Monthly Archives: September 2009

warm days, colder nights

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The weather is turning and the idea of soup is re-entering my mind/cravings. In the words of Nigel Slater who I lifted this recipe from, “this is a bowl of soup that both whips and kisses”.

Dal and pumpkin soup

  • a small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • walnut-sized knob of ginger
  • 225 g split red lentils
  • tablespoon ground tumeric
  • tablespoon ground chili
  • 250g squash
  • bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • some greens (arugula, spinach or chard will all word)

Peel the onion and chop it roughly. Peel and crush the garlic and put it with the onion into a medium heavy-based saucepan. Peel the ginger, cut it into thin shreds and stir that in too. Add the lentils and pour in one and a half litres of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to an enthusiastic simmer. Stir in the ground tumeric and chili, season with salt and pepper and leave to simmer, covered, for 20 mins.

While the lentils are cooking, bring a medium-sized pan of water to a boil. Peel the squash and scoop out the seeds and fibre, then cut the flesh into fat, even chunks. Boil the pieces until they are tender enough to take a skewer without much pressure. Drain and set aside.

Remove the lid from the lentils and turn up the heat, boiling hard for five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the drained squash. I use a hand blender to blend the whole thing but if you like things chunky/rustic, or are lacking a hand blender, you can use a masher to mash the squash into the lentils. Stir in cilantro and as much greens as you’d like. Also check seasoning at this point, as more may be necessary once squash, herbs and greens are added.

I top mine with some yogurt and eat it with cucumber water. It would be nice with some toasted bread or naan for dipping. I’ve presented the recipe as it is in my Nigel Slater book. I tend to beef up all flavourings and use more garlic, ginger, tumeric and chili than what I’ve listed above.

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new favourite thing

= CLAMS!!!

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Once upon a time I ate clams and got food poisoning and then thought I didn’t like clams. Recently, I was out for dinner with my brother and he ordered clams and I found them entirely delicious. Ever since all I want to eat is clams. The end.

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I made a broth from butter, white wine, some smoked paprika, garlic, chilies and lots of herbs (clockwise from top: tarragon, parsley, mint). We ate them with a roquette salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and some toasted baguette. The best.