Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Vegetarian Inn

Does anyone remember the Vegetarian Inn in Glenferrie Road Malvern in the 1970s?

Tonight I turned to one of my all time favourite soup recipes, Tomato soup with Tamari, and the memories came flooding back.

The restaurant was run by a French family who cooked a set menu of vegetarian macrobiotic food. The first course was soup with home made flat bread. The main course was a platter of mixed delights, a combination of grainy things, salady things and veggie things. I don't remember if there were sweets. While waiting (often quite a while) for the meal to be served, we listened to Alan Stivell on the stereo and enjoyed a glass or three of wine and beer and the company of good friends.

One night the soup was so delicious that I ventured to ask for the recipe, which was generously given. This is a beautiful soup with a lovely fresh taste, best served of course in a 1970s style pottery bowl. In fond memory of the Vegetarian Inn, here is the recipe.

Tomato soup with Tamari
1 lb tomatoes
1 onion
1 medium zucchini
1 medium potato
2 cloves garlic
Mint, parsley
1 1/2 pints water

Saute chopped onion, mint, zucchini, potato and minced garlic in oil. Add chopped tomatoes and water, simmer one hour.
Put through mouli, add Tamari, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley.

Here is a picture of the soup in preparation.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Antipasto TableThe Antipasto Table by Michele Scicolone

This book was published twenty years ago and in the fashion of its time it's all about the food. There are no glossy photographs (or any illustrations at all, if it comes to that). The recipes speak for themselves.

There are so many new ideas that I'd like to try - Frittata di ceci, Taralli (crisp fennel bread rings), Frittatine di cavolo (miniature omelets with cabbage and leeks). And I am determined to follow the author's insistence that beans must be baked in the oven in the Tuscan way: 'the result is far superior to beans cooked on top of the stove'.

A beautifully written book full of beautiful recipes.

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