I bet you’re so sick of reading about cabbage soup that you’d be glad never to see another bowlful of hot, steaming, brothy vegetables ever again. Well, that’s too bad because I’ve got another version for you and this one’s got some Asian flair!
I’ll start this post by saying that hopefully the days of horrible, blurry photos like the one above are gone. My camera facilities have improved, although my photography skills have not so you’ll still have to make do with those.
On my way to California from New York, I bought a Food and Wine magazine at the airport and, flipping through, I landed on a delicious looking salad starring an ingredient I hadn’t eaten for a long time: hearts of palm. I only had a vague recollection of a slightly pickled, tender white tubular vegetable with a delicate flavor. A bit of research on Wikipedia − fountain of all knowledge that it is − revealed that South America supplies the majority of imported hearts of palm which are, as you might suspect, the heart of certain types of palm tree. The cans I bought were products of Bolivia and, for that reason, I decided to ignore the $3.99 price tag per can which I thought was pretty outrageous for a bit of fibrous white veg. However, the harvesting process is pretty labor intensive and must also be expensive so, in addition to import costs, I can understand the high price tag.
The weather has taken a turn for the chilly here in sunny California, instead of a balmy 85-95ºF (30-35ºC), we’ve had a rather breezy 65-75ºF (18-24ºC). I can hear the groans already. No, I haven’t already become accustomed to warm, pleasant weather in which showing your toes and your knees is acceptable. No, I haven’t forgotten that for 50 weeks of the year in England you have to leave the house with an umbrella, winter coat and wellies. I am simply stating that the tropical weather we experienced for the past week or so has shifted to a much more spring-like mix of breezy and cloudy. This means that a different type of spring cuisine comes onto the menu, the spring soup!
A friend of mine, whose blog you can find here, suggested I start posting recipes for Meatless Monday, a phenomenon which seems to have taken hold in foodie circles on Twitter. The idea is that by cutting out meat once a week you will not only improve your health and well being, but you will also reduce your carbon footprint and take a big step towards creating a more sustainable lifestyle for yourself and your family. I think we can all agree that these are good things and there are few things that irritate me more than people who believe that a meal without meat is somehow incomplete − I’m a poet and I don’t know it! − because vegetables have so much more to offer than looking sad and neglected on the side of the plate.