Cook & Learn about the World: Algeria: Spicy Chickpea Soup (Hu mmus b´il Kammun

Gradually starting to ease back into blogging and have brought back Cook and Learn about the World, which was inspired by the blog Global Table Adventure and to try to get my fussy eaters to try new things and also learn a little about the different countries.

So, I have arrived at Algeria and thought I´d kick off with this soup as I thought it might be something that my OH and children would possibly enjoy as we´ve never eaten Algerian food before. I´m not a big fan of pulses and we hardly ever eat them so it sounded like a good way to get some pulses down us too. This soup is simple to make and is perfect for a cold winter´s day or night and it has a lovely blend of spices that whisk you off to another country.Plus the majority of the ingredients are easy to find in your local supermarket...the only thing I found a little difficult to encounter was harissa.I actually got mine from an English supermarket but if you don´t come across it, you could make your own using Global Table´s recipe for harissa. Again if you can´t find the specific chilli peppers, you could just use what you can find. The smell while it´s cooking is tantalizing and it´s ideal for mopping up with some crusty bread.

I pretty much followed Global Table Adventure´s recipe although I think I used slightly less chickpeas, which were already cooked and as I didn´t cook the chickpeas instead of cooking water I just used tap water. As I´d never tried harissa before I only used a teaspoon of it as the recipe states but next time I might add a little more. Also, as the chickpeas are already cooked, I didn´t cook it as long as the recipe says so instead of simmering for an hour, I probably only simmered it for a further 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I couldn´t persuade either of my children to try it which is a pity as I think they would´ve enjoyed it as it is quite similar to some Spanish food.

In order to learn a little about Algeria, which I have to admit I don´t know much about myself, we looked at my daughter´s The Usbourne Children´s Picture Atlas and found Algeria and saw that the capital is Algiers and that the Sahara dessert and Atlas mountains can be found in Algeria and that the people of Algeria use camels.We will hopefully learn a lot more about Algeria as we cook a couple more dishes from this country.


Mad Hatter´s Teashop & Patisserie

Another of the foodie places on my bucket list of places to visit while on my recent trip to the UK was Mad Hatter´s Teashop & Patisserie, a lovely café & teashop which I discovered on Facebook.
I booked a table ahead to avoid disappointment,which was lucky as it is a fairly small café and is pretty popular.

Mad Hatter´s is known for it´s afternoon teas and cakes but they also do hot lunches...I think hotpot was on the menu when we went! They also specialise in baby showers and are even expanding and taking over the shop next door in order to be able to cater better for special events, such as baby showers. The cafe is tastefully decorated in soft,pink pastel shades with their yummy cakes displayed on the counters, which you can´t help but drool over!!

 We ordered a savoury and a sweet afternoon tea and there was also the choice of a Christmas afternoon tea. The savoury  afternoon tea consisted of sandwiches with various fillings, soup of the day...which that day was leek & potato, pork pie and quiche and a giant scone with fresh cream & jam. The sweet afternoon tea came with sandwiches with a variety of fillings...cheese & Branston pickle, ham & piccalilli, tuna mayonnaise & Coronation chicken. As I am a bit fussy and don´t like tuna, they didn´t have any problems with changing the tuna mayo sandwiches for extra coronation chicken ones. We also got a vanilla slice,a coffee renoir...I changed my coffee renoir for carrot cake,brownies and  giant scone. The afternoon teas are for a minimum of two people but I think there is enough for 4 people...we couldn´t manage all of it as we were too full so they packed what we couldn´t eat into boxes for us to take with us. Although a little on the expensive side, it was well worth it as everything was delicious and you get your money´s worth...as I said we couldn´t eat it all!! The service was also good and they were very friendly. It definitely didn´t disappoint and I totally reccommend it as a special treat. I´d love to go back again sometime.

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