My mind is filled with thoughts of a small black spaniel. It’s only three more sleeps until I head up to Tain, pop him in my car and take him home with me for ever and ever. His bed is waiting, his toys are bought, he has his own towels and I’ve even cooked and frozen some small bags of mince to add to his dog food dinners. All I have to do now is decide on a name.
Being a year old, he obviously already has a name but he doesn’t really respond to it. My dog psychologist friend, Lina tells me changing his name will be absolutely fine and so I’ve been mulling over options. D is not being helpful about this, continually suggesting names such as Biter and Humper, and so I’d like to know what you guys think of my short list. Which name out of the following do you like best:
1. Marco – This is his current name. Could just keep it. It’s Italian and it’s fun.
2. Hamish – Scottish. Cheesy. Cheery.
3. Douglas – Scottish. Also cheery but with an earnest edge, I think.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Now, on to food. Let me share with you a recipe for an absolutely spectacular soup. Based heavily on a recipe from the amazing Leith’s Vegetarian Bible, this is a meal I am already looking forward to eating again and again and again. I served the soup with home-made hummus and crispy baked pita breads. Dinner this evening felt like a real event.
Lemon Bulgar Soup
1 tblspn olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
0.5 tspn turmeric
1 tspn cumin
1 stalk of lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed then finely chopped
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
0.25 tspn dried chilli flakes
1 litre vegetable stock
75g bulgar wheat
Coriander leaves to serve
- Gently fry the onion and fennel in the oil until softened.
- Add the spices, garlic and lemongrass and cook for another minute.
- Add the lemon zest, juice, chilli and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 mins.
- Add the bulgar and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve sprinkled with coriander leaves.
To make the pita bread chips, simply half a bread and cut into quarters so you have 8 thin pieces. Brush lightly with oil and lightly dust with paprika. Cook in a 180oC oven for 10 mins until crispy.