Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"River Cottage Veg Everyday" - Soup, Aubergines, Radishes & A Nomination for a James Beard Award


For today´s recipes in my River Cottage Veg Everyday series, I chose the "Creamy mushroom soup", a rich, earthy flavored soup, “Roasted aubergine boats”, that I served with thick Greek yogurt and a wild garlic pesto, and “Radishes with butter and salt” a colorful, springtime appetizer. All these wonderful dishes are part of my sixteenth post in my series.




Let me take the opportunity to mention that River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been nominated for a James Beard Award! The awards cover all aspects of the industry and are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals. River Cottage Veg Everyday has been nominated for the Vegetarian category called “Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian”. In 2012, the book was already chosen as winner of Best Cookbook at the Observer Food Monthly Awards.




The awards are presented each spring at the Lincoln Center and past winners of the James Beard Awards include Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi. Read more about the award and the full shortlist here.




River Cottage Veg Everyday is divided into twelve manageable chapters, with the following short and clear titles: Comfort food & feasts, Hearty salads, Raw assemblies, Hefty soups, Bready things, Store-cupboard suppers, Pasta & rice, Mezze & tapas, Roast, grill & barbecue, Side dishes, Store cupboard, and Veg on the go. The chapters are therefore divided by method of preparation rather than by season, ingredient or, course.




The book includes over 200 recipes, such as Chard and new potato curry, Rocket, fennel and puy lentil salad, Beetroot with walnuts and cumin, Cucumber and lettuce vichyssoise, Magic bread dough, Caponata, and Spiced spinach and potatoes.




All recipes can be easily prepared as the recipes are precise and clear and never longer than a page. For each dish there is a recipe page with a short introduction and then there is always also a picture page.  Personally, I enjoy looking at the picture while reading through the recipe, the pictures are meant as guides and looking at them gives me a better feel for a recipe and thereby speeds up the preparation process as I do not have to figure out how a finished dish might look like.




It is quite possible to use the book as a reference book while putting together a shopping list, I always find a vegetable side dish or main dish that I want to try, as the book is full of new and fresh ideas on how to prepare vegetables in new ways as well as in updated traditional ways.




The ingredients that are required for the various dishes can easily be found at the greengrocers, farmers´ markets and in stores around here. When choosing a recipe, I always make sure to stay true to my personal credo of “cooking as seasonal as possible and with as many regionally available products as possible”, that way, finding the vegetables and herbs that I need for a dish, has always been rather hassle-free.




Let´s not forget that the recipes that I have prepared so far, have all proven to be rather “family-friendly”. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might have noticed that I do not have a shortage of taste testers at home, the youngest being five years old. While some recipes meet with a bit more enthusiasm than others, they have all been received rather well. I consider this aspect to be another big advantage of this book – the reality of life is that I cook for a family and I am as quite pleased when I have a cookbook such as this one with lots of healthy and delicious recipes that will appeal to adults as well as children.




“Call me power-crazed, but I`m trying to change your life here. The object of the exercise is, unambiguously, to persuade you to eat more vegetables. Many more vegetables. Perhaps even to make veg the mainstay of your daily cooking. And therefore, by implication, to eat less meat, maybe a lot less meat, and maybe a bit less fish too. Why? We need to eat more vegetables and less flesh, because vegetables are the foods that do us the most good, and our planet the least harm.” (Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall)




So, of course, I am keeping my fingers crossed for that well-deserved award but no matter whether this book will win in its category or not, it is one of my personal favorite, everyday, go-to, family-friendly vegetable cookbooks these days. And I will continue my series on the recipes and cook my way through the book. Anyone out there care to join me in my quest – that would be quite nice!

If you own the English edition of this vegetable cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, called "River Cottage Veg Everyday", you will find the recipe for the “Creamy mushroom soup” on page 152  in the chapter on “Hefty soups”. The recipe for “Roasted aubergine boats” can be found on page 344 in the chapter on "Roast, grill & barbecue" and the recipe for “Radishes with butter and salt” on page 102 in the chapter on “Raw assemblies”.

28 comments:

  1. Andrea, this soup looks amazing, only you could make a mushrooms soup look this pretty. I love all your photos, I've just been staring at them, so lovely!

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  2. Sounds like a great book to have, I too love cookbooks with lots of pictures, better yet with step by step photos! All your photos are cookbook perfect!

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    1. Jeannie, thank you very much - cookbooks with illustartions are quite helpful when doing that good old everyday cooking.

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  3. What a beautiful post. Everything looks so wonderful. You have done a lovely job with this project.

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    1. Dear Adri, I take that as a huge compliment coming from you because I always enjoy your posts about all those cookbooks.

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  4. Another wonderfully written post, Andrea. I was pleased to see this book put up for an award. If this book wins, then it will be a Winner (you) cooking a Winner (the book). I know, I know, we Americans think we're clever and funny and so often we are not! At any rate, as I have now am up and running with my newly-designed blog and have my life put together as best I can, I would like to start cooking this book in May. Do you want me to cook catch-up, cook with you, choose my own, what? Let me know. Thank you for another beautiful Andrea-Post.

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    1. Mary, the month of May sounds good - we shall get started then. Give me a few days to ponder how we should go about this project. I am all for cooking seasonally (but you knew that already) so a cooking plan according to what´s available in the US as well as in the EU sounds like a good start to me. And, yes, I do think you are quite funny! And by that I mean you have a fantastic sense of humor! I love that!

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  5. Andrea, you mushroom soup looks so delicate and elegant...love the pictures...everything looks so pretty...
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :D

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    1. Juliana, thank you very much - glad to learn that you like the "look" of the soup and the other pictures.

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  6. This is such a great cookbook, one of my favorites. Your soup looks amazing!

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    1. Cheri, how nice to learn that you own this cookbook as well - maybe you are a candidate for joining our cookbook group then - we will get started in May. Please let me know if you are interested!

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    2. Hi Andrea, I am interested, just let me know how and when. Thanks!

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  7. Mushroom soup looks wonderful! I concede everything you have said about eating more vegetables…. Looks like this book is perfect for my family being a vegetarian. I will definitely buy a copy of this book. As you have mentioned, I too prefer to have cookery books which has pictures included with the recipes.. Thanks for sharing such useful and great information.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, this just happens to be one of my very favorite vegetable cookbooks - we love the ease of the preparation the concise descriptions and the way the food tastes, of course!

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    2. I did purchase the book and recipes look wonderful! Can't wait to try them out :)

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  8. Oh ,sollte ich mich entscheidet müssen , ich wüßte nicht für welches Rezept, sie schauen alle so verführerisch aus!
    Perfekt für den Frühlingsanfang, gesund und leicht.
    Liebe Grüße
    Daniela

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    1. Liebe Daniela, herzlichen Dank - ich habe mal drei Rezepte aus dem Buch vorgestellt, damit ich mal ein bißchen weiter komme mit meiner Serie - waren alle drei lecker!

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  9. This is a wonderful book, Andrea - and, although I don't think it will turn me into a vegetarian, it does have me eating more vegetable-based meals, which we love! Thank you so much for bringing it to my life! ~ David

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    1. David, lieben Dank! Now if I could only convince you to cook along with us - no need to turn into a vegetarian - the recipes are mostly side dishes or appetizers or can be used as such. Think about it, it will be fun, I promise!

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  10. I've been wanting to get this book and seeing all the wonderful things coming out from it, I think I'll have to look into getting it soon. Andrea, everything looks amazing. My eldest is a vegetarian so I try and cook a lot of vegetable based dishes. Sometimes creativity gets a bit fuzzy. This book would be wonderful. Your photos are great too. Have a great weekend my dear friend!

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    1. Nazneen, do please get the book and cook along with us - we will be starting the group in the month of May and I would really like to have you join us!

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  11. What lovely looking food. I don't own any River Cottage books, but I read Hugh FW's column in The Guardian.

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    1. Gaye, thank you very much - isn´t this lovely fare?! We crave these dishes especially in springtime and the book is quite inspiring!

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  12. Your beautiful photos alone should have everyone eating more vegetables. I'm been having trouble commenting on both blogspot and blogger lately but hopefully it is fixed…at least for a little while.

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    1. Karen, thank you for your comments and your repeated attempts to leave comments - for some reason, that always seem to happen to you, sorry about that!

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  13. Your photos make me drool! Everyone needs more veggies in their life, and this is a great project to remind us of the multiple ways to use them.

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    1. Christy, absolutely - veg rule - it is so nice that you will join us for the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook project!

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