The forecast for tomorrow predicts snow. For some, wonderful news. For me, not really so. You see, I am okay with winter, and I’m even okay with snow when it starts falling. What I really dislike is the aftermath. No one cleans their streets here, and slippery streets have landed me on my butt a few times in the past. Not fun. Give me the summer (especially if it’s in France) any day. I’m also a bit of a worrier, so waving Hans and Kirstie good-bye when the weather is horrible means breathing a sigh of relief only after everyone has returned home safely.
The following recipe is a great snow day lunch. A spicy noodle soup with shiitake mushrooms, lots of garlic, zesty lime and juicy shrimp. Not only will it warm you up in no time, but it’s also a great boost to the immune system. My daughter Kirstie loves noodle soups and this is definitely one of her favorites. Enjoy — and stay warm!
Spicy Noodle Soup with Shrimp & Lime
- 1 pack wok noodles (248g)
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1,3 L vegetable stock
- 1 ¾ tbsp soy sauce
- 250g shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 300g chopped paksoi
- 250g jumbo shrimp
- 2 limes, halved, to serve
Cook the noodles according to package instructions, rinse with cold water, drain well and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the chili, garlic and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the stock and soy sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the mushrooms, put the lid on the pan and allow to cook for three minutes. Add the paksoi and cook for two more minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the shrimp. Divide the noodles over 4 bowls. Top with the soup and serve with lime halves.
Last Saturday at the Hilversum market, hubby and I were tempted by the Souvenirs de France stand where they were roasting thick, beautiful sausages. When we asked what they were, the answer was ‘saucisson à l’ail’, a thick, smoked sausage somewhat similar to the Dutch ‘rookworst‘, though coarser in texture and generously flavored with garlic. We were assured, however, that the garlic would not be overpowering and that the smokiness would have the leading role. The sausage can be cooked and served in a multitude of ways: grilled, boiled, sliced and eaten cold as part of an apéro, or used in many dishes.
We had one sliced with a little mustard on Sunday night and it was absolutely delightful.
Yesterday I decided to use the second one in a warming lentil soup, and it was so, SO good! My daughter commented that the soup was somewhat similar to one of her favorite soups, the Dutch pea soup (erwtensoep). Though I am not quite sure I agree, what I can tell you is that I will be making this soup many times in these cold months ahead.
Here’s the recipe!
Oh, and feel free to substitute any other smoked sausage. But, if you’re in Hilversum, you may want to stop by the Souvenirs de France stand for more than just sausage. Beware though — you may leave with more than you intended! PS: Nope. Not sponsored. My opinion is never for sale. 🙂
Lentil soup with saucisson à l’ail
- 2 tbsps mild olive oil
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 1/2 tsps herbes de Provence
- 250g brown lentils, rinsed
- 1,2L strong, hot beef stock
- 1 smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pan and gently sauté the onions and garlic for 6 minutes. Add in the carrots and herbes de Provence and cook for another 6 minutes. Stir in the lentils. Pour in the hot beef stock, bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add in the sliced sausage and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the chopped parsley and serve.
As some of you may already know, I have been turning a blind eye to the end of summer. I had my first pumpkin spice latte yesterday (no, not the sugar explosions from that well-known coffee place, but my own), and I’ve already baked with my homegrown apples twice. What I haven’t done is put away the summer clothes just yet, but there was an unmistakable chill in the air today that gently whispered a dress probably hadn’t been the best option. A chill that also reminded me it was finally time to turn that pumpkin I had purchased a week ago into the first real autumnal soup of the season.
I love pumpkin soup and have many different recipes. The one I made today, however, is probably the easiest of them all. You simply roast your pumpkin with red onions, garlic and spices, add some broth and blitz in a blender. That’s all! Hardly work — tons of flavor, as roasting is known to do.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- 1 small pumpkin, peeled and chopped
- 4 small red onions, peeled and cut into sections
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp dried cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried coriander
- 1/2 tsp dried curcuma
- fleur de sel
- freshly-cracked pepper
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 600 ml hot vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 200C. In a baking tray, mix the pumpkin, red onion, garlic, spices, salt and pepper and oil. Roast for 40 minutes (stirring once) until nice and soft. Blitz the vegetables and stock in a blender; you may have to do this in batches. Serve with fresh pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
My mother was everything but a fancy cook. In fact, I don’t think she really enjoyed cooking at all, but what she made like no other was her aromatic lentil soup, seasoned with a mix of pre-blended Spanish spices.
Intent on recreating this special soup I so fondly remembered, I developed a similar recipe years ago. It quickly became a Thursday night tradition at my house, one which for some reason, I had forgotten about. Until yesterday when I discovered a pack of lentils hidden away in the back of my pantry.