With winter slowly kicking in here in England, summer is now truly over. This summer was perhaps the least summery one for me. I can count on one hand the number of times I went to the beach and have had to forget about my tan. Swimming and sunbathing were prohibited before the wedding (I tend to burn very easily and turn a lobster-pink colour during my first swims), we spent our honeymoon in a wintery New Zealand, and then headed off to England, where though not too cold then and at the moment, does not even start to compare with my normal idea of summer weather. Though I abhor the sky-high humidity levels in Malta and the sticky weather, I prefer them to wearing tights under skirts and carrying a cardigan round in the middle of August (at times!)
During summer time, I love fresh salads, I love adding fresh fruit to them and drizzling them with herb-infused vinaigrettes and dressings. Nothing beats a well-prepared barbeque washed down with a cold beer under our summer skies. We are lucky enough to be blessed with fresh produce in Malta which makes everything so much more crisper and fresher, and the tastes are second to none.
In winter time nothing beats a hot plate of homemade soup. Though I’m still slowly finding my feet in the kitchen, soups are something I have been doing for quite a while. I love vegetables, I love the colours, the tastes and beautiful end result of adding vegetables together with herbs and spices. Compared to England, the selection of vegetables in Malta is a bit limited and I really love the fact that you find everything in English supermarkets. You find every herb and a hundred types of salad leaves, and all in all it makes it so much easier to follow a recipe. In Malta my soups were limited to normal vegetables soups – mushroom, pumpkin and cauliflower being my favourites. However since I have moved here, I have added a few to my list. A very good soup I have recently discovered is Spicy Parsnip Soup. I had never tried nor tasted a parsnip in my life before trying this one out. It is rather tasteless and is similar to a potato in texture. However the garam masala added to the whole mixture really sets the whole thing off. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone!
Yesterday I decided to try out the Butternut Squash soup, and I have to say without any doubt whatsoever, that it is the best soup I have ever tasted. It came out all creamy and a bit buttery in texture (hence the name, I guess), and adding some roasted pine nuts at the end, just before serving, gave it that extra kick. Try this one out, grill some ciabatta and tell me what you think 🙂