The cold weather makes me want to hoover everything edible in my path, in particular temperature raising foods like slow-cooked meat casseroles so rich and savoury they leave your lips sticky, hearty soups, golden-roasted root vegetables seasoned with crunchy flakes of salt and espelette, spicy Indian curry with roti, pomme puree, thick slices of warm toast with soft and creamy scrambled eggs, cups of hot chocolate that leave you a Marx-ian moustache everytime you take a sip, freshly steamed sticky date pudding and the list continues.
This time last year, all I wanted to eat for every meal was macaroni and cheese! I made several variations of the dish, each time, using a different type of pasta and cheese. My favourite version was one I made with a smoked aged cheddar and casareccia which I ate with a piquant tomato chutney and a bitter salad on the side. Sometimes the marvellously simple dishes are the ones that deliver absolute pleasure in the eating, wouldn't you agree?
Before I share the recipe I made today, I would like to dispel any implication that my obsession for including a little bit of "summer" in my dishes is a reflection of any detestation for this cold weather. I love winter as much as I do summer and autum, but maybe less than spring, but I am sure that this is understandable. Winter has its charm, its character and its own moments -- like how the air smells "forest fresh" after an overnight shower, and how the grass looks greener and brighter with the early morning sun breaking through the blanket of mist. When else would you draw more pleasure and comfort from watching steam rise out of your coffee cup than on those crisp cold winter mornings?
So here it is, today's soup incited by traditional Indian dahl served with bread or rice, it is prepared in a short time and is absolutely loaded with taste. I included curry powder, fresh grated ginger and garlic which add a gentle spiciness to the soup and a few kaffir lime leaves for citrus tones without the sharp acidity. I simply adore citrus in soups! I then finished the soup with some light coconut cream and roughly chopped mango flesh. Served with some pappadums, this soup is so satisfyingly flavourful it left me wanting nothing more but a second helping!