For the weeks coming up to the New Year, I hope to share with you some great recipes from around the world to help warm you up during these colder seasons. They are just simple but highly comforting things we all love to eat to help get through those chilly days and evenings.
Please do let me know if you try out any of these and if you have any similar ones you make for yourself or for your friends and families 🙂
The first Winter Warmer recipe in this series is one which is a regular in our household and not just kept for the colder season- Borscht. This recipe was actually one that my mother came across on an aeroplane magazine, and she came home and was excited to try it out in our kitchen. It’s a great way to use Beetroot and other common things you may have in your friedge. After our own trials of the original recipe for Borscht, then talking to our polish friends about their family recipe, we came up with this one that we all liked. I hope you try out our version of this Polish soup and that it gives you the comfort you seek 🙂
You can make this as a starter with some warm bread rolls or as a main meal if you just want something light but fulfilling.
Winter Warmer Recipe 1: Borscht (soup)
This soup is traditionally served on Polish Christmas Eve, but is perfect on any cold day as a great comfort food with your favourite bread.
What you need:
1 Onion chopped
450g beetroot, peeled & sliced (or can use ready cooked beetroot)
2 celery sticks
1/2 red pepper, chopped
115g mushrooms, chopped
1 apple, chopped (I’ve tried all kinds of apple and find granny smith is the best)
2 tbsp Olive oil
1L vegetable stock
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & black pepper to taste
Garnish: a few sprigs dill, sour cream
The sprig of dill I feel is quite important in this soup and gives it a distinct flavour.
How to make it:
- Heat oil & butter in a saucepan and add all the chopped veg and apple. Add 45ml of stock and cook until soft
- Stir in cumin seeds and cook for a further 1 minute and then add the remaining stock, bay leaf, salt & pepper.
- Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30mins
- Using a handblender/food processor, take out about 3/4 of the veg with a slotted spoon and whizz until pureed.
- Return the pureed veg back to the pan, check for seasoning and then add the lemon juice.
- Serve with a garnish of dill sprigs and a swirl of sour cream.
This is perfect with a chunk of your favourite bread or some freshly boiled/steamed potatoes.
Borscht & Challah
Filed under Baking, bread, brunch, Dinner, Food, Lunch, mykitchenadventures, sujiskitchen, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian
Well what a fab episode about all things sweet! I really enjoyed watching all the different roulades and Andrew, Selasi and Jane did particularly well on these. I think my favourite flavour Roulade was Andrew’s tropical holiday Roulade as it’s the kind of flavours I would enjoy 🙂 It was the first time I had heard of a ‘Marjolaine’ and these were a toughie for the technical challenge. Precision and the chewiness of the meringue layer were criticised and Andrew’s bake was the obvious first place. The final showstopper challenge was interesting and all the bakers struggled to get their mousse cakes set on time. There was some great flavour combinations but I think my favourite was Selasi’s lemon, raspberry and passion fruit one – the one that saved his place I think!
I am not a sweet tooth, which makes my Dentist happy, but I do really wish I had more cravings for the yummy delights that I often see around me. I will definitely try any dessert but then the sweetness gets all a bit too much and I have to find someone to finish it off. It’s a ‘Catch 22’ situation at home as I love making desserts and baking cakes, but then I have to hunt down others to eat them as there is only so much my husband can consume …lol 😉
I got thinking after watching the mousse showstopper round and about the kind of desserts I have made which involved setting agents (as I don’t use eggs or gelatin in my baking). So the obvious one for me was Panna Cotta 🙂 It took a while for me to try out this delicious Italian dessert the first time, as it always involved using revolting Gelatin. So it was very exciting when my lovely friend Kavitha told me about a yummy version of Panna cotta which was gelatin free! I tried this at her house and was really amazed by the texture and yummy flavour and it was great to know that you can make this without using Gelatin, phew!
So since then I have tried this recipe out a few times, with some failures (mainly because I didn’t follow the instructions on the setting agent…eeek!) and I can share with you two replacements for the Gelatin; Vege gel and Agar Agar. If you are a sweet tooth, then I have made some recommendations on how to make it to your taste. I love this recipe as it means you can make it the day before any guests are coming over and it makes a fuss free sweet and relatively light sweet at the end of a lunch or dinner. I also really like the way you can pair it with a coulis or sauce using seasonal ingredients. For example, recently I made a coulis with freshly grown Strawberries and during winter months you can just pour over some store bought Mango Pulp or use frozen Coulis. Easy peasy! 🙂
* Vanilla Panna Cotta *
Makes x12 portions (you’ll want more than one 😉 )
What you need:
- 500ml Double Cream
- 150ml Milk
- 1 vanilla pod – seeds scraped out
- x2 7g packets of Vege gel OR 2 tsps Agar flakes
- 50g white granulated sugar
- x12 silicon muffin moulds or individual ramekins
How to make it:
- Heat the cream and milk in a medium sized saucepan (ideally with a spout) until almost at boiling point. Then lower the heat and the sugar and vanilla seeds and mix well.
- Prepare your setting agent. I use vege gel most often as it’s more easily available and the instructions on the Vege gel packets I use states to dissolve the packets in cold water) and then add to the simmering cream and milk mixture and mix well. I find it helps using a whisk here to ensure the setting agent is evenly distributed in the liquid.
- Take the pan off the flame and keep aside for 2 minutes to cool a little and get your moulds or ramekins. SEE NOTE BELOW.
- Pour the mixture into your moulds/ramekins and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. I honestly think the overnight option is the best, especially when you have guests the following day so it will save you lots of time!
Serve with a refreshing fruit coulis 🙂
NOTE: Be careful not too cool the mixture too much in your pan as your setting agent (Vege gel or Agar Agar) may start to set the mixture. If you see your mixture starting to set in your pan then pour into the moulds/ramekins immediately.
If you have a sweet tooth then you could add melted white chocolate for a more decadent flavour, but reduce the sugar to 25g.