Monday, 6 April 2015

Holiday Kitchen Part One: Pear, Blackberry and Walnut Soup

I'm not one for big, heavy breakfasts, and, for me, it is essential that breakfast includes fruit in high percentage. This isn't because I am a puritan, but rather because I can't stomach large portions of rich food at that time of day. My daily breakfast, of which I never seem to grow tired, is a bowl of yoghurt topped, always, with grapes, sometimes with the added extras of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. This is followed by a packet of Belvita breakfast biscuits and accompanied by a mug of nettle tea. How dull it sounds, to constantly have the same breakfast when one is so deliberately adventurous when it comes to dinner!

This long weekend, my parents in law had our boys from Thursday evening through to Sunday morning, so I decided to make us a special, fruit included, breakfast. It's something I've had my eye on since I bought (one of my new favourite cookbooks) River Cottage Light and Easy. The River Cottage cookbooks are, quite simply, fantastic, and certainly facilitate adventurousness (is that even a word?) and you'll see a lot more recipes from them here. This recipe is Pear, Blackberry and Walnut Soup. I suppose some would argue that it is just a smoothie, but I think soup is the perfect description.

There are five simple ingredients; pear, frozen blackberries, juice of half a lemon, honey and walnuts. I think this photo really represents how fresh this soup is.

I'm not sure how it works with posting details of recipes from books on one's blog; it's something I need to look into. So, without steppeng on Hugh F-W (the author and owner of River Cottage)'s toes, I will simply say that you throw it all in a blender, minus the pear skin and core...

...ignoring the strange apprension you may feel about putting walnuts in your blender...

...and serve it up in a couple of pretty bowls, preferably with some pink element to the patterning, on a pink tablecloth (I hope you appreciate the irony here!) topped with a couple of pieces of walnut.

Obviously mine had to be accompanied by a mug of nettle tea, and was followed, unimaginatively, by a packet of Belvita breakfast biscuits, but you don't need to know that!

If anybody who eats this dish doesn't end up with this...

...I would be astonished.

This is a delicious, refreshing and definitely unusual recipe. Super simple yet slightly challenging to the tastebuds in the combination of flavours and the use of blended walnuts. The texture is unusual, not only because of the small chips of walnut, but also because of the blackberry seeds. It does take a few mouthfuls to get used to both the taste and the texture, but this makes the experience even better: rather than just eating a flavour to which you are accustomed, you have to consider the flavour and texture in your mouth, and you will definitely come away with a positive experience.

Holiday Kitchen Part Two will also feature a recipe from this book, which I've adapted very slightly (very slightly!) to make it a little more substantial. I hope you come back to check it out and thank you so much for reading.

xxx Sam

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