recipe

Carrot & Lentil soup

Carrot and Lentil Soup

This soup was a failed attempt to make pumpkin soup. I started the soup off by sweating some onions and garlic, only to cut into my pumpkin and find that it was rotten! I had bought it a couple of weeks earlier and it had been sitting on my bench too long. Gak.

Damn! I had been looking forward to a big bowl of soup and had even bought some nice bread especially for it. Then I remembered a recipe I had seen in the Women’s Weekly Great Vegetarian Food cookbook that I had borrowed from the library. I had noted this recipe because I’m always looking for new ways to cook lentils (which I love).

On to Plan B: I salvaged my onions and garlic and turned them into this carrot and lentil soup instead. I didn’t have any celery or buttermilk so I left them out. Nor did I put in a full kilo of carrots. The next time I make it I’ll make sure I put in more than a kilo of carrots for a more intense carrot flavour as mine didn’t taste very carroty. So, one rotten pumpkin and almost a kilo of carrots later, I had this beautiful looking soup.

Carrot and Lentil Soup

Adapted from the Women’s Weekly Great Vegetarian Food cookbook.

Ingredients:
1.125 litres (4 & 1/2 cups) vegetable stock
2 large brown onions (400g), chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
6 large carrots (1 kg), chopped coarsely
2 trimmed sticks celery (150 g), chopped coarsely
2 cup (500 ml) water
1/2 cup (1oog) brown lentils
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk

1: Heat 1/2 cup stock in large saucepan; cook onion, half of the garlic and cumin, stirring, until onion softens. Add carrot and celery; cook, stirring, 5 minutes.

2: Add remaining stock and the water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until carrot softens.

3: Blend or process soup, in batches, until smooth; return soup to pan. Add lentils; simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.

4: Stir buttermilk into hot soup and serve.

Breakfast Bars

Breakfast Bars

These are very tasty, and, I do actually eat them for breakfast! Generally I make a double batch and freeze the majority after I’ve cut them into bars. If I want one in the morning I take a bar out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge.

I’m not sure if they make a healthy breakfast, but I always feel virtuous eating something with oats so I tell myself it is. And even if it’s not that healthy… well… everything’s relative and it surely wouldn’t be as bad as a danish, donut or fry up! (Not that I eat danishes or donuts for breakfast! And only the occasional fry up.)

I no longer know where I got the original recipe from (somewhere on the interwebs) and have made a couple of adaptations. Any dried fruit would work well, but I especially love the taste of the prunes in these bars.

Breakfast Bars

Ingredients:

150g butter
175g (1/2 cup) honey
200g (2 cups) rolled oats
60g (1 cup) shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
200g (3/4 cup) pitted prunes, chopped
100g (2/3 cup) dried apricots, chopped
75g (1/2 cup) sultanas
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 170c. Line a 23 x 32 cm sandwich tin with baking paper.

Put the butter & honey in a small pan over medium heat & stir until butter has melted.

Toss the oats, coconut, baking powder & sesame seeds together in a large bowl. Add the prunes, peaches & currants & mix well. Add the warm honey mixture & eggs & stir to combine, then spoon evenly into cake tin.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is cooked through & the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven & allow to cool in the pan before cutting into 12 bars.