Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Asparagus Soup...never ending season!!

Asparagus  Soupbecause the soup season is a never ending one here J and because they tell me that this is the best time to have British Asparagusafter our fill of grilled, steamed, roasted all of May we have now shifted to souptastes great whether served hot or cold.

Asparagus  Soup mmskitchenbites

Asparagus Soup


  • Asparagus, 300 gms/14-15 stalks
  • Onion, chopped, 1 small
  • Fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Flour, 1 scant tbsp (using flour is optional but it gives a nice body to the soup)
  • Butter, 1 tbsp
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Option 1:

(This is the one you see in the picture)
  • Milk, 1 cup/250 ml
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock, 1 cup/250 ml

Option 2:

  • Milk, 2 cups/500 ml

Option 3:

  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock, 2 cups/500 ml

To drizzle on top:

  • If serving cold, lemon juice
  • If serving hot, extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the asparagus: reserve the tips, discard the woody tough fibrous ends and roughly chop the stalks. 

Heat the butter and oil until foaming in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Fry the asparagus tips for a couple of minutes to soften. Remove and keep aside.

Add the onions and garlic to the same pot and fry for 2-3 minutes till they just begin to soften without changing color.

Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir for a couple of minutes ensuring that the flour doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Whisk in the milk slowly. Add in the chopped asparagus, stock, salt and pepper.

Leave to simmer for about 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until the asparagus is very tender and cooked through.

Cool slightly and then blend the soup either using an immersion blender or a food processor till smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

If the soup is too thick, add a little hot water to loosen it up.

If you have used milk, don’t let the soup come to a boil while reheating.

Garnish with asparagus tips and serve hot or cold.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken...lazy weekends!!

Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken...for busy weekends and lazy weekdays...a recipe which is full of flavour and zero on the effortand a dish which looks prettier uncooked in my kitchen (read:hands!!) JI am not a fan of readymade spice mixes but this is one of those pantry staplesrecipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken mmskitchenbites

Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken


  • Chicken, I used bone in thighs with skin on, 5 (around 150 grams each)
  • Garlic, 1 whole pod, separated but left unpeeled
  • Za’atar Spice Mix, 2 tbsp (a middle Eastern spice mix available at all major supermarkets.Typically a mix of Sumac, toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, dried marjoram and salt.) 
  • Lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • Lemon zest, from 1 large lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Red Chili flakes, to taste (optional, I used about ¼ tsp)
  • Olive Oil, 2 tbsp


Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, pepper and red chili flakes in a large flat oven roasting dish. (I marinate in the same dish that I would be baking in later)

Pat dry the chicken and pierce the chicken pieces a few times with a pairing knife or a fork (when using chicken with skin, I do this on the underside of the thighs so that skin remains intact.)

Add the chicken to the roasting dish and rub the spice mix all over the chicken pieces. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight. (I have grilled immediately, baked immediately as well and in this instance marinated it for an hour– works well whichever way!)

When ready to cook, get the chicken back to room temperate and sprinkle salt all over the chicken (if making immediately, add the salt in the rub mix)

Spread the garlic cloves all around the dish.

Bake skin side up in a preheated oven at 210C for 45 to 50 minutes.

Serve with simple salad (citrus or mustard dressing), crusty bread or couscous.

Nigella's Za’atar and Lemon Roast Chicken mmskitchenbites