Blend tomatoes, carrots and potatoes for spiced winter soup
Happy New Year and welcome to 2021, the year that couldn’t possibly be any more crazy than 2020 … or can it?
Unless Godzilla starts roaming the streets of Hamilton, I’m pretty sure we’re in for a better run. So here’s to a year of vaccines, hugs, visible smiles, a recovering economy, reunions with family and freedom to roam. Just a few things for the wish list!
As for resolutions, I’ve tried to set some pandemic-friendly goals. I don’t think resolutions are for everyone but I’m a goal-orientated human so it’s good for me to set some targets, especially when it comes to exercise. So my first is to be ready to run the May 24 half-marathon again (whatever form the race takes) and my second is just to try and curb the grocery budget. I spend so much money on food – which feels OK in general as quality food is important to me – but I know I also spend more than I need to, mainly because I am often shopping on the fly and not planning properly.
I’m also always cooking something fairly fancy, forgetting that it’s actually more normal to have a jacket potato with some kind of quick topping and a salad. It’s time to go back to basics a little.
I always find soup handy in the winter as it’s great for a quick dinner and you can make it more hearty by adding some brown rice pasta. The recipe below was thrown together after Christmas when I had some stray veg in the bottom of the fridge and an overflowing spice drawer. I found there was plenty of flavour without adding a stock but if you’d like to do that, please do. Just avoid any stock cubes or powder that contains monosodium glutamate (a flavour enhancer that often triggers headaches and hyperactivity). I love the Kallo brand from Miles for a more natural (and very tasty) option. Overall, this is a really delicious, warming soup that’s incredibly cheap to make! As it’s carb-based, I would serve it before a meal of chicken/fish and green veggies. Or have it with hummus and oatcakes on the side for some plant-based protein. The second time I had this I added some coconut milk which was AMAZING. Enjoy!
Tomato and carrot spiced winter soup
5 large tomatoes (on the vine for more flavour)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
4 large carrots, scrubbed (not peeled) and chopped
2 medium sized white potatoes (or upgrade to sweet potato), peeled and chopped
½ tsp paprika
¼ – ½tsp ground ginger
¼ – ½ tsp cinnamon
Large pinch white pepper
Large pinch salt
1 tbs light olive oil
Coconut milk (optional)
1. Prepare your tomatoes by scoring a cross on both the bottom and the top. Then place in a large bowl, cover with boiling water from a kettle and place a plate on top of the bowl (or saucepan lid) to keep the heat in. Drain after two minutes and cover with very cold water. The skin will have lifted around the crosses and the tomatoes will now be easy to peel. Cut them into quarters and place to one side.
2. In a large, heavy pan, add the olive oil, onions, garlic and sauté over a medium heat until the onions are tender. (The reason you crush the garlic vs chopping is that the crushing process helps to release more of the active ingredients and flavour.)
3. Add the spices (start on the lower side), salt and pepper, and stir in over a gentle heat, making sure they don’t burn.
4. Add the potatoes and carrots. Stir till coated by the seasoning. Add the tomatoes.
5. Cover the vegetables and tomatoes in boiled water from a kettle, so that they are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer (covered) on low for at least half an hour (mine went for 90 minutes) until the carrots/veg are tender.
6. Allow to cool and then blend using a powerful blender until smooth. Check the spices/salt/pepper and add more if you like.
7. Optional: add in some coconut milk for a more indulgent experience! Suggest about 2 tbs per serving.
Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram