Roasted Carrot Soup with Croutons

A recipe I cut out of the Weekend Edition of the Irish Examiner.  Denis brought it into work one day and shared it with one of his colleagues. Who really appreciated the lovely mix of orange zest with the sweet taste of the carrots.

Ingredients for four people

500 gr carrots, washed and chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 onion, chopped
Olive Oil
Honey
Thyme
Zest of two oranges
1 litre of vegetable stock
Bread for croutons

Toss the carrots, garlic and onion in olive oil in a large overproof dish. Add the honey, sprinkle with thyme (keep some for the croutons) and season. Place in a medium oven for about 20 minutes or until the carrots have turned golden brown and sticky.

Put the carrots in a large pan and add the orange zest and stock. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Blend and serve with the croutons.

For the croutons, toss bread cubes in olive oil and sprinkle with remaining thyme, before putting under grill or frying in pan until golden brown and crispy.

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Easy Pea Soup

Pea Soup is very popular back home. We call it “snert soep”. It’s a great winter soup, that can be transformed into a hearty meal, by adding croutons and bacon. I’ve two big containers ready in the freezer, waiting for the first frosty days in December. I’ll just have to add the bacon and croutons.

Ingredients for six people

1 leek, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
500 gr frozen peas
2 Litres of stock, beef or vegetable
Thyme
Bay leave
Pepper and Salt
Olive Oil

Start off by sweating the onions, leek and celery in olive oil. Add potatoes and peas. Add the stock and season with the herbs and pepper and salt. Bring everything to the boil and let simmer for 40 minutes. Blend. Serve with bacon and croutons.

Pumpkin-carrot soup

The first cold, but sunny autumn day has finally arrived. Can’t wait for plenty more to come. Sick of all the dampness. I’ll probably be housebound for a good few weeks, but can’t help but start looking forward to crisp walks on the beach or in the woods. Followed by hot chocolates. And soup or stew for dinner.

Here is one we’ll be eating plenty of in the next few months. Inspired by spending a few hours in a shopping centre yesterday and getting caught up by the Halloween Spirit, I ended up bringing back a pumpkin.  Worked out great for lunch. And Mia never refuses soup, so that’s a bonus. It’s a great way to get plenty of vegetables in her.

Ingredients for four people

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
Three or four medium carrots, cut into pieces
Three or four celery stalks, cut into pieces
Small pumpkin, peeled and cut into pieces
Half a teaspoon of cumin seeds
Half a teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 Liter of vegetable stock (I use Kalo dairy and gluten free stock cubes)
Pepper and Salt for seasoning
Fresh coriander

Heat a dash of olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and soften for a few minutes. Add the carrots and celery and stew for about ten minutes, before adding the pumpkin. Add the vegetable stock, grounded cumin and coriander seeds and season with pepper and salt. Bring to the boil. Put the lid on the pan and let simmer for about 45 minutes. Blend and serve in deep bowls, with some fresh coriander leaves. Enjoy!