Hi, and welcome to the latest Spice newsletter at the end of another busy month! No travel adventures to report this time (for a change), but there is somewhere new you can find your Spice Mountain goodies. We have started opening on Saturdays from 8am-2pm at our HQ, located at Spa Road Terminus in Bermondsey. Besides ourselves there are lots of other foodie treats to be found nearby, so make us part of a great morning out! We are of course still open as usual at Borough Market.

As I’m writing this it’s 6pm and dark already, with a distinct chill in the air outside. But I have to admit I quite like autumn, once I get used to the fact that summer’s gone! It’s a time to start cooking different types of food, more hearty fare which will keep out the cold. Nothing does that better than a hot bowl of soup, of course, so this month’s feature shares a few of our favourite ‘souperstars’.

With Halloween and Bonfire Night coming up, I always get my first cravings for another autumn favourite, mulled wine. No such night is complete without the sweet aroma of cinnamon, clove and orange in the air! Spice of the Month this time is our own Mulled Wine blend, so you’ll be able to fill your own home with that lovely seasonal aroma.

Finally, I guess it’s that time of year when we start whispering the ‘C’ word.. reindeer haven’t quite started appearing on every street corner just yet, but it’s time to start thinking about all the prezzies and getting that spice cupboard Christmas (oh dear – said it!) stock in.. our popular Christmas Pantry selection is available online this year as always, and for presents don’t forget about our great Gift Boxes, including our special Spice Mountain Elements box.
Well, I think I’m going to have to go and satisfy that mulled wine craving – just a small one of course, it is a school night!

Magali

Spice of the Month

MULLED WINE SPICE

mulled-wine-spicesEveryone knows it; you’re walking through the Christmas market when around the corner wafts the sweet, spicy smell of mulled wine, one of winter’s most familiar and best-loved scents. With our mulled wine spice it is so easy to bring that appetizing aroma into your own living room! And there’s no need to wait for Christmas either, Halloween and Bonfire Night are both perfect for mulled wine. Our blend contains allspice, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, cardamom, juniper, mace and ginger, the perfect combination to warm up those chilly evenings. We offer the blend in two forms, as it comes and as our magnificent Mulled Wine Spice Bombs!

We have wrapped each bomb of whole aromatic spices in muslin, and carefully hand-tied them, so all you need to do is drop one of them with a bottle of wine into a pan and heat gently (do not boil!!) as the spices infuse. And for those who do not drink alcohol, these spice bombs work equally well with apple juice, meaning even the kids can join in!
Definitely one our favourite things about Winter, we start thinking mulled wine pretty much as soon as the clocks go back. If you’ve never made your own mulled wine, get yourself some of this beautifully aromatic spice and give it a go – we can promise you will love it!

Recipes

caldo-verdeCaldo Verde

One of the soups included in this month’s feature, this is a delight. The ingredients are simple, but it does take a little time and patience to do it properly.

Read Recipe

rendangRendang

We at Spice Mountain have enjoyed countless curries over the years, from all around the globe as well as the Subcontinent.

Read Recipe

french-onion-soupFrench Onion Soup

The second of our featured soups this month, this is a rich, sinful treat when done right. But it is one of those dishes that is very easy to make badly.

Read Recipe

Feature – Souperstars

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We can’t think of a single cuisine from around the world which doesn’t involve soup somewhere down the line. It is among the most elemental of comfort foods, to the point of being used as medicine in some cases! Soup is particularly prevalent in the Far East, where noodle soups are a staple from Manchuria in the north down to Singapore in the south. Soup can be made with anything from land, sea or sky, and there is such variety in flavour. It is a cooking method which retains all the nutrition of the ingredients, and it is a wonderful way to use up leftovers. Most soups can be made in big batches then frozen, meaning you can always have a delicious lunch handy. Here we share 10 souperstars with you, a few of our favourites which are ideal for keeping warm now the nights are getting chilly.

TomYum (Thailand) A bowlful of fiery, fruity heaven, this Thai soup features lemongrass, galangal and plenty of bird chilli, with a few king prawns thrown in for a touch of luxury. Easy to make, and the addition of noodles turns it into a one-pot meal. It makes a very refreshing starter to a Thai meal despite being chilli hot, due to the citrus burst of lemongrass and galangal.

Mulligatawny (England via India) From the days of Empire comes this Anglo-Indian soup, based on lentils and traditionally made with leftover roast beef. Authentically should contain apple too, but we find this optional! Our Mild Madras blend will give the soup just enough spice, and it makes a great brunch served alongside some samosas, pakoras and naan bread. A great soup for the freezer.

Caldo Verde (Portugal) As featured in this month’s recipes, this Portuguese soup is a real favourite, featuring potato, garlic, curly kale and spicy chorizo sausage. One of the best soups for a chilly Autumn evening – in fact perfect for Bonfire Night! Our new Patatas Bravas blend will give it even more warmth, and the curly kale in the recipe is packed full of nutrition.

Chowder (US) From the New England region of America, this creamy soup is based on potatoes and sweetcorn and traditionally clams, for which New England is famous. Chickenis the usual alternative to clams, and you can leave out both to keep it veggie. Give it the Spice Mountain touch with a sprinkle of our Cajun blend. Another plus – this is an excellent ‘dunking’ soup, so serve with plenty of bread and butter.

Sambar (Southern India) An essential part of the south Indian thali, sambar is a thin, peppery lentil broth with vegetables, soured with tamarind or lemon. It is also usually served as a side dish with any biriani, its clean taste acting as a balance to the richness of the rice. This is our favourite ‘cup-a-soup’ too, perfect in a mug for a light snack alongside maybe just a few toast soldiers! Sambar freezes really well too, so great to put away for a rainy day.

French Onion (France) The other soup to feature in this month’s recipes, this is a rich, sinful, butter-packed delight which was enjoyed for breakfast by the porters in Paris’ old Les Halles market. Great for a lunchtime treat on a cold day, and also a great showpiece starter. You can give French Onion soup a touch of spice by adding our Mignonette pepper, which will round this classic potage off perfectly.

Minestrone (Italy) Surely no one can resist a good Minestrone, veggies, beans and/or pasta all swimming in a rich, herby tomato soup, topped with a handful of grated Pecorino, all seasoned of course with our Spicy Arrabiatta blend! This has to be among the top echelon of comfort foods, especially for a late supper with some garlic bread on the side, and it’s a great way to get some veggies into the kids too.

Hot & Sour (Szechuan, China) Another soup with plenty of fire, this time from Szechuan pepper and chilli, and totally delicious. Gloopy with beancurd, crunchy with Chinese pickled veg, chewy with mushroom, sour with rice vinegar and most of all, hot! This really is a miracle of balance, with all sorts going on. Invariably part of any Szechuan restaurant banquet, at home this is great when made as a noodle soup for lunch or supper.

Bouillabaisse (France) One of the true gems of the soup world, bouillabaisse is from the south of France and takes full advantage of the wonderful seafood of the region. The soup is then given a wonderful colour with saffron, a touch of aniseed decadence with a drop of pastis, and finally seasoned with garlic-rich aioli. To give this already classy soup an extra touch of luxury, make the aioli with Espelette chilli. Best enjoyed as the starter to a lazy seafood lunch on the Cote d’Azur, but hey, we can always dream!

Laksa (Malaysia) Perhaps our favourite soup of all, laksa really has got the lot, and it stands proudly at the top of the noodle soup tree! Rich with coconut milk and featuring a pantheon of spices and seasonings, this is streetfood max. Now popular allover the world, and with many varieties, we like the ‘curry’ version, with its more complex spicing and coconut milk to give a lovely balance. Laksa is a meal in itself, and not too difficult to make at home – our Rendang blend is perfect for making ‘curry’ Laksa.

SPICE MOUNTAIN A-Z

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Tellicherry – On India’s Malabar coast, Tellicherry is the home of some of the world’s best pepper. It has a fruity note as well as just the right heat.

Tagine – The national dish of Morocco, tagine is a casserole cooked in a specially shaped earthenware pot, which enables the food to steam as well as braise. The pot itself is also known as a tagine.

Tandoori/Tikka – The very popular Indian method of cooking, marinating food in highly-spiced yoghurt before roasting in a clay oven at a very high heat.

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Umami – The Fifth Element of taste, umami is a Japanese word which translates as ‘pleasant savoury taste’. Soy sauce, mushrooms and parmesan cheese are just some of the wide variety of umami foods.

Udappam – Basically a south Indian pizza, udappam is a very thin dosa topped with chopped onion, tomato, coriander and chilli.

Urfa – From Turkey, Urfa chillies are usually found flaked. They are a deep, almost black colour due to long sun-drying, and have a distinctive raisiny flavour, with a mild heat.

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