Carrot, Ginger and Honey Soup

Carrot, Ginger and Honey Soup

Another Sunday night has rolled around and I am in my usual state of panic about all that I haven’t achieved over the weekend.  I had such plans but they fell by the wayside as I ended up spending time with friends instead.  Which was lovely and I am by no means complaining.  At all.  But I sometimes despair at my lack of organisational skills and inability to follow plans.  Or to even make them to begin with.  Never mind, time spent with friends as wonderful as mine is never a waste of time and I have done lots of well-needed talking, venting and just interacting with other human beings.  It’s been a bit of a emotionally heavy week and by Friday I was not in a good way.
When you find yourself sitting on the floor, sobbing your eyes out whilst watching a movie, you know that maybe you need some emotional support and care.
When that movie is something as dreadful as “Eat, Pray, Love”, there is no hope for you and you must seek help.  Quickly.  Go now!

But I tried hard to get a few things done this weekend so I wouldn’t feel guilty by Monday morning.  I painted and varnished a few more of the little blobby wooden brooches (which seem to get worse the more I paint so I am stopping now and relinquishing all hope of ever being good at painting. Even if it’s just blobs of paint, I still manage to make them messy blobs).  I made some earrings and finished off a bracelet for my friend K, worked on some sketches for another project I have in the works, and started putting together a few bits for a craft swap I am doing.

This evening I thought it would be a good idea to make some dishes that I could divide up and freeze, to see me through the week at work so I never have that late night panic about what I am going to eat the next day.  I made Tofu Burgers, a mushroom and eggplant risotto (based on the recipe HERE) and this yummy soup (recipe courtesy of Real Living magazine) which was very simple to make and surprisingly delicious.  Well, not THAT surprising – I mean, what’s not to love about carrot, ginger and honey as a combination?  Yum!  Anyway, the soup simmered away as the burgers and risotto baked in the oven and now all I have to do is clear the kitchen up.  Ugh.  That’s the worst part about cooking – the mess that comes with it.  Never mind, you should try this soup as it is basically a one pot wonder and very tasty, healthy and doesn’t have too many ingredients.

Carrot, Ginger and Honey Soup

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
500g carrots, peeled & chopped roughly
1 tbsp mild-flavoured honey
1 lemon, juiced (I must admit I didn’t use lemon in mine – I didn’t have any!  I put a tablespoon or so
of white wine vinegar in instead to add some zing – it seemed to work well but next time I will use lemon…)
Salt & ground black pepper
400ml boiling water (I used vegetable stock and omitted the salt above)
40g butter, diced
Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

METHOD

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 mins, or until soft and translucent.

Add ginger and cook for a further 2 mins. Stir well. Add carrots, honey, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir.

Add boiling water to soup ingredients. Reduce heat to low and cook for 35 mins.

Transfer to blender. Drop in butter cubes and blend until smooth and creamy.

Serve in mugs or bowl with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on the top.

Enjoy!
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PS The bowl was one of a set I bought at the op-shop yesterday (more on that later) for only 25 cents a piece.  Crazy price but lovely little bowls (which will help me with my portion control which has, of late, become rather uncontrolled).  I wasn’t going to keep them for myself but I rather like them and they’re my favourite combination of colour – blue and brown – so they will most likely stay with me.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend, spent with friends and family and yummy things to eat 🙂
Roasted Capsicum & Carrot Soup

Roasted Capsicum & Carrot Soup

I love soup.  At any time of year I am more than happy to have a big bowl of hot soup.  It’s easy to make, inexpensive and is very filling and satisfying.  It’s also a good way to use up any scrungey old veggies you have in the fridge (you know, the ones that are looking a little bit sad/wilted/depressed).  My favourite soup to make at the moment is Roasted Capsicum and Carrot Soup.  So delish.  It is pretty simple to make, with only a few ingredients and keeps well in the fridge so you can enjoy it over a few days, or freeze it for stand-by meals.  I like to top mine with some crumbled, creamy Danish feta.  Yum.

So here’s my basic recipe.  I never measure anything or really notice how much of anything I am using when making this soup so feel free to substitute ingredients or leave out anything that you don’t like.  The only thing that is compulsory is roasted the capsicum and carrot – it adds so much flavour and richness to the finished dish, you really can’t leave that step out.

Start with about three large red capsicums.  Chop them up into pieces, discarding the seeds, stalk and pith.  Chop up 1-2 large carrots.  Lay the capsicum and carrot on a baking tray (on some baking paper – both vegetables are fairly sweet and so they WILL stick to your trays if you don’t line them first).  Roast them in a hot oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until they start to caramelise and brown.  A little bit of black skin on the capsicum is fine, I think.  It adds a bit of smoky flavour.

Whilst these are roasting, dice up a large onion and sauté it in a large saucepan with a little bit of olive oil and a couple of chopped sun-dried tomatoes until just starting to caramelise.  Take off heat.  Add a teaspoon of garlic/ginger paste and stir through.  Once oven-roasted veg is ready, add it to the saucepan with 2 cups of vegetable stock, and chopped herbs (optional but I like to add some basil or thyme) and return to heat to simmer.  Stir it occasionally and add more stock as the liquid reduces.  You can add more or less stock depending on how thick you like your soups.  I usually use about three cups in total.

Simmer for approx 30 mins or until all veg is very soft (i.e. mashable).  Season as desired and, using a stick blender, puree until desired thickness is achieved.  Pour into soup bowls with a soup ladle and garnish with a little bit of feta, grated cheese or herbs.

Voila!  The recipe isn’t really a “recipe” – it’s more a guide.  Soup isn’t meant to be super fussy or difficult to make and I certainly don’t follow any instructions for it.  It’s a case of bung it in and boil it up!   Serve it up on its own or with some nice crusty bread.

Try it today – it’s delicious and healthy, colourful and full of good stuff!  I know what I am having for dinner tonight! 🙂

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