wake up your taste-buds: an easy soup recipe


Seasonal inspiration at the Farmers Market           [Image Credit: Lizzie Ormiston]

I love a good soup. But who doesn’t, right? Although as I write that, it makes me think of some of the chats struck up around the microwave with ex-colleagues during lunch breaks. As we waited to heat up our lunches, I was always wanting to break the ‘ice’ (that’s the friendly kiwi in me!) and start a conversation about something other than work…so why not about soup? Many a time, comments were made about not liking the texture of soup (disclosure: mostly males); that they didn’t like it as they find it is “too much like baby food”.

I hear you, soup naysayers – there are only a few soups that I like to be blended right down…and typically those are root vegetable based. I think soups have moved on though…go back 10 or so years, and everyone blitzed the bejesus out of their soups! Continue reading

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new zealand’s food scene

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I continue to be blown away by the ever-evolving food scene in New Zealand (particularly in Auckland, which is the obvious place for growth and experimentation, given its population). Pacific-rim fusion cuisine is still alive and kicking – but it is the quality of simple ingredients, and the innovative approach to how these ingredients are handled that gets me excited. Vegetables taste like they should – and there are many who strive to create new salads, vegetable combinations etc., to keep cooks and eaters alike on their toes. I mean…how good do kumara (sweet potato) fritters sound or how about this roasted vegetable salad with feta, coriander and yoghurt dressing?

Further to my last blog post about some of the best chips I’ve eaten in a very long while, I had a few other notable plates of food while I was in Auckland. Continue reading

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a new addition to my list of food addictions

Every now and again I come across a dish of food that has me dreaming about it non-stop. Fortunately a number of these cravings can be instantly sorted by visiting my local Ottolenghi – as an aside, Yotam Ottolenghi’s prowess with vegetables continues to astound me. For instance, their roasted eggplant salad in whatever guise (always with a yoghurt sauce). Or their chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic, which is something I do make myself – but I hate to say it, theirs beats mine…probably due to the caramelized garlic which I’m afraid of taking too far, ending up with a bitter, acrid mouthful. Anyway, these two dishes sit right at the top of my list of addictions!

I now have another dish to add to the list…but it’s going to be difficult to address my addiction, given that it’s from a café in Auckland, New Zealand! Continue reading

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the best gelato in rome…and orvieto

It was while living in Paris that I developed my love for gelato. We used to walk down to our local Amorino or Grom on a Sunday afternoon (best thing to do on a day when pretty much everything is closed).

Gelato cone

In terms of flavours, I’m not super-adventurous…always going for yoghurt as my first (and sometimes only) scoop. Yep, I know – it’s not at the top of many people’s list…but it is definitely top of mine, as it reminds me of the yoghurt ice-cream that I used to eat as a kid in New Zealand which really did taste of yoghurt unlike so much that is available today. Although, last week I tasted a flavour that could knock yoghurt from the top spot…I will now be seeking it out at all the gelaterie I come across, to see whether it’s as good as I think it is (more on that below). Continue reading

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best value michelin-starred restaurant in paris

Ahhh…Paris…I do love you so! I miss you – but with our time of being together being a long distant memory…I now just get to enjoy you as a visitor.

Fortunately, it’s still very easy for me to get there for a regular fix. Although not often enough having just realised that it has been a year since we last visited. I wrote this post – but then failed to post it! I know that the restaurant reviewed is still amazing…so what the heck, I’m going to post it anyway.

When visiting for a weekend, with only 2 lunches and 2 dinners, I have to be very strategic on where we eat – and what we eat. Nothing worse than stuffing yourself on the first day so that the next day all you want is a bowl of virtuous broth…so easy to do in Paris!

So I set off to research what was new in the City of Gastronomy. Trawling through my usual Paris restaurant review sites, I eventually ended up with the perfect balance – or at least I hoped so. Continue reading

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