Tag Archives: sophie dahl

Dutch Peasoup with an Italian Twist

23 Jan

Last week I was in the Netherlands for my new job and I realized that I had missed the winter conditions so much! Here in Rome it’s just around 13 degrees and this weekend it was raining constantly. But, even though I am complaining right now, in 2 months the weather will definitely be much better!! Anyway, I got this amazing cookbook of Sophie Dahl from the girlfriend of my brother over christmas, and one of the recipes is a perfect example of the situation I am in right now. A peasoup with homemade pesto! When I told my boyfriend, or ‘fidanzato’ in Italian which sounds more mature than boyfriend :-), that we were about to eat peasoup, he looked at me almost disgusted! The peasoup that we dutch people are supposed to eat when we go iceskating outside, is not an extremely delicious dish.. however, this recipe of Sophie Dahl made the whole memory of thick and not so tasty peasoup go away!! And please, make the pesto yourself, because it’s soooo good..

Ingredients

For the pesto: 1 hand of fresh basil (only the leaves), 1 clove of garlic, a few tablespoons of pine nuts, 4 tablespoons of oliveoil, 25 g. of grated Parmezan cheese (Grana Padano for instance), salt and pepper. For the soup: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 small onion, 2 small zucchini chopped in pieces, 8 dl. of chicken or vegetable stock, 450 g. of peas (from a can or from the freezer), 1 large hand of rucola.

Preparation

Add the ingredients for the pesto together in a bowl and blend them until you will get a smooth sauce. You can also make it a bit thinner with some water. Flavor it if you’d like. Then, add the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Wait until the onion is soft, then you can add the chopped zucchini and stock. Let it simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas and the rucola and heat the soup until it cooks. When the soup cooks, let it on the fire for about 3 to 4 minutes until everything is soft. Take the blender again and blend the soup until it is smooth. Let everyone add the pesto to their soup themselves. Buon appetito!

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Eggplant alla Parmigiana

18 Okt

This recipe was introduced to me by Sophie Dahl’s book ‘Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights’. As I already mentioned before, I love the feeling of having something on the stove or in the oven and this recipe uses both :). When I pick up the cookbook and try to find the recipe, the book falls automatically on the right page and the page is dirty from spilled tomato sauce. I have tried different versions of this recipe, however I keep using it again because Sophie Dahl has the perfect suggestion for the tomato sauce between the eggplant slices.

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants, sea salt, 125 ml olive oil, 1 large onion, 2 toes of garlic, 3 cans of peeled tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, 50 g. of basil, 300 g. or 2 balls of mozzarella, 100 g. of grated Parmesan cheese and a bit of breadcrumbs.

Preparation

Heat the oven until 200 g. degrees. Slice up the eggplant in 1 cm. thick slices, sprinkle them with sea salt and leave them to dry for 20 minutes. Please watch out with the sea salt! Because the first time I made this recipe I was a little bit too exciting with sprinkling the sea salt and when we ate it we got a stomach ache from all the leftover salt grains..

Heat up some olive oil and bake the onion and the garlic softly until they glace. Add the peeled tomatoes, salt and pepper. Sophie Dahl suggests to add brown sugar and some balsamic vinegar to the mix and I think this makes the tomato sauce perfectly sweet. Just put some balsamic vinegar in it as you prefer. Then leave the pan on the fire for 20 minutes with the lid on.

Sprinkle a bit of olive oil on the eggplant slices and put them in the oven for 15 minutes until they get brown. Grease an oven dish with olive oil and take the eggplant slices out of the oven and make a layer in the dish. Then, just as in normal lasagna, make layers of basil, mozzarella, tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese until you are out of ingredients . Finalize with a mix of Parmesan cheese, basil and breadcrumbs. Put the dish in the oven for 20 minutes and serve it with a green salad as you prefer. Buon appetito!


Thanks to Sanne for the recipe tip!