Pumpkin, Carrot and Potato Soup

Autumn in a bowl 


Autumn is one of my favourite seasons in Australia. There’s a slight chill in the air and beautiful heartwarming colours of orange, red and yellow everywhere. It is one of the most picturesque sites to see. 

This autumn was made even better with the birth of my second son Jai Alexander. I mean how time flies my older son is nearly two, I am a mother of two and life is just that little more chaotic but oh so beautiful. The merriment around the house tripled as my parents were visiting too. I can’t explain watching my parents with my children in words except that it filled my heart with so much love, warmth and gratitude. 

To celebrate our little bundle of joy and the last remaining days of autumn, I decided to cook with colours of autumn.  I’m not a fan of pumpkin per say but I have to admit when combined with other warming flavours, it truly shines. So I decided to make a pumpkin, potato and carrot soup with chilli, lemon and ginger oil. 

Ingredients: 16   Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

For the soup

  • Half a pumpkin (I used butternut), peeled and cut in cubes 
  • Two carrots, peeled and diced 
  • Two to three potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • One onion, chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, chopped
  • One bay leaf
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • One teaspoon smoked paprika
  • One vegetable stock cube
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to season 

For the lemon chilli oil

  • Five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • One to two red chillies, chopped
  • One thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One to two kaffir lime leaves

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add garlic, once aromatic add onion and cooking until lightly caramelised.


Now add all the vegetables, followed by all the spices (except the stock cube). Mix well. Then add one litre of water, stock cube, season with salt and cover the pan with a lid. Let the soup simmer on a low heat until vegetables are cooked.


To make the flavoured oil, combine all the ingredients in a pan and let them simmer on a low heat for five to seven minutes or until aromatic.

Using the stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt as required, add more water if needed to reach desired consistency. Again let the soup simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes.

Garnish with a generous drizzle of the chilli, lemon and ginger oil. Serve with a side of garlic bread and feel your heart and soul warm up with this autumnal goodness.

Pumpkin and Carrot Soup

If winter had a fragrance, this would be it…

There’s a real chill in the air these days. A perfect reason to stock up on vegetables and make soups to last for days. After all there is nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup on a cold night, watching Netflix wrapped up in a blanket. 

I am a big fan of combining different vegetables and spices whilst making soup. Take this soup for instance, pumpkin and carrot are combined with cinnamon and ginger. Now if winter had a   fragrance this would be it. Cinnamon brings out the sweetness in pumpkin and ginger, while ginger gives the soup a really earthiness. I don’t even have to begin to tell you the health benefits of these ingredients. Let’s just say it’s like winning a jackpot of good health.

So without further ado here’s the recipe.

Ingredients: 18  Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Half a pumpkin, peeled and cubed (I used Kent pumpkin)
  • Four medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped 
  • One medium sized onion, sliced
  • Three to four pods of garlic, chopped
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated 
  • One large cinnamon stick 
  • Two bayleaves
  • Half a teaspoon of rosemary leaves
  • Half a teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Half a teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Salt to season 
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1.25 ltr of stock or water

For the garnish 

  • Sage leaves
  • Small piece of ginger
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil 
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional)

Heat oil in a crockpot. Add garlic, once aromatic add onion, ginger, bay leaves and cinnamon. Cook on medium heat for three to four minutes. 


Now add pumpkin and carrots, followed by all the dried herbs and spices. Mix well, cover the pot and cook on a medium heat for five to seven minutes.

Add water or stock, cover the pot and let the soup simmer for 20 to 30 minutes on a medium heat. 


Now take out the bayleaves and cinnamon stick. Season with salt as required and blend the soup. Add the bayleaves and cinnamon stick back in the soup. Cover the pot again and let the soup simmer again for five to ten minutes.

To prepare the garnish, mix olive oil, sage and smashed ginger in a skillet. Heat until aromatic. Keep aside.

Your lip smackingly delicious soup is ready to be served. Ladle a generous serve into a bowl, glaze it with the sensational sage and ginger oil, add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and finally top with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with some toasted sourdough bread. Aaahhh!!!! Heaven.

Ginger Broccoli Coconut Curry

A ticket to the tropical island or a delicious saving grace after sinfully indulgent days…

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Last weekend my husband was at a bachelor party. What happens at a bachelor party stays at the bachelor party but we all know what goes down at these parties – booze, meat, more booze to wash the meat down and then some more meat as an attempt to keep the hangover away. 

So after a weekend full of fun and games, my husband resigned to the couch and desired something light and healthy for dinner. The good wife that I am, I had a fully stocked fridge (for a change!). It was an obvious choice to cook with the fresh greens gracing my fridge. While a stir fry would have been effortless, I decided to make a curry – you can always pack more love in a curry! 

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You would have to agree when i say – Food has such power in bringing back memories and teleporting you to places with just one bite. With the weather getting cooler in Australia and summer in all its glory in India and other parts of the world, I am sure all you desire is being on a tropical island savouring some lip smackingly delicious cocktails and some tantalising curries.

While you dream of the tropical island let me bring you one step closer to it with this delicious ginger broccoli coconut curry. Today’s curry is inspired by Thai flavours such as coconut milk, ginger and kaffir lime. This flavour combination can bring any dish to life. Not only is this curry your ticket to a tropical get away, it is an absolute saving grace if you have had many indulgent days.

 

Ingredients: 15   Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • One medium sized broccoli, cut into florets
  • One bunch of asparagus, wood ends trimmed, halved
  • One bunch of choi sum (or any other asian greens), roughly chopped
  • One brown onion, finely sliced
  • Two to three green chillies, finely chopped
  • One tablespoon of crushed ginger
  • Four to five pods of garlic, roughly chopped
  • Four spring onions, finely chopped
  • One kaffir lime leaf
  • 300ml of light coconut milk
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt to season
  • Fresh coriander to garnish
  • One tablespoon of black sesame seeds, toasted

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Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok. Add onions and spring onions, cook until onions are translucent.

Now add garlic, ginger and green chillies. Followed by broccoli and choi sum, I have used choi sum because of its mildly bitter flavour that gives this curry another flavour dimension. You can use any other Asian greens and if you can’t find asian greens you can use baby spinach. 

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Add the coconut milk and about one cup of water, followed by the kaffir lime leaf, one teaspoon of sugar and salt to taste. Cover the wok with a lid and let the curry simmer for seven to ten minutes.

Finally add the asapargus and cook the curry for another four to five minutes or until asparagus is stems are tender.

Your lip smackingly delicious curry is ready to serve. Serve with a side of steamed rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh coriander.

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