Have I ever mentioned how much I love Lottie + Doof? Yeah. I have.
This soup, as Tim admits too, is prone to suspicious looks: Hot yoghurt? Barley? Especially during this time of Super Healthy Eating after the Christmas gluttony. But Tim trusts this recipe, and I trust Tim.
The soup worked for me: it was filling and textural while being fresh and light too.
The potatoes use my own improvisation on Indigo restaurant's parsley butter, and the bases became crunchy like Belgian frites...
Another blog I love is Chocolate & Zucchini, a Paris-based blog about life, food, and just intriguing stuff in general. Clotilde wrote a funny French post on the tedious, mundane chore of peeling onions, but it was followed by a post on 'Oignons Rotis'- roasted onions.
I love onions... not raw, like the usual Indian food side-dish (yuck), but in any other form.
The result of this recipe is onions that have gently opened, caramelised, softened, sweetened slightly and with a crispy skin that complements the mild inside perfectly.
This meal maybe isn't for picky eaters... it's different... but that's what I loved about it.
Speaking of onions, Valentine's day is coming up.
Yeah, you read it correctly.
Isn't that just beautiful?
Duffy has managed to capture one of the most quotidian objects, and reveal its inner romanticism.
The best part is, she hasn't made it up- it's all true. You don't realise, when you're chopping an onion (which happens for almost any dish), how much more of a valentine it is than a 'red rose or a satin heart'.
She has touched upon the way it'll make you cry, how it glows underneath the brown wrapping paper, its myriad layers, its strong and lingering flavour and scent.
On other levels, it really teaches you to understand the concept of 'It's the thought that counts'.
With such depth of emotion a simple onion becomes a stunning gift, and that's applicable to anything. I absolutely love it.
So this week, enjoy something understated, under-appreciated; be it a person, a food, an object, some time or a place. You'll be surprised.
Hot Yoghurt & Barley Soup
From Lottie + Doof
While the barley is cooking, saute the onion and dried mint over medium in the butter until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the onions and butter to the barley and water.
In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the yogurt and eggs. Slowly mix in some of the barley and water, one ladle at a time, until the yogurt has warmed. This will temper the mixture so it doesn’t separate/curdle. Add the warmed yogurt to the rest of the barley and water and return to medium heat, stirring constantly, until the soup comes to a light simmer. Do not boil! Remove from heat and stir in the herbs and green onions. Check the seasoning, you’ll need to add salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with extra herbs or green onions, if you like.
From Chocolate & Zucchini
Note: I just used 4 regular red onions, so don't fuss if you don't have the specifics.
- 500 grams (1.1 pounds) small organic onions, such as pearl or pickling onions*, unpeeled
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Wash the onions and remove just the outer layer of skin if it is blemished or pulling away. Slice the onions crosswise (= along the Equator if the onion were the Earth) and cut off a thin slice at both ends -- the root end and the stem end -- so each half will have a stable base to sit on.
Arrange the onion halves on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and insert in the oven. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the onions, until caramelized on top and cooked through (you can test for tenderness with the tip of a knife).
Sprinkle with pepper and serve immediately, with or without the skin. The onion flesh will lift easily, satisfyingly, out of the skin.
* If you only have large onions, you can cut them in slices, about 2-3 cm (1 inch) in thickness.
Parsley Butter Roasted Baby Potatoes
Adjust the quantities based on how much you want-- there are no rules.
Baby potatoes, washed
Fresh parsley, washed
Put the potatoes on to boil. They're ready when a fork slides gently in and out of them.
Cut an X in each potato once they've cooled.
Finely chop the parsley and mix it into the butter with a spatula.
Spread a dollop onto each potato, and tuck some inside if possible.
Bake them in a non-stick oven tray for about 30-35 minutes