I love eggplant. It is one of the most amazing and versatile vegetables out there. There are so many dishes you can make and so many ways of cooking with it that you can eat eggplants every day for a long time and still would not get bored!
I’m thinking and I’m thinking hard, but I don’t remember eating cauliflower before 2003. That was the year that I studied design in Paris as an exchange student. No seriously, I don’t think I ate it, I don’t remember my mother cooking it or even forcing me to eat it. But then suddenly in Paris I started eating it in big amounts. Why? Because I was trying to live in Paris with a small student budget most of which went to rent and cauliflower was cheap!
I don’t remember the first time I’ve heard about freekeh. Was it in a website while I was browsing through blogs, was it on a cookbook I have… No, not sure at all. But I do remember that I was immediately curious about it. So when I saw a box of freekeh in Hauler Oriental Market a while ago, I bought it right away.
About 2 years ago, I published the recipe of my favourite soup in the world, together with its several stories in my life. That one is a well-known soup in Turkey. However, there is another one that even more people know and eat all the time: red lentil soup.
Last week on Saturday I had a huge catering gig: a birthday dinner for 76 people. It was a big success and people loved the food, but I was utterly exhausted afterwards. So I spent this week giving myself time to rest and lunching out for the first couple of days. Thanks to this, I discovered a very nice little cafe in my neighbourhood and the delicious salad I ate there inspired me to make this one.
Back in February, I made a fully gluten free yoga brunch here in Helsinki. As usual, the brunch was vegetarian, and there were also many vegan options. This chocolate mousse was one of the sweets in that brunch, and it was a hit. Especially my friend Essi, who did the yoga part of the brunch loved it very much!
I LOVE vegetables. I am not vegetarian, officially. But in practice, I actually lead a vegetarian life. My catering menus and eating events are also almost always vegetarian. Among all, there is one vegetable that I cannot live without: eggplant! (And I cannot go back and check now, but I probably said this over and over again in my previous eggplant recipes…)
Red cabbage. A vegetable which is rather foreign to me. Sure I ate it many times in salads, but when it comes to using it as an ingredient myself, well, we generally look at each other in the market for a few minutes and then I move forward to another vegetable, continuing our mutual indifference. This weird relationship ended with this soup.
My mother was always amazed that I’ve loved okra so much. She could hardly make me eat many other things that most people love. But with okra, she didn’t need to force me at all – which was odd because nobody in the family except for her and me liked this beautiful vegetable. Oh wait. No it is a fruit, because it has seeds.
I have to admit: I don’t always like recipes with tons and tons of ingredients. It is good to keep things simple most of the time. However, there are moments when you want a perfect flavour festival going on inside your mouth and stomach, and this soup is just the one for that purpose.