Showing posts with label greens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label greens. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "How We Disappeared" by Jing-Jing Lee, Served with a Recipe for Stir-Fried Choy Sum with Garlic Sauce and Rice with Radish

It's Wednesday and the week is sliding into the home stretch and the weekend and I couldn't be more ready. I am also happy to be today's TLC Book Tour stop for How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee, a compelling World War II historical novel that is haunting and beautiful. Accompanying my review is a simple recipe for Stir-Fried Choy Sum with Garlic Sauce and Steamed Rice with Radish.
 


Publisher's Blurb: 

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel set in World War II Singapore about a woman who survived the Japanese occupation and a man who thought he had lost everything—for fans of Pachinko and We Were the Lucky Ones.

Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only two survivors and one tiny child.
 
In a neighboring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is strapped into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel where she is forced into sexual slavery as a “comfort woman.” After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced still haunts her.

In the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is sitting beside his ailing grandmother when he overhears a mumbled confession. He sets out to discover the truth, wherever it might lead, setting in motion a chain of events he never could have foreseen.

Weaving together two time lines and two very big secrets, this stunning debut opens a window on a little-known period of history, revealing the strength and bravery shown by numerous women in the face of terrible cruelty. Drawing in part on her family’s experiences, Jing-Jing Lee has crafted a profoundly moving, unforgettable novel about human resilience, the bonds of family and the courage it takes to confront the past.

Hardcover: 352 Pages
Publisher: Hanover Square Press; Original edition (May 7, 2019)


My Review: 

I will say that I was disappointed when How We Disappeared arrived. I was caught up by the incredibly gorgeous tropical cover and thinking of how great it would look in pics, that when the more plain black ARC arrived I was a bit sad. What I wasn't disappointed in however, was the incredibly moving and beautiful story I found within its pages. I have read several books, fiction and non-fiction about the so-called "comfort women" of the WWII era--young women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in brothels. It is a disturbing subject and one that isn't easy to read or think about, but I try to read historical fiction from different perspectives and viewpoints and I think these women's voices are incredibly powerful and important. Author Jing-Jing Lee has incorporated some of her own family's history and experience in Singapore during WWII for the novel and has written a compelling story that while hard to classify as an enjoyable read, is certainly an engrossing one. 

The book alternates from the voices of Wang Di, a young village woman who is taken from her family and forced into sexual slavery for nearly three years during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, and Kevin, a twelve-year-old boy, living in Singapore with his parents and grandmother. Wang Di tells of the war years as well as Singapore in 2000 where Kevin's story is also set. It isn't completely clear in the beginning how these two lives will intersect but the pieces come together well and I found myself equally caught up in their stories. I liked the way Lee wove the stories, setting and times together and how the disappearing in the title applied to both characters, how they felt about themselves and how others failed to see them. I finished the book a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it and our contrasting human powers for cruelty and kindness, despair and resilience, overwhelming fear and incredible strength and courage. If you need an easy, breezy book, How We Disappeared is not it, but it is a well-written story that will touch you with its poignancy.

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Author Notes: Jing-Jing Lee is the author of the novel, If I Could Tell You. Her poems have been published in Ceriph, Poetry Quarterly, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and Moving Words 2011: A Poetry Anthology. Jing moved to Europe in her early 20s and started to pursue writing full-time. In 2011, she gained a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford. She now lives in Amsterdam with her husband and is working on her second book of fiction. When she’s not working on her novel-in-progress or reading (or taking photographs), she can be found here and on twitter.

Connect with Jing-Jing on her website, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Food Inspiration:

There was so much food in How We Disappeared, even with the wartime years, when supplies were meager and the fare simpler, there was no shortage or food inspiration. I had a couple of pages of notes that included egg, water spinach, biscuits, congee--(several mentions with different toppings and additions to this simple rice gruel), pork with salted cabbage and peppercorns, chicken rice, coffee, mangosteens, roast duck and chicken, soup stock with fishcake, raw stuffed okra, silky tofu and straw mushrooms, sweet dumplings and cakes, noodle stalls, Oolong tea, boiled rice in banana leaf, fried shrimp, pickled mustard greens, tapioca, banana, chicken wings in coconut milk with freshly ground curry, root vegetables (cassava and potato,tapioca) home-pickled vegetables, curry, mangoes, silky soybean curd, cups of hot Milo, white bread with margarine and jam, a twist of radish omelet, pandas cake, oyster omelet, soft-boiled egg, pork dumplings, sweet potatoes leaves stir0fried with chili paste, sweet potato porridge, various kinds of kueh (dessert pastries, cakes usually made from gulitnous rice),  salted fish, vegetable soup, tangerines,char su rice with no cucumbers and extra chili, peanut and pigs tail soup, lotus root soup, stir-fried greens, and chocolate Hiro cake.


For my book inspired dish, I thought about making my favorite hawker dish of Singapore street noodles, and considered congee--although I made it fairly recently for a post and didn't want to repeat it. Finally I decided on something very simple--lunch that Kevin's mom left him of white rice, stir-fried choy sum, and three pieces of luncheon meet. (I left off the luncheon meat of course). ;-) I had wanted to stir-fry some water spinach (ong choy here) as it starts out the book, but it isn't as easy to find as choy sum at my local grocery store. Speaking of local, the choy sum and the radishes I put on top of the rice (I was going to pickle them but ran out of time) are local ingredients. I like my greens with garlic and looked at a few recipes online before tossing together my own.


Stir-Fried Choy Sum with Garlic Sauce
Inspired by a bunch of recipes, but tossed together by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 3 to 4 as a Side Dish)

Choy Sum:
2 bunches choy sum (about 1 & 1/4 lbs or so), chopped as desired
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil or peanut oil + 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Garlic Sauce
1 Tbsp coconut oil
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1 Tbsp low-sodium Tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp water
salt and black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add choy sum--blanch for about 2 minutes, drain, and pat dry. 

While water is boiling, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and saute for abut 2 minutes, until fragrant. Scrap cooked garlic from the pan into a small bowl, add tamari/soy sauce, oyster sauce, corn starch, sesame oil and water, whisking together until well blended. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if desired and set aside.

Heat a large wok or saute pan and add oil. When pan is hot and oil is at smoking point, add the choy sum, and saute, stirring regularly for 2 to 3 minutes. Add sauce and stir into the choy sum, cooking for about 2 minutes. 

Plate, serve with a scattering of sesame seeds if desired and enjoy!

Note: I just used some leftover white rice, topped with thin slivers of radish for crunch.   


Notes/Results: Just a simple, fairly quick to put together light lunch or dinner of garlicky greens and rice. Sauteing the garlic softens it somewhat, but it definitely plays a big flavor role, so you can reduce it if you want something milder. The sauce would be equally as good on other greens--kale, chard, spinach, bok choy... as the garlic, sesame, tamari and oyster sauce work well with the slight bitterness greens can have. You can of course add your favorite protein to round things out. I actually had some tofu poke salad that I enjoyed with my meal, and my leftovers will likely be topped with a soft-boiled egg tomorrow. I will happily make it again.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "How We Disappeared" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Diana Henry's Ribollita & Six Favorite Cabbage Recipes for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Since I don't eat meat, corned beef isn't making an appearance on my table today, but I am working in a couple of classic ingredients; cabbage and potatoes. I've chosen to give them an Italian spin with a cozy bowl of Diana Henry's Ribollita. Ribollita means twice-cooked or reboiled and it is a classic peasant soup from Tuscany that is a good use of leftover bread for a thick and hearty soup.


Diana Henry says, "I never liked the idea of ribollita--it is, after all, cabbage soup, and I've spent too much of my life on the cabbage soup diet--but this is a wonderful, rich, multi-dimensional dish. I learned how to make it (and how important the stock and olive oil are to the final flavour) on a cooking course in Florence. Don't rush it; make it with care and good ingredients and you will be rewarded. Made well, this is one of the world's great soups."


Ribollita
Slightly Adapted from Plenty by Diana Henry
(Serves 4)

8 oz Savoy cabbage or kale
2 Tbsp butter
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
4 oz (1/3 lb) waxy potatoes, diced
4 cups chicken or beef stock
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 rosemary sprigs
3 garlic cloves
6 slices coarse white country bread
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
2 large plum tomatoes

Cut the coarse central core from the cabbage, and slice the leaves. Melt the butter in a large, heavy pan and sauté the leeks and celery until pale gold, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cabbage or kale, and potatoes and cook for another 12 minutes, turning the vegetables over in the butter every so often. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan with the rosemary and 2 of the garlic cloves (leave them whole and unpeeled). When the oil starts to shimmer and the ingredients turn light brown, remove from the heat and leave to infuse.

Toast the bread and rub each piece with the remaining garlic clove (peeled, this time). Add the beans to the soup and cook for another 10 minutes.

Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and leave for 10 seconds. Lift them out and rinse in cold water, then slip off the skins. Halve the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds (discard them), and cube the flesh. Add the tomatoes and flavored oil to the soup and taste for seasoning.

In another large saucepan, layer the soup with the bread (break it up to help spread it out) and leave to cool. Put the soup in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, bring it to room temperature, then bring to a boil again. Serve, drizzled lavishly with more extra-virgin olive oil.


Notes/Results: For a humble peasant soup, there are quite a few different steps to making it between the rosemary-garlic oil, the garlic-rubbed toast, the peeled and chopped tomatoes, then layering the soup and bread, letting it cool, and letting it sit in the fridge overnight before reboiling it, but none of it is difficult to do and the result is well-worth it. The flavor of this simple soup really shines and it is thick and satisfying--the perfect comfort food. I forgot to drizzle the olive oil on the top before my photos, but I did take the extra step of chopping the rosemary leaves and garlic cloves that I steeped in the oil and used them as garnish. I used vegan butter and good vegan non-chicken bullion and for a vegan version. I would happily make it again.


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is our Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Cabbage


Below are six more of my favorite dishes featuring cabbage from out IHCC chefs.

My absolute favorite cabbage recipe is also from Diana Henry, her Cabbage and Leek Colcannon. So buttery, so delicious!


Cabbage was meant for fish tacos and Curtis Stone's Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos with Pico de Gallo are a great version.


Simple, flavorful and colorful, Jacques Pépin's Curried Coleslaw is perfect with fish.


Cabbage plays a supporting role in another tasty Diana Henry dish, Freekeh with Greens, Fennel, and Chile.


Ina's Cabbage Cucumber Slaw is wonderful with her Roasted Salmon Tacos.


Nigel Slater's Goat Cheese Bubble & Squeak is fun side dish that features cabbage.
   

And we have several good friends here for Souper Sundays, let's take a look...


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen is here with Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad (with Vegan Black Pudding) and said, "To make this warm salad more of a substantial dish, I finished it off with some sliced of vegetarian black pudding, but that is optional. This certainly made a welcome change from our boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad."


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Red Cabbage Keilbasa and Cannellini Bean Soup and said, "One of the first contests I entered this year was one sponsored by Aunt Nellie’s. I won third place honors, a $25 gift card and a gift package of Aunt Nellie’s products (most beet related). In the package was a jar of sweet and sour red cabbage. I had no idea what to do with it. Aunt Nellie’s website came through and I decided to make this soup based on a recipe found there. I added some wine (of course), decreased the amount of cabbage, and added hot paprika to my version."

 
Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made White Bean, Corn and Smoked Sausage Soup and said, "This one could also be named clean-out-the-fridge-soup, but white beans and sausage would be more appealing on a menu.  I'm glad I am keeping track of recipes on this blog because often enough I need to search it when I am grocery shopping.  Hoping Blogspot doesn't just go away because I'd be unhappy to lose all the recipes I have posted over the last 10 years."

Beth Fish Reads is trying out the Skinnytaste One & Done Cookbook and one of the recipes she made and enjoyed was the Chicken Tortilla Soup. She says, "I made a chicken soup (recipe below) in the pressure cooker, which had just the right level of heat. The curry-flavored roasted vegetables, a sheet pan dinner (shown at the right), was delicious as is but would also be good over rice or couscous. Note that I didn't make the green chutney but used my own homemade fruit chutney instead."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

 
To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).



 Have a happy, healthy week & Happy St. Patrick's Day!
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "I Invited Her In" by Adele Parks, Served with a Recipe for Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto

It's Wednesday and I am working my way over the hump and into the weekend by taking an all-day leadership class on coaching behavioral issues. I can't help thinking that some of the characters in the new novel, I Invited Her In by Adele Parks, could benefit from some coaching--although I did more yelling at them in my head than thinking about trying to change their behaviors. ;-) Instead, I'll just review the book and throw in a recipe for a pasta dish, Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto, inspired by my reading.


Publisher's Blurb:

Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.
 
This is worse.
 
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
 
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.
 
After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?
 
I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

Hardcover: 432 Pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (February 5, 2019)


My Review: 


This is my first book by Adele Parks which seems odd as she has 15 novels out and all have been best sellers in the U.K, but I took the tour because I love twisty, dark thrillers that keep me guessing. Unfortunately I didn't quite get that with I Invited Her In. Be it the back cover blurb, the subtitle on the front cover (and she took everything...), the foreshadowing throughout the story, or a combination of all three, I ended up figuring almost all of the twists and turns out and so the suspense and tension just wasn't there. From the beginning it's pretty clear that Abi is downright evil and Mel got on my nerves too with her actions and her reactions to the things Abi. I spent much of the book yelling at Mel and her (more likable but equally clueless) husband Ben in my head. It's not a bad book, Parks did keep me turning the pages to see how badly the friendship between Abi and Mel derailed. For me it read a bit like a slightly over-the-top Lifetime movie and I found it more of a drama of full of dark secrets and a youthful friendship gone bad, than the psychological thriller I was expecting.


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Author Notes: Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages. She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers. Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970’s childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

Connect with Adele on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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Food Inspiration:

There was food (an alcohol) to be found in I Invited Her In, lots of family meals and British comfort food including toast and jam, tea and Hobnobs, coffee, beer and French red wine, fish fingers and baked beans on toast, a cheese and pickle sandwich, champagne, birthday cakes, gin-and-tonics, herbal teas, hot chocolate and chocolate brownies, scrambled eggs, bolognese sauce with fried mince, tomato and basil, handmade chocolates, organic grapefruit tonic in a bottle, cream tea with salmon sandwiches and little chocolate cakes, Thai food, whiskey, brandy, carrots, olives and wine, pizza delivery, meat and multiple vegetables like peas and roast potatoes, pasta and tomato sauce, pesto pasta, shepherd's pie, ice cream, lasagna, tomato and lettuce salad, tinned soup, eggs, bacon, and toast, meatballs, takeaway fish and chips, soup and crackers, jam sandwiches, strawberry milkshake, chocolate, margaritas, tacos, tostadas, and a "potato something," roast chicken, sweet potato chips and broccoli, humus, soya milk, ginger nut biscuits, cereal, chocolate milk and Nutella, Weetabixes, kebabs, red ice lollies, soft cheeses, pate, raw eggs, a C'est la Vie (a cocktail made of lime juice shaken with Ciroc vodka and French pear brandy), rainbow chard, cornmeal porridge, sea bream, duck salad and dessert.


Pasta with bolognese, lasagna, spaghetti, fish fingers, and shepherd's pie seemed to be the most common fair at Melanie's house, none of which called to me as a weeknight dinner I wanted to eat. When a recipe for Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto popped up in my Food Network feed, I was intrigued. It had  the same feel as easy pasta comfort food but the kale added a different edge so I decided to try it for my book-inspired dish. Both the pasta and the ease of making it tie it to the book. I made up the pan on Monday night, covered it and put it in the fridge, then pulled it out, topped and baked it last night. Seemed like something working mum, Mel would do.


Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto
(Yields 4 to 6 Servings)

kosher salt
1 12-to-14-oz package spinach and cheese tortellini
7 cups baby kale (about 8 oz) (I used regular kale)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic (I used 2 cloves)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream (I used coconut milk)
1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3 oz) (I used chunks of fresh mozzarella)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp pine nuts, roughly chopped (I forgot to buy these, so omitted)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook as the label directs. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain. Reserve the pot.

Meanwhile, puree 4 cups kale, the olive oil and garlic in a blender or food processor until almost smooth. Add ¼ cup parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth, adding up to 1/4 cup tap water if needed.

Transfer the pesto to the reserved pot along with the heavy cream; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium low; stir in the tortellini, sun-dried tomatoes and the remaining 3 cups kale, adding the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the mozzarella.

Combine the panko, pine nuts, parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the tortellini and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.


Notes/Results: I liked this bake, but would make a few changes. You have to enjoy kale for this one, which luckily, I do. If you aren't a fan, I would use spinach as it would bypass the slight bitterness that kale has. The recipe also calls for baby kale, which was missing at my local grocery store, so I use regular kale. Next time, I would saute the kale first with the garlic, to mellow it and to soften the kale left in the casserole. I also forgot I was out of pine nuts which would have added a nice crunch to the texture. Still, about 20 minutes in the toaster oven (I cooked it longer as I had it in the fridge overnight) and I had this hot casserole ready to go and enjoyed my plate feeling a bit more virtuous about the cheese and pasta, having worked my greens in. ;-) I would make it again and will try it with spinach or other greens too.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "I Invited Her In" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Ottolenghi's Sour Lentil Soup (Adas Bil Hamoud) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

On the hunt for a good, nourishing soup to help with a lingering cough and a newer sore throat and cold this weekend, I found Yotam Ottolenghi's Adas Bil Hamoud or Sour Lentil Soup. It looked simple to make and Ottolenghi is a master of flavors, plus lentils, potatoes, garlic and lemon are always favorite ingredients of mine.


Ottolenghi says, "Versions of this soup, in which lemon is king, are found all over the Arab world. Mine is ever-changing, depending on what kind of stock I have in my freezer, or herbs in my fridge, so feel free to play around with the ingredients as you see fit. I like my soup super lemony, but adjust this to your taste, too. If using vegetable stock, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of miso paste to enrich the broth"


Adas Bil Hamoud (Sour Lentil Soup)
Slightly Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi via TheGuardian.com
(Serves 4-6)

200 g (7 oz) Brown or green lentils
110 ml (3 oz) olive oil 
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 12 Tbsp cumin seeds (I used black cumin seed)
3 lemons, finely shave the skin off one into 5 strips, juice all three to get 75 ml (1/3 cup)
salt and black pepper to taste
3 firm, waxy potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), peeled and chopped into 4 cm pieces (about 650-700g or 2.5-3 lbs weight)
400 g (1 bunch) Swiss or rainbow chard, leaves and stalks separated and coarsely chopped
1 litre (1 quart) vegetable stock (I used 2 quarts water with vegetarian non-chicken broth paste)
1 1/2 Tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped at an angle

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of cold, lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are nearly cooked but still retain a bite, then drain.

While the lentils are cooking, put 80ml oil in a large, heavy-based pot for which you have a lid, and put on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, lemon skin, two and a quarter teaspoons of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and golden. Stir in the potatoes, lentils and chard stalks, pour in the stock and 800ml water, bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes, or until the potato is soft but still holds its shape.

Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and chard leaves, and leave to cook in the residual heat for two or three minutes, until wilted. Divide between four bowls, drizzle over the remaining two tablespoons of oil, garnish with the coriander and spring onion, and serve hot.

Notes/Results: I really like this soup. The lemon (my three lemons gave me closer to 1/2 cup of juice and I used it all.) brightens up the lentils and chard, and the potatoes give it a stew-like feel. It also made me realize that I need to cook more Swiss Chard--the stems are like flavorful celery and the leaves are not as bitter as some other greens. I did almost double the broth in this one as the lentils will soak it up as it sits. I served the soup with rice, but it is hearty enough to enjoy on its own. I would happily make it again. 


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week--any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs.

And for Souper Sundays...


Elizabeth of Literature and Limes shared Crock Pot Beef Stew inspired by a recent read Educated by Tara Westover and said, "I decided to make a slow-cooked stew for this book. After the death of Tara’s paternal grandmother, Tara’s mom comes home to make stew for the family. The stew just has this homey feeling, which I feel like was likely a lot of what Tara had to eat growing up – homey food."


Here at Kahakai Kitchen, I made a book-inspired Avocado Caprese Salad that was a tasty weeknight meal with the fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and avocado. I am lucky enough to get these ingredients year-round, if you aren't , definitely make this dish in the summer. I will be making it again and again. 


Thanks to Elizabeth for joining me this week!  

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).



Have a happy, healthy week!