There are some recipes that we just naturally leave to the experts. You know, those dishes you order every time you go out for a certain type of cuisine, but you would never attempt to make at home? Hot and sour soup was one of those for me. I just always assumed it was full of exotic ingredients and made with time honored techniques, nothing I could even think about making in my own western kitchen. Boy, was I wrong!
The literal translation of Minestra Maritata is ‘Wedding Soup’. Gennaro Contaldo says it’s because of the way the meat and the vegetables marry so well together. I say that he can say what he likes, and often does!, but you could call this ‘Spit In My Eye Soup’ and it wouldn’t be any less delicious. This is a good example of cucina povera, which Contaldo and Carluccio were going on and on and on about in the two series of The Greedy Italians – and I can see why! It’s simple and cheap, but also healthy and completely fall-off-your-chair delicious.
For my birthday back in November I got Uyen Luu’s My Vietnamese Kitchen and I was so excited. I dove into it and buried myself in the vibrant colors and beautiful photography, wanting to cook and eat everything all at once. Then I started looking through the lists of ingredients. It is fair to say that Vietnamese cooking requires a lot of what we would term ‘specialist’ ingredients − but, of course, they wouldn’t be considered specialist ingredients in Vietnam, would they?
One of my newest acquisitions, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food, has been eyeing me up since I unwrapped it Christmas morning. And knowing as I do of the treasures within, it has taken all my strength to not go methodically through it, cooking tomato salad with beef dripping dressing, then smoked haddock and créme fraîche omelette, then barbecued cake.
A return to one of A Crust Eaten’s earliest recipes and a guest post from the rumbling belly at the other end of all this: my husband.
There are benefits to getting older − something you have either discovered or which lies around the corner as a pleasant reward for advancing years. Among those I cherish most are the gaining of the confidence to simply leave a party you’re not enjoying because life’s too short, and the acceptance that not knowing what’s number one in the charts is probably a blessing in disguise rather than cause for anguish at being three or four time zones adrift of the zeitgeist.
This post has been a long time coming. For months I have been reading about the food world’s love affair with Jerusalem, dropping hints to my husband – selective hearing? – and ogling pictures and tweets of peoples’ home recipe triumphs. Finally, I just went and bought it.
So I’ve been a bit absent on the blogging front the last week or so, but I’ve still been eating so that’s fine. This week I’m singing the praises of the much hated and underused celery.
Those of you who are regular readers might see a pattern with the most recent series of Meatless Monday recipes. I will admit that I love soup and when you’re not a vegetarian, but you’re cooking vegetarian, it seems to reoccur as the easiest way to make something satisfying without relying on our feathered or furred friends.
What better to do when you have a surplus of summer veg than make soup au pistou? Freshness is the key here. In fact, there isn’t even any chicken stock in this recipe, just water added to bring out every last drop of the vegetables’ summer essence.
It’s Monday again; back to work, back on the diet. At least there’s Meatless Monday recipes to look forward to! This one is a soup. I’m beginning to realize that when we are dieting, we eat a lot of soup; and since we’re pretty much always dieting, we are pretty much always eating soup. Strange.