18 July 2010

Cabbage Soup!

Cabbage Soup!, originally uploaded by chloe & mark nightingale.
If you hear me talk about food enough, you will know I am a big fan of cooked cabbage. I love cabbage in soups, like borscht (although not all variations have cabbage!), but if you look up 'cabbage soup' on the internet, you will be bombarded with links relating to the cabbage soup diet and not so many links to cabbage soup recipes. Don't panic -- here is my cabbage soup recipe:

In a pot, fry half of a chopped onion in oil (I use grapeseed). If you're feeling daring, toss in a pinch or two of caraway seeds. Stir in 2 shredded carrots and fry a little more.

Add water, 2 stalks of finely chopped celery, a head of shredded cabbage (savoy is nice, but any will do) -- I even chop up the stem and add that (it gets nice and soft), a tbsp of an herb blend (such as herbs de province or an Italian herb blend) or some [thyme, oregano, basil, and maybe marjoram], a bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring that pot to a boil! And then let it simmer on low while you chill out in your kitchen.

After your pot's been simmering for a bit, add the juice of half a lemon (or a tbsp of cider vinegar -- or both, if you like it really sour!) and a heaping tsp of dill (dill weed, not seeds).

Simmer a bit more -- the broth should have a nice golden colour. Taste it. Does it taste good? If so, you're done. Otherwise, let it simmer a little longer.

Serve with quinoa, rice, bowtie pasta, or rye bread. Mmmmmm.

Variations: add red chili pepper flakes when you are frying the onions in oil; add stewed tomatoes to make it heartier -- just dump in a tin, if you don't fancy doing the stewing yourself!

13 July 2010

Flickr Food

Photos of my food. I have recipes if you want them..


Crabby Fava Bean Mash aka Crabby Ful Medames

Fava Bean Mash, originally uploaded by chloe & mark nightingale.

Get yourself some fava beans. Sometimes they are called broad beans. I used fresh ones and boiled them until they had softened up (do the same thing with frozen ones), but if you use dry ones, soak them overnight, drain them, and boil them in fresh water for a few hours, until soft.

In a separate pan, fry chopped onions in some oil (I always use grapeseed oil because it has no flavour and has a high smoke point). When the onions turn clear, add some ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, thyme, crushed chili flakes, paprika, chopped fresh ginger (or that ground ginger powdered stuff, if you fancy), and chopped garlic. Fry a little more, so everything smells nice. (FYI, I just learned that frying your spices in oil is called 'blooming' -- spices are oil soluble, so to really max out your spice flavour, always heat them in a little oil before adding them to dishes.)

Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and your cooked fava beans (not the liquid, although you should reserve some for later, just in case you want to thin out the dish). In this case, I also added some chopped radish greens because I had them lying around (we are growing some in our little garden this summer).

Once everything is starting to bubble, turn off the heat and dump everything into a blender or food processor -- pulse it a few times. You still want it to be chunky. Add some reserved fava bean liquid to thin it out, if desired. Stir in some lemon juice and chopped parsley or cilantro. (I didn't have any, which is why you can't see any in the picture. Whoops!)

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and toasted pitta

Egyptians are really into fava beans and eat a variation of this dish for breakfast.  They are so into fava beans they even use them in falafel, sparking a big debate around the Mediterranean over whether or not traditional falafel should have garbanzo beans or fava beans in it.  That's what I read on Wikipedia, at least.