Spanish Lentil Soup

(Norsk oppskrift, klikk her: Spansk linsesuppe)

Now that we have started September and the temperatures begins to fall, it’s time to dust off the hearty soup recipes. There is nothing like warming, nutritious and tasty soups when the autumn weather sets in. This Spanish Lentil Soup, or Lentejas a la Jardinera, is a soup that is widely used in Spain, based on lentils and vegetables. I also use Chorizo, because it packs in some nice flavors to the soup.  Of course, vegetarians and vegans simply omit the Chorizo, and it will still be a flavorful soup.

This is a large recipe, perfect when you are feeding lots of people – or you can freeze it and save for a busy day.

Lentejas a la Jardinera (1)

Spanish lentil soup - Lentejas a la Jardinera

A hearty soup, packed with flavor, perfect for the cold autumn evenings.


  • 500 grams lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 potato
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 liters Bouillon or broth
  • Herbs, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 whole chorizo


Remember that dried lentils often need to soak for a night, read the package for information.

Chop the chorizo and fry in a little oil in a large pot. Peel and chop the vegetables. Sauté onion, leek and garlic together with the chorizo. Add the other vegetables, stir and sauté for a few minutes before you add drained lentils. Add white wine, vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar) and the bay leaves.

Cover with boiling bouillon or broth. Season with dried oregano, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Let it simmer until the lentils and the vegetables are tender, approx. 20 minutes.

If the soup is too thin, put some of the lentils and vegetable in a blender and purée, and then add back to the soup.

Serve piping hot, with good bread on the side. Enjoy.

Delicious fish soup with orange and chili

(Norsk oppskrift finner du HER)

If you are looking for a tasty fish soup with bold flavors and a little heat, then look no further!

Delicious Fish Soup

Delicious Fish Soup with Orange and Chili

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A fresh Fish Soup wih Bold Flavors, perfect for a late summer dinner.


  • 400 g fish, (cod or salmon for instance), diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 1 box of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 box passata tomatoes
  • 5 dl lobster broth
  • 2 dl cream
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • Juice of an orange
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste


  • zest of an orange
  • 150-200 g boiled and pealed prawns
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (dill, thyme, basil for instance)


  • Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt on the diced fish.
  • Peel and chop the garlic, fry in oil in large saucepan for approx. 2 mins, or until soft.
  • Add sambal oelek, tomatoes and broth. Simmer for 5 mins. Mix the cream, corn starch and orange juice separately and then pour into the soup. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Put the fish in the soup and take the saucepan off the heat and put on the lid. Leave to stand for 3-5 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Season with sugar and salt.
  • Mix the orange peel with shrimp and herbs. Garnish the soup with the shrimp mixture (and creme fraiche, if you like).
  • Serve with good bread, and enjoy!


Tasty Fish and Apple Casserole

(Norsk oppskrift: Fiskeform med eple og karri)

With those three key ingredients; fish, apple and curry powder – you just know this is gonna be good!

Tasty Fish & Apple

Tasty Fish and Apple Casserole

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A lush Casserole filled with Awesome Flavors


  • 400 grams fillet of cod or other white fish
  • Butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large sour apples
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 300 ml milk
  • 200 ml Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 100 grams grated cheddar cheese
  • Parsley for garnish


Cut fish into large cubes.

Roughly chop the onion. Remove cores from apples and cut into thin wedges (leave the peel on)

Sauté onion and apple quickly in a little butter, and sprinkle with curry powder.

Evenly distribute fish, onions and apples in a wide ovenproof dish.

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour. Add milk and yoghurt until you have a thick sauce. Stir while you bring it to a boil and let it simmer for a couple minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and pour the sauce over the fish, onions and apples. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven at 200 degrees C for 40 minutes.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with potatoes, pasta, vegetables or salad.



Chow-Chow Stew

(Norsk oppskrift: Chow-chow, retromat )

Do you remember the popular stew Chow-Chow from the 70s and 80s? Probably not, as I do believe this is a Norwegian thing. The Chow Chow you remember, might be a an English relish? This recpe is not a relish, so if that is what you are looking for then I’m sorry that I can’t oblige. I can however, share with you a recipe for a retro stew, often served with sliced banana, cucumber, and peanuts on the side.

(And no, no hairy dogs with blue tongue is being cooked and served in my kitchen. You might want to specify that on your dinner invitation… I have no idea where the name comes from.)

Gluten FreeEthnicVegetarianSuggested PairingsBudget FriendlyAlways Health Conscious

Chow-Chow Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An exciting and flavorful Retro Family Dinner.


  • 600g pork
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons curry (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 dl liquid (from the mushrooms can, pineapple can and water)
  • 1 can diced mushrooms
  • 1 can of pineapple in chunks
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 100 milliliter cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch


Cut the meat into strips and chop the onion. Brown quickly small portions of meat in the butter in a pan. Boil the pan with a bit of liquid between every round of browning and pour it into a pot.

Brown the onion and add to the pot. Season with curry, salt and pepper and the rest of the liquid (not the cream). Simmer under lid for about 30 minutes, until the pork is tender.

Add the mushrooms, pineapple, bell pepper, celery, tomato puree, soya sauce and the corn starch that you have stirred out in the cream.  Bring to the boil.  Season with salt, pepper, and curry.

Serve with rice, sliced banana, pickles, peanuts and a green salad or steamed vegetable if you prefer.

Turkey smiles

imagesThis past week has been a good week. A really good week! As many of you know, it was Thanksgiving-weekend, and Old Mamasan will not let a turkey-opportunity pass her by! We don’t have Thanksgiving off, and we don’t celebrate it here in Scandinavia, therefore it makes more sence to cook the bird on Saturday. I have made it my own tradition to invite family or friends for Thanksgiving dinner on the saturday after the actual American Thanksgiving, and I hope this tradition will not fade. So we invited my sister and her hubby from Sweden, and some friends here in Copenhagen to Gobble til you wobble-day. We had a grand time with great laughs  and some pretty grand food and we all ate til we were about to pass out!

turkey-cartoonI’m not sure when the turkey became a common food for New Years in Norway, but I do know we have bred turkeys here for a couple hundred years. For X-mas I will hang onto some traditional dishes from western Norway, but I’ll cook a big bird for my version of Thanksgiving and for New Years.

I would like to share with you my recipes for some of the sides that I use with the Turkey (and they can of course also be used with other festive foods than Turkey!), and hope you find inspiration to perhaps try something new. My family and I think all these sides are super good! My recipes will come as individual posts over the next couple days, so please check back later if you’re in the mood for some good eatin’!

I am joining the #WeeklySmile bunch, as I wholeheartedly agree with the host, Trent, that we need some positive posts in between all the serious stuff in the news and on the web. Give someone a smile today, and see what happens!

Care to join us at the #WeeklySmile ? Then go to Trent’s World  and join the LINK UP!

Older entries in the #WeeklySmile:


Spanish Smiles


Fish in lemon sauce

(Klikk HER, for å få oppskriften på norsk)

Having trouble varying your fish-meals? Here you have a dish that is super yummy, and works with all kinds of fish – and if you are able to roll your fish fillets, then it’ll be a fancy dish to serve dinner guests.   Of course you can change out the vegetables with whatever suits your pallet best, and perhaps to what is in season where you live.  In this recipe I use the vegetables I like best with fish:

1-14368770_10154228808976622_8245186317990495715_n-002Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 3-4 carrots, julienned
  • 1 parsnip, julienned
  • 2-3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 300 milliliter water
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 500 grams fish fillets (flounder, pilchards, salmon, cod, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 250 milliliter cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 100 grams sugar snap peas
  • Ca.  50 milliliter lemon juice (to taste)

Add carrots, parsnips, celery and leeks in a wide saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Add the tarragon.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the fish fillets and roll them neatly. Place them over the vegetables (not IN the water, you want the fish to steam, not boil, it is too fragile to be boiled). Boil gently under cover until the fish is done (5-6 minutes flounder, herring 9-10 minutes). Gently take the fish out of the saucepan and let it sit on a plate.

Put cream and flour in a clean jar, tighten the lid, and shake to combine, before adding it to the pan while stirring. Add the sugar snaps and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste, along with salt and pepper.

Turn down the heat, put the fish back in the sauce and let everything be heated through. Serve with potatoes.

Beef and Guinness Stew (English)

(Click the link for the Norwegian version of this recipe: Beef and Guinness Stew (Norsk) )

As some of you may have read in An Irishman goes into a bar…, Sir Nerdalot and I gifted each other a weekend in Dublin, Ireland, and I promised pictures and posts from said trip.


Beef and Guinness Pie at the East Side Tavern

We left Denmark on the year’s warmest day, 32 ºC, and arrived in Dublin in nice and sunny weather and 10 º C less. Quite pleasant. After checking in at the hotel, we went for a walk towards town and found a great place to have dinner, the East Side Tavern, where we had the most delicious Beef and Guinness Pie, a dish that I just had to try to recreate. Mind you, Old Mamasan has great technical difficulties with piecrust, so I opted for a stew instead.

The Beef and Guinness stew is so delicious that it will knock yer socks off and leave a twinkle in your eyes! The Guinness adds an incredible depth to the dish. And what could be easier then to plop all ingredients in one pot and stick in in the oven to cook for 3 hours? Now that leaves you three hours to do something else – like reading my blog.

eclectic-prints-and-postersBeef and Guinness Stew

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 500 g quality diced stewing beef
  • 1,5 tins Guinness (1/2 tin for the cook)
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 2 large onions
  • 5-6  carrots
  • olive oil
  • 2 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sugar to taste (might not be necessary at all)

Jamie Oliver does not brown his meat before cooking this dish, but I chose to do so. I guess that is just an old habit of mine. So the first thing I did was turn the oven on at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Then I browned my meat in a large, oven safe casserole in some oil – while preparing the vegetables; peel and roughly chop the onions and carrots.

With the casserole pan on medium heat, add the vegetables and the bay leaves with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for about 10 minutes.

Add the flour and pour in the Guinness and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either let it simmer slowly on your hob or – as I did – cook it in the oven for 2,5 hours.

After 2,5 hours, take the lid off and taste. If it is too acidic from the tomatoes, then you add a little sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Also if the gravy is too runny for your taste then you leave the lid off for the last 30 minutes of cooking. If it is just perfect, then put the lid back on and let it continue to simmer for 30 minutes more.

Remember to take the bay leaves out before you serve. Serve with mashed potatoes, or eat it as is. You can also add some delish dumplings, if that is to your liking. This pot of yumm is surprisingly healthy, especially if you refrain from adding large quantities of double cream to your mashed potatoes.

Now, there IS alcohol in this dish. Many believe that the alcohol disappears when cooked, but that is a myth. The percentage of alcohol retained in the finished dish varies depending on cooking method and time. As this dish has been slow cooked for 3 hours, about 5 % of the alcohol remains in the dish. So very little of the alcohol you put in remains, and you didn’t put much into the stew in the first place, Guinness contains 4,2 % alcohol. Then this gets mixed with the other ingredients and you do not eat this whole thing by yourself in one go. We are three big eaters in this household, and we had two full dinners from this one pot of goodness. Eat yourself drunk on this stew? Nah, not gonna happen.