In keeping with the theme of trying to get well again, I made soup the other night. How awesome are these carrots? They can only be delicious, I thought, and yes I was right! And what else do sick people love? Sick people love soup, mmmhmmm!
This recipe was adapted from a Jamie Oliver Magazine. If you haven’t seen an issue, you really should. It has a lovely layout with soft papery pages which make it a pleasure to read and re-read. I also made some of Jo Seagar’s beer bread. This is such a quick and easy bread to make, one bowl recipe and then bung it in the oven for an hour! It’s fun to play around with different combinations of flour and beer. My favourite so far has been using Mac’s Black with wholemeal flour. It had the most wonderful caramel, almost molasses taste. For this loaf, though, I just used what we had to hand, tasty just the same.
Oh yes, and in other news I have decided to challenge myself to never make the same meal twice for flat dinners- so far succeeding! Also, there may be some homebrew in the near future!
Roasted Carrot and Capsicum Soup
Adapted from Jamie Oliver Magazine January 2012
1kg carrots, peeled and chopped into 5 cm sticks
2 capsicums, roasted and chopped into chunks
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1L vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon Huffman’s Hot Sauce
2 tsp honey
salt and pepper to season
Preheat oven to 180°C. Par-boil carrots for 5 minutes, then drain. Place them in a roasting tray with oil and cumin seeds and pop them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the carrots are starting to go a little brown round the edges, turning over halfway through cooking. While the carrots are cooking, heat up your stock in a large saucepan and put the roast capsicum in with it. Add the carrots to stock and capsicums and either whack the lot into a food processor, or use a stick blender to blend to your desired consistency. Place back on a medium heat and add hot sauce, honey, mix and taste. Season with salt and pepper if need be.
This soup had a lovely earthy flavour with a lovely sweetness from the carrots with a kick from the hot sauce. Good way to kick the sickness blues, sniff sniff!
This past week and a bit, I have been gross and sick. I even lost my appetite, shock horror! So, I went to hibernate at Mum and Dad’s, which was the best idea I could have had. While there, I decided to try and get as much goodness into me as possible and this had to be in the delicious form of smoothies mmmmmm!
This is how I make them, so easy and you can put in any fruit you fancy. Even fancy fruit.
Put a banana, a couple of handfuls of frozen berries, about 1/3 Cup yoghurt, a good spoon of honey, about 1/2 Cup of milk and a couple of mint leaves in a blender or the jug of a whizzy stick thing (technical terms, I know..)
Then blend, mama, blend! Until you reach your desired consistency, add milk if it’s too thick for your liking.
Then, drink up! I love smoothies made with frozen berries as they are so refreshing and cool.
Sunday Dinners in our household are also the weekly occasion where we are allowed dessert. One of our favourites is gooseberry tart. Mum has fond memories of Nana making this when she was growing up and she is now passing these memories onto us.
Gooseberries, if you haven’t tried them before, are little green beachballs which pack an incredibly tart punch. The first time we had them, I was keen to try one uncooked and without sugar, it was a sweaty face level of tartness! However, when combined with a silky, eggy custard these green gems really shine and pop with a delicious tang which is a lovely contrast to the sweetness of the rest of the tart.
For this particular tart, Mum tried using frozen gooseberries with great success! Of course, fresh and local berries are wonderful, we are huge fans of SuJon frozen berries. Excellent quality and an NZ company (though berries are sourced from Chile, to meet demand).
The recipe for this tart comes from Jo Seagar’s book The Cook School Recipes:
1 sheet frozen sweet shortcrust pastry, thawed
2 cups fresh (or frozen!) gooseberries
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon custard powder
icing sugar to dust
Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 12cm x 30cm tart tin with baking spray. Roll the sheet of pastry to fit the tart tin. You may need to cut and join the pastry to fit neatly. Place the pastry-lined tin in the freezer to firm up while you top and tail the gooseberries.
Place gooseberries in chilled pastry shell. Whisk crea, caster sugar, eggs and custard powder together until well combined. Gently pour over the gooseberries and bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set. Dust with icing sugar and serve with runny or softly whipped cream, custard or icecream.
This recipe makes a lot of filling so if you have some left over, you could try what Mum did and make some mini fruit tarts with fruit that you have around. She made some mini apricot tarts which were delicious the next day for afternoon tea.