Archive for cheese

Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup

Posted in bread, pumpkin, soup, vegan, vegetables with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2015 by oskila

Today I’ll just post a dish and ignore that I’ve been off the grid since New Years. The local store offered Hokkaido pumpkins – a small pumpkin variety originating in Japan as the name suggests. One somehow followed me home.

1 Hokkaido pumpkin

1 onion

1 carrot

1 pint stock

Dig out the seeds, rinse and prepare for toasting. Chop aforementioned veggies and fry until nice. Add stock and simmer until soft. Blend until purée. Season until awesome (I used garlic, thyme, pink peppercorn and allspice). Eat until satisfied, with toasted seeds sprinkled on top. A dollop of something is probably nice too, as well as bread and cheese.


I hollowed out my pumpkin with a melon baller just for fun and used it as a serving bowl. The sandwich is grilled Camembert on sourdough batarde.

If anything in the post layout is odd it’s because I’m writing this entire post on my phone. A NerdCuisine first I think.

Addendum re Lentil Soup and Umami

Posted in cheese, condiments, lentils, soup, vegan, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2014 by oskila

Yesterday I hurried to get my first post in months done and forgot to include lots of things in the text. Rather than editing the post I decided to do a new one with some explanation and deeper analysis. Before writing the post on lentil soup I had planned to give suggestions about what else to add and elaborate on veggie umami stuff a bit more.

Lentils, even beluga lentils, aren’t that rich in umami stuff themselves, and may need a helping hand. Stock usually gets the task done, but people are often wary of MSG these days (mostly without reason, since it doesn’t cause migraine, ADD or cancer at all, at least not when used sensibly. Read up on ‘Chinese Food Syndrome’ for more fun facts).

My soup didn’t contain lots of tomato, but it’s high in glutamic acid, another umami agent. Especially sizzled tomato paste or ‘sun dried’ tomatoes are handy tools in this aspect. Even a dollop of ketchup in the right place can enhance many a bland dish.

Onions are another useful umami vegetable as long as you let them cook properly to give off maximum flavor. In the soup I used fried onions because it’s a rather odd thing to do, but also because they’re more thoroughly fried than one would ever bother to do at home and packed with flavor, both from natural umami compounds and from maillard reactions associated with frying. The batter also acts as thickening – it’s funny how things work out sometimes.

Mushrooms are also a classic umami ingredient, but the combination with lentils in soup felt a bit out of place.

Ssamjang, Korean chili paste with garlic and soy beans, has been a trusty companion in the kitchen for several years. The umami content is largely due to fermentation, one of the common methods for getting more umami.

Enough about umami. The other thing I forgot to write at the end of the last post was the suggestion of adding a splash of wine, either red or white, to deepen the flavors in general. Those of a less vegan persuasion can add for example grated cheese, a splash of cream or fish sauce, especially if you’ve made a large batch and are having it for lunch for the fifth day in a row…

I’ve had the images for the next post ready for publication since just after Christmas, but other things got in the way. Hopefully that post will be up soon.


Posted in cheese, condiments, italian, mediterranean, pasta, peas, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2014 by oskila



Funny punny title, yes. What it means is that today’s food is pesto made with peas instead of basil. And it’s real easy too.

2 parts green peas (fresh or defrosted)
1 part oil
1 part whatever kind of nuts or seeds you like
1 part grated parmesan cheese or similar.

Mix all the stuff and blend it to desired texture. Adjust thickness with oil and cheese or more peas. I use a hand blender and get it ready in almost no time at all. The pesto in the picture has more cheese and peas instead of nuts since the pine nuts were way too expensive and my wife dislike sunflower seeds and is allergic to most proper nuts. It works beautifully with for example pasta anyway.

Broccoli Soup

Posted in broccoli, potato, soup, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2013 by oskila

Made soup, but forgot to take pictures until it was done and I photographed a showy plating just to have something for the blog. Here’s how it’s done.


Sweat onions, garlic, sliced carrot, diced potatoes and cut up broccoli in a suitable pot.

Add water, stock cube, white peppercorns and for example french herbs.

Simmer until everything’s soft.

Mix with the assistance of a handblender.

Add cream and a dash of vinegar. Adjust seasoning.

Toss in some broccoli bits and bring to a boil, then serve with whatever floats your boat.


Served in what looks like a very designed bowl but is actually a soap dish, with a sprinkle of black pepper and some feta-like cheese.

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