Wine Wednesday: Fennel Soup

Some time ago I received a few Swedish magazines, mostly targeted for middle-aged women, but decided to have a look in case they contained any interesting recipes. This soup was one of them. Originally this recipe called for shrimps, but we simply omitted them and veganised the rest of the recipe. In case you want something bitey in your soup, give tofu or maybe a small batch of white beans a try. Anyway, this is a really nice refreshing soup, where the fennel combined with the white wine brings out a really great taste.

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Creamy Fennel Soup

10 cm leek
1 fennel bulp
1 carrot
2 tbsp oil
3 dl white wine
6 dl water
1 bouillon cube
3 tbsp wheat flour
2 dl oat or soy cream
salt, pepper

Coarsely chop leek, fennel and carrot. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the vegetables until leek is soft. Add wine, 5 dl water and bouillon cube to the pot and bring to boil. Mix the wheat flour with remaining 1 dl of water and slowly pour to the pot, stirring the soup at the same time. (Or mix the flour with vegetables before adding water or wine.) Cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft and puree with a blender. Add cream and heat thoroughly, season with salt and pepper.

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Bajan Tofu Balls

We were on honeymoon on Barbados last March, and we had great time there. It’s autumn here, and the colder the weather gets, the more I miss Barbados.

Deep fried fish cakes are commonly eaten on Barbados. We were also offered them on our hotel’s rum punch party, but naturally we skipped them. We bought a small Bajan cook book from Pelican Village, and among other Barbadian recipes it had also a recipe for fish cakes, so we had to try to make them with tofu. Tofu worked fine, and I think our version is easier to make, because you don’t have to boil the salted fish several times. Mustardy Bajan pepper sauce is a great accompaniment for these tofu cakes.

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Bajan Tofu Cakes

250 g tofu
1 sheet nori seaweed
1 small onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp each: thyme, marjoram and dill
2 tsp baking powder
2,5 dl wheat flour
1,5 dl soy or oat milk
salt, black pepper and white pepper
oil for deep frying

Finely crumble the tofu in a bowl. Cut the nori in small pieces, I like to use scissors. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic. Mix all the ingredients together, add little more milk if needed.

Heat the oil and deep fry the cakes. Use two spoons to drop small balls (about tsp) to the oil and deep fry them on both sides until nicely browned. Serve with Bajan pepper sauce.

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The Wonders of Levant

Mezze or Meze is a selection of salads, sauces and other small dishes. It can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Of course, the best way to serve mezze is invite friends to your house and enjoy the delicious mezze together. Our mezze table included hummus and baba ganoush, home made falafel, kibbet batata, tabboulleh, middle eastern potato salad, olive salad, and two kinds of bread: khubz (pita) and manakeish bil za’atar.

mezze

This recipe is from Trapped Under Slice  #1 -zine.

Olive Salad

50 g black olives, pitted and halved
50 g green olives, pitted and halved
1 small red onion
1 tomato
1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp olive oil
0,5 tbsp lemon juice
salt

Peel and chop the onion. Chop the tomato and bell pepper. Mix all the ingredients together and serve in mezze table.

Dill Pesto

Dill on our balcony has grown well and I used some to make pesto today. Then I used the pesto as a salad dressing for a pasta salad, because salads are great food for hot days like today. I made my pesto thinner than regular pestos, because I like it that way in salads. Decrease the amount of oil if you want to make it thicker. Crunchy lettuce, like ice berg lettuce, would be best for pasta salads, but I used some softer lettuce that we grow on our balcony.

Dill Pesto

Bunch of dill
2 tbsp pine nuts or sliced/slivered almonds
1 dl oil (preferably olive oil)
salt and pepper

Blend dill, pine nuts and about 0,5 dl oil. Add more oil to get the consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta Salad with Dill Pesto

7-8 dl cooked pasta (whole grain fusilli, for example)
1 batch dill pesto
3 dl corn kernels
1 bell pepper, cubed
about 15 cm piece cucumber, cubed
3 tomatoes, cut in wedges
small bunch of lettuce leaves
1,5 dl sliced onion stalks or 1 small onion

Combine pasta and pesto in a bowl. If your pasta is just cooked and you use frozen corn, add the corn too, because it will make the pasta cool down quicker.  Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and let sit in the fridge at least half an hour before serving.

Non-fried Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are usually fried, but non-fried are good too. And they’re easier to make. The filling of the non-fried rolls can be either raw or sautéed, I prefer sautéed. We had some last year’s plums in our freezer and I used them to make dip for the rolls. It needs improving, so I’m not posting a recipe for that. You can use store bought sweet chili sauce as dip too.

Spring Rolls

10 rice papers
1 carrot
1 celery rib
3 dl shredded cabbage
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp dried mint
1 tbsp soy sauce
stalks of 1 onion, chopped
3-4 dl mung bean sprouts

Grate the carrot and slice the celery. Heat the oil in a pan and fry carrot, celery and cabbage couple of minutes. Add soy sauce and mint and simmer until the vegetables are tender but crispy. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in bean sprouts and onion stalks.  Take a dish that is bigger than the rice papers and fill it with water. Put one rice paper to the water and let it soak until it’s soft. Put it on the table and put the second rice paper to the water. Put some filling on the wet rice paper and wrap. I like to do that on a towel, so the table won’t be flooding when I’m finished. If you need instructions for wrapping, check this tutorial. Serve the rolls with a sweet chili sauce or other dip.