When it comes to eating, Americans have been getting back to their roots for some time now, going to great lengths to obtain fresh foods direct from the farmers who grow them. New Zealand’s First Lady of the Kitchen, Annabel Langbein, is way ahead of this trend, having advocated farm-fresh seasonal ingredients for decades. Now she’s bringing that culinary mindset and her native New Zealand countryside to America when her TV program, “Annabel Langbein: The Free Range Cook – Simple Pleasures”, makes its US television debut.


The days are shorter and Fall is here bringing with it cold temperatures that chill the bones at times.  Family gathering around the table at the end of a long day is a much sought-after commodity these days so why not plan the ultimate Harvest Celebration?  Turkish Bride Soup, Spicy Beef with Harvest Vegetables and Orange Lightning Cake set the tone for an evening spent with family recalling the day’s/week’s events and bringing the family closer around the table with great food and even greater company.


From Celebrity Chef, Annabel Langbein comes three dishes that will tantalize the taste buds with elevated flavors and just the right combination of ingredients and elegance to impress even the pickiest of home chefs.


Dish 1 | Annabel Langbein’s Turkish Bride Soup

In Turkey this soup is traditionally fed to a bride the night before her wedding to sustain her through the day ahead. It delivers a deeply satisfying flavor but is quick and easy to make. Don’t skip the lemon and mint – they bring the dish alive.
Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 45 mins + infusing
Serves 6-8 as a main
6 tbsp butter
3 onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
1½ tsp smoked or plain paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ cups red lentils
¾ cup bulgur or cracked wheat
12 cups (3 quarts) vegetable broth or water
1½ tbsp dried mint
2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and ground black pepper
To garnish
1 cup plain yogurt
lemon wedges
extra mint leaves
Heat the butter in a large, heavy-based pot and cook the onions over a gentle heat until very soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in tomato paste, paprika and cayenne and cook for another minute.
Mix in lentils and bulgur or cracked wheat, then add broth or water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring now and then.
Remove from heat and stir in the dried mint, fresh mint and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings, including cayenne pepper, to taste, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Turkish Bride Soup can be made ahead to this point, kept in the fridge for
up to 3 days and reheated when needed.
When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer. Divide between serving bowls, swirl in a little yogurt and serve with lemon wedges and mint leaves.
Annabel Langbein

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