June 18th, 2012
First time I had beetroot soup was on a school trip to Moscow. I still remember it as it were yesterday; the bright colour, earthy taste and the funny faces of my friends not so keen on the borscht. I loved it dough, finishing it till the last drop and asking for more to most of my classmates surprise. This recipe, with a mediterranean touch, is based on a recipe found in The Moro Cookbook by Samuel and Samantha Clark, a personal favorite, which taught me how to cook with flavour.
Secret ingredients are lots of garlic, flat leave parsley and cumin seeds. I gave this dish my own personal twist by adding sweet potato instead of regular ones. It gives the soup a slight sweet taste which, together with the cumin, complements the earthy beetroot perfectly. Not to disguise the earthiness, it will still be distinct, but it will be slightly less overwhelming to some. Try this at home! You might see the biggest beetroup sceptics to be pleasantly surprised.
4 tbs olive oil
1/2 large onion
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
750g raw beetroot peeled and diced
1 sweet potato diced (the original recipe uses regular potato)
1.25 l cold water (i noticed this is an approximate depending on how thick you want the soup to be i used 1l)
3 tbs of red wine vinegar
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt + black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and some salt. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onion starts to colour while stirring occasionally in order for it not to burn. Add garlic and cumin and cook for 2 more minutes. You will notice these ingredients releasing their delicious flavour. Now add the beetroot and sweet potato. Pour in the water, bring to a gentle simmer and cook until soft. The recipe advices to cook about 15 minutes i always cook for about 30 minutes.
Now comes the messy part (at least it always is to me) of poring the vegetables into a blender or food processor which often requires to be done in 2 steps. You could also blend the vegetables directly, while in the saucepan, using a hand blender. It makes the whole process al lot easier but every time i have followed the steps recommend the soup just tasted better. Basically it’s up to you. So blend the vegetables and add the vinegar + half the parsley + salt + pepper in the original saucepan adding the blended soup to that mixture. Serve with a little yoghurt on top, the rest of parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
The original recipe recommends to use home made Greek yoghurt (the how to is explained in the book) mixed with garlic and a little bit of milk and salt. For me plain Greek yoghurt bought in the supermarket, which I add unmixed, has always worked fine. What a great alternative to cream don’t you think?
May 24th, 2012
Seems I was on to something. The latest issue of online magazine Lonny gives an interesting insight into Marrakech featuring homes, museums and tips on where to stay and what to visit.
I was already slightly obsessed with handira’s, or traditional Berber wedding blankets and those bedroom pictures certainly don’t help to cure this obsession. Owner Maryam Montague, human rights and democracy specialist, co-owns with her husband Peacock Pavilions, and has just released a book Marrakech by Design. And if you can’t get enough, as myself, her house has also been featured in Elle Decoration, for more pictures click here.
May 23rd, 2012
December 5th, 2011
One should never take oneself too seriously but there is one thing i am extremely serious about: food. I used to eat cereals all day every day. A bowl, a spoon and milk…I didn’t need much more. Once in a while I would dare to make pasta, but that was about it. That and a lot of eating out. Until the day i met a man with serious cooking skills. That man turned out to become my boyfriend; making me lovely homecooked meals day in day out…and after about a year…I started cooking…out of sheer pure quilt. Ah, guilt…thank God for guilt!
So my first post on food is an ode to the book that learned me how to cook: The Moro Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark. I will never thank my friend Franzi enough to have bought it as birthday gift. Not only are the recipes one by one lovely explosions of flavor but the book itself is as much as a little gem. The photographs, layout, font and paper are all in sync. Flicking through it is a feast for the eyes. My picture doesn’t do it justice. I strongly advice you to get your own copy: great meals guarenteed!
pictures by elisabeth for aestheticshelter