Summer: fresh beans season, time to sit on a porch overlooking the sea with a bag of full pods on one side and a bowl on your knees. If you (like me) don’t have a sea view nor a porch on hand, go buy some fresh beans and find some consolation in fagioli alla maruzzara, a very simple and fulfilling recipe from the most traditional repertoire of Neapolitan cuisine.
Being surrounded by coughing people and feeling a tad under the weather myself, I feel in the perfect mood to present you with a flu-busting soup, the second of Nina Subramani’s Indian recipes for As Soup As Possible YouTube channel. Let her Kitchen Story warm your stomach and entertain you with this spicy and distinctively South-Indian takkali rasam with toor dal.
During the Christmas holidays I reunited with my friend Nina after almost a year apart. She had moved back to South India after three years in the Netherlands and was in Amsterdam for a few days. Irresistibly, our catching up ended up revolving around food.
So your long-awaited holidays in southern Italy are over, you just travelled from 28°C sunny to 13°C solid grey in less than three hours and timely caught the Italian disease while waiting for your lift outside Amsterdam Airport. They call it il colpo di freddo, “the hit of cold”; its symptoms include chills, slightly sore throat, a mild cough or sneezing, headache, running nose, stiff neck and general asthenia. It may associate with grumpiness. There’s only one thing left for you to do: go home as fast as you can and make soup!
One of my absolute favourite books is Italo Calvino’s “If on a winter’s night a traveller” – first published by the renown Italian publishing house Einaudi in 1979. The novel is a hauntingly entertaining chain of inceptions based on the ultimate need of any reader, or simply of anyone who is listening to a story: the urge to answer the classic question “what happens next?” The very ordinary heroes of Calvino’s book – a man and a woman who meet in a bookshop while trying to find the missing part of a novel they both began to read – are after a story that never comes to a conclusion, but instead keeps drawing the readers to more and more unfinished stories, and eventually to one another.