The snap of cold that comes at the start of the year is perfect porridge weather. I’ve never understood those who eat it like clockwork, regardless of the temperature. I love the warmth of it on a cold day, a bowl in my hands like a morning hot-water bottle, the quick but nourishing time spent stirring at the stove a welcome interruption to the busy rush of the morning and a few minutes to let my mind wander at the start of the day.
This is a soup for the soul; chicken soup without the chicken and with no apology. It’s the get-well soup I have been searching for, to cure whatever ails you, whether that’s a cold or a broken heart. As gentle and as nourishing as they come, the soup has a base of slow-cook sweet fennel and leek, layered with old friends celery and carrot, with a pep of ginger and lemon and a warmth from a generous amount of white pepper. Crisp little pieces of tofu top the broth, sticky from a minute or two in a pan, with some soy and a sprinkling of seasoning.
I have an obsession with pancakes; any opportunity to make or eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and I’ll take it. So I’ve had to expand my pancake horizons beyond the Shrove Tuesday classics and the fluffy American ones. One of my favourite ways to make pancakes is with chickpea flour. All over the world chickpea (gram) flour is used to make socca, farinata and Indian pudla. Farinata are a distinctly Italian creation.
I made this pie after a bracing walk on a wintry Welsh beach, a long stretch of sand lined with pines on one side and tempting glistening sea on the other. Icy cold, we dipped our toes in then ran to the car. On the drive home I became fixated on pie and an hour or so later we were eating a comforting crust of mashed cauliflower on top of a rich lentil ragu, cooked until the lentils were almost soft. Its warmth spread all the way to our feet. I use cauliflower but you could also use potato or a mix of roots.
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Read A very hygge Thanksgiving Part 1’s recipe here.
Though hygge is technically Danish in origin, these Nordic morning bowls will bring cosiness, calm and comfort in the darker days to come. How can you work this into your Thanksgiving plans? Don’t worry, we’re not insisting you serve this along side your grandmother’s lengendary cranberry sauce. This glorious spin on porridge would be a great way to start Thanksgiving day. Get in something warming and filling that will power you through the morning (or until 3pm when the feasting commences).
Last month, Anna Jones, author of A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook, spent a very happy day with the brilliant food writer and owner of the Pear Cafe in Bristol, Elly Curshen, better known as Elly Pear. They have a lot in common – from favourite restaurants, teas and foods, not to mention a publisher. Anna and Elly got together to do a lot of eating and record a little food tour of Hackney in East London, where Anna lives, but ended up chatting about a whole lot more. Read more…
‘This is a light but hearty pancake made from chickpea flour and grated carrots. I made these a lot while staying with my sister in California, and they are what Californian cooking is all about for me – delicious, nourishing, light and bright. Chickpea flour is cheap and easy to find; it will be in the Indian section at the supermarket and may be called gram flour.