Spring vegetable soup

IMG_1973.jpgWho remembers spring vegetable soup? It was a mainstay of the 1970s – I remember it being served at practically every wedding we attended, presumably because its delicate nature meant it wouldn’t offend some long-lost great aunt’s fussy palate (or mine – I was a complete nightmare to feed when I was younger – something that many people would find hard to believe now). Unfortunately, most of the time it was straight out of a tin, so tasted of a mixture of metal, dried herbs and fake stock. Continue reading “Spring vegetable soup”

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Asparagus tart

IMG_1956.jpgThe Turkish word for asparagus is kuşkonmaz, which literally translates as ‘the bird cannot land’. Most people think this is because a bird couldn’t perch on the wavy fern fronds, but the awful truth is that birds here in Turkey have never been able to afford the rent.

When we first came to Turkey, we lived near the fish market in Galata – one of Istanbul’s oldest quarters. As well as amazing fish, the market also had the best vegetable stand in the city – they sold celery, fennel, fresh coriander and ginger years before they became available more widely. All of those things are still difficult to get, but we are lucky enough to have an enterprising greengrocer in this town, so we have fairly reliable supplies. Continue reading “Asparagus tart”

Creamy cauliflower & leek soup (vegan)

IMG_1683.jpgHot news – it’s snowing. That may not be exciting to those of you who live in northern climes, but this is only the third time we’ve seen snow here in 13 years – one of those being just a couple of weeks ago. It isn’t going to settle, but it’s enough to provide us with the amusing spectacle of Toast and Marmalade chasing the flakes as they blow around.

It is definitely sitting-by-the-fire weather. Our trusty stove chunters on throughout the night if we feed it enough before we go to bed – this morning, the living room was warm and toasty, and it only took a couple of sticks and a new log to send it bursting back into action. We had planned a long walk today, but Linda is coming up here to eat her portion of the packed lunch I’d made for us all, in the warm in the kitchen, instead of sitting on a cold rock in the wind! Continue reading “Creamy cauliflower & leek soup (vegan)”

What to do with that Swiss Chard in your veggie box

IMG_1162 (600 x 450).jpgToday is probably the hottest since we arrived back – ironic, since we’ve just moved into September. This morning it was 44 degrees, but has now cooled to a more manageable 34, so I might yet venture out – according to our little weather station, the temperature has been as low as 27 at some point since midnight – not sure when that was, I must have missed it while I was asleep. When I had my morning swim, I complained that the pool was starting to get cold – a quick temperature check assured me it was still 32 degrees in the water – it must have been the super-hot air temperature confusing me. Either that or I really have turned into a total wimp. Continue reading “What to do with that Swiss Chard in your veggie box”

Leek & onion tarts

IMG_1024 (600 x 425).jpgNo posts for 18 days, now two come along at once.

To be truthful, posting on the blog allows me to sit in air-conditioned bliss at the kitchen counter, feeling as though I am doing something slightly useful (while attempting to ignore the fact that there is a pile of ironing in the spare bedroom so big that it’s starting to block out the daylight).

Today is a half-day holiday before Eid Al-Fitr, the feast that follows the month of fasting during Ramadan, or Ramazan as it is called here. Known in Turkey as Şeker Bayramı, literally ‘sugar festival’, the local children will be out early tomorrow morning, knocking on their neighbours’ doors, looking for sweets and pennies. Watch out for tomorrow’s easy chocolate muffin recipe, which I’ll be cooking up for any children passing this way. Continue reading “Leek & onion tarts”