My mother and grandmother always added fennel seeds and local wild celery, both giving the kawlata a very distinct taste and I have done my own variation by sticking to their recipe and adding kale, sweet potato and fresh turmeric which are all very popular at the moment.
High in fibre, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, barley is one of those old fashioned grains that is perhaps not considered to be as trendy as some other popular ones being marketed today. I like its nutty taste and the soft texture that never becomes mushy and it is lower in calories and fats than most other ancient grains.
Combined with fresh mint and greek yoghurt, this is a light soup that I first discovered in the back streets of a small cafe in Istanbul.
I love the fresh onion and garlic available locally right now with a milder taste and I make sure to use all the bulb and leaves. They are never overpowering.
‘The inspiration for this soup came from the irresistible Chicken Katsu Curry at Wagamama. Home made healthy comfort food that you can make quickly at home. Amazing flavours and perfect for January. It takes 35 minutes to prefer from start to serving it but it is even more delicious the day after’
You will need:
The flavour of fresh thyme with tomatoes is delicious and I use fresh turmeric root to give it a boost of natural medicinal properties and I like to use it often and in small amounts
‘Perfect for winter, with lots of fresh ginger, this is such a delicious soup.’
You will need:
1 large clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
a pinch of ground cumin
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 butternut squash, skin on and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
1 all natural stock cube with enough water to cook the vegetables
250ml home made coconut milk
salt and pepper to season
Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and stir. Then add the curry powder, the coriander seeds, the cumin powder, the grated fresh ginger and cook for a minute.
Add the roughly chopped vegetables. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to cook for about 20 minutes. Do not overcook.
Use a blender or food processor to blend until the mixture is very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the homemade coconut milk and blend again. Serve hot or cold.
With thanks to our lovely viewer Grace for her Maltese qaghaq and baci cake and to Deyma Shop Gzira for the display of Tunisian Sweets and hand made tablecloths
My organic vegetables come from Barbuto, olive oil by Filippo Berio at Rimus Group
flavors of the exotic with ash-e-reshteh this week and I hope this amazing soup will take our televiewers at least in mind and spirit to the heart of Persia when
‘A busy back-to-work day calls for this delicious kale and bean soup, perfect for a quick weekday meal. Nothing like healthy homemade comfort food . Kale grows locally and is abundant with different varieties available in the market.’
For this delicious soup you will need:
8 cups boiling water
An organic stock cube
Quarter teaspoon salt (leave out if you prefer)
4 cloves garlic,peels and crushed
10 Kale leaves remove the middle stalk
1 middle sized onion, finely chopped
1 can cannellini beans, remove water, rinse and drain
4 thick slices Maltese bread
4 spoons olive oil
A pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Juice of one lemon
Grated rind of one lemon
2 mature peppered cheeses (gbejna)
One fresh soft gbejna per person
Lots of fresh ground pepper
Saute the onion and crushed garlic in some olive oil in a large pot. Add the chopped up kale and top up with the boiling water until the leaves are fully immersed. Lower the heat and leave on a gentle boil for half an hour. Add half the lemon juice and lemon rind. stir and turn off heat. Allow to cool and use a hand blender, pulse and whiz making sure that you do not over-blend as the soup is more delicious with the different consistencies. Add the cannellini beans keeping some aside for garnish.
Brush some olive oil on to the bread slices. Rub the slices with some garlic. Spread the peppered cheese and if you are using peppered gbejna grate it and spread it over the surface. Bake the bread slices at 200C for around 10 minutes. Do not allow to burn or get too crusty.
Place a slice of bread in the bottom of each soup bowl. Pour the heated soup onto the bread. Place a fresh gbejna in each soup bowl. I also made some croutons from local sourdough and garnished with cannellini beans and croutons.
This is delicious and a meal in itself, no need for a main course. Lots of garlic is needed and yet it does not taste too strong.
I use fresh kale and gbejna cheeselets by Big Fresh Mosta, all natural stock cubes by OXO, kitchenware by K & Co Ltd