Showing posts with label spices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spices. Show all posts

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Middle Eastern Leek & Veggie Soup with Dilled Yogurt & Sumac for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I was going to make the Middle Eastern Leeks with Yogurt, Dill & Sumac recipe from Diana Henry this week for our Cuisine Spotlight at I Heart Cooking Clubs and ran out of time. Since I had the leeks, yogurt, dill and my big bottle of sumac to use up, I decided to turn the leeks into a soup and use the yogurt sauce as a topping.


Diana's original recipe for the leeks and sauce is here. Below is my adapted soup recipe.

 
Middle Eastern Leek Soup with Dilled Yogurt & Sumac
Inspired & Adapted from Diana Henry
(Serves 4 to 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil
6 to 8 medium leeks
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 tsp sumac + extra for garnish
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill 
1 medium zucchini, chopped 
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
sea salt and black pepper to taste
lemon slices for garnish
Dilled Yogurt Sauce (recipe below)

Remove the tough outer leaves from the leeks and discard. Slice off the base of each one, and the dark green leaves at the top, leaving the lighter green and white parts. Cut the leeks into 1 1/2 inch lengths or leave them whole. Wash them really well, making sure that you get rid of any grit or soil and pat dry.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and salt and cook until leeks are softened, about 8 minutes, stirring so they don't brown. Add the smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper, sumac, and garlic and cook another minute or two until the spices are fragrant. Add the veggie broth and dill and bring to a boil, then add zucchini and Yukon Gold potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until veggies are softened but not mushy. 

Take about 2 cups of the soup and blend until smooth, then stir back into the pot. Add lemon juice and salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with a scoop of the yogurt sauce, a sprinkling of sumac and a slice of lemon. Enjoy!

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Dilled Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from Diana Henry via TheTelegraph.com
(Makes 2  cups)

2 cups Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon

Mix the yogurt with the garlic, dill, mustard, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. You can thin it further if you like by adding water or milk (buttermilk is good if you have any). Serve with the soup. Keep leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for up to a week. 


Notes/Results: A tasty savory soup that is not too heavy with just enough spice. The yogurt sauce with its dill and lemon keep it cool and is really good when stirred into the broth. Whenever I use sumac, I am always reminded of how much I like its almost tart, lemon-ish flavor. I think the dilled yogurt sauce would be delicious on any steamed or grilled vegetable or for pita bread. I will happily make it again.


Linking up to IHCC for the July Cuisine Spotlight: Middle Eastern theme.  


Let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here this week.


Lovely Simona of briciole is back with a fresh Tomato, Cucumber and Radish Salad and says, "I am currently fascinated by the pale green, deeply ribbed, long Armenian cucumbers (cetrioli armeni), whose flesh is mild- and sweet-tasting. Genetically they are a musk melon (Cucumis melo var. flexuosus), rather than a cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The addition of peppery radishes creates a pleasant contrast of flavors, accented by fresh basil (basilico), indispensable companion."

 
Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shares a cooling Chilled Summer Borsht and says,"Borsht is a tangy soup that is popular in Eastern European countries like Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine. It is usually made with beetroot as the base, but every region has its own variation of additional vegetables and ingredients that go into this rich looking "good for you" soup."

 
Mahalo to Judee and Simona 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 add a 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 this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Summer of Sunshine and Margot" by Susan Mallery, Served with a Recipe for Sautéed Mushroom & Chive Bruschetta

I love a short work week. Tomorrow is July 4th and I took the day after off for a rare-for-me four-day weekend. I have a delightful summery new novel to kick it off with as today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery. Accompanying my review is a tasty and elegant little appetizer for a summer night party, Sautéed Mushroom & Chive Bruschetta, inspired by the book.


Publisher's Blurb: 

The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…
As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. 

Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?
 
Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.
 
Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!

Hard Cover 368 Pages
Publisher: HQN; Original Edition (June 11, 2019)

My Review:

Whether it be due to work stresses or the warmer summer weather, I find myself drawn more to lighter reads this time of year. I gravitate to books that help me relax, tell a good story, introduce me to likable characters and despite any drama, generally end on a happy note. Susan Mallery is a great author for this kind of book, and I have reviewed a few of her novels over the years including the recent, California Girls. 

The Summer of Sunshine and Margot is like California Girls in that is about sisters, although there are two in this story. Margot is a somewhat buttoned up etiquette coach who has made the mistake of loving and altering her life for one man, who just can’t seem to grow up. She is determined not to let him back in her life and is busy working with a new client, Bianca, an actress who has a reputation for unconventional behavior but is now set on marrying her true love, an ambassador who needs to keep his dignity to keep his job. The job requires her to move in with Bianca who is currently staying with her reclusive researcher son in a renovated monastery. Margot likes and is attracted to Alec and is worried about failing both him and Bianca. Sunshine is Margot’s fraternal twin and rather than putting all her eggs in one relationship basket, she has made a series of bad very choices in men, and though she loves children and being a nanny, she constantly leaves her positions to follow those bad choices. Sunshine is trying to change her life and working for a successful and widowed landscaper, caring for his young son Conner and has big plans to go back to school, get her degree and lead a better, more responsible life. Both she and Declan are tempted by each other, but don’t want to admit it and hurt Conner or each other. 

Although the sisters are very different in appearance, personality, and in how they approach life, both were deeply affected by their childhood and being raised by their great-grandmother as their grandmother left their mother and their mother left them. They are easy characters to like and to cheer on, as are the supporting characters, especially Conner, Sunshine’s young charge. Mallery writes with humor and heart and captures the bond between sisters well. There are no twists or surprises, but it is a satisfying story that is easy to curl up with and enjoy on the lanai or at the beach. The Summer of Sunshine and Margot is a good choice for your summer reading stack if you like women’s fiction, stories about sisters and family relationships, sometimes snarky humor, romance, and stories about personal growth and second chances.

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Author Notes: #1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Connect with Susan on her website, Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

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Food Inspiration:

Susan Mallery's books always seem to have plenty of food mentions and there is even a recipe for a quick coq au vin in the back. Food mentions included: ice tea, lasagna roll-ups, salad, garlic knots and zucchini fries, champagne, chocolate, mixed berry pie, brownies, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, burger and a milkshake, a green drink of spinach, parsley, cucumber and kale with a little red apple tossed in for sweetness and a protein drink with almond milk, cacao, banana and vegan vanilla protein powder, martinis and margaritas, crab puffs, white and dark chocolate mousse in a pastry shell, cold avocado and cucumber soup, a chicken and pasta dish with cheese sauce, and a potato casserole. 

I decided to recreate one of the bruschetta appetizers that Margot and Alec put together for a small gathering:

"Margot stirred fresh chopped chives into softened cream cheese, then spread it on the bread and topped it with the mushroom mixture. Alec prepared the more traditional bruschetta, topping the bread with diced fresh tomatoes and feta."


I made mine a bit easier with a cream cheese spread with onions and chives, adding the fresh chives to the top. To punch up my somewhat ordinary cremini mushrooms, I used plenty of butter, thyme and some Trader Joe's Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend that a friend sent to me--a mix of kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper, mushroom powder, and mustard seed.


Sautéed Mushroom & Chive Bruschetta
Inspired by The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery
(Yields about Six Servings)

1 small sourdough baguette, sliced
olive oil
3 Tbsp butter

1 shallot, diced
2 to 3 sprigs worth of fresh time leaves
1 lb mushrooms of choice (I used cremini), chopped
2 tsp Trader Joe's Umami Seasoning or your favorite multi-purpose seasoning mix
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup Philadelphia Chive and Onion Cream Cheese Spread (or make your own)
chopped fresh chives to garnish

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. brush both sides of each bread slice lightly with olive oil. cook them in a single layer until warmed through and grill marks form. Set aside.

Heat butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté for a few minutes. Add the thyme, mushrooms, Umami Seasoning, a dash of salt and pepper and sauté for about 10-12  minutes, stirring often, until mushrooms are tender and glossy. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. if mushrooms seem too dry, add a little more olive oil.

Spread each slice of grilled baguette with a layer of cream cheese spread and place a spoonful of mushrooms on top. Top with a sprinkle of fresh chives and serve warm. Enjoy!


Notes/Results: Such an easy and tasty little appetizer to make. I loved the cream cheese and chive spread with the rich and buttery warm seasoned mushrooms. They were definitely moreish and a nice change from the usual tomato bruschetta. they would be perfect with a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc. I will happily make them again.


Linking up my review with Simona at briciole for her Novel Meals #36 event, where culinary inspiration comes from published literary works. 


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 "The Summer of Sunshine and Margot" was provided to me by the author and publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 

You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ottolenghi's Sweet Corn Chowder with Spiced Butter for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I could eat chowder every week in the summer. There is just something about the combination of good fresh sweet corn and potatoes and the creamy base that is so satisfying, even on a warm and humid day.  I have had this Ottolenghi recipe tagged for a while now, liking the idea of a drizzle of spiced butter on top of a veggie chowder.
 

Ottolenghi says, “I call this a chowder even though it lacks the non-veggie elements of the traditional New England varieties. The pungent herb butter added at the end gives it a nice kick (for even more spice, add half a thinly sliced green chilli with the potatoes). Though spicy, it's a very comforting dish that works well as a late weekend brunch.”

 
Sweetcorn Chowder with Spiced Butter
(Serves 4)

1 large leek, cut along its centre and then cut into roughly 1cm squares (I used 2, sliced)
3/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
30g butter
2 celery sticks, cut into 1cm slices
2 medium waxy potatoes (220g in total), peeled and cut into 1cm dice (I doubled the potatoes)
500ml good quality vegetable stock (I used about 6 cups non-chicken stock)
4 fresh corn cobs, corn shaved off (I used 5 ears of Ewa sweet corn + 5 oz frozen corn)
300ml milk (I used 1 can coconut milk)
20g fresh coriander leaves, very roughly chopped

For the spiced butter:
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp coriander seeds
60g butter
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

(I added 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper)
sea salt and white pepper

Gently sauté the leek in a large saucepan along with the thyme, bay leaves, olive oil and butter. Once soft and slightly translucent, add the celery, potato and stock. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potato is almost totally tender. It is important not to over-cook the potato, to ensure a nice, firmish texture in the finished soup.

Remove the bay leaves and add the corn to the soup. Transfer about a half of the soup into another pan and blitz until completely smooth. Return the blended mixture to the main pot and add the milk. Simmer for two to three minutes, taste, season with salt, and remove from the heat.

For the spiced butter, grind the cumin and coriander with a pestle and mortar, place in a dry frying pan, heat up and after about 30 seconds, when you can smell the aroma of the spices, add the butter, paprika, salt and white pepper. Stir to combine, and take off the heat as soon as the butter has melted.

To serve, ladle the soup into four bowls, drizzle each with spiced butter and top with the fresh coriander leaves.


Notes/Results: Chowder that is tasty enough on its own, but raised to the sublime level with the addition of the fragrant spiced butter which adds another layer of flavor and contributes to the silkiness of the soup. It's easy to make and the west coast--almost a California or maybe Baja California vibe it gets from the oil and the cilantro make it unique and a keeper recipe. As usual, Ottolenghi is dead on with the flavors. I will happily make it again.


Speaking of a California vibe, I am linking this soup up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is our monthly Cuisine Spotlight: California. Dishes from any of our IHCC chefs with California feeling ingredients and/or a California vibe.


 Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared a classic BLT sandwich and said, "As I mentioned earlier I wanted to hook up with a few cooking events but alas......best laid plans. One of the days we were home watching over Aja we made simple BLT sandwiches. It wasn't a cool and unique offering for Deb`s Souper Sundays event but I think I will bring it to the party after all. Obviously you don`t need a recipe for a BLT. I like to load them with fat tomato slices and use the Trader Joe`s bread. That makes such good toast!"

 
Thanks to Tina 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 add a 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 this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
  
 Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Song of the Jade Lily" by Kirsty Manning, Served with a Recipe for Tea-Soaked Hard-Boiled Eggs

I am excited to be the final stop on the TLC Book Tour for the World War II novel, The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning. Accompanying my review are some  pretty Tea-Soaked Eggs, inspired by my reading.


Publisher's Blurb: 

A gripping historical novel that tells the little-known story of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during WWII.

1939: Two young girls meet in Shanghai, also known as the “Paris of the East”. Beautiful local Li and Jewish refugee Romy form a fierce friendship, but the deepening shadows of World War II fall over the women as they slip between the city’s glamorous French Concession district and the teeming streets of the Shanghai Ghetto. Yet soon the realities of war prove to be too much for these close friends as they are torn apart.

2016: Fleeing London with a broken heart, Alexandra returns to Australia to be with her grandparents, Romy and Wilhelm. Her grandfather is dying, and over the coming weeks Romy and Wilhelm begin to reveal the family mysteries they have kept secret for more than half a century. As fragments of her mother’s history finally become clear, Alexandra struggles with what she learns while more is also revealed about her grandmother’s own past in Shanghai.

After Wilhelm dies, Alexandra flies to Shanghai, determined to trace her grandparents’ past. Peeling back the layers of their hidden lives, she is forced to question what she knows about her family—and herself.

The Song of the Jade Lily is a lush, provocative, and beautiful story of friendship, motherhood, the price of love, and the power of hardship and courage that can shape us all.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (May 14, 2019)

My Review:

Someday I will count up the number of World War II novels I have reviewed on this blog, or even books I have just read, without doing a book tour review. It is a time in history that interests me, particularly when author's explore the war from a different perspective or teach me something new. The Song of the Jade Lily does both as it looks at the war mostly from the point of view of Romy Bernfeld, a young Jewish girl from Vienna who flees Vienna to Shanghai with her parents in 1938. I didn't know that much about Shanghai during the war and just how many European Jewish refugees (over 20,000) they took in during the war. Romy's family does not escape unscathed, one of her older brothers is killed while trying to defend a neighbor from the Germans and her other brother is shipped off to the Dachau concentration camp. On the journey to Shanghai, Romy befriends Nina, a girl her age with her own tragic losses, and later in Shanghai, Romy and her family become friends with their neighbors, the Ho family. Romy and Li Ho become fast friends, along with Li's brother Jian. The book alternates the war timeline with 2016, when Romy's granddaughter, Alexandra takes a job in Shanghai and uses the time to inquire about her past, as her late mother was adopted by Romy and her husband Wilhelm, right after the war ended.

I was a little worried about being able to finish the book with the busy couple of weeks I was having and my limited reading time, but The Song of the Jade Lily was difficult for me to put down--I was completely caught up in the story and in the sights, sounds, and smells of Shanghai in wartime and in present day and wanted to dig in every chance I got. Kirsty Manning brings the pages to vivid life--the horrors or war and the power of love and friendship. Like most WWII novels, there is much sadness in the pages, but strength and resilience too. The afterward with the author's notes on the inspiration for the book as well as the list of resources she used to research her subject was interesting too. I hope to read more from her. If you like historical fiction, WWII stories, interwoven stories and time periods, strong female characters and different perspectives, add this one to your TBR list.

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Author Notes: Kirsty Manning grew up in northern New South Wales, Australia. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east, and west coasts of the United States as well as pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specializing in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers, and online. She lives in Australia.
 
Find out more about Kirsty at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Food Inspiration:

There was so much food in The Song of the Jade Lily that I think it almost classifies as a foodie book and it was a variety of mostly Jewish, German and Austrian and Chinese dishes. I will attempt to cover just some of the mentions here as I took a few pages of notes. Mentions included the scents of frying fish, cardamom, cinnamon and star anise, noodles, congee, champagne, whiskey, afternoon tea, coffee, hot chocolate piles high with cream, fried garlic and smoked paprika, a soup of black bean paste with crushed garlic, ginger, and chives, a garden with green beans, bay, thyme, Meyer lemon and lime trees, flowering garlic and chives, peas, tomato and purple and green basil, a pesto made from coriander, glugs of olive oil, almonds, garlic and lemons, bok choy, pumpkin and water chestnut risotto, sauteed lamb kidneys with orchid stems and shiitake mushrooms, coffee and plum jam liwanzen (fried yeast pancakes), chocolate cake, Semmelknodel (German bread) dumplings with roast chicken,homemade lemonade and ginger beer, Austrian rye bread and baked treats including a brotgewurz (a German bread spice mixture that included ground caraway, fennel, anise and coriander seed, plus Chinese allspice, celery seed and cardamom), mushroom dumplings, carrot cake, Black forest cake, apricot and apple strudels, scones with raspberry jam and double cream, persimmons, crepes with egg,leek, herbs and deep-fried pastry strips for crunch, Griessnockerlsuppe (chicken and semolina dumpling soup), macarons, basi pingguo (apple, deep-fried and coated in caramel and sesame seeds), tofu and eggplant salad, cones of toasted melon, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pickled mango, cream cakes with raspberry jam on top, baba ghanoush and hummus, baled fish, couscous and beef brisket, hot pot, pink dragon fruit, lychee and guava, pea torte, spicy prawns with lily bulbs and almond, jasmine tea-soaked chicken, cinnamon buns, orange and poppyseed cake, mapo doufu, and lychee and ginger martinis.


For my book-inspired dish, I decided to make Tea-Soaked Eggs because I have been wanting to make them for a while now and I liked that they were Romy's favorites, and the description when Alexandra and Zhang go to breakfast:

"'What is that?' asked Alexandra as they passed a narrow alleyway crowded with people lining up behind bamboo steamers stacked like circular towers. 
'That'--he pointed to a tiny hole-in-the-wall--'is breakfast.' 
Alexandra eyed the dozens of boiled eggs floating in a dark broth and recognized one of Romy's favorite dishes. At home, Romy would boil a dozen eggs, then crack them gently on the counter before dropping them into a crockpot filled with black tea. She'd add orange rind, cinnamon, star anise, five spice, cardamom, and soy sauce, and leave the eggs to soak overnight. Alexandra had loved the aromas of all the spices floating through the house, especially in winter. The next morning, Romy would scoop the eggs out with a slotted spoon and peel them to reveal a beautiful marbled pattern, each one in a slightly different hue."


Recipe:

I basically followed the recipe above from the book, along with a glance at this Food52 article for slow cooker timing. I decided to use some of my Lapsang Souchong tea to see what the smoky flavor did with the eggs. Since I didn't have orange rind on hand, I put a couple of pieces of lemon peel into the mix.


Notes/Results: I was expecting a more dramatic mosaic pattern on my eggs. Although I do find the shells quite vibrant and gorgeous, the eggs were lighter in color than I thought they would be. Also, although I took my eggs out of the fridge about 20 minutes before boiling and they were fairly fresh, most of the bottoms were flat. Oh well, the taste was better than they looked. I liked how the smoky flavor of the Lapsang Souchong I used combined with the aromatic spices and soy sauce. They are a little bit rubbery in texture, but the flavor made up for that. I would make them 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 "The Song of the Jade Lily" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, 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, April 7, 2019

Ottolenghi's Cauliflower Soup with Mustard Croutons for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge that I hadn't gotten around to using this week so I knew it was destined for the soup pot. I googled cauliflower, soup and Yotam Ottolengi and found this recipe for Cauliflower Soup with Mustard Croutons online at his website. Like many Ottolenghi recipes, there are plenty of ingredients, but they are simple ones, and the soup is easy to put together.


Ottolenghi says, “These mustard croutons, adapted from those in Suzanne Goin's inspiring book Sunday Suppers At Lucques (Alfred Knopf, 2005), are a brilliant thing to have to hand and to sprinkle over gratins and salads. If you'd rather not make them, you'll need something else to perk up the soup: a teaspoon of rose harissa or some other savoury chilli sauce, swirled into each bowl before serving, would do the job perfectly well.


Cauliflower Soup with Mustard Croutons
(Serves 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil
10g (.35 oz) unsalted butter
5g (.18 oz) thyme sprigs
20g (.8 oz) parsley
Shaved skin of 1 lemon, plus grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large celery sticks, cut into 3cm pieces
2 bay leaves
1 tsp caraway seeds
salt and white pepper
1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
1.4 litres (about 6 cups) vegetable stock (or chicken stock for non-vegetarians)
2 Tbsp chopped chives

For the mustard croutons:
90g (3 oz) unsalted butter
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tsp picked thyme leaves
3 tsp finely chopped parsley
150g (5 oz) crustless ciabatta, torn into 1cm pieces (I used sourdough)

First make the croutons. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put the butter in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. When it starts to foam, whisk in the mustard, herbs and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, take off the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to cool slightly, then stir in the ciabatta. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (Any you don't use for this dish, store in an airtight container.)

For the soup, put the oil and butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Tie together the thyme, parsley and lemon skin (or put them in a tied-up muslin), and add to the pan with the onion, celery, bay leaves, caraway seeds, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a quarter-teaspoon of white pepper. Cook for eight to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft but has not taken on any colour. Add the cauliflower, potato and stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for eight minutes, until the vegetables are cooked but still have some bite.

Use a slotted spoon to lift a third of the cauliflower out of the pan – avoid removing any potato – and set aside. Let everything simmer away for another five minutes, then remove the herb bundle and the bay leaves. Using a hand-held blender, or in a food processor, blitz the soup until smooth, return to the pan and add the reserved cauliflower pieces. Stir in the grated lemon zest and chives, and serve, sprinkling the croutons on top at the last minute.



Notes/Results: The mustard croutons are definitely the highlight of this simple soup--although the sou itself has good flavor from the herbs, lemon and caraway. I like that the soup isn't too thick and has a creamy texture and the bites of cauliflower florets, then the crispy croutons on top. It goes together easily--I started my soup while making my croutons, so it all came together relatively quickly. I would happily make it again. 


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where we are saying Welcome Back! to all of our nineteen IHCC featured chefs. Come join us!


And we have Tina hanging out with me in the Souper Sundays kitchen...
 

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared this Broccoli, Potato and Spinach Creamy Soup and said, "Anyway......I was fortunate enough to receive a cool new eBook called Soups and Stews recently and wanted to share one result for Souper Sunday. There will be more coming up. Here is the first recipe - a healthy broccoli potato and spinach soup.  Very creamy! ... This recipe comes from a new book Soups and Stews by the author Emily Brown. I will add more recipes and do a review soon."


Thanks to Tina for joining in!

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).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!