Carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses

in Savoury, Taste -

Warming, spicy and subtly sweet, this carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses  is perfect for these first chilly fall days (and nights).

I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m quite certain that my mom’s favourite fall and winter dish to make and serve is soup. Hers have always been and still are always seasonal, colourful and filled with flavours; layers of flavours, which would linger on the tongue and stay with you long after the meal was finished. Some were chunky: with soft root vegetables and maybe chunks of fish or veal, in perfect proportion with the aromatic broth made with simple seasoning and fresh herbs. Others, velvety smooth, usually finished off with lots of freshly ground black pepper and possibly a trickle of the best, fruitiest olive oil. They were served hot, alongside torn thick dark bread and oftentimes, black wrinkled olives and crumbly feta cheese- two usual staples in the family table.

Carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses

Carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses

Carrot soup is one of her- and my- favourites; she makes different variations, depending on what’s available in our balcony and Friday’s farmers market. I have followed suit here (as with most kitchen and cooking matters) and every fall and winter, there’s always a number of versions I play with. From this spicy one with turmeric and cayenne, to this chunky chorizo and chickpea wonder–  as long as there’s carrot, it’s most probably a soup I’d make and eat very very happily.

This one starts pretty straightforwardly, with crunchy carrots roasted with cumin, celery seeds, coriander, paprika and chilli flakes; sliced thickly, they are then tossed with dark magenta onions, garlic and more spices and cooked slowly on low heat until tender. After being whizzed into a smooth puree, comes the real party: a good, generous drizzle of acidic, delicious buttermilk and a couple drops of sweet, addictive petimezi (grape molasses). The latter is one of my favourite flavours – it brings me back to family summers in Greece and playing hide and seek under and by the vines. But that’s a whole other story, regardless of which your should definitely give it a try. I buy mine at Oliveology and, like all their products, it is exceptionally good; it adds depth and a very subtle smokiness to a number of dishes and little bites and is just perfect here, alongside the sourness of the buttermilk and the earthy, spiced carrot flesh.

Carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses

Carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses


500 gr carrots

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium red onions, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, thinly slices

3- 3 1/2 cups water

sea salt to taste

to serve:

fresh coriander, roughly chopped

about 4 tablespoons grape molasses (petimezi)

1/2 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC (130ºC FAN); place the carrots on a baking tray, sprinkle with half the spices and roast for about 15′, until just browned.
  2. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Warm the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat; add the onions and cook for about 7′, until soft and golden. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another 3′. Add the carrots, toss well to combine and top with the water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the carrots are soft, about 15′. Season to taste and remove from the heat. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth and divide into bowls.
  4. Top the bowls with fresh the fresh coriander, a good drizzle of buttermilk and a touch of molasses.
  5. Serve with additional buttermilk and molasses on the side and fat chunks of warm sourdough.





Apple, blackberry & cinnamon jam

in Breakfast, Desserts, Taste -

This apple, blackberry & cinnamon jam is thick, as sweet as it should and has made me fall in love with apples all over again! 

Apple, blackberry & cinnamon jam

Ever since I moved to London, every autumn, without fail, I find my self in awe of all the apple varieties available: there’s small, sour ones, with light pink and green flesh; and bigger ones, very sweet and very pink; shinny green apples, crunchy and juicy, perfectly sour and refreshing; and then others, large and brownish, with a subtle sweetness which reminds me of pears. One is truly spoilt for choice and one is hopelessly enamoured every year, all over again.

I buy large quantities and I slice and sometimes peel and eat at least one a day; I freeze for smoothies and grate for spicy oatmeal; they’re added in cakes and pies, often alongside juicy, blushing pears, or eaten hungrily, on the spot, with just a drizzle of tahini and another of honey. They’re set aside to be used in warming stews, with sprigs of rosemary or tarragon and sweet potatoes, or even added to buttery mash for a touch of sweetness. Autumn is for apples, every year, and every year I am without fail hell-bent on celebrating apples as I should: often, repeatedly, enthusiastically, hungrily. [READ MORE]

Ginger, lime & toasted nut quinoa

in Savoury, Small bites, Taste -

Of all the speedy dishes my sister’s whipped together, this ginger, lime & toasted nut quinoa is packed with flavour and probably my favourite. Ever. 

Ginger, lime & toasted nut quinoa  

After having lived in different countries for almost seven years, I’ve found myself reconnected with my literal other half again. Alkyoni is back in the UK and her coming here has brought with it all the joy, frustration and memories that I’m sure close siblings share everywhere, always. It’s been a very long time since we’ve lived together, yet being in the same house for about two weeks felt like not even a day had passed; and it also felt like a lot of timed had passed, like we were both the same yet also very different.  I’ve always loved being on my own, despite being very very fortunate with my partners and friends. But I’ve realised a while back that this is probably because I have never been on my own, not really. I’m never alone, as long as she’s around. And she’s always been around, even if we’re countries, or continents away. [READ MORE]

Fig, goat cheese & serrano ham salad

in Small bites, Taste -

I’ve been making this fig, goat cheese & serrano ham salad on repeat ever since coming back from the holidays and I think you should too!

Fig, goat cheese & serrano ham salad

When I think of figs, I immediately picture my father; every time, without a doubt, it’s always him. Even though almost indifferent to food and happy as long as there’s eggs, olives and a slice of bread on the table, my dad has always been enamoured with figs. Most probably, it is because of our fig tree in Pilio: plainly beautiful, with branches lightly green and sticky, it has gifted us with fruit for almost as long as I can remember. Not a lot of them- every year, there’s just enough to allow for a lot of snacking, a couple jars of jam and a handful to take back to Athens, just enough to make us fall in love all over again and anticipate the next summer.

That love took a while to grow; as a kid, I had little interest in figs. Part of it was, I’m sure, because of my father’s consistent efforts to wake us up at the butt crack of dawn to see the sun rise and go fig picking. When I was little, I wanted to sleep and as a teenager, I wanted anything but spend time with my parents. So figs were ignored and overseen and considered much too sticky. I’m not sure when exactly I got my first crush on them; it hit me hard non the less and it’s continued like so ever since.

So every summer and early autumn, it’s all about figs: picking and eating and incorporating them into quick bites and salads, almost always alongside cheese. [READ MORE]

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

in Breakfast, Savoury, Taste -

These delicious green baked eggs with spicy yogurt are packed with crunchy cavolo nero & fresh herbs. Serve with a good drizzle of olive oil & crusty bread.

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

It’s been a while since I last posted an egg recipe here; In fact, it’s been a while since I last made eggs. I vaguely remember a sad looking, deflated, dense Dutch baby, which somehow found its way into our breakfast table back in August – after that, there has been radio silence on the egg front. [READ MORE]

Easy Living

in Inspiration -

Saying goodbye to summer and its easy living with a love letter to my favourite summer memories. And just like so, I’m almost ready for fall.

Saying goodbye to summer is always hard for me. As enchanting as fall can be, I never want to let go of the easiness that I associate with this season. I drag my feet as much as I can, defy the London weather and change in my routine and I am reluctantly ready around the last days of September; mine and my sister’s birthday is today, which seems as good a time as any to finally embrace autumn and let go of summer. [READ MORE]

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

in Savoury, Taste -

This cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta was my favourite all summer long and I’ll be making it on repeat while tomatoes last. It’s so so good!

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

It’s no secret tomatoes are summer’s highlight for me; come late May, we renew our love affair, which lasts until the last days of autumn, until there’s no more tomatoes to love. It can be a chunky salad or a simple bruschetta with pretty much only the juiciest, loveliest of them all, as soon as they appear, tomatoes have my heart. And of course they are the perfect partner to pasta. [READ MORE]

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

in The Others -

It may be September (already!), but there’s still time to give these delicious roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini a try.

Roasted aubergine & smoked mackerel crostini

These past few days I constantly find myself in an in-between seasons frame of mind- does this ever happen to you? The gloominess of my beloved London has made me half-heartedly embrace autumn, and I am almost delighted to look for apples again and reach for heavier jackets. At the same time… I miss my slight tan, lightly breezy nights, our garden and its abundance of gifts– most of all, I miss my loud family and our summer dishes . When I was packing my bags back home, my mom managed to sneak in 7 long and chunky aubergines from our garden. Honestly, I couldn’t hope for a better treat: aubergines are my favourite summer vegetable, second only to tomatoes; and I am convinced that the ones we grow are the most delicious of them all. Pickled they make one of the best appetisers; cooked in a thick tomato sauce along with spicy sausage for one of my favourite rustic Greek dishes, spetzofai; tucked inside a whole loaf of bread with lots of cheese they are indulgent and special; and of course they are perfect for a quick summer pasta. Whichever way, aubergines are truly, definitely, always hard to resist. [READ MORE]

Apricot & blueberry pie

in Desserts, Taste -

Buttery, crumbly, sweet and juicy, this apricot & blueberry pie is delicious on its own and even better with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

During colder months, apples and pears are my go to, both for a quick snack and for a pie. In the summer, I very happily switch to nectarines, peaches and mostly apricots. They may look less impressive than the two former, but I so love their soft flesh, sweet & slightly sour flavour! Plus they are just perfect for baking: tossed with some sugar and a little spice, when cooked they turn so sweet and sticky, they are just impossible to resist. [READ MORE]

Courgette flower & pine nut omelette

in Savoury, Taste -

This fluffy courgette flower & pine nut omelette showcases these beautiful blossoms in the best way; and it’s even better served with a crisp white wine.

One of the things I most look forward to when I go home, is the weekly shop at the farmers market; in Greece, each neighbourhood has its own market, on a specific day each week, withe the same producers, stalls lined up in the same way every time. It’s perfect: much like a slightly chaotic stage, everyone has their part and everyone is vital: the farmers are loudly trying to lure clients, teasingly insulting their competitors and flirting with ladies of all ages. There is testing and haggling, small talk and gossip, there’s colours and sounds everywhere. I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid and I still do. [READ MORE]