With the exception of two greedy French dinners, this week I have been trying, in a most out of character attempt, to go some way towards mitigating the disaster which will henceforth be referred to as the PBB (Post Bruges Belly). I have even gone to the extremes of asking for my morning gingerbread latte without CREAM! I know – it truly beggars belief. I do have a wedding dress to fit into in a matter of months so needs must!
Anyway in the spirit of this new cream free, health conscious me (don’t worry – it is just a temporary phase, and only when I remember!) I have recreated a delicious soup that I was introduced to at a superb dinner party last week. The recipe we were served (and promptly demanded seconds of as it was so good) was from the Moro cookbook however in typical Cos I’m style, I have recreated it with some of my own twists and additions. This soup could be served hot or cold and as the yoghurt replaces the traditional cream it can be enjoyed in great quantities with minimal guilt.
In a pan blend a paste from a little vegetable stock and a teaspoon of flour – then add around 1.5 litres of vegetable stock. To the stock, add 2 diced potatoes, one onion and lots of garlic (up to you but I used 4 cloves) simmer this mixture for about ten minutes. While it is cooking grate or very finely slice 4 courgettes, add to the simmering stock mix and cook for about 5 minutes.
Then stir in a large packet of mint leaves (take the stalks off) and blend until it is almost smooth (I like to have a few chunks but you could blend until completely smooth). Finally add Greek yoghurt and stir through. I copied U.S. the lovely friend that introduced me to this recipe and served with some chilli flakes on the top.
Whilst I am on the health bandwagon I have come a cross a new staple – spelt. I am constantly looking for inspiration when creating interesting side dishes – potato, rice pasta or cous cous although all versatile can become a bit depressingly repetitive. This week I was recommended Sharpham Park Speltotto and was pleasantly surprised. The pack is full of claims that really don’t matter to me such as organic or British or created by the founder of Mulberry! All I care about is how it tastes, especially as I automatically doubt anything this healthy. I tried the pumpkin and shallot risotto variety – just add cold water and boil then simmer for 15 minutes. I have tried spelt before in salads etc but enjoyed it much more in this new risotto-style guise.
The initial taste was of tinned carrot rather than Pumpkin – it certainly tasted ‘British’, but once I got over that I started to really enjoy the dish – the texture is unusual but appealing and it made me feel healthy just knowing it is good for me (full of iron, zinc, vitamins and minerals I am told). To satisfy the fiancés caveman- like carnivorous needs, I added chicken to his and he adored it (he would!). If I am completely honest though I felt it only truly became delicious after adding a good dollop of butter, some parmesan shavings, black pepper and a dash of truffle oil! Well I had to put my own stamp on it didn’t I – I am telling myself it is still healthy!
*In the spirit of honesty and the hope that publicly admitting to my complete lack of discipline will steel me in the future, I should add that since I originally wrote this post, I have had a rather calorie intensive five course Michelin star meal and a full English this morning. PBB – you may have won the battle but I WILL win the war!