It has been a wonderful month for all things food related – do come in and take a look… In my kitchen is this amazing Black Summer Truffle Pesto by Sacla. My lovely, vivacious and gorgeous friend, Jo Picard, sent me a totally unexpected text saying that there were two complimentary tickets for me at the box office for the foodie heaven that is Taste of London. She was presenting and hosting the Stubbins Kitchen Garden Demonstration stand and my friend C and I, got to see her taking Michelin starred chef, Bruno Loubet through his dish of Savoury Sweet Potato Waffle which was pretty amazing. The top left photo below is of Bruno Loubet with Jo on the far right of the photo. In a nutshell, Taste of London gathers together some of London’s most iconic and famous restaurants and gives us the opportunity to taste sample sized portions of a few of their most well known dishes. Along with the restaurant stands, there are workshops, cookery theatres, artisanal produce and producers, wine tastings, drinks stands, a bandstand…it’s a fabulous event. I have linked their website so do take a look if you would like to know more. Sacla were there too, passing round samples of some of their pestos spread onto mini crostinis. This one – the Black Summer Truffle Pesto just made us stop dead in our tracks, widen our eyes and rush back to find out what it was. We made sure not to leave without going back to buy some. It is wonderful spread on sourdough and topped with a poached egg and we had it with roast chicken the other day – I will posting that recipe very soon – it was fantastic. If you like truffles, you will love this spread so keep an eye out for it the next time you are in the shops. (Finally managed to post the recipe – here is the link – https://selmastable.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/black-summer-truffle-pesto-roast-chicken/ ) In my kitchen, are compotes. With the abundance of luscious summer fruit comes the propensity to buy more than we can consume before they start to spoil in the heat. So, I have been making simple rustic compotes to spoon over granola and Greek yoghurt for breakfast. The compotes seem to keep for weeks in the fridge without spoiling. I stew them gently and briefly in a pan with a tiny bit of demerara sugar, some used vanilla pods and a dash of rosé wine. In the collage above, clockwise from top left is apricot, raspberry and strawberry. Jake has liked the strawberry the most. The cherries this summer have been amazing – these barely lasted a day. (If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen quite a few of these photos already). The shallow bowl is an old eBay bargain – it’s known as transferware and the pattern is Asiatic Pheasant. My Sutton Community Farm veg (CSA) box has been wonderful – gorgeous broad broad beans, all sorts of varieties of kale and beautiful salads with edible flowers as well as courgettes, cucumbers, carrots, spring onions…I was lucky enough to attend their fabulous “Pop-Up Veg Box Dinner” during our local Food Festival. You can read my review, watch a brilliant, short video and see my quick and easy recipe for Broad Bean, Pea and Ricotta Crostini if you click on the link. I recently made Ottolenghi’s Meatballs with Broad Beans, but used the entire bean – pod and all as they were so young and tender. Shortly after we moved in here, earlier this year, I lent my juicer to a friend who was a little run down. She and her husband loved it and now have their own, so she dropped it back the other day and it has been really nice to juice again for breakfast. In the glass above is apple, beetroot, kale, carrot, ginger and lemon. Power breakfast! I have to say that this is a really good juicer – it has been developed for Philips by the man known as the Juice Master, Jason Vale. The drop chute is really wide so most things don’t have to be sliced (or peeled for that matter). The micro mesh filter is extremely efficient and easy to clean; also, if you line the pulp container with a plastic bag, it makes for a quick and easy clean up. I got this last year; there are newer models around so if you are thinking of getting a juicer but have been put off by memories of lots of prep, wet pulp and washing up, I am here to tell you that times have changed! And see the retro straws? I just couldn’t resist them when I saw them in Peter Jones and good thing too as I have just had my teeth cleaned and polished so the straws protect from beetroot stains and acid erosion too. And they look rather fabulous! Shallow? Moi? Well, that is it from my kitchen this month.What have you been up to? Let me know via the comments box below. The In My Kitchen series is is hosted by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial where she is joined by bloggers from all over the world affording us a glimpse of what they’ve been up to. Many thanks to Celia for hosting this lovely series. Pour yourself a cuppa or something cold, click on the link and take a look at what others have been up to in their kitchens! © Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
After all the feasting and merriment comes the overwhelming urge to eat lightly and healthfully. I picked up a bag of kale and thought to make some sort of virtuous salad from it. But outside, it’s blowing a gale and a salad just doesn’t cut it – I wanted something warm and filling. Just not rich. A quick inspection of my cupboards revealed a tin of chickpeas and a soup was born. Warm, filling, with a slight bite and a sharp edge. I don’t like using too many ingredients in a pureed vegetable soup as it sort of muddies the flavour. I suppose you could swirl in a spoonful of creme fraiche or a little double cream but I don’t think it needs it. The blitzed chickpeas makes it quite creamy in any case. This Kale and Chickpea Soup with Lemon is perfect to take to work in a flask or spill proof container to heat up in the microwave for lunch. Delicious, virtuous and thrifty!
Thrilled to stay that his recipe is a Community Pick over on Food52! http://food52.com/recipes/25867-kale-and-chickpea-soup-with-lemon
You could substitute other beans like butter beans or cannellini beans too. You could also use thyme leaves instead of the rosemary and omit the chilli flakes and use freshly ground pepper instead. This is one of those recipes that you can use as a base – use half the stock to make it more of a thick puree than a soup and serve with a nice thick slice of oven roasted (responsibly sourced) cod or halibut atop for instance…
Kale and Chickpea Soup with Lemon
Prep time 15 minutes. Cook time 30 minutes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 banana shallots (or one onion)
- 1 stick of celery
- 2 stalks of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp of chilli flakes
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 410g tin of chickpeas drained and throughly rinsed
- 200g bag of chopped kale
- 800ml hot stock (a cube or powder is fine – I used a combination of Marigold powder and vegetable stock)
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt to taste
- Paper thin lemon slices
- Grated parmesan cheese (omit if vegan)
- Toasted crusty bread (optional)
- Set a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil.
- Finely dice the shallots and add to the pan, stirring to coat with the oil.
- Make 4 or 5 long horizontal slices in the celery stalk and dice. Add this to the pan and stir.
- Finely chop the rosemary leaves and stir into the pan together with the bay leaf and the chilli flakes.
- Peel the garlic clove and using the flat of your knife and the heel of your hand, crush so that it is still whole and add to pan.
- Add the chickpeas and the kale and stir. Pour in the hot stock, let it come to a boil and turn down the heat.
- Let it simmer for 20 minutes until the kale is tender. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste. You might want more lemon or salt – it all depends on what you have used for the stock.
- Working in batches or in the pan itself if you have a stick blender, blitz until you have the texture you like. I like mine to still have a few chickpeas and pieces of kale through it so I set aside a couple of ladlefuls and used a stick blender to blitz the rest.
- Serve hot, floating a couple of slices of lemon on top of each serving and pass round the parmesan cheese for everyone to help themselves. Lovely with toasted crusty bread.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.