A light supper for a summer’s evening

August 23, 2010

Unfortunately, due to Süleyman’s working hours, we don’t get to eat together in the evenings very often. So, although we’ve been having fabulous breakfasts and hearty salad-filled lunches, yesterday, it was great to have the opportunity to cook something a bit more elaborate for someone.

That someone was my friend Mireille, who brought her delightful little one-year-old son Cebriel over to my flat in the afternoon. The afternoon drifted into the early evening, when I rustled up a light meal for us all.

That morning, I’d realised I had some very soft-looking peaches and apples in the fridge, and decided I needed to do something with them quick, or they’d end up in the bin (a complete anathema to me, as I’m sure you’re well aware).

I am without oven at the moment, so had to cook the fruit on the top of the cooker – and, it struck me, the perfect thing to do with them was to make a compote. The Turkish word for compote is ‘komposto’, which rather sounds like something you throw on your vegetable patch – but luckily, the compote I made was far too good for that!

I simmered the peeled, cored and chopped fruit in a syrup of water, lemon juice and sugar, until the peaches and apples were deliciously falling apart. Then I just left the sweet, slightly tart mixture to cool.

Although the weather isn’t anywhere near as hot and humid as it was when I first arrived, it’s still fairly baking – not weather you’d immediately associate with bowls of steaming soup. But, spotting a full bag of carrots at the bottom of the fridge, I knew that was exactly what I fancied eating yesterday.

And, with perfect serendipity, I found in one of the few cookery books I managed to drag over to Istanbul (Claudia Roden’s A New Book Of Middle Eastern Food, natch) a recipe for Turkish carrot soup, or havuç çorbasi.

After softening the carrots in lots of butter, then simmering in stock until it all turns into a deliciously sweet purée, something rather special is added. After making a basic roux with butter, flour and milk, three egg yolks are added, making it a stunning yellow colour. Then, just before serving the soup, I stirred in the eggy roux, and served.

This incredibly tasty soup manages to be rich and hearty, yet, thanks to the sweetness of the carrots, really quite refreshing for a hot summer’s evening. I’m sure it’s going to be one of my future favourites.

For pudding, we had spoonfuls of chilled compote alongside Turkish yoghurt. Now, I think I’ve talked about this before, but Turkish yoghurt is something else. Even thicker, if it’s possible, than Greek yoghurt, it is perhaps a little more tangy. But the reason is has the edge for me is that it comes with a yummy skin on top. I know that’s something not to everyone’s taste, but, like the skin on rice pudding, you either love it or hate it. And I love it.


5 Responses to “A light supper for a summer’s evening”

  1. jasnieres Says:

    The soup is definitely going on my menu! Also very easy to have as a starter for when friends come for a meal.
    I’m surprised you haven’t heard from Ravenous Ro.
    I’m sure he would approve.

  2. Gabby Says:

    It all looks yummy! Greek yogurt has to be one of my favourite things – we ate loads of it when I lived in Crete, with honey on top! But Turkish yogurt sounds amazing too, especially with that compote! I’m not too keen on skin though, especially on custard…
    I am currently ploughing through some turkish delight and dried figs that one of my students brought me back from Turkey; the delight has pistascio nuts in it and is very moreish. It’s from somewhere called Cappadocia, which looks beautiful – have you been there?

  3. Hi Gabby – haven’t been to Cappadocia, no, but it does look amazing, doesn’t it. Hopefully we’ll go one day. We’re eating yoghurt with lots of honey too, at the moment. Suleyman bought a huge honeycomb from one of our local shops, and it’s absolutely delicious. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s so enormous. You see honeycomb everywhere here – although it seems to be as expensive here as in the UK.

  4. Lene Says:

    Hey sweets. I am going to give those recipes a go… that carrot soup one sounds amazing, better than my carrot and coconut maybe.
    As for your compost… (!) sounds yummy!

  5. Hello lovely Lene.That soup’s definitely a winner – I’ll post the full recipe later. And the komposto would be great with meringue and cream – which is just your kinda pud, yes? xx

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