Butternut Squash, Carrot and Ginger Soup

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1 small butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 carrots – peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cut butternut squash in half; remove seeds and place cut side down on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until softened. Allow to cool, then scoop the squash flesh out of the skin using a large spoon and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until onion is translucent. Pour in the water, and add squash, carrots and ginger. Bring to a boil, and cook for at least 20 minutes, or until carrots and ginger are tender.

Puree the mixture using an immersion blender. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Ladle into serving bowls, and pour a thin swirl of cream over the top as a garnish if desired.

Spicy Lentil & Tomato Soup

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Thanks to Zivah who sent me this recipe for Spicy Lentil and Tomato Soup after I had seen a photo on Facebook! A lovely soup for cold and wintry days which I have already made twice.

Olive oil
1 medium onion peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon chilli powder
50 g dried split red lentils – can be doubled for thicker effect
1 vegetable stock cube, make up to 850ml with hot water
2 tablespoons tomato puree
400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 2 sprigs, chopped to garnish

Heat a large saucepan, add olive oil and add the onion and celery. Cook stirring for 5 mins, add the garlic and chilli and cook for another 5 mins until tender and beginning to brown.

Add the lentils, stock, rosemary, tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins until the lentils are soft. Remove the rosemary.

Blend the soup using a hand blender until it is as smooth as you wish (optional) and season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot garnished with a sprinkling of chopped rosemary.

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

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1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric
pinch chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
400g carrots , washed and coarsely chopped or grated
100g red lentils
1l hot vegetable stock
65ml pack of coconut milk or plain yoghurt
fresh or frozen coriander

Heat the olive oil and fry the cumin, turmeric and chilli flakes for 1 minute. Add the oil, carrot, lentils and stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for at least 30 minutes or until the lentils have swollen and softened.

Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt or a splash of coconut cream. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serve with toasted leftover challah or warmed naan breads.

Chilled Carrot Soup

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500g / 1 lb carrots
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp ketchup
salt
1 generous pinch of red flakes

To garnish:
100g fresh goat cheese
1 tbsp milk

Peel or scrub the carrots. Chop them and put them in a saucepan. Add the vegetable cube, the cilantro stalks (keep the leaves for later), the cumin powder, garlic, ginger and salt. Cover with one liter (2 cups) of water, bring to the boil and simmer gently until the carrots are tender (about 20 minutes).

Remove the cilantro stalks. Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup into a smooth consistency. Add the olive oil, vinegar, ketchup, red flakes and cilantro leaves. Puree again and chill for at least a couple of hours.

Before serving mix the cheese and milk so that it has a mousse-like consistency. Put a tbsp of cheese on top of each plate of soup before serving.

Ribollita con Ceci

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Ribollita with Chickpeas – variation on a Tuscan soup.

I made this soup from memory last night and will try to share it as well as I can. We ate it in Italy three weeks ago and the lady cook wrote out the recipe for me when I praised her about it. The only problem is that I could not find it in my handbag so I had to rely on my memory.

The recipe is for two big appetites if you serve this thick soup as a main course.

In a large pot, sauté a sweet (red) onion in olive oil and add two cloves of garlic. Add 2 cups of cooked canned chickpeas, cover with the same amount of water and simmer for at least ten minutes.

Remove half of the chickpeas and purée what is left in the pot. Once this is done, put back the chickpeas and add two cubed middle-sized tomatoes and two handfuls of frozen or fresh spinach, cover the pot and simmer until the tomatoes seem cooked. I’d say at least 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste.

Add two cups of stale bread and simmer again until the bread has almost “melted” into the soup.

Add some oregano, red pepper flakes and drizzle with olive oil.

Chilled Melon Soup

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Chilled Melon Soup:
• 2 melons (I used a variety with lemon skin and green flesh)
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp lemon or lime
• tiny bits of fresh or frozen ginger
• 20+ mint leaves (or so, just follow your taste)

Cut the melons in half, scoop out seeds. slice into wedges and cut of skin. Cut into cubes.
Place cubes in blender, add honey, lemon or lime juice, ginger and mint and puree. taste.
Chill and serve.

The original recipe suggested adding sugar but I skipped this altogether, which was fine.

Butternut Soup

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Ingredients:
1 onion
1 butternut squash
1-2 zucchini
1 peeled apple
vegetable broth
olive oil
1 pinch of curry powder
fresh cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the chopped onion in some olive oil at the bottom of a pot or saucepan. When the onion turns translucent, add the cubed butternut, chopped zucchini and apple and saute for a couple of minutes. Cover with vegetable broth, add the curry and cook for about 20 minutes or until the squash is soft.
Puree the soup and stir in the cream.

Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup

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I found my Hokkaido pumpkin on Monday morning in the greengrocer’s shop in the photo. When you prepare the pumpkin, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. It might be a bit hard to peel the skin; don’t worry it cooks well and is quite edible.

Ingredients:
1 or 2 shallots
1 clove garlic
1 Hokkaido pumpkin
fresh or frozen ginger
vegetable broth
ground coriander
olive oil
chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
fresh cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional spices:
cumin
cinammon
turmeric
curry powder

Saute the chopped shallots in some olive oil at the bottom of a pot or saucepan. When the shallots turn translucent, add the garlic. After a few minutes, add the ginger and spices.
Add the cubed Hokkaido pumpkin and saute for a couple of minutes. Cover with vegetable broth and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
Puree the soup and stir in the cream. Garnish with the parsley or cilantro.

Pumpkin Soup

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Since I have too little time to go home for lunch on Fridays I have decided to bring food and eat at school. I also found last week that a soup in a thermos bottleis quite nice. I just need to make soup for Thursday’s dinner and re-heat it the next morning.

Yesterday my mother gave me about some pumpkin along with a few zucchini. I froze half of the pumpkin and kept the rest (about an eighth of a middle-sized pumpkin and searched the web for recipes. What follows is a combination of web recipes, the contents of my fridge and pantry and my imagination.

Sauté one soft onion and add the cubed pumpkin and one middle-sized zucchini (sliced). Cover the vegetables with vegetable stock and a tablespoon of curry paste. Then add 1/2 cup of red lentils and simmer until the vegetables fall apart. Season to taste.

To finish I incorporated a little coconut milk and then tossed in some chopped cilantro when I served the soup. However I tasted the soup before adding the coconut milk and it already tasted fine so just consider it an option.

Carrot and Cilantro Soup

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Rachel recently sent me a recipe for carrot and coriander soup which reminded me of another recipe I had. I then decided to merge the two into one and make a few alterations of my own.

olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
550g carrots
1 chopped zucchini
2-3 cups vegetable stock
juice of one orange
a pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
single cream
salt & pepper

Gently sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, without colouring.  Add the roughly chopped carrots, zucchini, stock, orange juice and nutmeg.  Cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently until the carrots are tender.
Cool a little, then use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup into a smooth consistancy. Stir in the cilantro and cream.  Season to taste.  Serve, and garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro.

Option: a swirl of yoghurt can be put on on top

Another recipe for carrot soup can be found here.