What do you think of when you see purple carrots? Perhaps the possibility of roasted vegetables, or maybe the notion of purple carrots is new to you. I however, immediately thought of soup. “Let’s make some awesome, bright purple soup! Who wouldn’t want to eat bright purple soup?”. I was aware that most people probably wouldn’t want to but this fact was easily dismissed by my own eagerness.
I actually put some thought into this meal too, which once again supports my belief that the less you try and plan a meal, the better. These were the flavours that I decided upon:
- purple carrots
- leftover baked lamb
- chicken stock
- moroccan inspired spices: ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika and tumeric*
- lemon: juice and preserved
- greek yoghurt
As you can see, it all started out well.
It all went downhill, quickly.
I had forgotten the valuable lessons learned in early childhood about colour combination. Red and yellow = orange, yellow and blue = green and so forth. Remember though when you would then add a wrong colour and suddenly you had brown. You would keep adding colours and then it would just become a worse shade of brown. I managed to reproduce this phenomenon as an adult. Enter, tumeric*. The tumeric that is not only known for flavour but as a spice which adds a vibrant yellow colour to dishes. Think back now, what does purple and yellow equal? Oh that’s right, brown! A big pot of brown lumpy soup. Delicious.
All hope was not lost. “Let’s add some milk”, I thought. We then had a greyish, purple brown pot of gurgling soup. Gurgling and bubbling soup. It resembled what you would imagine the cauldron of a witch in a fairytale would have bubbling away in the darkness of her kitchen. At this moment, I pissed myself laughing. I don’t know how else to describe it but by using that rather crude terminology. It was the worst thing I had probably ever cooked. Every time I looked at it, I cracked up laughing some more. I entered a fit of a laughter that lasted a good few minutes and resulted in tears rolling down my face and my stomach aching. I should make dodgy food more often!
Yet I still did not lose hope, as looks aside it actually tasted rather nice. A bit of a blitz to release some of the fabulous purple colour still hiding in the carrots. I also next unintentionally rediscovered another science lesson that had been covered at some point in high school. What an awesome surprise it was when upon adding the lemon juice, a vibrant red was exposed wherever the juice fell. What was the cause of this you may be thinking? Anthocyanin. Anthocyanin are pigments found in many predominantly red/purple fruits and vegetables such as raspberries and red cabbage. When an acidic solution such as lemon juice is added, it turns a pink/red. My soup was a pH indicator.
Things were indeed picking up. I added some yoghurt, preserved lemon and herbs for contrast. I also couldn’t resist putting some retro red dots to the top of my soup by adding a little bit more lemon juice prior to serving.
It turned out to be quite the little science experiment! All of which was eaten.