The reason I could never be a raw foodist is winter. Warming things just slightly or adding lots of spice to my food and drink to make them more ‘warming’ for my system is not something I have ever warmed up to.
The Croatian in me loves hot things which you can eat with a spoon, but without slurping (Eastern Europeans love to slurp!) and raising my body temperature when those winter chills kick in.
Luckily in Ibiza we do not have a very cold winter period but man, when it is cold, it is cold! The majority of houses and apartments are not equipped with heating systems to keep us pleasantly warm when it is oh-so-cold outside. My air conditioning unit at home is ok. I switch it on and it is super hot within minutes. But when I switch it off it gets cold again in minutes – even before you can say minestrone.
So at my home and in my Passions I make sure that hot stuff is on hand! I have an impressive selection of teas (I love my Teapigs!), but I also love making my own tea from herbs, roots, citrus and spices. Recently, one of my favourite teas has been rose tea, which I’m so proud we will be serving in all Passions. Just a few rose buds, add hot water and voila!
By now maybe you have noticed that I’m huge fan of orange blossom, rose water, dates, halva, and other middle eastern inspired ingredients. I am quite simply obsessed with the flavors, textures, and exotic ingredients of the orient.
But, back to winter warmers..!
Our customers love to keep warm, as shown by the endless chai teas and chai lattes we have been selling in Passion, along with hot turmeric tonics, matcha teas and lattes, gojichinnos, lemon, honey and ginger teas, and my absolute winter favourite hot apple juice with cinnamon (it’s just like drinking apple pie!)
We have been having lots of fun in our new Passion Pantry with the creation of our deli plate and the soups that go with it. Every day we come up with a new concoction. Day one – red lentil and pumpkin, day two – cauliflower, curry and coconut, day three – creamy peas soup or simply a chunky mixed veggie soup with chickpeas and day four – one of my favourites which is fennel and oat milk soup. We make a mean kale stew too. All so inspiring and so very good!
As far as I am concerned, winters are for soups and I could live on them. We normally make a huge pot and you can see me going back to the kitchen every couple of hours or so, picking up the bowl and loading up a ladle or two for yet another bowl.
As I don’t cook at home, I have been eating in my restaurants constantly for three years now. Our homemade winter soups are feeling really good as we are not so busy in the winter months and I can eat in peace and really savour the flavours. You may say lucky me, eating in Passion all day long, and I do agree. We have superbly fresh food from high integrity ingredients but I hardly ever eat in peace as my mouthfuls are interrupted by people talking to me, answering e-mails, all while swallowing my broccoli without chewing it!
Sometimes I push my plate away half way through my meal, fed up with chewing because I have so many things to do! I’m serious. I get bored eating and chewing… so much for people thinking I must be a real gourmand. Not at all! I eat because I have to, but I like to create food so this is all it matters, I create, you eat! I hope we have good deal 😉
Wishing you lots of nice hot stuff, warm socks and fluffy snoring dogs (or another form of human hot water bottle) in those long dark winter nights.
Peace, love & warmth