I've been on a bit of a healthy-eating kick these last few days, and I'm going to credit Chantelle and her Operation: fat mum slim. I've been following her progress in an effort to get motivated on my own undertaking - a bid to stop going to bed so darned late and thus getting more sleep - and it looks like the healthy eating part is rubbing off!
Maybe it's because Baboushka has been settled into a good routine for a while, it could be the warmer weather, or my loathing of pre-packaged goods... or maybe I've just missed spending q-time in the kitchen. Whatever it is, I've been struck by an incurable desire to make food - lots of good, simple food - and as much of it from scratch as possible.
Yesterday evening I whipped up two batches of a long-time favourite, Jamie Oliver's amusingly-named Pukkolla (one for storing in a big ol' jar, one for making up for more immediate consumption). I located a recipe here, and particularly enjoyed getting out my much-loved-but-not-often-enough-used mortar and pestle and giving the almonds a bit of a bash. Waking up this morning to such a ridiculously easy and downright delicious breakfast made me wonder why the hell I haven't been making this stuff more often. Note to self: buy fresh blueberries for tomorrow's bowlful.
Then tonight, I've been making a big potful of vegetable and lentil soup. The balmy, sticky, afternoon storm we've just had doesn't reeeally lend itself to soup... but I eat soup like I drink tea (i.e., any darned time regardless of current meteorological conditions). Here's a not-particularly-precise recipe:
Vegetable & Lentil Soup That Will Make You Feel Like A Skillful Italian Nonna:
1 large brown onion, chopped finely
2 carrots, chopped finely
1/2 bunch celery, chopped finely
1 or 2 leeks, sliced (optional)
1 turnip, cubed
1/2 green cabbage, sliced thinly (about 1cm)
2 handfuls red lentils
a slosh of white wine
2L (8 cups) vegetable stock
2L water (approximately - just adjust amount of liquid to get your preferred consistency)
1) heat oil; make up a soffritto with the onion, carrots and celery, fry until soft;
2) add leeks, if using, and fry for a minute or so; add turnip, cabbage, lentils and wine; bring to boil, then add the vegetable stock and water;
3) let simmer until turnip and cabbage are soft, and the lentils are cooked; season with salt, if necessary, and pepper to taste.
n.b: this would also be good with garlic added to the soffritto, and I like it best served over sourdough that's going a bit stale, kind of like a minestra di pane.
(Image from here)