After juggling a few things with writing multiple new crochet patterns, leading the Sashiko Happy Coat MAL & working at my day job - it’s time for a break. Today I finished my last (secret) magazine deadline for a while. Yay! My crojo has been suffering a little and so for the next 2 weeks I will disconnect from social media and email to enjoy a bit of me-time and get outdoors more, then I will start my next round of crochet plans!
I love crochet, but I have neglected my home & personal life somewhat to keep up with my schedule and have only been doing the bare minimum of cooking and cleaning, exercise and the like. Hmmm, not cool man…. I need to get out and go walking along our beautiful Perth beaches, stick my feet in the water and get some fresh winter air.
I usually enjoy cooking, baking, drawing and sewing and I feel the urge to indulge and cocoon a bit. I don’t enjoy cleaning (does anyone?) but I guess I have to do it and if there are some freshly baked chocolate chip biscuits at the end of a tidy-up session then it’s a good feeling: a clean room and goozy melting chocolate! Bonus!!
During my little break I really want to chill-out, sew myself a new skirt & buy some new indoor plants to replace the ones that have not thrived on neglect (big surprise - not!) Now that Covid restrictions are easing here I might even catch up with some friends...
A-mazing! Maybe I will pick up a pencil or three and splash some colour on some paper.
Such simple pleasures…
But what about the soup Susan? A couple of days ago I reconnected with my kitchen to dream up this super-delicious vegan Roasted Carrot and Lentil soup with my thermomix (yep – I am one of those people).
So before I go on my digital detox, here is the recipe for my soup so you can try it too! It’s totally made up by me. I got to thinking that carrots taste so much better once they are caramelised by a judicious time roasting in the oven and that would be a great idea as the basis for a soup.
I am a whack-it-together with a pinch of this and a handful of that kind of cook, so the recipe is not super-exacting, but here we go – I hope you enjoy!
6-7 medium-sized (whole) carrots (just trim the tops), washed & dried
Salt and pepper
1 brown onion (peeled)
2 sticks of celery (washed and dried)
150g (approx.) of pumpkin (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 x 400g tin of lentils (drained and rinsed through a sieve to reduce the salt)
4 cups (1L) chicken stock (or vegan chicken-flavoured stock)
1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk
Pinch of nutmeg (ground)
Lightly coat the whole carrots in Olive Oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast in a fan-forced oven at approx. 170-180 degrees Celcius for approx. 60-80 minutes, turning a couple of times. They should be nicely caramelised with a light brown skin in places and be a bit soft. Take them out and chop them up.
In my thermomix:
I threw in the roughly chopped onion and celery with a tablespoon of olive oil, blitzed it for a few seconds, then sautéed it at 100 degrees for 3 minutes at speed 3, threw in the roughly cut pumpkin with the chopped carrots, blitzed it again, added the lentils and chicken stock, then one last blitz and scraped down the sides before setting it to 100 degrees for 25 minutes on speed 3-4. Once the timer goes off, crank the dial to 9 or 10 and super-blitz it for a full minute. (Caution! Ensure the bowl is not overfull and watch that lid like a hawk! I keep my hand on the dial, primed to spin it back to zero if I see that lid loosen at all - you don’t want any hot splashes coming at you or experience hot soup exploding everywhere! Not that that has ever happened to me, but still…)
Add the coconut milk, whiz it through the soup for a couple of seconds at speed 4-5 and let it sit for a couple of minutes with the lid on to heat through while you toast your bread. Serve with a pinch of ground nutmeg sprinkled over the top and a hint of freshly ground salt and pepper. Crusty toast of choice on the side – deeeeelicious!
If you don’t have a thermomix:
Roast the carrots as above. Finely chop the onion & celery, saute in 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes in a large soup-pot, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. Chop the carrots and pumpkin (small pieces) and add these along with the lentils and chicken stock. Bring to boil and simmer 20-25 mins. Transfer soup to a food processor (in batches as necessary) to blitz the soup until it’s a smooth liquid, transfer back to the pot. (Again, of course be very careful to not burn yourself with the hot soup!) Add the coconut milk and stir through for a few minutes, then serve as above.
It is a hearty soup with a slightly sweet flavour from the caramelised carrots. The dab of nutmeg at the end adds a real zing & I will definitely be making it again!
By the way, this post is in no way sponsored by thermomix – I just love mine and think it’s great - particularly for soups. Hot soup on a wintery day is so comforting….
Bye for now & see you in a couple of weeks!