First, I want to say WOW! Thanks for all those incredible comments, wishes and feedback on my last post. I was so touched by your heartfelt thoughts. It just blew me away. I enjoyed reading them so much, smiling and tearing up all at the same time.
March is here already! Hard to believe but very thankful. February is the hardest month for me. After a long hard winter I am just itching to put away those heavy coats and big boots. Early morning irritation starts with having to pull on the uncomfortable stockings and layer after layer of textile until one feels a bit like the Michelin Man. February is mostly spent cursing under my breath: the iced up windscreen, forever cold hands, itchy scarves, stockings hanging between the knees - the list is long.
So March is welcomed with arms wide open, ready to greet the warmer, longer days and allow Spring to arrive - the quicker the better. I hear those peep toe heels and ballerinas chanting to be let out from their winter hibernation deep in the cupboard and the lighter dresses and skirts tempt me with their vibrant colors.
Inevitably, the very first day with warm rays of sunshine and the slow rise of temperatures comes around and pulls me into its force of attraction. I want to kick off the boots and walk barefooted in the still bleak looking grass. I long to strip off the woolen scarf tucked tightly around my neck and soak up the sun. It’s grueling to restrain.
The markets taunt me too. The very first rhubarb, peas and strawberries color the stalls with their juicy and flamboyant colors. I see delightful tarts, crumbly pavlovas and rich trifles before my eyes. It’s torturous to suppress the cravings.
It’s deceitful! While the temperatures feel warmer the day has a cunning chill and while the luscious produce look voluptuous, they still need time for perfection. I pacify myself, saying only a few more days till Spring really does come around to stay, instead of peeking around the corner for just a day. Till then we warm ourselves with steaming soups using some of the fresh vegetables from the markets.
Fennel is widely available year round and is one of my most favorite vegetables. Popular in the Mediterranean cuisine, often associated with Italian cooking, fennel adds a wonderfully refreshing and slightly sweet flavor to any dish. It is so versatile that it can be prepared raw in a salad or sautéed in olive oil then tossed in some pasta, thrown into soup, but it tastes best when roasted.
For this soup that’s exactly what I did. Gently roasting vegetables unlocks all the caramelized goodness and extracts a more intense flavor out of them. For a vegetable like fennel, which offers a striking anise flavor, this means boosting those flavors to a new level. Serve the soup with chunky rustic bread - you’ll love it!
The soup is incredible and offers a complex, yet refreshing flavor. The Pernod adds an exceptional aroma and the sprinkling of the smoky chipotle chili gives it a slight heat. Pairing it with the subtle flavors of smoked salmon is simply fantastic as it gives the soup an additional flavor highlight.
Have you got questions concerning the Plate to Page workshops? We answer them on our FAQ page, If you are looking to hone your writing and photography skills come join us for Plate to Page Somerset due to be held in the UK in Spring 2012! Have a look at the programme, details about accommodation, and then can register here. Places are limited to 12. It would be great to see you there!
If you are closer to Dubai however then maybe you would like to join me over at Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm for a 2-day Workshop, focusing exclusively on food photography and styling.
The details are as follows:
When: Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th April
Where: Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Your Instructor: Meeta K. Wolff
Your Host: Sally Prosser
The March session of the Monthly Mingle has just kicked off and my lovely hostess is Chris of Mele Cotte. I’ve “known” Chris for a long time now, she not only has participated in a few mingles but we baked up a fury with the Daring Bakers every month!
Chris has chosen the perfect theme to welcome Spring along with “Berries & Cherries”! I am quite excited about the theme and am looking forward to all your creations. Go on over to Mele Cotte to check out all the details on how you can join this mingle.
You might enjoy these soups from WFLH:
|Carrot and Red Lentil Soup with a Hint of Cumin||Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup - Pappa al Pomodoro||Spicy Roasted Tomato And Red Bell Pepper Soup|
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