Fresh Homemade Tomato Soup served with Garlic and Goat Cheese Focaccia

Today I went out to my local market,  a fantastic place just outside the city where I live. Right now the market is  booming with local strawberries, new potatoes, fresh herbs, tomatoes, spinach and so much more.

…and chickens wandered around in the shop while I was filling my basket – that’s my kind of place.

A basket full of goodness

A basket full of goodness

I  simply love this time of year when the markets are booming with the delicious fresh produce of the season- particularly the deep red sweet tomatoes! They are like candy in themselves and create a little party in your mouth – so intense with flavours!

When I saw them I immediately decided that I wanted to make fresh tomato soup. Continue reading

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Walnut Bread

Nothing quite like homemade bread……

People frequently ask me – “really, do you make your own bread?”

– I would never have time for that, they say, but really, it doesn’t take that long to make delicious homemade bread. Once you have gotten into the routine, it’s the easiest thing on earth! Honestly! And fun! And rewarding!

Actually, mixing up the dough takes less than 5 min. And then the secret is to leave it to raise for at least 4 hours, the longer the better – I usually mix it in the evening before going to bed. Put it in the fridge or leave it on the counter with a wet cloth, to do it’s magic overnight.

In the morning I let it rise a second time, while the oven is heating and then I pop it in to bake, which it does while I’m in the shower.

Freshly baked bread in the morning is such a treat for everyone.

Just imagine waking up to the smell of homemade bread – a day starting like that, is bound to be a good one!

Not all bread now-a-days is honest as there are so many additives that go into store-bought bread today. Unless of course you get it from a good baker!

When you make your own bread you know what goes into it. 

Bread from the good baker

Bread from the good baker

 Walnut Bread

2 cups of water

1 teaspoon dry yeast

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons of raw sugar

3 tablespoons of olive oil

4 cups of organic unbleached flour

1 cup of chopped walnuts

1/2 cup of extra flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the oil, the salt and the sugar, add the chopped walnuts and add the flour little by little while stirring.

Walnuts

Leave the dough to raise with a wet cloth overnight or at least for 4 hours.

Fold in a little extra flour and sprinkle some on a clean countertop. Place the dough on the flour and gently fold the the sides of the dough underneath – without kneading it.

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Allow the dough to raise on the table while you heat the oven to 450 F – place a cast iron pot with the lid in the oven for 1/2 hour to heat it.

Take the cast iron pot out and carefully place the dough in the very hot pot, put the lid back on – please don’t burn yourself! And place the pot back in the hot oven and bake for 30 min.

Take the lid of and bake for another 10 min

Take it out, and try to let it cool a little before cutting it, I know it’s difficult :-).

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Enjoy!

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Crispiest Crunchiest no-knead Bread

Okay – I love bread,  I am a bit of a bread-nerd actually. I make it every day – it has become a routine for me to whip it up before I go to bed, plunk it in the fridge overnight or tuck it in on the kitchen counter with a wet cloth on top and kiss it goodnight. Go to sleep, wake up, turn the oven on, make my tea, put the bread in the hot oven, have my shower and ………. voila freshly made warm and delicious bread!!!

But before I share the bread recipe,  I have something really exciting to share!

The 1st of November I will be participating in an awesome event – The Virtual Vegan Potluck!! I participated in one in May this year and it was so much fun! More than 100 wonderful bloggers from all over the world will bring their amazing food creations to the Virtual Potluck table! So stay tuned in – come and visit and join the fun.

I am not vegan, but I enjoy to nourish my body by feeding it lots of plant-based foods, and more plant-based foods than other types of food. The Virtual Vegan Potluck is a great way to get inspired – I promise you – there will be lots of scrumptious recipes.

I will be creating a new dessert. I can reveal that I am making a raw food healthy version of an old (fat) favorite. It will be soft, wild, intense and super delicious. And at the time, I will be in Copenhagen, so it will be created directly from my Danish kitchen in the heart of the old city.

So stay tuned – 1st of November 2012 – and now to the bread!

It is becoming popular to bake bread in an extremely hot oven in a cast iron pot with a lid!  I have been watching these developments for a while, but had never tried it. One small thing was that I didn’t have the pot! Then one day I saw a post from In Pursuit of more – one of my favorite blogs! Shira had made bread so delicious, in a cast iron pot – it was so gorgeously beautiful that bread, that I had to make it. I went straight out, bought a pot and went in the kitchen to make bread. Gosh I could hardly sleep that night – excited to get that bread in the oven!

Let just say it – it became the crispiest, crunchiest bread I have ever tried – it was sooooo good!

Here is my recipe:

2 cups of water

1 teaspoon dried yeast

3 tbs olive oil

2 teaspoon salt

4 cups wheat flour

1 cup rye flour

1/2 cup wheat to work the dough on the counter

In a big bowl – add the water, dissolve the yeast in the water add the olive oil and start adding the flour a little at the time, while constantly stirring,  until you have a  dough.

Cover with a wet cloth and leave it to rest

The longer you raise it the better the bread – so preferably overnight!

For this bread I left it for 4 hours in the bowl, on the kitchen counter. I will show you the difference – later. They both turned out really nice but, the one bread that was left overnight was crispier and had more air holes in the structure.

After the 4 hours – I carefully scooped it out on to a clean counter with 1/2 cup of flour – there I carefully folded it and dusted it with extra flour like this

No kneading needed – cover with a wet cloth and leave to raise for another 2 hours like this

After about an hour and a 1/2, turn the oven on to 450F. Once it has reached the temperature – put the cast iron pot and the lid into the oven. Let them heat up for a 1/2 hr – no need to grease it or oil it, just heat it.

After heating it – carefully – and equipped with what you need so as not to burn yourself, take out the pot – and carefully, carefully place the dough in this extremely hot pot

Put the lid on and put it back in the oven to bake for 35 min. After 35 min. remove the lid and continue baking for another 10 min.

Viola the bread is ready to enjoy!

And, for the more patient cooks:

Here is the bread that I made which had been raising overnight. It was made with just organic wheat flour.

“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight” – M.F.K. Fischer

Weekend bread

There is something really fantastic about the smell of homemade bread. The aroma spreads throughout the house and fills the air with magic, memories of forgotten times.

When you put your house up for sale, they recommend that you bake before showing the house! Why? Because homemade bread and baking oozes of great life style, extra time, comfort, cozy life, family life and the luxury of having time to make bread, homemade bread!

But making bread is easy – it actually doesn’t take much time – once you get into the bread-making-rhythm.

Making a rhythm is really quite simple. For example, before going to bed, I toss the bread together, and put it in the fridge with a wet cloth on top, overnight. It does its stuff while I’m sleeping.

Continue reading

Salmon carpaccio

Salmon carpaccio is one of my favorites.  Somehow, summertime and salmon carpaccio is a perfect match.  It’s like they are made for each other. Served with some good bread and a cool drink outside in the company of good friends and family, what more can you really ask for?

In Western Canada (BC), we are privileged to have 5 different species of salmon, Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Pink and Chum (as well as the wonderful Steelhead salmon/trout) – all beautiful fish and no matter which one you choose, it is always incredible summer food.

For this recipe I used Sockeye – right out of the sea. The most important, make sure the fish is fresh – real fresh!

With a sharp long fish knife, cut paper-thin slices of the salmon – start from the tail and work your way up. Arrange the slices on a plate, sprinkle with sea salt, drizzle with good olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, add some finely chopped shallots, some finely chopped fresh dill and some caper berries. Before serving add some freshly ground pepper. You can serve it immediately or you can cover it and leave it in the fridge till you are ready to serve.

This is perfect for lunch, delicious as a starter or as a main course served with a green salad.