There were plenty of lunches, fika and dinners with friends and family when I was back home in Sweden for Christmas and one day I got to try the fairly new Korean restaurant Namu for lunch with my friend Helena and her baby.
It was still pretty quiet in town this third day of the year but an early quiet lunch was perfect with a baby present.
The lunch menu at Namu was short but nice and consisted of three dishes; bibimbap with either beef bulgogi or tofu or a Korean wok. We both decided on the first option and very much enjoyed it!
I had mine without kimchi and kale as my stomach can’t handle it, but it was still really nice. The creamy 63 degree egg made it feel rather luxurious for a weekday lunch and the flavour of the bulgogi was spot on. We also got a bowl of soup on arrival and coffee or tea is complementary for lunch. Can’t wait to try their dinner menu next time I’m in Malmö.
Namu, Landbygatan 5, 211 34 Malmö, Sweden
This simple and very comforting dish (funny how foods not involving melted cheese can be comforting, but they can!) I found in Vogue of all places, i.e. not where I usually get my food inspiration from, but it’s nice they write about food as well as fashion.
The only slightly daunting part of this meal is poaching eggs, but if you have the freshest of eggs and a slotted spoon you’re halfway there. Further instructions here.
Udon noodles with spinach and poached egg, serves 1
1 portion udon noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the packet
2 handfuls fresh spinach
200-300 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 poached egg
Heat up the stock. Blanch the spinach in boiling water and squeeze it dry. Pour the stock into a bowl. Add noodles and spinach and lastly the poached egg. Sprinkle with chilli flakes or Aleppo pepper.
This, dear fellow foodies, is old-fashioned Swedish peasant food. In a good way. Perfect for this cold time of year this soup is warming and nourishing and so are the pork quenelles, which are basically meatballs cooked in stock instead of pan-fried.
Please note that the quenelles takes longer to make than the soup, so do start with these. If you think the quenelles are strange or you don’t eat meat, garnish your soup with medium-boiled eggs instead. Cut them in half and put them in the soup – it’s also delicious and another common way to eat the soup.
Kale soup, serves 4
Adapted from Hannu Sarenström’s recipe in the book Vinterkalas.
ca 375 g chopped fresh kale
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
100 ml cream
salt, black pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the flour and add the stock little by little while stirring. Add the kale and let simmer for 10 minutes. Mix with a stick blender and add the cream. Bring to the boil and season to taste.
Pork quenelles, serves 4-6
500 g pork mince
100 ml breadcrumbs
1-2 tbsp water
salt, white pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1,5 litre chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
Break the egg into a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs. Add salt (more than you think) and white pepper. Let the mixture swell for a few minutes. If the mixture is thick add 1-2 tbsp water to loosen it. Stir in the chopped onions and the mince. Mix well and roll the mince into 2 cm thick balls. Rinse your hands in between rolling to make it easier.
Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and let it simmer. Add the quenelles and let them simmer for approx 15 minutes (check with a knife that they’re cooked through, i.e. not pink in the middle). Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the soup bowls. Fill up with kale soup and serve.
With the big freeze hitting London, all I want to eat it food that warms you through. This soup is definitely warming, filling and of course – tasty.
The slight ‘exotic’ combination of sweet potato and lemongrass really works and it is a nice alternative for a mid-week meal.
The vegetable puré itself is velvety and thick enough without the addition of dairy product, however I think a dollop of creme fraiche while serving adds another flavour, and it cuts through the lemongrass nicely.
(To make this vegan, use vegetable stock and omit the creme fraiche.)
Sweet potato and lemongrass soup, serves 2
2 sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
400 ml chicken or vegetable stock
salt, black pepper
To serve: a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of olive oil
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into even-sized pieces. Cut the lemongrass in half lengthways and then across so you have four pieces. Heat up the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the lemongrass and sweet potato and stir for a few minutes to enhance the flavours. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Then cook with the lid halfway on for about 15 minuter or until the vegetables are soft. Remove the two thickest pieces of lemongrass then puré the everything into a thick soup consistency. Add more stock or hot water until it has the thickness you want. Bring to the boil again and season. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of a flavoursome oil.
The soup season will soon give way for the salad season, but before it is completely over I would like to serve you this delicious soup.
It is a pretty straightforward cream of corn soup, but topped with lovely crispy chorizo, grated cheddar and salad onions. It is the ultimate soup topping for this particular soup and for some reason I picture a cowboy making this in his battered metal saucepan over an open fire. I don’t know why this image pops up but it might have to do with the slight texmex-vibe the combination gives off. To make this connection even more visible, try serving it with tortilla wedges fried crispy in butter. Delicious!
Cream of corn soup topped with crispy chorizo, grated cheddar and spring onions, serves 2
1 can (400 g) tinne sweet corn
200 ml water
1 tsp concentrated vegetable stock
75 ml cream
salt, white pepper
a dash of sherry vinegar
1/4 chorizo, roughly chopped up
2 salad onions, chopped
2 tbsp grated cheddar
1 wheat tortilla, cut into six triangles/wedges
1 tbsp butter for frying
Rinse the sweetcorn and drain. Place in a saucepan and add the water and stock. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Fry the tortilla pieces golden brown in the butter. Drain on kitchen towel. Fry the chorizo pieces in the same frying pan. Drain on separate kitchen towel.
Mix the corn with the water until smooth. Pour it back into the pan. Add the cream and vinegar. Bring to the boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into bowls and top with grated cheese, chorizo and spring onions. Serve with the fried bread.
I like to eat soup at least once a week when it is cold outside, but mostly I stick to smooth soups, but it is about time I venture into different soups as well.
This chicken soup is perfect to use up leftover chicken and very tasty, warming and filling. I added some sambal oelek for heat and flavour, and although I made this with homemade chicken stock it works just as well with a stock cube or concentrate.
Chicken soup with beans and mushrooms, serves 3
2 celery sticks
1 tbsp mild olive oil
500 ml chicken stock, homemade if possible
400 g tinned plum tomatoes or tomato chunks
400 g tinned borlotti beans
2 tsp sambal oelek
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp cream
1 tbsp maizena
7 sliced, fried button mushrooms
1/4 chicken, cooked and the meat shredded
salt, white pepper
To serve: grated parmesan
Peel the carot, rince the celery and peel the onion. Place it all into a food processor and mix. Heat up the olive oil in a 3 litre sacue pan. Add the minced vegetables and fry for a minute or so. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Stir occassionally. Rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Bring to the boil again and cook for a few minutes. Add sambal oelek and garlic, then cream and maizena. Then add the fried mushrooms and the chicken meat. Let it all heat up. Serve with grated parmesan.
This soup is not Scandinavian at all, but something I have embraced in my new country. The combination of sweet broccoli and tangy stilton is lovely and makes this soup both filling and comforting (no wonder considering the amout of cheese…)
Although containing a lot of cheese, there is just a hint of Stilton in the flavour, and that is exactly how I like it, and this way you can serve it to non-Stilton lovers too.
Broccoli and Stilton soup, serves 4
750 g broccoli, including the stem, cut in small pieces
600-700 ml homemade chicken stock, hot
50 ml water
150 ml single cream
75 g Stilton
salt, white pepper
Cook the broccoli until very soft in salted water. Drain. Add the stock and blend until smooth. Add water and cream and bring to the boil. Add the cheese (crumbled) and let it melt while stirring. Season with salt and pepper.