Another Dublin favorite is The Winding Stair, upstairs over the bookshop of the same name on 40 Lower Ormand Quay. A champion of local and seasonal produce, coming soon will be its delicious carrot and sweet potato soup and decadent sticky pear and ginger cake. At its sister restaurant The Woolen Mills, an “eating house” next door at No. 42 on the north side edge of the Ha’Penny Bridge, you can grab a coffee and bun, a serious plate of Irish ham and chips, a box of salads and scones, or a seven course fish plate of anchovies, crab, and herrings overlooking the Liffey!
CARROT, SWEET POTATO, AND CHILI SOUP
This hot and spicy soup from the Winding Stair is a restaurant staple. For a child-friendly version, omit the chili (and possibly the paprika!)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 chili, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 ½ cups cold water
1 tsp. unsmoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sour cream for garnish
Smoked paprika for garnish
Rye bread for serving
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oll. Cook the onion, chili, and garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Add the carrots and sweet potato. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat, and then add the water and unsmoked paprika.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt.
- Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth (or, purée in the pot with an immersion blender). Return to a clean pan and season with pepper.
- To serve, ladle into soup bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkle with a little smoked paprika. Serve with warm crusty rye bread.
STICKY PEAR AND GINGER CAKE
Almost like a tarte tatin, this decadent dessert from The Winding Stair has a lovely kick of ginger. If you wish, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of crème fraîche.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup canola oil
3 large eggs, beaten
3 pears, peeled and cored
Sticky Ginger Sauce
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tsp. ground ginger
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9-in. springform pan with wax paper.
- In a large bowl combine the sugars, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and baking powder. Whisk to blend.
- Whisk the oil and eggs in a small bowl and then fold into the dry ingredients. Grate 2 of the pears into the batter and cut the other into slices. Arrange the pear slices, overlapping slightly, on the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the cake batter over the pears and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes on a wire rack.
- To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the syrup, sugar, and water. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Add the cream and ground ginger and continue to cook until the sauce is smooth and thick.
- To serve, remove the sides of the pan and invert the cake onto a large plate. Remove the pan bottom and peel off the wax paper. Cut the cake into slices and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche, if you wish.