Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame

Healthy, warming and nourishing, a perfect soup for the coldest of days.

This recipe has macrobiotic overtones, but feel free to play with flavours in any way that you wish. It has the interesting flavours of sesame oil, tamari and umeboshi vinegar.

The recipe comes from a scribbled recipe on a piece of paper, as many of my recipes do. I have collected them over millennia, it seems. To the original recipe I have added some olive oil as the stated sesame oil was not enough for sautéing the onions and vegetables.

Would you like to try similar recipes? Try Adzuki Bean and Barley Soup with Pumpkin, Parsnip and Barley Soup with Sage and Garlic, and Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.

You might be looking for all of our Barley recipes – you can find them here. Or browse our Soup recipes here and here. Our easy Mid Wintery recipes are here.

Continue reading “Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame”

Soupe aux Carottes Nivernaises | A French Carrot Soup from Nivernais

One more soup for the cold weather in the wintery regions. A French Carrot Soup, Soupe aux Carottes Nivernaises. A very special soup, this one. Warming and buttery, sweet and luxurious, it deserves a place at your winter table.

This soup is a specialty of Nivernais, a former province of France, around the city of Nevers that forms the modern department of Nièvre, which ennobles the carrot in its coat-of-arms! Old recipes have twice the amount of sugar as carrots, but today, this amount is greatly reduced.

Are you looking for similar Carrot Soups? Try these other recipes too: Parsnip and Carrot Soup with Crispy Garlic, Roasted Carrot and Apple Soup, and Carrot and Roasted Tomato Soup.

You can browse all of our other Carrot Soups. Or you might like to browse our Carrot recipes and Soup recipes. French recipes are here. Or check out our easy Late Winter recipes here.

Continue reading “Soupe aux Carottes Nivernaises | A French Carrot Soup from Nivernais”

Garlicky Potato Mash

Our first days of Winter this year have broken records for low overnight temperatures, and immediately one’s attention turns to wintery ingredients and dishes. Parsnips, Barley, Potatoes, Celeriac. Mung Beans, Fava Beans. And indeed, Mashed Potato.

This is a simple twist to the humble but delicious mash. It adds garlic, – use smoked garlic if you have it – to potatoes as they cook, and then makes them delicious and luxurious with butter and cream. Winter, welcome!

Are you looking for other Potato recipes? Try Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes, Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, and Roast Potatoes.

And try these Potato Mashes – English, French, and Indian.

Browse all of our Early Winter recipes for instant warmth! All of our Potato dishes are here.

Continue reading “Garlicky Potato Mash”

Pere al Forno con Marsala e Cannella | Pears Baked with Marsala and Cinnamon

Beautiful raisin flavoured baked pears for wintery nights.

Aaah, the thought of these makes me feel hungry. First made in our household about 20 years ago they still feature occasionally in our kitchen, especially in winter. They are a great way to take the evening chill off of the kitchen – turn the oven on, pop in the pears and perhaps some parsnips to roast, pour the wine and put some Italian music on in the background.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Roasted Rosemary Pears, and an Autumn Fruit Salad.

You might like to browse our Dessert recipes, and our Pear recipes. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. You can browse more of those recipes in the Retro Recipes series.

Continue reading “Pere al Forno con Marsala e Cannella | Pears Baked with Marsala and Cinnamon”

Parsnip and Barley Soup with Garlic and Sage

A creamy delicious and wonderfully healthy soup for the coldest of days

Last winter we fell in love with Barley. It was never an ingredient that I used very much. And because of that, it retained an old-fashioned aura, something my Grandmother would have used in her soups and stews, but less common in today’s kitchen.

Then Jude and I got talking on Twitter about Barley, and she mentioned her amazing soup that combines parsnips and barley. I have to say that this combination is fantastic and much more than the sum of the ingredients. The parsnips melt into the soup and the barley adds creaminess and texture. It is pretty good, I have to say. I tweaked her recipe outline a little, and here it is.

Barley has made a comeback into today’s kitchen. Ottolenghi is not afraid to use it and his books contain several recipes. Other well known cooks have also included it. It has become a staple winter ingredient in our pantry too.

Are you after similar Barley Soup recipes? Try Barley and Root Vegetable Soup or Stew with Umeboshi and Sesame, Adzuki Beans, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, and Italian Farmhouse Barley and Vegetable Soup.

Or other Parsnip dishes? Try Parsnip and Carrot Mash, and Parsnip and Carrot Soup with Crispy Garlic.

You might like to browse all of our Parsnip recipes, and all of our Barley recipes. Or explore our easy Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Parsnip and Barley Soup with Garlic and Sage”

Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange

Nothing says “Winter” quite like baked fennel

Fennel raw in the warmer parts of Autumn is a must; fennel braised, roasted, pureed, baked, grilled or otherwise cooked in Winter is so heavenly.

Today, slow baked in olive oil and lemon juice – almost cooked a la Grecque – is a suitably Wintery dish for this weather. Enlivened with a Roast Vegetable Salt and Orange Zest, and replacing some of the lemon with pomegranate vinegar, set the scene for a Sunday lunch.

Are you looking for similar Fennel dishes? Try Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella, and Fennel a la Grecque.

You might like other Fennel recipes. Or browse our a la Grecque dishes. Otherwise, explore our Mid Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Slow Baked Fennel with Chilli, Garlic and Orange”

Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Poritha Kuzhambu with Chillies and Cumin | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable

The second of three methods suggested by Meenakshi Ammal. A beautiful, flowing-textured dal-based dish perfect over rice.

There are three main methods for making Poritha (Poricha) Kuzhambu. The first uses sambar powder, and this recipe, the second method, uses a paste of chillies, cumin seed and coconut. The third method uses chillies and urad dal ground to a paste.

Poritha Kuzhambu (or Poricha Kuzhambu) is a style of kuzhambu that usually includes coconut in its ground spice mix – this is the most defining characteristic of a Poritha Kuzhambu. This recipe is lentil based which can be made with either Toor Dal as we do here, or Green Gram Dal (Mung Dal). Although some Poritha Kuzhambu recipes can contain tamarind, this one does not.

This dish is not spicy, with very little spice added – just chillies and cumin. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetable.

Sometimes Poritha Kuzhambu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. That is not entirely accurate. There is no real equivalent in our cuisine – perhaps it can be described as a Lentil Based Gravy with a Vegetable, to eat over rice. It flavours the rice and the rice compliments the kuzhambu. I love kuzhambu so much, I will also eat a small bowl of it like a soup.

Are you looking for other Poritha Kuzhambu recipes? Try Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu, Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth, and Pitlai.

Feel free to browse all of our Poritha Kuzhambu recipes, our Kuzhambu recipes, and our Indian recipes. Drumstick recipes are here. You may also like to browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Poritha Kuzhambu with Chillies and Cumin | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable”

Chickpeas and Beetroot Greens with Chilli

I LOVE this dish. Simple, but flavoursome and healthy. Mop up juices with some home made focaccia. Although Beetroot Leaves have been used here, it can also be made with Spinach.

The chickpeas are soaked with bicarb soda to make them achingly tender when cooked. The greens are cooked with a tomato base with some wine (see the notes below the recipe for an alternative) and mixed with the chickpeas.

Are you looking for more Chickpea recipes? Try Green Salad with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon, Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli and Dukkah, and Hummus.

Or perhaps some Spinach dishes? Try Mushroom, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Potatoes and Spinach.

You might like to browse all of our Chickpea recipes and Spinach recipes. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes here.

Continue reading “Chickpeas and Beetroot Greens with Chilli”

Peppery Chai

Expect a swathe of new Chai recipes now that the cooler weather comes. Not only do I adore Chai during the winter, it is a great help when suffering from a cold. Right now I have a head cold, so I am making chai and adding a good dose of turmeric to it. Have you also found that turmeric-laden chai makes a difference when you have a cold? My form of Golden Milk or Turmeric Latte (the current fashion here).

The Tulsi in this Chai is also helpful for colds and flu.

As the name suggests, this chai is quite peppery – we do love a chai laced well with ginger and pepper. As the weather deepens, I take to adding powdered ginger for an extra sharp zing. Right now, though, in Mid Autumn, we are happy with using the fabulous fresh ginger we pick up from our Asian Grocery near-by.

Are you looking for more Chai recipes? Try Chai Masala for Relief of Colds, Illaichi Chai, Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai. We have more Chai recipes scheduled, quite a few really, so check back here regularly.

Explore all of our other Chai recipes. Or try our Teas. Maybe browse all of our Indian recipes. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Peppery Chai”

Soupe au Potiron | Cream of Pumpkin Soup

A French Soup so good that your friends will request the recipe

In the days when my kids were growing up, I really was famous for this soup. People would request it if they were coming over for a meal. I would keep copies of the recipe handy for people. We make it still today, and it is still just as good.

I love the way that the colour of this soup mirrors that of the falling autumn leaves at my house.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Are you looking for Pumpkin Soups? Try these: Adzuki Bean, Barley and Pumpkin Soup, Italian Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers.

Or try some other Pumpkin recipes, like Pumpkin Couscous Salad, Caramelised Roast Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Cooked in a Covered BBQ.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like our Pumpkin recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Soupe au Potiron | Cream of Pumpkin Soup”

Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes

An unashamedly Retro Dish perfect for Modern Times.

Potatoes and Cumin are a great match. This retro baked dish is a great dish for any time of the year, and extremely wonderful in cooler Autumn months and Winter. It layers the potato with black pepper and cumin seed, and tops it with juicy tomatoes, breadcrumbs and parsley. It is a comforting dish, home cooking at its best. Who would not want to come home to a dish like this?

Are you looking for more Potato dishes? Try Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, Potato Subzi, and a Surprise Potato Tartin.

Would you like to try other Gratin recipes? Try Gratineed Sweet Potato, Potato Gratin with Cream and Pomodori Gratinati – Tomatoes Gratineed with Cheese.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – recipes from our previous blog that ran from 1995 – 2005. You might also like our Potato recipes here and our Gratin Recipes. Or you might like to browse Tomato recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes”

Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea

Longan Berries are warming, according to Chinese philosophy. So this tea is great for warming the toes on cold nights, or perfect for when a cold is coming on or you just feel cold. Enjoy this by the bowlful.

Longan are sold fresh and dried. For tea, it is much more convenient to use dried. They are loved by the Chinese and used commonly across China. They are used to flavour many dishes – winter sweets, sweet Chinese soups and congee. Great for snacks on their own if freshly dried, or mix with raisins and other dried fruits, and walnuts and other nuts.

It is easy to find them. Wander the aisles of your local Asian/Chinese shop until you find the dried fruit section. Sometimes you will find them sold in bulk. Choose ones that are soft, like raisins, and avoid the harder dried ones. Store them in a jar in your pantry, keep them in the fridge, or even freeze them to preserve them well.

In China this tea would be called a sweet soup. Serve it with the berries in the tea. You can strain them out if you prefer, but they are lovely left in and munched on as you sip. Longan are very relaxing and good for the memory as well.

Are you after other Teas? Try Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea (Ayurvedic CCF Tea), and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.

Explore all of our Teas, and our Chinese dishes. Or take some time to browse our warming Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Longan and Young Ginger Tea | Dragon Eye Tea”

Potato Dosa

The range of dosa in South India is infinite, ranging from crispy dosa to soft, handkerchief-like dosa, from plain batters to batters with vegetables, spices and herbs. And each one is so very good.

Dosa is the Indian flatbread, although it is less like bread than perhaps any other country’s flatbread. It is made from a batter, rather than a dough,  that generally includes flour made from rice and lentils, and is cooked on a flat pan. It is often fermented to provide lightness but more and more instant dosas are being made. These are the dosai that can be cooked as soon as the batter is made.

Are you looking for other Dosa recipes? Try Adai – multi lentil dosa, Coconut Dosa, and a beautiful Sweet Dosa.

Perhaps you are looking for Potato recipes. Try Aloo Gobi, Potato Subzi, Surprise Tartin, and Potato and Sweet Potato Curry.

Browse our Dosa recipes here, and all of our Indian recipes here. You might be interested in our Indian Essentials articles. Have a look at all of our Potato recipes, and take some time to browse our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Potato Dosa”

Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges

For that little bit of indulgence on a wintery night

A quick snack for evenings when you are craving something a little naughty but not so naughty, and a little spice but not so spicy. This definitely is for you.

These baked potato wedges are flavoured with cumin, black pepper and salt. You can add a little chilli powder if you like. You will love them for a quick  plate of food when you have the munchies.

Are you looking for other potato recipes? Try Tandoori Potatoes – another great snack – or Toasties Stuffed with Potatoes and Peas, or a Grown Up Potato Salad.

Are you after snacks? Try Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, Deep Fried Bean Curd with Peanut Sauce, and a Gorgonzola Snack.

You might like to browse all of our Snack recipes, and all of our Potato recipes here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Cumin and Pepper Baked Potato Wedges”

English Creamed Carrots with Spices

A modern take on an English classic.

Everything old is new again. This is definitely a retro English recipe, the sort of recipe that screams of the cold weather and the need for cream to make you feel comforted and warm and nourished. But it is also a lovely recipe that can be modernised to suit today’s palates.

Are you after other Carrot Recipes? Try Carrot Rice, Carrots with Green Peas and Green Coriander, Green Mung and Baked Carrot Salad, and a Spicy Carrot Side Dish.

Why not browse all of our Carrot recipes, or explore our English/British recipes. Or take some time to check out our easy Winter recipes.

Also, feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

Continue reading “English Creamed Carrots with Spices”