I've been a little quiet of late. Christmas is kind of like that, isn't it? Added to the general busyness that is Christmas shopping, wrapping, partying and card writing, my phone line has been down. No internet. Not amusing.
Anyway, all back up and running now. I'm about to whizz off to a work Christmassy thing but first I thought I'd share this scrumptious soup that I made earlier in the week. This is a recipe that I spotted in a magazine in the doctor's waiting room and tried to memorise it - it was part of a feature on Christmas canapés and the writer suggested serving the soup in little espresso cups, as I've done here.
I have to confess that I wasn't in fact having a party and no sooner had I photographed the soups (in very poor light) when I poured them back into a plastic bottle to take to work the next day for my lunch.
I can't remember the name of the magazine these came from and the quantities are slightly different to the original - my memory isn't that good! The warming ginger and slight kick of chilli is perfect for the time of year and is very good for you too - perfect for staving off those coughs and colds.
Carrot and ginger soup
Enough for tiny espresso cups, or 2-3 servings
300g carrots, roughly chopped*
3 small shallots, peeled and kept whole
2 cloves garlic, skin on
500g weak vegetable stock
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
To garnish -
pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
chopped coriander (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Put carrots, shallots and garlic on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season (though remember your stock may well be fairly salty. Roast for half and hour, or until carrots and shallots are soft.
2. Remove veg from oven. Squeeze garlic from its skin. Place veg in a blender and blitz. You may need to add a little of the stock to help it along.
3. Scrape the puréed veg into a saucepan, add the stock and ginger and heat, stirring to combine. Taste and season accordingly. You may like to add more ginger. Then again, you may not. At this stage, you may wish to blitz further to create a fully smooth and silky soup. I'm not so fussed here and didn't bother. It was fairly smooth anyway.
4. Pour into cups or bowl and top with a pinch of dried chilli flakes and a sprinkling of coriander.
* I used some large Chanteray carrots that I stumbled upon. They were particularly flavoursome and sweet.