FEMALE NOMAD AND FRIENDS
Reading Female Nomad and Friends is like sitting around a table sharing travel tales with friends. Forty-one authors, all but two of them women, write about connecting around the world…in villages, on airplanes, in orphanages, on boats, and on magical islands. There are stories about hunting down edible mopane worms in Zimbabwe, drumming with a gypsy teacher in Serbia, sleeping with goats and cows in a Maasai boma. One woman writes about begging God for a husband while standing in a cemetery in Israel, and another about making love and chapatis at the same time in Nassau. There’s an incredible honesty and warmth that infuses all the stories. They’ll make you laugh out loud. And cry. And wonder how the world can be so beautiful and so sad at the same time. The dominant emotion that the anthology reinforces is the sense that whatever our language, look, or location, we all share a common humanity.
The cooking and eating are pretty great too! When I (the Female Nomad in the title, and author of the earlier, Tales of a Female Nomad) put out a call on my website for international stories and recipes, more than 250 readers responded. The book has fifty-nine stories and thirty-three recipes. The recipes are a perfect match for the stories….international and unique….and out of the box. They encourage the cook to improvise and play and take risks. Stuffed poblano chiles (chiles en nogada) with a walnut cream sauce sprinkled with pomegranate seeds from Mexico. Minced salmon and shrimp with dill, pressed into burgers and flash cooked, leaving the inside raw and tender, with a saffron sauce and topped with caramelized shallots (direct from a chef in Nantes, France). And an unforgettable chocolate cake from Sweden (kladdkaka) with a crusty outside and an oozy middle. And many more! We promise, there are stories and recipes in this book that you will never forget!
I’ve chosen curried carrot soup to share here because it’s different yet simple. The recipe was submitted by Adrienne Jury, a reader from New Zealand with the note that this was King Gustav of Sweden’s favorite soup. And the ingredients can be found in most supermarkets. The combination of applesauce, curry powder, carrots, and herbs (dill and mint) takes it beyond the traditional, tiptoeing just over the line into mildly exotic.
Curried Carrot Soup
Adapted from a recipe sent by Adrienne Jury
Note: Some powdered chicken stock is quite salty. Prepared chicken broth can also be used. Add salt or powdered stock to taste.
At one of the tastings the hostess made a batch of applesauce and set it out with the herbs and sour cream. People put big dollops of the applesauce in the soup. The curry and the applesauce provide a very different but wonderful taste.
2 medium onions, sliced
1 tablespoon salted butter
10 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 6 cups sliced carrots)
1-2 tablespoons curry powder, to taste
2 tablespoons powdered chicken stock
6 cups water, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons fresh dill, snipped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1. Sauté the onion in the butter for 5 minutes.
2. Add the carrot slices, curry powder, chicken stock, and 3 cups of water. Simmer until the carrots are soft, 30-35 minutes. As soup is cooking, add the remaining 3 cups of water in ½-cup increments.
3. Add salt and pepper, and adjust for taste.
4. To blend, put half the soup in a blender. Blend at medium speed for a few seconds. Add the rest of the soup and the applesauce. Blend until smooth.
5. Serve with fresh dill, mint, and sour cream.
Yield: 6 – 8 servings