It’s very protein-led, so the roasts are still there, the stews are still there, and curries – that sort of spicing of dishes – is all still there.”

 

When it comes to curries, Kerridge is effusive – and the hotter, the better, he enthuses. He explains this is because when we eat spicy chillies our brains are tricked by the heat into releasing endorphins, which results in a natural high. His curry dishes make use of homemade sauces stuffed full of his favourite spices – curry leaves, turmeric, paprika and his secret ingredient, vinegar. “The acidity of the vinegar complements the spice fantastically,” he reveals.

 

And the prevalence of great Indian cooking these days only serves to further fuel Kerridge’s undying passion for the UK’s diverse restaurant industry.

 

“The year after we won the National Restaurant Award, the next winner was a fantastic curry house called Gymkhana,” he says. “It shows how great the culinary scene in this country is now – number one was a pub and then a curry house!”

TRY EAST END FOODS CURRY POWDER WITH THIS RECIPE

RECIPE:

Curried Cauliflower Soup – Serves 4

Ingredients:

50g dried onion flakes

2 tbsp vegetable oil

50g butter

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, grated

1½ tbsp curry powder

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

1 large cauliflower (about 800g), broken into florets

200ml coconut cream

200g cream cheese

4 tbsp chopped coriander, tender stems and all

2 hot green chillies, sliced, seeds and all

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

Sea salt and cayenne pepper

 

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Scatter the onion flakes on a baking tray. Trickle on the oil, give it a stir and season with salt. Bake for 5 minutes, or until onion flakes are golden brown, then set aside to cool.

 

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and the garlic and sweat gently, stirring from time to time, for around 10-15 minutes until soft. Sprinkle on the curry powder and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.

 

Now pour in 1 litre of water and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil and add the cauliflower florets. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft.

 

Stir in the coconut cream and cream cheese until fully combined. Bring back to the boil and then take the pan off the heat.

 

Blitz with a stick blender, or in a jug blender or food processor. If you’ve time, pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pan at this point – this will give the soup an unbelievably silky and delicious texture. Warm gently and season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.

 

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and scatter over the toasted onion flakes, coriander and chilli, then sprinkle with the lime zest.

– Serves 4

Ingredients:

50g dried onion flakes

2 tbsp vegetable oil

50g butter

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, grated

1½ tbsp curry powder

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

1 large cauliflower (about 800g), broken into florets

200ml coconut cream

200g cream cheese

4 tbsp chopped coriander, tender stems and all

2 hot green chillies, sliced, seeds and all

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

Sea salt and cayenne pepper

 

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Scatter the onion flakes on a baking tray. Trickle on the oil, give it a stir and season with salt. Bake for 5 minutes, or until onion flakes are golden brown, then set aside to cool.

 

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and the garlic and sweat gently, stirring from time to time, for around 10-15 minutes until soft. Sprinkle on the curry powder and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.

 

Now pour in 1 litre of water and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil and add the cauliflower florets. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft.

 

Stir in the coconut cream and cream cheese until fully combined. Bring back to the boil and then take the pan off the heat.

 

Blitz with a stick blender, or in a jug blender or food processor. If you’ve time, pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pan at this point – this will give the soup an unbelievably silky and delicious texture. Warm gently and season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.

 

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and scatter over the toasted onion flakes, coriander and chilli, then sprinkle with the lime zest.

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