Sunday, February 20, 2011

Peruvian Potato Stew in a Bread Bowl Thickened by Kanaku & El Tigre, Bonjah and the Raveonettes

My motto about soup is simple:
"Soup does it better in a bread bowl."

To illustrate this statement I always use the story from a school lunch back when I was eight years old. A food fight had just broken out and I was trying to get involved by dipping my spoon into Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup (you know, the kind that has few substantial chunks of anything in it) and flinging it. Unfortunately I couldn't get the spoon into firing position before losing everything off of it. Now imagine this same scenario with a bread bowl. Pauly never would've flung those mashed potatoes at me if I had a big soup grenade to send back his way. It would've been his new shirt that got...

Point is, soup is better in a bread bowl. I used to buy them. But then Jacklyn from Go Vegan Meow! posted a recipe for a bread bowl and my life hasn't been the same since.

Peruvian Potato Stew (adapted from Appetite for Reduction)
(printable version)

-1 bread bowl recipe
-olive oil
-onion, diced
-2 bay leaves
-3 cloves of garlic
-5 cups vegetable broth
-1 cup quinoa
-2 pounds of purple potatoes, cut into chunks
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 Tbs lime juice

1. Place olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and bay leaves and saute until the onions are translucent (five minutes). Add the garlic and saute for three more minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, vegetable broth and salt. Cover and the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa, turn the heat down and allow the stew to simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Use an immersion blender (I finally used my birthday gift!) or a food processor to puree the soup. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Allow the soup to sit for five minutes.

4. Scoop out the insides of the bread bowls and fill with the stew. Reserve the tops and insides for dipping. Devour.

*The soup was very thick, especially after sitting for a night. If you prefer a soupier soup add more vegetable broth or water or only blend half of the soup.

Since this soup is sort of Peruvian in nature (with the quinoa and purple potatoes) I figured a Peruvian indie band should go well with it. On the latest M.A.P installment Peru's representative was Kanaku & El Tigre. Their song "Bicicleta" starts as an experience in folky minimalism and then transitions into a controlled jaunt through the realms of finger picking, drum bumps and harmonics. "Bicicleta" is from Kanaku & El Tigre's Caricoles LP.

Kanaku & El Tigre-Bicicleta

Bonjah are a Melbourne, Australia five piece that have already had quite a bit of exposure. They've opened the Australian leg of tours for bands such as the Who, Counting Crows and Arrested Development, played a number of Australian festivals, been nominated for various APRA and AIR awards and had a song on the soundtrack of the 20th Century Fox release Matching Jack. It is probably safe to say that a leap beyond Australia will be forthcoming soon. Bonjah lastest release "The White Line," is an exercise in speed beats and quickly spat lyrics a la the Strokes.

Also soup worthy is the new Raveonettes song "Forget That Your So Young." It is solemn, sonic and slightly fuzzy, like a bread bowl that has sat in the Florida heat too long. The track features Sharin Foo's voice in a way that I'm not sure we've heard it before. The Raveonettes are preparing a new album, Raven in the Grave (due on April 5th via Vice) and a North American tour.

The Raveonettes-Forget That You're Young