Chicken and Yogurt Soup with Chili and Lemon

Salma's Chicken and Yogurt Soup with Chili and Lemon

Yes, it's been a while since I last wrote a blog entry but I have been making soup. We had a lovely October bank holiday weekend here in Dublin. The two offspring were away at different events, so the spouse and I relaxed and had plenty of time to cook. I made this soup using Salma Hage's recipe from The Lebanese Kitchen. Ingredients: leek (sliced), garlic (crushed), a bay leaf (picked from the garden), chicken stock (home-made and thawed out), chicken breasts (cut into strips), cornflour, yogurt, canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed), chili flakes, lemon juice, chopped coriander, and a pinch of paprika.

I sweated the leek in butter and olive oil, before adding the garlic and bay leaf. In went the chicken stock and then the chicken strips, which were then left to simmer. I took out the chicken strips (difficult to separate out the leek slices) and then tried to thicken the soup with a little cornflour paste. This proved tricky. I had to add more but it still didn't thicken as much as I'd expected. The yogurt and chickpeas were in next, followed by the cooked chicken. The rest of the ingredients were tipped in and then I dished up. Very tasty and flavoursome. There was plenty leftover and so I gave some to the older offspring when he arrived home this afternoon. He too was impressed.

Repeating Roopa

Today I made Roopa Gulati's spiced lamb broth (from The Soup Book). I first made it in February 2011 and I must have like it because I wrote "Yum!" in my book. It went down just as well today, even though I couldn't find chestnut mushrooms (not available in my local shops) or black cardamons (in the press all along).

Bee Buzz

A few of us in my book group read Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales for Young and Old. I really enjoyed the stories: I was transported back to my childhood when I liked nothing better than to curl up with the Andrew Lang books and another book of fairy stories I was given one Christmas. Pullman has added comments to his retelling of the old German stories, pointing out their similarities to old Russian, French, Italian and British stories. He also points out the strange twists in the stories and how the narrative changes direction unexpectedly. The following extract is from "The Two Travelling Companions":

When he turned away ready to set off again, he found he was standing in front of an old hollow tree where dozens of wild bees were flying in and out.
'Honey!' he thought at once. 'Thank goodness!...'
But he'd hardly moved a step towards the tree when the queen bee came flying out.
I was in the north of England recently. Here are a couple of photos which show I think about my blog even though I might not be keeping it up to date as assiduously as in previous years.

Yellow bumble bee badge

The Beehive Pub, Carlisle

Until next time.



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