Red Lentil Dal with Aromatics (Deborah Madison)

1 cup red lentils

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1-15 oz can unsweetened coconut milk, minus the cream

salt

2 shallots, sliced

1 dried red chile, broken into pieces, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Wash the lentils in several change of water. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, garlic, and chile in 2 tablespoons of the ghee for 1 minute. Add the tumeric, lentils and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt and remove from the heat.

Heat the remaining ghee in a small skillet over high heat. Add the shallots, red chile, bay and mustard. Frey until the mustard seeds begin to turn grayish, about 1 minute. Stir this into the lentils, then serve.


Yogurt and Cucumber Soup with Mint

1 quart yogurt, drained for 25 minutes

1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk

2 garlic cloves

salt and freshly milled white pepper

2 cucumbers, peeled if waxed

1/4 cup chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped mint

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

a few drops fresh lemon juice

4-6 mint sprigs for garnish

Combine the yogurt and buttermilk in a bowl. Pound the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon with a mortar until smooth. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, then grate them using the large holes of a grater. Stir the garlic, cucumber, herbs and oil into the yogurt. Taste for salt and season with pepper and lemon juice. Chill well and serve garnished with mint sprigs.


Carrot and Red Pepper Soup (Deborah Madison)

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch slices

2 cups diced onion

1 pound carrots, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons white rice

salt and freshly milled pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped dill

grated zest and juice of 1 orange

6 cups water or vegetable stock

Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the pepper, onion, carrots, rice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat, covered, until the onion has softened completely about 10 minutes, stirring several times. Add a grind of pepper, the parsley, dill, orange zest, juice and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, until the rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. Cool briefly, then puree all but a cup or two of the soup and return it to the pot. Taste for salt, season with pepper, garnish and serve.


Lentil and Spinach Soup (Jamie Oliver)

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 medium onions

2 cloves of garlic

1 3/4 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

olive oil

a thumb-sized piece of ginger root

1/2-1 fresh red chili to your taste

10 grape or cherry tomatoes

2 cups red lentils

7 cups spinach

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup natural yogurt

Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice and garlic. Put the broth in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Put a large saucepan on medium heat and add tablespoons of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid ajar until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden. Meanwhile peel and finely slice the ginger. Seed and slice the chili. Remove the stalks from the grape or cherry tomatoes and slice the tomatoes in half. Add the boiling broth to the pan with the lentils, ginger, chili and tomatoes. Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on, or until the lentils are cooked. Add the spinach and continue to cook for 30 seconds.

Season well with salt and pepper. You can serve the soup as is; or, using and immersion blender or liquidizer, pulse until smooth. Divide between your serving bowls. Delicious topped with a dollop of natural yogurt.


Tomato Soup (Jamie Oliver)

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 medium onions

2 cloves garlic

1 3/4 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

olive oil

2-14 oz cans of plum tomatoes

6 large ripe tomatoes

small bunch of fresh basil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Put the broth in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all of your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid ajar, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is slightly golden. Add the boiling broth to the pan with your canned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them. Give it a good stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile pick your basil leaves.

Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves. Using an immersion blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Season again before dividing between your serving bowls.


Pea and Mint Soup (Jamie Oliver)

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 medium onions

2 cloves garlic

1 3/4 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

olive oil

5 1/2 cups frozen peas

small bunch of fresh mint

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 3/4 cooked ham

 

Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Put the broth in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Put a large saucepan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients to the pan and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid ajar, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape and the onion is slightly golden. Add the boiling broth to the vegetables. Add your peas. Give the soup a quick stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pick your mint leaves.

When the peas have softened, remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the mint leaves. Using an immersion blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. If using ham, chop it up and stir in. Heat through before dividing between your serving bowls. Really nice served with a toasted slice of ciabatta, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.


Fruit Scones (Jamie Oliver)

1 cup mixture of dried cherries and/or raisins

orange juice for soaking

4 cups self-rising flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup butter

2 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

salt

good quality jam

2/3 cup clotted or heavy cream, whipped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Soak the cherries and raisins in a little bowl with just enough orange juice to cover them. While they’re soaking, pulse the flour, baking powder and butter in a food processor just the mixture starts to look like breadcrumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.In another bowl, beat the eggs and milk with a good pinch of salt. Then pour the beaten eggs, milk, cherries and raisins into the well in the flour mixture and stir well, adding a splash more milk if necessary, until you have a soft, dry dough. If your dough feels a little dry, add an extra splash of milk.

Dust a clean work surface and your rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough until it’s 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, or the rim of a glass, cut out 10 circles from the dough and place these on a non-stick cookie sheet. Dip a pastry brush into some milk and brush some on the top of each scone. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until risen and brown. Take them out of the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cut each scone in half across the middle. Spoon a dollop of jam onto the bottom half of each one, followed by a dollop of clotted or whipped cream and put the tops back on.