I was asked to bring a soup for a group of friends getting together for a casual, coastal overnight in beautiful west Marin. There were a number of recipes that were contenders, but a spicy chickpea soup from Yotam Ottolenghi's upcoming cookbook, Plenty More, caught my attention. It features a seductive, red harissa broth fragrant with cumin, coriander, and caraway, and enough chickpeas and bulgur to make it work as a main course. An herb-whipped feta is the crowning dollop.
A beautiful cauliflower salad from the new Bar Tartine cookbook - a crunchy, hearty mixture of cauliflower, seeds, chiles, radishes, chickpeas, and green onions slathered in an enveloping garlicky yogurt dressing.
A homemade blend of detoxifying mint tea - green tasting from mint and coriander, and fennel-sweet. It has layered peppery-ness from black peppercorn and freshly muddled ginger. I've been brewing this quite a bit lately, and took it in a thermos on our drive to Big Sur.
The miso tahini soup we had for lunch as we prepped for the Remodelista Holiday Market last weekend - it was simple, hearty, and restorative with brown rice, winter squash, and a creamy miso-tahini broth. Avocado, lemon zest, toasted nori, and chives kept things lively and beautiful up top.
Traditional and tasty, this soup is a test of patience and restraint. If you're easily distracted, skip it. If you can mind a pot, stirring, singularly-focused, for a half hour, perhaps longer, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful, vegetarian version of the herbed, Persian yogurt soup, Ashe Mast.
I'm posting this spring roll recipe from Morocco, they were much needed for the flight over. Rice paper wrappers with brown rice, tofu, avocado, chopped hazelnuts, and a slather of intense oregano sauce. Plus a few snapshots of the trip so far.