I’m back again to talk to you about the Glorious Soups we have been enjoying lately. It has been a long month of awful colds and viruses at our house. The weather was dismal and damp..it was depressing. If there had been the option to jump on a plane and be whisked away to somewhere hot and exciting I would have jumped at it..while sneezing and supping on honey and lemon of course. It has been a while since I went on a real adventure to another country, I miss it. The excitement of smelling new ingredients cooking away while sat in a restaurant or at a roadside stall waiting for a meal is one of my favourite parts of any trip.
What I love about Glorious Soups is how they are always based on traditional meals and flavour combinations from different countries around the world. Food can be wonderful in helping you to transport yourself away from your everyday life and the soups are so much more enjoyable than a soggy sandwich from the work canteen! Before I tell you about the soups I have enjoyed this month I want to share some more of my food adventures with you:
On a trip to The Gambia in 2009 we stayed within a village rather than in the tourist area. This meant we were lucky to be able to experience many local dishes using ingredients we had never tried or just in ways we had never thought to combine them. Three food experiences from our stay have stuck with me over the years.
The first was a peanut based stew called Domodah. We were staying at a lodge owned by the charity we were working with and they employed local staff to cook for all of the volunteers. The chef who we all loved was called Ensa and his assistant was Musa, Ensa loved to cook and it really showed in the end results. They weren’t always able to get the ingredients which we would find so easily accessible here but everything we ate was a delight to the senses.
Domodah is an incredible dish, typically using squash and aubergine as well as beef or chicken has a thick peanut sauce. We ate it twice on our stay and we all went back for seconds, the week after we returned home I made my own version and have since made it a few times – its delicious and always reminds me of that special adventure.
The second was a meal we shared with a group of villagers and its not so much about the food but the experience of eating it. Each day we were served three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner and there weren’t any snack options other than mangoes ( which were so juicy – it ruined shop bought ones for me ) so we always made sure we filled up at each meal as the work we did was physical and we needed the energy. After enjoying a substantial lunch we began to get ready to return to the school we were painting but as we did one of the villagers came to explain that the women of the village were making a communal meal and firstly wanted my help and secondly wanted us to share it. I had a lot of fun helping to mince fish using a really old mincer ( it was a bit of smelly job) and helping to grind spices and prepare the rice dish to accompany the fish balls. Within about 30 minutes the food was ready and we took our places on the floor in a circle around serving dishes and were encouraged to use our hands to roll the food into ( slightly messy ) balls to eat. I was so full and actually not much of a fish eater but after seeing the pride and work that had gone into the meal – around 15 of us made it – I dug in and it was an experience I won’t forget.
Lastly one night we ventured away from the lodge and were taken to a small beach restaurant, more like a shack with open sides with the kitchen of the restaurant being quite a distance from the actual dining area . There was an unexpected nearly 2 hour wait for food – they had opened the restaurant just for us – so about halfway through our wait we went for a walk and found a dead shark on the beach! A little startling as we had been in the water earlier that day. When we got back food was ready to be served ( at that point we didn’t know what it would be – I was hoping for anything but fish ) and it was Gambian Ladyfish with a potato side and one of the vibrant salads we had become used to. Its important on holidays or even just in day to day life to just try things you wouldn’t normally. If I go to a restaurant I would never normally choose fish yet this meal was delicious, incredibly fresh and it really encouraged me to start being more adventurous with what I eat.
All this reminiscing has made me really want to book a trip! For now I am satisfying my exotic food urges by trying out new Glorious soups each month. I am still on the Skinnylicious path and loving this range of soups, whilst I yet again think the New England Butternut squash is hard to beat I am loving the Goan Tomato & Lentil – I tend to split the pot into two and have it for two days lunch in work with some flatbreads. Its packed with flavour, really makes me feel like I have eaten a meal and keeps me going until my main meal later that day. As part of the Skinnylicious range it of course has less than 150cals per pot and this one has just 1.3% fat and is gluten free and vegetarian too.
At home I have LOVED the new Texas Four Bean Chilli..I serve it with a little pot of grated cheese and some pitta or other type of bread for dunking. It is so satisfying with just enough of a chilli kick and with the addition of the cheese it tastes pretty indulgent too. The four beans are haricot, red kidney, black eyed and black turtle beans with Texan spices like Ancho chilli. This is also Vegetarian, Dairy and Gluten Free.
Isn’t it funny how experiences from our travels can shape us? Trips such as the one above made me try new foods, to add more spice and just accept that if I didn’t enjoy it at least I had tried. Can you believe that up until the age of 25 I didn’t like olives..or blue cheese or anything hot such as jalapeños?? Now I am liberal with the fresh chilli and pickled jalapeños , blue cheese and brie are my favourites and ahh olives… I wonder if I would have become a food blogger if I had stayed a fussy eater? I doubt it. Now I will try anything and whilst I still wouldn’t opt for sushi I have added a whole list of foods to my love list!
Check in next month to see what Glorious Soups I am recommending!
- I am a blogger ambassador for Glorious and receive vouchers and am compensated for my time.