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Chickpea, Garlic and Bread Soup

October 13, 2010


I could quite happily live on nothing but bread, cheese, coffee and bacon. Hmm... "not even chocolate, or chilli?", you'd probably think. Well, not so much those, though I'd see your point, but maybe, I'd need a bowl of soup too, every now and then.

Too many seem to view the soup pot as an edible recycling bin and fair game for every imaginable scrap that issues from a kitchen. It is tempting to throw ingredients that have seen better days, or that you can't think up any better use for, into the soup or stock pot. This may be a step up from just sliding it all into the garbage bin, but a little more thought and respect when choosing and cooking the ingredients for a soup will bring returns in flavour and satisfaction, all out of proportion to any effort.
 


Soup is comfort, soup can be love, soup, was my grandmother welcoming me in from the rain, with a soft, thick, almost warm towel, when I'd forgotten my umbrella and gotten so soaked, my school uniform had almost fused with my skin. Soup was me wrapped up all snug and dry, with a steaming bowl of it in front of me, while the rain viciously pelted our windows. So perceptive  was my grandmother, lentils would be simmering on the stove, at the slightest shift in the ether, long before I'd returned. 


The memory is indelibly impressed, even, upon my dreams.  Most often, it's raining in torrents. I'm walking in the rain toward the house I grew up in when my grandmother was alive. I have no umbrella and I'm soaked past my skin, to the marrow of my bones, cold, steely rivulets running down my face, my back, my legs. I'm shivering so hard I can barely speak. I open the creaky gate and walk up the short path to the door, my bare arms repeatedly slapped by the huge, impossibly green, and glistening leaves of her beloved heliconias, as I pass. Before I can touch it, the door opens and I'm shocked to find myself looking down at my grandmother, wondering when and how she got shorter than me. In my dreams, I get the soft, warm towel and I get fresh, crisp clothes. I get to see the soup, but I never get to taste it. I always wake up as I walk to the table, or the dream shifts. Could be why I have an insatiable appetite for soup.


The desire for it is often triggered by my waking up shivering and strangely hungry from that dream which refuses to let go. Usually I end up sitting in front of a bowl of  lentil soup with chunks of crusty bread on the side and a perfectly fried egg, gently sinking into my gingery, peppery lentil mush, just like she made it. I lift a spoonful to my mouth and half expect  her to call from the kitchen, offering me the pepper grinder. She never could get enough of pepper.


Today, I didn't want to wait for the lentils to cook down. I had a generous hunk of my favourite flaxseed bread left from the last batch I had made, and cans of chickpeas that were instantly ready to please. I cut the bread into generous croutons and toasted them to a hearty crunch, just short of charred, so they would absorb the soup but put up some resistance and give me something I could still sink my teeth into.

I did dream of her again. She liked chickpeas. I think she would have liked this too, even without the pepper.


 

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Buttermilk Scones

October 8, 2010


If you've been taking a good look around the food blogosphere lately, you will know without a doubt, that we are officially in  pumpkin season. Since I bought this adorable and very large specimen not so long ago, it's been pumpkin this, that and the other in my kitchen...... not that I'm complaining. I won't push my luck though and promise this will be the last pumpkin instalment for a while. With this soup,  this cous cous dish and today's offering, I have amply proven my devotion. I know m...

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Back From the Dead With a Guest Post ;)

October 6, 2010


Hello my lovely readers and blogger buddies! I have been scarce the last week or so - it's exam season at our house and having two boys taking very important exams during the same week is nerve wrecking, to say the least. Sadly, posting and visiting all your gorgeous blogs, had to take a backseat.

But, (this is a good "but" trust me) I do have a treat for you today. My lovely friend Biren from Roti n Rice invited me to do a guest post on her blog, a little while back and of course I gladly ...


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Quickies Morning Noon & Night Cocktail Challenge

September 28, 2010

 

The challenge, for those who may not have been following developments here, was to create a cocktail, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, of your choice, either your unique twist on a classic cocktail or a concoction of your very own creation. Any alcohol, liqueur, mixer, juice, garnish or ingredient was allowed. We were looking for a delicious sounding and sexy cocktail - either with a sexy name, sexy or cheeky background story, or a sexy looking presentation, or best of all, ALL THREE!!!

We wou...


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Quickies Cocktail Challenge Closing

September 28, 2010

Lazaro and I would like to say a  big thank you to all who took the time to conceptualise, execute and post their entries for our challenge. It's because of you that this did not turn into a non-event. You add the spark and spirit..... and we cannot thank you enough.

We are no longer accepting entries and will now deliberate on all your wonderful concoctions to decide on the winner. It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it *hic* oops....... I've already started actually ;)

We'll see you all ...
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Quickies Cocktail Challenge Last Call and Participant List

September 27, 2010


Hope you're all having a great Sunday / Monday! We are so very pleased to have received entries for the Quickies Morning, Noon and Night, Cocktail Challenge, from the following bloggers. If you have already sent in an entry but don't see your name listed below, please resend the link to your entry post at quickieschallenge@gmail.com  


We want to be absolutely sure that no one who has sent in an entry is left out - that would be unforgiveable!!


1 Tania @ Dulcis in Furno
2 Ana @ Chefwanabe
3 ...


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What a Girl Wants

September 22, 2010


Quickies Cocktail Challenge
 Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  16  great entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming guys. Send in as many entries as you like,  just remember to get them in by midnight of September 27 2010 (EST)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (EST)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's post....


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Pumpkin, Corn and Chickpeas in Coconut Milk

September 19, 2010

Quickies Cocktail Challenge Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  11  great entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming guys. Send in as many entries as you like,  just remember to get them in by midnight of September 27 2010 (ET)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (ET)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's post....


I ...


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That Tomato Pie is Worth a Stop!

September 12, 2010

Quickies Cocktail Challenge Update : I am pleased to announce that we've now received  8  great entries! Thank you very much and please, keep them coming guys. Send in as many entries as you like,  just remember to get them in by midnight of  September 27 2010 (ET)  - we're looking forward to shouting out the winner and showcasing a fantastic line up of entries on September 28 2010 (ET)  !! What's your motivation? A gorgeous cookbook! (take a detailed peek here) And now for today's post....


St...


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When Curry People Celebrate Eid - Turmeric Rice

September 10, 2010


Some of you may know that I am of multicultural origin. Some of you may additionally know that I am married to someone of a different race and religion.

Today is Eid ul-Fitr or Aidil Fitri in Singapore, and it presents a perfect opportunity to celebrate the diversity that is my life and to make some noise about a cause I believe in. Every second Friday of the month has been designated Curry for Peace Day by a group I am Curry People formed expressly to promote awareness, tolerance (though on...


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