Egyptian Soups Hot and Cold
John Feeney, best known for his landmark documentary films and still photography that have chronicled much of Egypt‚àö√Øs life and many of its greater and lesser events over the last four decades, also happens to be something of a wizard in the kitchen, and he has finally been persuaded to share the recipes for some of his most original‚àö√´and extraordinarily tasty‚àö√´creations for all to enjoy: ten hot and seven cold soups of the Egyptian winter and summer. Beyond merely nutritious, Feeney‚àö√Øs soups are either ambrosial or aphrodisiac, and sometimes both, and, with the possible exception of his legendary Creme de Truffe du Desert, for which the highly elusive desert truffle is essential, all can be made with ingredients seasonally available in Egypt and widely available in other parts of the world too.
Most of the ingredients of the winter soups have been used in Egypt for thousands of years: lentils, cumin, leeks, garlic, and gargir (Egyptian rocket), with a special lettuce soup to celebrate the ancient pharaonic festival of Shamm al-Nisim and the coming of spring. It is worth putting up with the often stifling heat of July and August in Cairo to enjoy the most unusual iced summer soups. Using the melons of Sinai and the juices of pomegranates, guavas, and strawberries, these ravishing soups can also be enjoyed in more temperate lands. Each recipe is accompanied by the author‚àö√Øs own photographs and by a wealth of little known facts about the spices, herbs, fruits, and vegetables used‚àö√´the aphrodisiac power of ‚àö√Ædangerous‚àö√Ø nutmeg and exotic ginger, the use of apricots ‚àö√Æwith a touch of arsenic,‚àö√Ø and the tendency of lettuce ‚àö√Æto induce dreams.‚àö√Ø
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