Soup Up Sunday: Spiced Carrot Soup

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I am aware that it is Monday. But it is a Bank Holiday Monday, so it kind of counts as a Sunday. At least, we’re in work tomorrow, so soup is appropriate.

It looked to be quite a pleasant day outside today. After a few hours of playing in the sandpit, chasing footballs, having jumping competitions and chasing the neighbour’s cat with Ben, I realised that it was actually quite chilly. I also realised, when I turned my attention to lunch, that we had a surplus of carrots in our fridge.

We also have a lot of potatoes that need to be used up. This recipe hasn’t really helped that much with the potato situation, but the carrots are definitely looking more manageable.

One thing I’m pleased with in this soup is that it doesn’t require fresh herbs. Of course, if you have some fresh coriander growing on your windowsill, it would be lovely. Parsley would also work well. But I had basil and mint, and I didn’t think they would go, somehow. The cumin and dried coriander work really well.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 500g carrots
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 750ml vegetable stock

Method

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry for 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Dice the potato and carrots. Add to the onion mixture and fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add the spices and stir well.
  4. Make up the vegetable stock and add to the saucepan. Bring to the boil.
  5. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  6. Using either a stick or jug blender, blend half the soup until smooth.
  7. Season to taste. Ben liked this with a spoonful of natural yoghurt stirred through.
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Baked Eggs in the Slow Cooker

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This was today’s lunch. It would work well as a breakfast, or as a light supper. The best thing is, it’s really easy, and definitely worth doing in the slow cooker. Apart from anything else, it saves you switching on the oven, and is much more forgivable when it comes to timings.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg per person
  • 10g cheese per person
  • Toast to serve

Method

  1. Lightly grease a ramekin dish per person. Crack an egg into the ramekin dishes. Top with the cheese.
  2. Place the dishes into the slow cooker. Boil the kettle.
  3. Pour boiling water into the slow cooker to come up to half way up the ramekin dishes.
  4. Cook for around 40 minutes on high.
  5. Serve with toast.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad

Winter Salad

After a week away on holiday, with plenty of cake, lunches out and the occasional glass of wine, I felt the need to have a mini-health kick today. The problem with health-kicks at this time of year is that the cold weather isn’t conducive to eating cold salads. I don’t want to eat imported tomatoes and cucumber in March; I want to make the most of what the British seasons have to offer.

This warm salad is delicious, filling, and really healthy. Just by looking at the colours on the plate, you know it has all the good stuff in it. The yellow beetroot was an absolute find; I like the taste of beetroot but hate the purple appearance, and the way it stains everything else on the plate. I’ve tried to grow yellow beetroot before, but have had no success. I found this one in Booths in Clitheroe, which is a lovely supermarket, stocking lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables.

The roasted apple really ties all the flavours together, and marries well with the celeriac and goats cheese in particular. I didn’t make a dressing, although it occurs to me that one based on cider vinegar would work well.

I am submitting this in March’s¬†Simple and in Season. This month, it is hosted by Chez Foti. It’s a great idea and I’m hoping this will be a blogging challenge that I’ll return to again and again.

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I was hungry, so the quantities here served me alone. Please don’t judge me for that – it’s mostly vegetables!

Ingredients

4 small carrots, peeled
1/4 celeriac, peeled
1 apple
1 golden beetroot, peeled
Thyme
50g hard goats cheese

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C.

2. Chop the vegetables and apple into similar sized pieces, reserving 1/4 of the beetroot.

3. Arrange the vegetables on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. Scatter over the thyme leaves.

4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until the apple is very soft and the other vegetables are soft.

5. Arrange the roasted vegetables on a plate. Thinly slice the reserved beetroot. Place the raw beetroot on top of the vegetables.

6. Cut the cheese into small chunks or slivers. Scatter over the vegetables.

Winter Salad

I am submitting this in March’s Simple and in Season.