Tag Archives: carrot

My coral lentil and sweet potato soup

When I am in need of energy, comfort or just recovering, I usually turn to soups! So I devised this one last week in order to get extra protein in after running the London Marathon – and it was a real success with my last born…

The day after the race, my thigh muscles felt so weak – as if they had been shredded to bits! I am not a big fan of sports protein drinks but I felt I needed to rebuild the muscular tissue with some healthy plant protein and so I imagined to mix coral red lentils with sweet potatoes, carrots and indian spices for a restorative orange dish. Orange is such a powerful colour anyhow! Just the colour is enough to replenish depleted energies…

Artful food

Artful food

Ingredients list:

  • Shallots, 2
  • Sweet potato, 1 diced and baked
  • Carrots, 2
  • Red split lentils, 1 cup or 150g
  • Smoked paprika, chilli powder, turmeric , to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water, 1 litre
  • Small tin of coconut cream or 100ml coconut milk

Bake the sweet potato peeled and chunked until soft: about 15 minutes in a hot oven.

Put all the other ingredients, save the spices, into a pan and cook covered until the carrots are soft. Add the diced cooked sweet potato. Blend or not according to what you prefer, put the spices in, mix the coconut cream and serve with a sprinkling of coriander. Easy! And bright orange to lift you out of yourself…

Chunky!

Chunky!

Nutrition notes:

This is full of healthy plant based protein and good carotene and minerals. With the add zing of the spices, it is a properly restorative and energising soup, ideal for shaking off any lethargic feel and opening to Spring.

Creamy!

Creamy!

 

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>"Bright eyed" carrot and red pepper soup

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Ingredients list:
Carrots 3
Red pepper 1
Tomatoes 2
Onion 1
Stock 1 liter
Salt, pepper and fresh crushed ginger
Mascarpone cream for serving

Scrub the carrots and take the seeds out of the tomatoes by removing the brown stem cut and squeezing a  little above a plate.
Rinse all the vegetables and chop them.
Add the seasoning and freshly crushed ginger – I use a garlic press.
Add the stock. Better if you have some left over from broiling a chicken for example: This keeps a good few days in a fridge.
Cook on the stove until the vegetables are soft.
Blitz with a plunging mixer or a blender until smooth.
Serve with a nice dollop of mascarpone on top.

Nutrition note:
This is packed with vitamins (A and C) and lots of good minerals plus the ginger helps to boost the metabolism so it is a great recipe for coming out of winter all bright eyed and clear skinned!
The poetry book is to keep the mind equally challenged and alive… A poem a day keeps the doctor away, does it not?!

>Bourride de baudroie

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Bouillabaisse comes from Marseille but this fish soup is rooted somewhere between Arles and Sète, the beautiful fishing port where Paul Valéry asked to be buried in the most heavenly cemetery on earth : “the marine cemetery”.

A sun-baked location on the sloppy hills that overlooks the sea below, it is inhabited by slender cypresses and seagulls.

Here I break my resolution to only post recipes that take under half an hour to produce! But this soup is so rich in flavours and images, so laden with the finest from the sea and the freshest from the fields, that it would be a great shame to leave it out when I’ve just made it. It is in fact very unfussy and almost impossible too mess up… All you need is a great fishmonger and you’re off!

Ingredients list:
Baking potatoes 2
Leek 1
Carrott 1
1 garlic clove
zest of one orange
Fennel bulb 1
Bay leaves 3
Fresh thyme 1 small bunch
Parsley 1 small bunch
Fish stock 1 1/2 litres
White wine 500ml
Monk fish tail (1 large one)
Small white fish such as brim or whiting 2 whole
A few fresh prawns (if you can)
For the aïoli:
6 fresh garlic cloves
Egg yolks 2
olive oil 25cl
Salt and pepper
Mustard
First fry your small fish (whole but gutted) in a cast-iron pan with the herbs and seasoning. When it is nice and brown, add some water. You need to cover the fish and let it simmer a bit. If the broth is too bland, add a Maggi cube to strengthen it up.
Leave to rest while you prepare your main pot: Slice the fennel, chop the leek, the carrot and potatoes. Add to it the garlic, finely grated, bay leaves, and wine. Put on a medium heat and add the monkfish when it is bubbling.
Strain your pan with the small fish into a sieve, then with a fork take out all the flesh and the prawns if you use them. Put the juice and the flesh into a blender and blitz away. Add seasoning to taste: it must be full of flavours and rich enough to stand up to the Aïoli- that’s next!
Pour into the pot and cover. Leave the soup to simmer but not reduce to much.
For the Aïoli, I use the upside-down attachment that came with my blender and is supposedly dedicated to coffee or spices: that way, I find I seem to always get it to “gel” – though I always do cross my fingers! This is almost a mayonnaise but full of the smoothness of garlic so – unlike mayonnaise- I find it pretty easy to get right!
Put a little mustard in the blender to start it up, then the garlic and salt. Pour the olive oil very slowly and steadily. The mix needs to start becoming creamy and smooth straight away, then you build it up slowly with the oil, until you get the right quantity. It is pungent and raw!
Keep aside in a bowl and serve with the soup and thick slices of toasted bread to spread on…

My Carrot cake

Half-eaten already...

Half-eaten already…

The thought of carrot rarely raises lustful memories but as a humble winter vegetable it elevates itself to dizzying heights of seduction when baked into a spongy, moist and spicy cake… I made it as a treat last week-end for a posse of ravenous ten-year olds and I long for it again as a cold Friday closes in…

Shared with my beloved and a boiling cup of tea, it is my cake of choice on a dark evening! You can also use the mix in a muffin for a special treat…

Ingredients: For a large cake or 24 muffins

  • 370g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon raising powder
  • 1 large spoon of cinnamon
  • 15 cl rapeseed oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • 100g shredded coconut
  • 180g grated carrot
  • 1 grated apple – optional but it adds moisture

For the filling and topping:

1/2 small tub of cream cheese and ½ tub of mascarpone

Roughly same quantity of icing sugar.

A few drops of lemon juice  : I sometimes cut corners by using 2 spoonfuls of good lemon curd instead – and reducing the sugar.

I use roughly the same quantity of sugar than cream. This is not about skimping on calories ! Use  a hand whisk  and add spoonfuls of sugar until it is all used up.

Whisk it all together till you get a fluffy filling. Reserve in the fridge.

What to do next:

Warm the oven at 180 degree Celsius. Oil and line 2 sandwich tins. Grate the carrots and apple. Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add the oil, beaten eggs and vanilla. If the mix is on the dry side, add a little milk: It must nicely moist.

Fold in the grated carrots and coconut; apple optional. Bake for 35min at 180°.

Take the mix of mascarpone, cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice out of the fridge. Spread in between the two cakes and a layer on top. Decorate with coloured vermicelli or whole pecan nuts.

ENJOY…

This makes a FABULOUS birthday cake...

This makes a FABULOUS birthday cake…

© dianecomtefrost