I have been researching a very unusual recipe for my son. When I asked him what he would like for dinner, he had jokingly replied, “Vulcan Plomeek Soup, like the one eaten by Tuvok the Vulcan on the Starship Voyager”. My son is a HUGE Star Trek fan- in case you hadn’t guessed- and as all good Trekkies know, Vulcans don’t go in much for emotions or pleasures, so ‘Plomeek soup’ is a rather bland, breakfast broth that is consumed purely for sustenance and not for pleasure.
However there is another character in Star Trek called Neelix. He is a Talaxian from the Delta Quadrant, and the cook on Voyager. He is totally the opposite of Tuvok as far as his attitude to food is concerned. Neelix loves nothing better than trying to improve the taste of every dish with the addition of lots of extra spices, including the infamous vegetable called ‘Leola root’ which has been described as a combination of flavours ranging between rutabagas, asparagus, parsnip, and kohlrabi- so of course it is not high on everyones list of favourite things to eat.
Taking up the challenge to find a recipe similar to ‘Plomeek soup’ that had been ‘improved’ by Neelix was actually easier than I thought, as last week I received a post from food blogger Dom from Belleau Kitchen with a Random Recipe Challenge. Fellow bloggers were asked to locate the 30th cook book in their collections, and turn to page 30 and cook that very recipe….no cheating! I did so, and found a recipe from a beautiful book called ‘Cooking Moroccan’ which contained, ‘Carrot Soup with Spices’. And so there it was….’Vulcan Plomeek soup a la Neelix’!
‘Vulvan Plomeek soup a la Neelix’ A.K.A ‘Moroccan Carrot soup with spices’
These ingredients are exactly the same as those mentioned in the book. See tips and notes below.
This recipe serves 4.
- 500g grated carrot
- 1 grated onion
- 30g butter
- 2 crushed cloves garlic
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1.25 litres chicken stock
- 50g couscous
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Flat leaf parsley for garnish
- Melt butter over medium heat in a pot and sauté the grated onions for 3 mins. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 min.
- Add spices and cook for a few seconds, then add the grated carrot and chicken stock.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 mins.
- Add the couscous and simmer covered for another 20 mins.
- Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and serve hot, garnished with parsley.
Vulcan Plomeek soup- Moroccan carrot soup with spices
Use the grater attachment on your KitchenAid machine to save your fingers, or blitz in food processor.
I used Israeli couscous as it is much larger and looks like little ‘planets’ floating in the soup.
You could swirl a little garnish of olive oil (or cream) onto the soup to look like a swirling galaxy.
If you don’t have chicken stock you could use water and a stock cube, or just water and 1 tsp of salt.
Try using freshly grated ginger and turmeric for a fresher flavour and using smoked paprika will also add extra interest.
If you wanted a smoother soup, you could puree it before adding the couscous.
Personally, I found this books recipe a little bland (I’m obviously not Vulcan), so it was made again with double the amount of spices and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. (I’m sure Neelix would approve)
A tablespoon of tomato paste was added after the garlic and cooked for 1 min.
I also added ½ tablespoon of sugar as I don’t think my carrots were as sweet as they can sometimes be.
And of course much more butter, as you can never have enough butter! However if you want to make it dairy free, just use olive oil.
I’m sure the addition of some ‘Leola root’ would also work well. If you can’t find one in your local Alpha Quadrant, you could substitute it for some of the usual earth soup style vegetables like turnip or swede, parsnip, pumpkin, sweet potato, celeriac etc.
COMMENTS FROM OLD BLOG:
A divine looking soup!! I’m a big fan of Moroccan dishes.
LORRAINE @ NOT QUITE NIGELLA. 08.08.2013
LOL I love that you found a recipe for your son like this!
You must the most fun parent ever.
I wonder if my Star Trek loving friends have seen this!
I would like to try it at your place. Oma and Opa.
MR TREKKIE. 29.07.2013
Man that looks tasty will eat that soon