Mediterranean Cold Eggplant Soup


Spring is coming, gradually bringing warm weather, and this means that its time to update the menu and replace “heavy” winter soups with light and cold summer ones. Here’s one based on eggplants. Making this soup is very quick and if the weather suddenly becomes less warm than anticipated, it can actually be served hot as well.

The tastes combination is classically Mediterranean – eggplants, mint, goat yogurt and chili peppers….

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Ingredients:

(For 6 regular soup-bowls or 16 small servings, like the one illustrated above)

3 large eggplants (or 500 grams of grilled eggplant “flesh”)
500 ml. goat yogurt
500 ml. water
2 garlic cloves
100 gr. goat cheese – similar to non-aged/young Sainte-Maure
1/2 chili pepper
Mint leaves (amount can be varied, roughly take half-a-bunch or mint branches)
Salt, Pepper

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Russian Beef Stew with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine and Vegetables


Here’s a very nice variation on Russian beef stew. It is very light and could serve as a great dish on every table.

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Ingredients:

1.5 kg beef
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Some flour
1 large onion
20 gr. dried Porcini mushrooms
1 bottle dry white wine
5 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
water (or vegetable broth)

Preparation:

Cut the meat into cubes (approximately 2 x 2 x 2 centimeters). Cut the onion into half-rings. Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl and pour a glass of boiling water on them.

Warm up the frying pan, heat the vegetable oil, add onion and thyme and fry. When ready, remove the content of the frying pan.

Roll the meat cubes in flour. The best technique to do this is in a plastic bag – put a couple of tablespoons of floor in, add some meat cubes close and shake vigorously to reach the desired effect.

When ready start frying the meat cubes on high heat (not all of them together – better to do that in small portions). Afterwards, add back the onion and thyme, pour in the wine and bring to boiling.

In the meantime, squeeze the mushrooms to remove extra liquids and chop them into small parts. Add both the mushroom parts and the water squeezed from the mushrooms into the pan containing the meat. Then top up with the additional water (or vegetable stock) to cover the “barely” cover the meat with liquids. Add salt and pepper, bring to boiling and then simmer over low heat for 2-2.5 hours.

As a garnish for this dish I would recommend some simple oven-baked vegetables.

1 cauliflower
1 large sweet potato
1 large onion
2 small zucchini
3 branches of thyme
10 garlic cloves
Salt (better use coarse)
2 tbsp. olive oil

Dismantle the cauliflower into florets, coarsely slice other vegetables (important – leave the garlic cloves intact). Add some salt, pour in the oil and mix by hands. Bake in the oven on 200C for approximately 40 minutes until the vegetables are ready.

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If you liked this recipe, check out other related recipes:

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Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..