Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stilton and Lentil Soup with Goat Meat Pastilla

I had broth left over from a chicken we'd cooked the other day. When combined with a cold day, this broth becomes an inviting opportunity to make a delicious warming soup. So I cooked up an onion and some bacon strips. Added a mased garlic clove. Poured in the gelatinised chicken broth with it's beautiful little layer of fat (both marks of a good leftover broth). Spooned in two tablespoons of pesto. Dropped in two cups of cauliflower chunks, a large lump of stilton cheese, a quarter cup of red lentils and let the whole thing simmer away till the lentils were cooked and the soup looked delicious. I love adding a strong cheese such as stilton or blue in a soup because it's flavour gives the whole thing a bit of umph. It doesn't scream out at you but you know that its there. Season and enjoy.

Another treat for that night's supper was pastilla, a small prepared dish we bought at the farmer's market from the Belgian cheese lady and her son who have their kiosk by the French meat man's kiosk. This pastilla, she informed us, was of North African origine and made with goat meat which is slowly cooked overnight. She wanted to expose people to the potential deliciousness of goat meat (she makes the best fresh goat's cheese). And oh was it ever delicious! In true North African style, the dish was both sweet and savoury without seeming overly bizarre. The whole was wrapped in phyllo dough, cooked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. Simply delicious.

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