When I was a young girl, my mother and father packed up the rented mini van and took us four children and usually a few friends for my older brother and sister, my widowed, Aunt Else, on the ferry from England to Norway. We stayed at an idyllic hotel called The Strand Hotel for two weeks every August.
We spent our days fishing for our lunch in a little wooden boat and cooked our catch on a remote island, over a fire, made from collected twigs and dried seaweed.
My parents always said we were too many to feed every meal in a restaurant, and so when supper time came, the prepared hotel feast was always a relief and absolutely delicious after a somewhat usually chilly, but fun day catching fish and swimming in the sea that never dared to go above 65 degrees.
Supper always began with soup. My favorite was the cauliflower... Usually a tasteless soup, but this one was utterly scrumptious. Here is my own, very simple recipe, my comfort food.
Norwegian Cauliflower Soup
A glug of olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 head of chopped cauliflower, greens too.
1 parmesan rind (vital for flavor)
2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
Half a cup of cream or 4 tablespoons of coffee mate (if you like it creamy, but dairy free)
A handful of chopped chives
Soften the onion onion in the oil. Add all the other ingredients except for the cream/coffee-mate and chives.
Simmer for about 30 mins until the cauliflower is very soft.
Remove the parmesan rind.
Whizz up in a blender, then add the cream or coffee mate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle chives on top.
Then close your eyes and think of Norway!
Lucy Dahl grew up in England. She is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles with her husband, children, two dogs and pet potbellied pig, Francis Bacon.