Monday, November 21, 2011
Marika Blossfeldt's 'Essential Nourishment' and a recipe for Kabocha Apricot Soup (book giveaway)
NB! I've got one copy of this wonderful book (in English!!!) to give away to Nami-Nami readers. See details below!
I had seen the Estonian version of this book at my friends' place, and loved it. So when Marika, who divides her life between Estonia and New York, and whom I've met couple of times, asked me if I'd love a copy of the English version, I said yes. The book's full title is "Essential Nourishment: Recipes from My Estonian Farm. Your feel-good guide to healthful eating and energized living, one delicious meal at a time". It's divided into three major sections - Nutrition and Nourishment; Lifestyle; Food Guides and Recipes. Marika has been trained in integrative nutrition - meaning a reasonable and wholesome approach to eating and living healthily, and the resulting combination of information on nutrition and a collection on recipes is excellent.
I've got my own favourites - her beet, fennel and quinoa salad is wonderful, as is the recipe for Rye Porridge with Sesame Seeds. Our good friends regularly make her Zucchini Walnut Muffins and Carrot Ginger Soup (I'm especially partial to those muffins - our friend Peter bakes them in mini muffin tins, and they're addictive!) There are several healthy- and delicious-sounding recipes I'm looking forward to trying as soon as the festive season is over - Polenta with Roasted Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa Pilaf with Shiitake Mushrooms, Dandelion Greens in Creamy Sesame Sauce, Chickpeas with Sweet Potatoes, to give you just an idea.
But when I asked Marika which recipe she'd like me to share with my many American readers, she suggested this nourishing soup. Hope you'll enjoy it - and why not serve it as a starter this Thursday?
Kabocha Apricot Soup
What could be a better treat than a squash puree soup on a chilly autumn day? Although the original recipe calls for kabocha squash, any winter squash or pumpkin can be used. The dried apricots add a little twist of sweet and tart and a hint of sophistication.
1 kabocha squash, about 2 pounds (1 kg), cut into quarters, seeds and fibrous parts removed
4 cups (1 l) water
1 onion, cut into wedges
12 dried apricots, cut into halves
1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches (5 cm) long, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
Place the squash in a steamer basket inserted into a large pot. Add 3 cups (750 ml) of the water and steam for 20 minutes. Reserve the cooking water. Place the cooked squash onto a plate to cool. Use a spoon to scrape the meat from the peel.
Boil the onion, apricots and ginger in the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of water for 10 minutes.
Combine the squash with the onion mixture. In batches, pour into a blender or food processor and puree, adding some of the reserved squash cooking water for a smooth blend.
Return the puree to the pot. Add the butter and bring to a boil. Add more cooking water if the soup is very thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into soup plates and garnish with chopped scallions.
NB! In the month of November Marika offers her book for sale on her website at a discounted rate. You will receive a signed copy and shipping is absolutely FREE in the United States: http://www.marikab.com/store/2021318/product/en
Hint: this beautifully designed cookbook might just be the perfect Christmas present for all your health conscious friends and family members.
European readers, you can order Marika's book on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de
Furthermore, I've got ONE copy of this book to give away to a Nami-Nami reader (I'll ship anywhere in the world). To win one, just leave a comment with your name, location and the name of your favourite healthy cold weather dish. I'll randomly choose a winner on Monday morning (November 28th).