Cauliflower & Leek soup

I believe in seasonal cooking. It’s easier, affordable and can be elegant too. So when it’s cauliflower time, I know I’ll be cooking it in many ways. I love it simply with butter and I think it’s best way for this vegetable. But why not try other ideas out?
Today simple and comfort soup. Thick, creamy – can be served as a single dish. Uncomplicated for sure.

3/4 of cauliflower (florets)
1 big potato, peeled and halved
1 leek (white part – green one is perfect for broccoli & leek soup)
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic + 1 additionally
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp of corriander seeds, crushed in the mortar
1 Tbs of fresh rosemary
1 cup of single cream (or full fat milk)
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 heaped Tbs of unsalted butter
1,5 L of water
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

Put cauliflower and potato in the pot with water, add bay leaf & corriander seeds and start cooking. Slice garlic, leek and onion. Put olive oil in the hot pan and fry garlic for 10-15 sec. Add onion and leek, pour 1/2 cup of water in and mix gently from time to time. Veggies should be softer, but not caramelized or even gold. Do not overfried!
Put it in the pot and cook for about 30 mins. Cool down a little bit, add fresh rosemary and last clove of garlic – crushed. Take bay leaf out. Blend everything until smooth and creamy. Combine with cream, butter, salt and pepper. The more runny soup you want the more cream/milk/water you should add. Enjoy!
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Make the most of the Fall

I visited my Family who live in the country and the weather was absolutely stunning. I mean, we have nearly November and today was 17 Celsius! I could go for a long, relaxing walk. What’s best after? Of course thick, creamy pumpkin & pepper soup.
Although I’ve made many recently I decided to show you one of my favourite’s (but I love all of them anyway 🙂 ) I made this one a couple of times, beause I wasn’t really contented when it comes to the flavour. Now I know that pepper in this particular recipe should be raw, crispy and sweet and added at the very end.

Yellow pumpkin – the more the better… at least 0,7-1,0 kg
1-2 carrots
1/2 of leek, white part only
2 big onions
1 big pepper or 2 small, red preferably
4 cloves of garlic – and 1 crushed and added just before blendering
1 bay leaf
1 L of vegetable/chicken stock or simply water
1 cup of whole milk (200 ml) / or cream if you prefer
2-3 Tbs of olive oil
Sea salt, black pepper
* you can also add 1 big potato to get smooth consistency. I skiped.

Peel pumpkin, cut into chunks. Start heating stock / water up. Chop onion and leek, rather finely. Put olive oil in the pan and fry until golden. Set aside. Put pumpkin on the same pan, and fry til softer – add a little amount of water to make it faster. Don’t worry if it tourns out a bit sugary / brown – taste will be great but be careful and do not burn. Slice carrot and put in the boiling stock / water. Add bay leaf BUT only for at least 20 mins – after that time take it out. Otherwise you get unneccesarily strong flavour. Put fried onion and pumpkin in the pot, crushed 4 cloves of garlic and cook until soft. Cool down a bit, add pepper & salt to taste (quite a lot!). Add crushed 1 clove of garlic, chopped pepper and blend everything, to get very smooth soup. If you like creamy flavour – add whole milk or cream. I prefer with milk, adds lovely sweetness. Sprinkle with olive oil. Enjoy!
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Zucchini stew with chickpeas and harissa

Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s like a canvas – you decide what you create. You can put whatever you like and always get surprising taste. Today I’ll show you what I eat very often these days, when zuccini time is in its best. It’s light but still full of flavour. Simple but not boring. And very fast – you need only about 30 mins to create comfort, tasty and thick stew. My combination is only a sample: you can use whatever wegetable you like: pepper, parsnip, fresh tomatoes, aubergine. Everything works beautifully as far as I’m concerned. Recipe is my own idea.
Portions for a 3 litres pot.
• 1 yellow medium zucchini
• 1 green medium zucchini
• 100g of dried chickpeas (soak over night and cook until soft. It’ll be 1 can of chickpeas)
• 2 carrots
• 1 medium onion
• 3-4 cloves of garlic
• 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary (you can use fresh of course, about 2 tablespoons)
• 200ml of tomato puree (you can also use fresh tomatoes, 2-3)
• A little bit of thyme
• 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, for frying
• 1 tablespoon of harissa paste (I used homemade because I’ve got plenty of chili leaves, bought in Sri Lanka, so I had to do something with it… I’ll present my version of harissa one day)
• Fresh mint leaves
• Seal salt, pepper
• 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
• 1,5 litres of water

Cook chickpeas or use canned one. Meanwhile chop garlic and onion. Put sunflower oil in the pot (thick bottom highlt required!) and fry it for 3-4 mins. Slice carrots rather finely and mix everything together. Add rosemary and fry, stirring time to time, until golden and caramelized a bit (about 10 mins). Slice zucchini into big chunks and add in the pan, as well as chickpeas. Pour water in, adding pinch of thyme and cook for about 30 mins or when chickpeas is soft. At the end, combine everything gently with tomato puree, harissa, salt and pepper. Serve with mint leaves on the top, with generous slice of wholegrain, rye bread. Lovely! Enjoy.
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Refreshing summer beetroot soup

I love the taste of summer beetroot soup, served chilled, with buttermilk in it. Very simple, very delicious, very healthy. You don’t need much for happiness these days. Just buy a bunch of fresh beetroots (WITH leaves, of course) and see yourself tucking into. Tastes marvellous with a hard-boiled egg – I just forgot to add one on the photos 🙂
Soup:
• Bunch of fresh beeroots with leaves (young ones prefferably)
• 2-3 cloves of garlic
• 1 small onion
• 5 slices of smoked bacon/panchetta/prosciutto (vegetarian version is simply without it)
• 250 ml of buttermilk
• 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream
• 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
• Sea salt, freshly ground pepper
• Water, about 2 L
You can also use 500ml of chicken stock for nicer taste, insted that amount of water

Wash veggies very carefully. Slice beetroots and chop leaves & sticks finely. Put into the pot, with water/stock, and add good pinch of sea salt. Cook until soft. It’ll take about 40 mins. Meanwhile chop garlic and onion, put sunflower oil on the pan and fry for about 4-5 mins. Set aside. Do the same with bacon – slice and fry to get a lovely scent. Put everything into the boiling beetroots. Check from time to time if beetroots are cooked. When it’s cool, add buttermilk, sea salt and pepper to taste. I like put a little bit of a sour cream on the top of my soup. It’s a great refreshment for a hot weather. Enjoy!
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Uwielbiam orzeźwiającą botwinkę, serwowaną chłodną i z dodatkiem maślanki. Proste, pyszne a przy okazji i zdrowe. W takim czasie niewiele mi trzeba do szczęścia. Jedyne co, to pęczek botwinki (z liśćmi oczywiście!) i widok samej siebie z pełną buzią. Smakuje genialnie z ugotowanym jajkiem- ja niestety zapomniałam o dodaniu go na zdjęciu : ).
Botwinka:

• 1 spory pęczek botwinki, łącznie z liśćmi i łodyżkami
• 2-3 ząbki czosnku
• 1 mała cebula
• 5 plastrów wędzonego chudego boczku/ na bogato: panchetta albo szynka parmeńska
• 250 ml maślanki
• 2-3 konkretne łyżki kwaśnej śmietany 18%
• 1 łyżka oleju słonecznikowego
• Świeży koper do posypania
• Sól, pieprz
• Woda do gotowania, ok. 2 l

Można zamienić 500ml wody na bulion
Dokładnie myjemy botwinkę, krojąc buraczki w plastry i drobno siekając liście i łodyżki buraczane. Wkładamy do wody, dodajemy trochę soli i pieprzu i gotujemy do miękkości. Następnie siekamy czosnek i cebulkę, podsmażamy na oleju, aby nabrał aromatu. Przekładamy do gotujących się buraczków, od czasu do czasu sprawdzając, czy buraczki się ugotowały. Solimy (w moim przypadku było to sporo soli). Po ugotowaniu i ostudzeniu, dodajemy maślankę i śmietanę oraz wsypujemy świeży koper. Zupa świetnie orzeźwia w czasie upałów i jest bardzo lekka. Serwujemy z jajkiem. Smacznego
!