Years ago, two of my favorite neighbors hosted a soup party. It was an inspiring affair - big pots of simmering soups and stews, house full of chatty, friendly people. Part of what I liked was the simple premise. The hosts (David & Holly) made a number of soups, guests were asked to arrive with their drink of choice and one thing to share - salad, appetizer, or something sweet. One of the vegetarian soups was a beautiful shade of yellow-orange. It was a light-bodied, curry-spiced coconut broth thickened with cooked red lentils and structured with yellow split peas. When I asked Holly to tell me about it, she mentioned it was based on an Ayurvedic dal recipe in the Esalen Cookbook, a favorite of hers. She happened to have an extra copy of the Esalen book, and sent me home with my belly full, a new cookbook tucked under my arm, and a few suggestions related to the soup. I still make this soup regularly, love it (so much!), and thought it might be fun to revisit it today in video form - enjoy!
Other things worth noting related to this soup - the slivered green onions sauteed in butter or coconut oil. The golden raisins that plump up with curry broth. Back notes of ginger. Depth from a good dollop of tomato paste. It all comes together in one amazing bowl of restorative goodness.
This is one of my favorite cakes of the past ten years. A rustic, incredibly moist, golden-crumbed loaf cake, flecked with rosemary, and dotted throughout with big and small chocolate chunks, it's one of those cakes that is both distinctive and memorable in an understated way, and a breeze to make. We have Kim Boyce to thank for the recipe, and you might remember it from when I originally posted it here after Kim released Good to the Grain back in 2010. I made this beauty over the weekend so that I could send a few thick slices along with Wayne on his flight to Tokyo. :)
The rosemary is the wild card factor here, and it permeates the cake in a subtle but steady way, not at all overpowering. Bonus points for the cake being a breeze to make - ten minutes tops to get it in the oven. Perfect when you're trying to pull things together for a trip.
I made a few minor tweaks to Kim's original recipe, and you can see them integrated into the recipe below - most are stylistic more than anything. And I converted the recipe to weights for some of you. I wanted to bake it in a vintage baton cake pan I found in Portland a few years ago (my $1 pan!), and aside from a slightly longer baking time, that was no problem. I also decided I wanted more chocolate visible on top, and a bit of a sugary top crust.
It's one of those perfect picnic, travel, or lunchbox cakes. I can't believe it has been six years since I originally highlighted it here, but I love that it is still part of my repertoire. Xo Kim & congrats on the much deserved James Beard Award nomination! xx -h