Meatless Monday: Hot and Sour Soup

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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!

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The Greedy Italians: Minestra Maritata (Spring Cabbage and Bacon Soup)

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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.

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My Vietnamese Kitchen: Fish Congee

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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?

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Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Cheese Soup returns as autumn arrives

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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.
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