For love of cabbage

Savoy leavesWe’ve been eating a lot of cabbage around here lately, and I think it’s time to tell you a bit about it.

I imagine there’s a divide among you about this very affordable, sometimes beautiful and often times under appreciated vegetable. You probably know already whether you love cabbage or not, and I suspect that if you’re in the latter group, you’re not looking to be persuaded. So this post is more of a showcase and offering of what we’ve been doing lately. Continue reading “For love of cabbage”

Pumpkin season

Dig in squash
Thank goodness for pumpkins. We’ve only roasted two three this year, but here’s where they’ve ended up:

– Ottolenghi’s Pumpkin, saffron and orange soup
– Ottolenghi’s Halloween Soufflé, from Plenty (2010), but the recipe is also online here
– This Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup (optional recommended bourbon splash served on the side)
– These Pumpkin cinnamon rolls by Smitten Kitchen (we halved the sugar filling and the cream cheese icing, and still loved them)
– Pumpkin and pea risotto
– Pumpkin pasta bake (this is a classic in our house, and someday I’m sure it will appear here. Using pumpkin purée, or other winter squash, as the base of your sauce turns an average baked pasta dish into a rich, vitamin-packed meal with so little energy that it’s a shame not to roast and freeze as much as you can now while they’re in season.)
– Pumpkin and aduki bean quesadillas
– Feeding our freezer to have on hand for upcoming needs.

Thankfully, the season is in full swing, and I’m storing these recipes to check out soon:

– This soup, these muffins, this salad, and another soup from Heidi Swanson
– These Pumpkin smoothies, shared by SouleMama
– Some form of Pumpkin spice latte (maybe this, or this but with the spices we know and love?)
– My grandmother’s pumpkin pie (because even if it’s not a holiday where you live, Thanksgiving should be celebrated somehow)

I hope you’re enjoying this very colorful squash season as much as we are.

September Borscht

Summer borschtI usually think of borscht as a winter soup for dark and dreary days. I guess I don’t usually think about borscht at all, actually, but this one popped out at me from a charity shop find that includes a soup for every day of the year.

This version is a surprisingly fresh-yet-complex adaptation that hits all the right chords for a September meal. Continue reading “September Borscht”

Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted tomato soupIt’s August, so let’s talk about tomato soup.

I don’t usually go for tomato soup, and frankly, it seems misplaced in the summer. Summertime is for enjoying all the fresh beauty that tomatoes bring for a surprisingly short season each year. Give me a ripe tomato with a sprinkle of crunchy salt (maybe a few ribbons of basil), and I’m sold. Tomato soup seems reminiscent of sad winter lunches trying to be something else, and they rarely catch my eye.

Which is why I have been hanging onto this recipe for years. Continue reading “Roasted Tomato Soup”

Red Lentil and Lemon Soup

This is the kind of meal I could eat every week.Red Lentil with onionsFor such a flavorful soup, I would have anticipated a more elaborate ingredient list, but the spices – turmeric, cumin and yellow mustard seed – pull their weight beautifully. Finished with as much lemon as you desire to brighten the whole dish up, this soup had all the elements of being deeply satisfying and crisp and clean. A true Friday Night winner. Continue reading “Red Lentil and Lemon Soup”

Courgette and Garlic Soup + Cheese Biscuits

Courgette and Garlic SoupGrowing up in Maine, I was very familiar with the knowing smiles that accompany zucchini season. The story in my memory goes like this:

Every year, zucchinis start arriving from the garden in July, and the counter tops begin filling up. There is a wonderful month in which zucchini either plays the star role – in savory fritters, frittatas, summer pasta dishes – gets sliced, diced or grated into pickles, relishes or chutneys for later months, or is tucked into less obvious dishes – pancakes, chocolate cake, breads, you name it (oddly, for a child who disliked vegetables so much, I loved baked goods that included sizable amounts of the green stuff. Parents of fussy eaters take note, great recipes don’t stick around for generations for no reason.).

Around mid-August, the story goes, grocery bags of zucchini start showing up on porches. Maybe your neighbor came over with genuine intentions of catching up, or maybe she made an excuse to come by and happened to be carrying with her a large bag of zucchini (it’s plausible – you’ve seen the counter tops). With a smile, you kindly refuse, saying you’ve also been lucky with your harvest this year, but thank you very much. She smiles as well, nodding knowingly, but the bag remains on your porch. It’s the same every year. Continue reading “Courgette and Garlic Soup + Cheese Biscuits”

Saffron Yellow Pepper Soup

Saffron yellow (and red) pepper soupWe’re off and running here with Friday night meals, and our first week featured Heidi Swanson‘s Saffron and Yellow Pepper Soup. We were looking for something simple but worthy of a first Friday night meal, and this was it.

Among the many things there are to love about Heidi’s recipes is that she always challenges me to consider what a large effect small additions can make. I tend to prefer meals that can be brought together quickly, and I don’t tend to give myself the time to pull the recipe forward with additional flourishes at the end. Heidi’s recipes work so closely with each flavor, however, that the inclusion of a crumble of cheese or handful of nuts or sprinkling of fresh herbs bring an ordinary dish into a memorable one. What drew me to this soup was that the recipe itself was so simple that there was plenty of time to gather together and prep the toppings, and I knew it would be worth the effort. Continue reading “Saffron Yellow Pepper Soup”